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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 96:9

 

 

Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness - I think קדש בהדרת behadrath kodesh, signifies holy ornaments, such as the high priest wore in his ministrations. These were given him for glory and beauty; and the psalmist calls on him to put on his sacerdotal garments, to bring his offering, מנחה minchah, and come into the courts of the Lord, and perform his functions, and make intercession for the people.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-96.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness - This verse is literally taken from 1 Chronicles 16:29-30. The margin here is, “in the glorious sanctuary.” The Septuagint, ἐν αὐλῇ ἁγίᾳ en aulē hagia - “in his holy court.” So the Latin Vulgate. On the meanings of the expression, see the notes at Psalm 29:2.

Fear before him, all the earth - All lands; all people. The word rendered “fear” means properly to writhe, to twist, to be in pain; and then, to tremble, to quake, to be afraid. The word “tremble” would perhaps best express the idea here. It is that solemn awe produced by the sense of the divine presence and majesty which causes trembling. It denotes profound reverence for God.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-96.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,.... See Gill on Psalm 29:2, in this and the three preceding verses there is a manifest allusion to the form of addresses made to kings in the eastern nations; who being arrayed, and seated in a majestic manner, with all the marks of royal honour and dignity about them, whom their subjects approach with ascriptions of glory to them; bringing presents in their hands, and bowing down to the ground before them, as the wordF18השתחוו "incurvate vos", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "prosternite vos", Tigurine version. for "worship" signifies; expressing the utmost awe and reverence of them, as in the next clause:

fear before him, all the earth; or, as the Targum,

"all the inhabitants of the earth;'

it is the duty of all men to fear the Lord; but none can fear him aright without his grace, or an heart given them to fear him: this respects the latter day, when the Jews shall seek the Lord, and fear him and his goodness; when all nations shall fear and worship him; when, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord shall be great and tremendous among the Gentiles; see Hosea 3:5.


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-96.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

beauty of holiness — (Psalm 29:2).

fear … him — (Psalm 2:11).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-96.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

Beauty — Cloathed with all the gifts and graces, which are necessary in God's worship.


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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 96:9". "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

9Worship before Jehovah The Psalmist prosecutes the same train of sentiment. In requiring oblations of his people, God was not to be considered as standing in need of the services of the creature, but as giving them an opportunity of professing their faith. The true reason, therefore, is here mentioned why the oblation was enjoined, That his people might prostrate themselves before him, and acknowledge that they and all belonging to them were his. Mention is made of the beauty of the temple, referring to the fact that the Gentiles should be raised to a new honor, in being associated into one body with God’s chosen people. (88) At the time when this psalm was written, it was generally deemed scarcely credible that the heathen nations would be admitted into the temple in company with the holy seed of Abraham. This should make us think all the more highly of our calling as Gentiles, which seemed then so incredible and impracticable a thing. We may be convinced that God only could have opened for us the door of salvation. The beauty of the temple is an expression intended to beget a reverential view of the temple, that men may approach it with humble fear, instead of rushing without consideration into God’s presence. The clause which follows in the verse is inserted for the same purpose — tremble before his face, intimating that we should prostrate ourselves as suppliants before him when we consider his awful majesty. Not that he would deter worshippers from drawing near to God. They should esteem it their greatest pleasure and enjoyment to seek his face. But he would have us humbled to the right and serious worship of God. I may add, that the beauty or glory of the sanctuary did not consist in silver and gold, in the preciousness of the material of which it was made, nor in polished stones, nor in any splendor and decoration of this kind, but in the representation of the heavenly pattern which was shown to Moses on the mount, (Exodus 25:9.)


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-96.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 96:9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

Ver. 9. O worship the Lord, &c.] Supplicate proni, fall flat on your faces (Geneb.). See Psalms 95:6.

In the beauty of holiness] i.e. In his courts, as Psalms 96:8, or in holy beauty, as some render it; that is, in true faith, and with good affections.

Fear before him] Rejoice before him with trembling, Psalms 2:11


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-96.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 96:9. In the beauty of holiness The beauty of holiness means the temple, or courts of the temple; which was the peculiar residence of Jehovah, and remarkable for its beauty and elegance. By the Lord, in the next verse, both Jews and Christians generally agree that the Messiah is meant.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-96.html. 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 662

WORSHIP IN THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS

Psalms 96:9. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!

THE calling of the Gentiles was a very favourite subject with the sweet singer of Israel. It is almost always blended with his sweetest strains. If at any time his soul be inflamed with more than ordinary devotion, it expands itself immediately to the remotest corners of the earth, and anticipates the period when the whole world shall enjoy the privileges which were then confined within the narrow limits of the Jewish nation; yea rather, when the richer blessings of Messiah’s reign should be diffused with equal liberality over the face of the whole earth. The psalm before us had a special reference to the Messiah. It speaks of “a new song” that was to be sung; a song unknown to Moses, who celebrated only a temporal deliverance: and it was to be sung by “the whole earth,” because it was to be commemorative of a spiritual and eternal redemption, wrought out by the Messiah for the whole family of man. Let us read a part of this sublime composition: “O sing unto the Lord a new song! sing unto the Lord all the whole earth. Sing unto the Lord; bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the Heathen, his wonders among all people. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! fear before him, all the earth. Say among the Heathen that the Lord reigneth [Note: ver. 1–3, 7, 9, 10.].” That it is of the Messiah’s advent and reign that he here speaks, is evident; because he refers, not to any thing past, but to events yet future: “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh; for he cometh to judge (to rule) the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth [Note: ver. 11–13,].”

This psalm, together with a part of the 105th, was used by David, when he carried up the ark to Mount Zion, to place it in the Tabernacle [Note: 1 Chronicles 16:7-33.]: and well was it adapted to that occasion; because the ark was a very eminent type of that adorable “word, who in due time became flesh, and dwelt amongst us [Note: John 1:14. ἐσκήνωσεν.].” Then, even at the hour when we might have supposed that the interests of his own subjects would have an exclusive possession of his mind, did David contemplate the welfare of the Gentiles, and call on them to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness [Note: 1 Chronicles 16:29.].”

We shall consider these words as containing,

I. An invitation to the whole Gentile world—

By “the beauty of holiness,” I understand the Sanctuary of the Lord—

[As the tabernacle and all its furniture were of the most costly materials and the most exquisite workmanship, so was the temple and all that it contained; and especially every thing connected with the holy of holies. But though in this respect it exceeded every thing upon earth in “beauty,” there was a far higher reason for its being called by this peculiar name: it was the immediate residence of the Deity, who dwelt there in a bright cloud, the Shechinah, the visible symbol of his presence. The heaven of heavens was not more holy than that sacred chamber, nor more beauteous: and therefore it might well be called, not beautiful, but “beauty;” not holy, but “holiness” in the abstract, or more forcibly still, “The beauty of holiness,” in comparison of which there was nothing beautiful or holy upon the face of the whole earth.]

Thither David invites the whole Gentile world to come, and “worship the Lord,” the Creator, the Governor, the Saviour of the world—

[By the Law of Moses it was forbidden them to enter into any part of the sanctuary. For them an outer court was provided, beyond which they were forbidden, on pain of death, to proceed. But, through the coming of the Messiah, “the partition-wall was to be broken down:” and all, both Jews and Gentiles, were to be incorporated into one body, and to be made partakers of the same privileges [Note: Ephesians 2:14-16.]. Even the vail of the temple itself was to be rent in twain [Note: Matthew 27:51.], and “a new and living way be opened” for every child of man [Note: Hebrews 10:19-22.], to approach for himself the very mercy-seat of the Most High, and to offer there his sacrifices of prayer and praise, and his incense too of fervent intercession. To this does David here invite the Gentile world. Not David himself would have dared to enter into the sanctuary which was then standing; into “the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High” it would have been at the peril of his life to enter: but he foresaw, that that servile dispensation was in due time to pass away; and that God would then hold out to every man, whether Jew or Gentile, whether bond or free, the golden sceptre of his grace, with free permission to make known to him his every request, even to the half, or to the whole, of his kingdom. To the Gentiles therefore he calls, to “turn from their idols to serve the living God,” and to “glorify God with their bodies and their spirits, which are his.”]

Let us next consider the words as,

II. A special call to us—

“The beauty of holiness” is yet standing—

[The tabernacle and the temple are indeed long since swept away; nor is there in existence a vessel that belonged to either. But, if the symbol of God’s presence is removed, is God himself therefore gone? No: he is here, in this very place, as truly as ever he was in his sanctuary of old. He has said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” And have we not also a sacrifice wherewith we may approach him? Yes, we have a sacrifice of infinitely greater value than all the cattle on a thousand hills. “The sacrifice of his dear Son is to him of a sweet-smelling savour:” and the merit of that every one of us may plead, and plead too with an infallible certainty of acceptance. What was there in the temple of old which we do not possess? Not any thing; not any thing which we do not possess to infinitely greater advantage. The Jews had the shadow; we have the substance: and what we enjoy as far excels in beauty and in holiness all that they possessed, as a living body excels a reflection of it in a glass.]

And may I not add, that “the beauty of holiness” is more especially visible in the ordinances of the Established Church?

[I mean not to speak disrespectfully of any other body of Christians whatever, or to detract from their ordinances, however administered: but I must say, and I say it from my inmost soul, that, in my judgment, there is in the worship of the Church of England a beauty and a holiness superior to what is found in any other Church upon earth.

But, not to enter into invidious comparisons, or to diminish the respect which others have for their own peculiar modes of worship, let us confine our attention to the worship of that Church whereof we are members. If the principles on which our worship is founded are any tests of excellence, verily our Church stands most conspicuous for all that is beautiful and holy. The Scriptures themselves are the one standard which she follows. Disdaining the trammels of human systems, she comprehends in her views all that the Scripture utters, without attempting to wrest or pervert any truth which may bear an aspect uncongenial with the dictates of unenlightened reason. It is not possible for the creature to be more deeply humbled, than her worshippers are when confessing their sins before God. And so fervent are her petitions, that nothing can exceed them. Nor is there a petition offered, which is not presented in the name of Jesus Christ, so entire is the dependence which all her children place in the merits and mediation of that adorable Saviour. Her praises and thanksgivings are as ardent as any that words can express. So that, if a whole congregation in one of our churches entered fully into the spirit of our Liturgy, it would be a brighter resemblance of heaven than was ever yet seen upon the face of the globe.]

Let me, then, call you, as David does, to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”—

[“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering: come into his courts [Note: ver. 8.];” and take care that your worship be such as becomes his sanctuary. Let a holy reverential awe fill your souls, whenever you draw nigh to God. Let your confessions be humble; your supplications, fervent; your thanksgivings, devout. Have a special view to the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the whole of the service; and think not to offer any thing to God, or to receive any thing from God, but through him, as your all-prevailing Friend and Mediator. Whether you approach God in your closet, or in the public assembly, watch over your spirit in relation to these things, and presume not to offer unto God the sacrifice of fools. Let not the consideration of your natural distance from God discourage you. Remember, that the invitation is given to the remotest Gentiles, who are bowing down to the works of their own hands, which can never profit or deliver. To you, therefore, whatever be your state, is the invitation sent: and we are authorised, by God himself, to declare, that of those who come to him in his Son’s name, “not so much as one shall ever be cast out.”]

Address—

1. Make adue improvement of your own privileges—

[You cannot but see how highly David and his people were privileged above the benighted Heathen: yet were their blessings but a faint shadow of yours; so much more distinct is your knowledge of, God, and so much nearer is your access to him. Not any but the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies; and he only on one day in the year: but of you, every individual may go to the very throne of the Divine Majesty, and that too every day and every hour of your lives. You are “a kingdom of priests,” and may take the blood of your great sacrifice, and sprinkle it with acceptance on the Mercy-seat of your God. O that you might learn to estimate aright your high privilege, and improve it daily to the everlasting benefit of your souls!]

2. Endeavour to extend them to the whole world—

[We should not be content to serve our God alone: we should wish him to be honoured and enjoyed by every child of man: and to advance his glory in the world should be an object of our most unwearied attention. Happily for us, there are Societies that have embarked in this blessed work, and through which every individual may contribute to the enlargement of the Redeemer’s kingdom [Note: Here the particular Society, such us the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, the Bible Society, or the Prayer-book and Homily Society, may be set forth, and its objects and operations may be detailed.] — — — And view the field, how extended it is! “The field is the world.” Arise, my Brethren, to the work that is before you: and if you cannot effect all that you could wish, let it at least be said of you by the heart-searching God, “They have done what they could.”]


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/psalms-96.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In the beauty of holiness; either in the holy place which he shall appoint to that end; or clothed with all those holy ornaments, those gifts and graces, which are necessary and required in God’s worship.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-96.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9. Beauty of holiness—See notes on Psalms 29:2; Psalms 110:3


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-96.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Gods. Princes or angels, elohim, ver. 7. (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-96.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the beauty of holiness. See note on 1 Chronicles 16:29.

Fear = Tremble.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-96.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.—Better, Bow before Jehovah in holy attire. But the LXX. and Vulgate have as in margin.

Fear before him.—Or literally, let all the earth be moved before his face.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-96.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
in the beauty of holiness
or, in the glorious sanctuary.
29:2; 110:3; Ezra 7:27; Ezekiel 7:20; Daniel 11:45; Luke 21:5,6
fear
33:8; 76:7,11

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 96:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-96.html.

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