corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 96:4

 

 

For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.

Adam Clarke Commentary

He is to be feared above all gods - I think the two clauses of this verse should be read thus: -

Jehovah is great, and greatly to be praised.

Elohim is to be feared above all.

I doubt whether the word אלהים Elohim is ever, by fair construction, applied to false gods or idols. The contracted form in the following verse appears to have this meaning.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-96.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For the Lord is great - Yahweh is great. See the notes at Psalm 77:13. This verse is taken literally from 1 Chronicles 16:25.

And greatly to be praised - Worthy of exalted praise and adoration.

He is to be feared above all gods - He is to be reverenced and adored above all that are called gods. Higher honor is to be given him; more lofty praise is to be ascribed to him. He is Ruler over all the earth, and has a claim to universal praise. Even if it were admitted that they were real gods, yet it would still be true that they were local and inferior divinities; that they ruled only over the particular countries where they were worshipped and acknowledged as gods, and that they had no claim to “universal” adoration as Yahweh has.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-96.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 96:4

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.

God’s praise

The greatness or majesty of God is the prominent thing dwelt on in this psalm; but it may be dealt with in a larger and more comprehensive way.

I. The duty of praise. The psalmist calls upon us to sing. It honours God not only that we should speak to others about Him, and preach to others His truth, but that we should sing His praise, finding thus expression for our joyous and loving thoughts of Him who is worthy to receive glory and honour for ever and ever. Impress that joining in the songs and praises of the great congregation is still our way of honouring God. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Him.”

II. Where should we praise? (Psalms 96:6). “In His sanctuary.” The place of worship, the consecrated place, rich with the associations of years of worship. Show how strongly urged is the duty of joining in public services; and how important the duty of forming, in this respect, good early habits.

III. What should we praise? We may praise God for what He has done; in creation, providence, and grace; and for what He has done directly for us. The psalmist rises to a nobler height, and sets us the example of praising God for what He is, for the greatness, and majesty, and strength, and honour that belong to Him.

IV. Before whom should we praise.? Before those who do not know God, or who sadly neglect Him. Our praise is to be a witness to them; an example for them; and a persuasion of them. Our acts of worship and our godly habits are to say to them, “Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”

V. Who should join us in praise? Note the poetic sentiment of verses11-13; all nature joins man in praise. But man should be the leader of the choir. (Robert Tuck, B.A.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 96:4". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-96.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

UNREALITY OF THE IDOL GODS OF THE GENTILES

"For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised:

He is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols;

But Jehovah made the heavens."

The major prophets, especially, exposed the futility of the worthless gods of the Gentiles. Isaiah especially excelled in doing so. See Isaiah 2,8,18,20; 40:19ff; 41:21-24; and 44:12ff.

Contrasted with the feeble, helpless gods of the pagan Gentiles is the majestic power and holiness of the true God, Creator of the heavens and everything else in the universe. The galaxies themselves unfurled as a banner in the night sky proclaim God's glory. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork" (Psalms 19:1).

"To be feared above all gods" (Psalms 96:4). Leupold remarked that, "If any of the entities commonly called gods produced fear in the minds and hearts of their worshippers, how much more would the knowledge of God Most High do so? This naturally implies that the fear which the knowledge of Almighty God evokes is wholesome and true; it is a godly reverence."[7]

"All the gods of the peoples are idols" (Psalms 96:5). And what is an idol? It is a man-made device resembling some human being or some allegedly mythical character, and it supposedly represents a "god." An idol cannot see, cannot hear, cannot move itself, is utterly helpless, having no abilities whatever. This writer once visited the temple of the Diabhutsu in Japan, and a number of the niches surrounding the great idol were adorned in posters, printed with red and black letters, carrying the message, "THESE GODS ARE OUT OF REPAIR!" The near-insanity of idol-worship is surely indicated by this.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-96.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the Lord is great,.... In the perfections of his nature; in the works of his hands, of creation, providence, and redemption; and in the several offices he bears and executes:

and greatly to be praised; because of his greatness and glory; See Gill on Psalm 48:1,

he is to be feared above all gods; the angels by whom he is worshipped; civil magistrates, among whom he presides, and judges; and all the fictitious deities of the Gentiles, who are not to be named with him, and to whom no fear, reverence, and worship, are due.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-96.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For the LORD [is] b great, and greatly to be praised: he [is] to be feared above all gods.

(b) Seeing he will reveal himself to all nations contrary to their own expectation, they should all worship him contrary to their own imaginations, and only as he has appointed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-96.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

Gods — The gods of the nations, as the next verse expounds it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-96.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

4.For Jehovah is great, and greatly to be praised. He particularly describes that God, whom he would have men to celebrate, and this because the Gentile nations were prone to merge into error upon this subject. That the whole world might abjure its superstitions, and unite in the true religion, he points out the one only God who is worthy of universal praise. This is a point of the greatest importance. Unless men are restrained by a due respect to it, they can only dishonor him the more that they attempt to worship him. We must observe this order if we would not profane the name of God, and rank ourselves amongst unbelieving men, who set forth gods of their own invention. By gods in the verse may be meant, as I observed already, (Psalms 95:3,) either angels or idols. I would still be of opinion that the term comprehends whatever is, or is accounted deity. As God, so to speak, sends rays of himself through all the world by his angels, these reflect some sparks of his Divinity. (78) Men, again, in framing idols, fashion gods to themselves which have no existence. The Psalmist would convince them of its being a gross error to ascribe undue honor either to the angels or to idols, thus detracting from the glory of the one true God. He convicts the heathen nations of manifest infatuation, upon the ground that their gods are vanity and nought, for such is the meaning of the Hebrew word אלילים , elilim, (79) which is here applied to idols in contempt. The Psalmist’s great point is to show, that as the Godhead is really and truly to be found in none but the one Maker of the world, those religions are vain and contemptible which corrupt the pure worship of him. Some may ask, Are angels then to be accounted nothing and vanity, merely because many have been deceived in thinking them gods? I would reply, that we do injury to the angels when we give them that honor which is due to God only; and, while we are not on this account to hold that they are nothing in themselves, yet whatever imaginary glory has been attached to them must go for nothing. (80) But the Psalmist has in his eye the gross delusions of the heathen, who impiously fashioned gods to themselves.

Before refuting their absurd notions, he very properly remarks of God that he is great, and greatly to be praised — insinuating that his glory as the infinite One far excels any which they dreamt of as attaching to their idols. We cannot but notice the confidence with which the Psalmist asserts the glory of the true God, in opposition to the universal opinion which men might entertain. The people of God were at that time called to maintain a conflict of no inconsiderable or common description with the hosts and prodigious mass of superstitions which then filled the whole world. The true God might be said to be confined within the obscure corner of Judea. Jupiter was the god every where received — and adored throughout the whole of Asia, Europe, and Africa. Every country had its own gods peculiar to itself, but these were not unknown in other parts, and it was the true God only who was robbed of that glory which belonged to him. All the world had conspired to believe a lie. Yet the Psalmist, sensible that the vain delusions of men could derogate nothing from the glory of the one God, (81) looks down with indifference upon the opinion and universal suffrage of mankind. The inference is plain, that we must not conclude that to be necessarily the true religion which meets with the approbation of the multitude; for the judgment formed by the Psalmist must have fallen to the ground at once, if religion were a thing to be determined by the suffrages of men, and his worship depended upon their caprice. Be it then that ever so many agree in error, we shall insist after the Holy Ghost that they cannot take from God’s glory; for man is vanity himself, and all that comes of him is to be mistrusted. (82) Having asserted the greatness of God, he proves it by reference to the formation of the world, which reflects his perfections. (83) God must necessarily exist of himself, and be self-sufficient, which shows the vanity of all gods who made not the world. The heavens are mentioned — a part for the whole — as the power of God is principally apparent in them, when we consider their beauty and adornment.

εξ ἑνὸς, οὗτος ὀφείλει
Κόσμον ἴσον τούτῳ στήσας εἰπεῖν ἐμὸς οὗτος.

One God our hearts confess: whoe’er beside
Aspires with Him our homage to divide,
A world as beauteous let him first design,
And say, its fabric finished, ‘This is mine.’”
Merrick’s Annotations.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-96.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

feared

(See Scofield "Psalms 19:9").


Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Psalms 96:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/psalms-96.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 96:4 For the LORD [is] great, and greatly to be praised: he [is] to be feared above all gods.

Ver. 4. For the Lord is great] Vere magnus est Christianorum Deus, said Calocerius, a heathen; he is omni laude maior, et merito metuendus, saith David here, and elsewhere often. Sound out, therefore, and send abroad his worthy praises, that others may hear and fear.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-96.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The gods of the nations, as the next verse expounds it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-96.html. 1685.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

gods = rulers. Hebrew. "elohim. App-4. See note on Exodus 22:9.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-96.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised - (Psalms 48:1.) The "For" justifies the attribution of "glory" and "wonders" to Him in Psalms 96:3.

He is to be feared above all gods - (Psalms 95:3.) At this time the might of the world-power was at its height, and threatened destruction to the small state of Judea. But faith assured the people of God that their Yahweh is superior to all the vain gods of the world; and prophecy comforted them With the prospect that the pagan themselves at last will recognize Yahweh alone.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-96.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
For the
18:3; 86:10; 89:7; 145:3; Exodus 18:11; 1 Samuel 4:8; Nehemiah 9:5
and greatly
18:3
he is
66:3,5; 76:7; 89:7; 95:3; Jeremiah 5:22; 10:6,7; Luke 12:5; Revelation 15:4

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 96:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-96.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology