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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 97:1

 

 

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The Lord reigneth - Here is a simple proposition, which is a self-evident axiom, and requires no proof: Jehovah is infinite and eternal; is possessed of unlimited power and unerring wisdom; as he is the Maker, so he must be the Governor, of all things. His authority is absolute, and his government therefore universal. In all places, on all occasions, and in all times, Jehovah reigns.

But this supreme King is not only called hwhy Yehovah, which signifies his infinite and eternal being, unlimited power, and unerring wisdom; and, as Creator, his universal government; but he is also ynd) Adonai, the Director and Judge. He directs human actions by his word, Spirit, and Providence. Hence are his laws and revelation in general; for the governed should know their governor, and should be acquainted with his laws, and the reasons on which obedience is founded. As Adonai or Director, he shows them the difference between good and evil; and their duty to their God, their neighbors, and themselves: and he finally becomes the Judge of their actions. But as his law is holy, and his commandment holy, just, and good, and man is in a fallen, sinful state; hence he reveals himself as; אלהים Elohim, God, entering into a gracious covenant with mankind, to enlighten his darkness, and help his infirmities; that he may see what is just, and be able to do it. But as this will not cancel the sins already committed, hence the necessity of a Savior, an atonement; and hence the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. This is the provision made by the great God for the more effectual administration of his kingdom upon earth. Jehovah, Adonai, Elohim reigneth; et his animadversis, and these points considered, it is no wonder that the psalmist should add,

Let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad - The earth, the terraqueous globe; especially, here, the vast continents, over every part of which God's dominion extends. But it is not confined to them; it takes in the islands of the sea; all the multitude of those islands, even to the smallest inhabited rock; which are as much the objects of his care, the number of their inhabitants considered, as the vastest continents on which are founded the mightiest empires. All this government springs from his holiness, righteousness, and benignity; and is exercised in what we call providence, from pro, for, before, and video, to see, which word is well defined and applied by Cicero: Providentia est, per quam futurism aliquid videtur, antequam factum sit. "Providence is that by which any thing future is seen before it takes place." De Invent. c. 53. And, in reference to a Divine providence, he took up the general opinion, viz., Esse deos, et eorum providentia mundum administrari. De Divinat. c. 51, ad finem. "There are gods; and by their providence the affairs of the world are administered."

This providence is not only general, taking in the earth and its inhabitants, en masse; giving and establishing laws by which all things shall be governed; but it is also particular; it takes in the multitudes of the isles, as well as the vast continents; the different species as well as the genera; the individual, as well as the family. As every whole is composed of its parts, without the smallest of which it could not be a whole; so all generals are composed of particulars. And by the particular providence of God, the general providence is formed; he takes care of each individual; and, consequently, he takes care of the whole. Therefore, on the particular providence of God, the general providence is built; and the general providence could not exist without the particular, any more than a whole could subsist independently of its parts. It is by this particular providence that God governs the multitude of the isles, notices the fall of a sparrow, bottles; the tears of the mourner, and numbers the hairs of his followers. Now, as God is an infinitely wise and good Being, and governs the world in wisdom and goodness, the earth may well rejoice and the multitude of the isles be glad.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-97.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Lord reigneth - See the notes at Psalm 93:1. This is the general fact to be dwelt upon; this is the foundation of joy and praise. The universe is not without a sovereign. It is not the abode of anarchy. It is not the production of chance. It is not subject to mere physical laws. It is not under the control of evil. It is under the government of a God: a wise, holy, intelligent, just, benevolent Being, who rules it well, and who presides over all its affairs. If there is anything for which we should rejoice, it is that there is One Mind, everlasting and most glorious, who presides over the universe, and conducts all things according to his own wise and eternal plan.

Let the earth rejoice - The earth itself; all parts of it; all that dwell upon it. As the earth everywhere derives whatever it has of fertility, beauty, grandeur, or stability, from God - as order, beauty, productiveness are diffused everywhere over it - as it has received so many proofs of the divine beneficence toward it, it has occasion for universal joy.

Let the multitude of isles be glad thereof - Margin, “Many, or great isles.” The Hebrew is many. So the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, the Chaldee, and the Syriac. The eye of the psalmist is evidently on the many islands which are scattered over the sea. Not merely the continents - the extended countries where nations dwell - have occasion for joy, but the beautiful islands - the spots of earth which have risen from the deep, and which are covered with fruits and flowers - these, too, have occasion to rejoice: to rejoice that God has raised them from the waters; that he keeps them from being overflowed or washed away; that he clothes them with beauty; that he makes them the abode of happy life; that he places them in the wastes of the ocean as he does the stars in the wastes of the sky, to beautify the universe. The idea in the verse is, that all the earth has cause to rejoice that Yahweh reigns.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-97.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

PSALM 97

GOD VISITS EARTH IN THE FIRST AND SECOND ADVENTS;

THE POWER AND DOMINION OF GOD

Some of the opening words of this psalm were quoted by James A. Garfield on that night when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, as Garfield sought to quiet a restless mob on Wall Street, New York City. He concluded his remarks by saying, "God reigns, and the government in Washington still stands."

"God as Creator and the source of all righteousness and truth is again emphasized and amplified in Psalms 97. Here God is described: (1) as the Supreme One before whom creation itself is ever on the verge of dissolution; and (2) then as the Faithful One whose goodness and holiness are always being disclosed to all peoples through Zion."[1]

The dissolution of the earth mentioned here (Psalms 97:5), "Is possibly a reference to both the First and Second Advents of Jesus Christ,"[2] a figurative reference to the First, and a literal reference to the Second, when "Every mountain and every island shall be moved out of its place" (Revelation 6:14).

"The Latin Vulgate assigns this psalm to David, `when his land was restored;'"[3] but it is not clear exactly what occasion was meant by that. "The Ethiopic and Arabic versions carry the same ascription; and the Syriac has `A Psalm of David in which he predicts the advent of Christ (i.e., in the flesh) and through it, his last appearing (i.e., in judgment).'"[4]

We include these evidences of Davidic authorship as worthy of scholarly attention, although, again to quote Adam Clarke, "Still, the name of the author remains uncertain. Much of this psalm is in the Spirit of David's finest compositions, and yet many learned men suppose it was written to celebrate the Lord's power and goodness in the restoration of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity."[5]

"Hebrews 1:6 quotes a part of Psalms 97:7 here, applying it to Christ,"[6] according to Adam Clarke, but we do not believe that "all the angels of God," mentioned in the Hebrews quotation is the same as "all ye gods" of Psalms 97:7. This is undoubtedly a designation of judges and other high officials of Israel. See my extensive discussion of "gods" in Psalms 82:6.

THE REIGN OF JEHOVAH IN NATURE

In July of 1991, as this is written, a mighty volcano has forced the evacuation of an American Army Base in the Philippines; and not long ago, the awesome eruption of Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington provided a similar demonstration of the fearful powers of the natural world. Such things naturally turn the thoughts of men toward the Creator. In a similar way, "The ancients thought of God as `the God of fire and tempest, earthquake and volcano.'"[7] The psalmist in this chapter mentions "the clouds and darkness," "the lightnings," and the "melting mountains."

Can mountains "melt"? This morning's news release tells us that a tremendous dome of "molten rock" has formed in the crown of that threatening volcano in the Philippines, which the experts assure us will shortly erupt.

Psalms 97:1-2

"Jehovah reigneth; let the earth rejoice;

Let the multitude of isles be glad.

Clouds and darkness are round about him:

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne."

"Let the earth rejoice" (Psalms 97:1). "When Almighty God condescends to come to earth, the earth is bound to rejoice."[8] This, of course concerns the First Advent, when God's visitation of our sinful earth was indeed a matter of good news and universal rejoicing. It will not be so at the Second Advent, because then, "All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him" (Revelation 1:7). The greatest glory of the human race is simply this: "The Dayspring from on High has visited us, to shine upon them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:78-79).

"Clouds and darkness are round about him" (Psalms 97:2). The unfathomable mysteries of God, his ways which are higher than our ways, the secret things which belong to God - all these are symbolized by the darkness mentioned here. Also, as noted above, God's presence in the dark clouds of a great storm is suggested.

"Righteousness and justice ... the foundations of his throne" (Psalms 97:2). Although, not a quotation, the word in Hebrews is, "The sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom (Hebrews 1:8)."


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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 97:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-97.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The Lord reigneth,.... He has reigned, now reigns, will and must reign until all enemies are made his footstool; See Gill on Psalm 93:1; see Gill on Psalm 96:10,

let the earth rejoice: not the land of Judea only, and the inhabitants of it, to whom the King Messiah came; for there were but few among them that received him, and rejoiced at his coming; but the whole earth, the vast continent, as distinguished from the isles after mentioned, and they that dwell upon it; the Gentiles, who had a concern in his coming, in whom they were to be blessed, to whom they were to be gathered, and in whom they should find a glorious rest; and therefore he is called

the desire of all nations: the first preaching of the Gospel was occasion and matter of great joy to them; not only the blessings contained in it of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by Christ; but the effects of it, delivering them from the dominion of Satan, the god of this world; and from superstition, and idolatry, with which they were enslaved; and the bringing them into the glorious liberty of the children of God:

let the multitude of isles be glad thereof; the isles of the sea are many, even many thousands: Columbus, when he first discovered America, sailing by Cuba westward, gave names, as he passed along, to seven hundred islands, leaving three thousand more without namesF18P. Martyr. Decad. 1. l. 3. : Gejerus reports, from some writers, that an Indian king, in 1553, was converted to the Christian faith, that ruled over eleven thousand islands; and that in Maldivar there are reckoned to be sixteen thousand: well may the text speak of a multitude of them: or, "let the great islands", &c. such as ours of Great Britain and Ireland; these isles are said to wait for Christ and his doctrine, Isaiah 42:4 and therefore must be glad to hear of his coming and kingdom: the Gospel was very early sent to the isles, as to Cyprus, Crete, &c. see Acts 13:4 and to our northern isles likewise, who have great reason to be glad at its coming among us, continuance with us, and the success it has had; and that it is yet in the midst of us for further usefulness; and that Christ reigns, and will reign evermore.


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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.
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 97:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-97.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The a LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the b multitude of isles be glad [thereof].

(a) He shows that where God reigns, there is all happiness and spiritual joy.

(b) For the gospel will not only be preached in Judea, but through all isles and countries.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-97.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

Isles — The Gentile nations, as this word, used Isaiah 42:4, is expounded, Matthew 12:21.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-97.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1Jehovah reigns His inviting men to rejoice, is a proof that the reign of God is inseparably connected with the salvation and best happiness of mankind. And, the joy he speaks of being common to the whole world and to the regions beyond the seas, it is evident that he predicts the enlargement of God’s kingdom, which had been confined within the narrow boundaries of Judea, to a far wider extent. The Psalmist, in setting forth the various particulars of the Divine glory in the four verses which follow, would seek to impress all men with a reverential fear of him. Thus he gives us a representation of the formidable majesty attaching to God, that he may dash and humble vain confidence and carnal pride. A cloudy sky overawes us more than a clear one, as the darkness produces a peculiar effect upon the senses. The Psalmist makes use of this symbol, no doubt, to impress the world with the greater reverence of God. Others refine more upon the words, and think that clouds are said to be round about God, to check human rashness and presumption, and restrain that excessive curiosity which would pry more than is fit into the mysteries of Godhead. This is an interpretation of the words which makes them convey a very useful lesson; but I am against all refined renderings, and think that the Psalmist intended in associating darkness with God, to impress the hearts of men with a fear of him in general. (97) The same meaning is brought out in the remaining context, when fire is said to go before him, and burn up his enemies, his lightnings to shake the earth, and the mountains to flow down. Should any object that this does not agree with what was said of the joy which his kingdom diffuses, I might answer, first, that although God is ready on his part to diffuse blessedness wherever he reigns, all are not capable of appreciating it. Besides, as I have already hinted, the truth is one of use to believers, humbling the pride of the flesh, and deepening their adoration of God. God’s throne is represented as founded in justice and judgment, to denote the benefit which we derive from it. The greatest misery which can be conceived of, is that of living without righteousness and judgment, and the Psalmist mentions it as matter of praise exclusively due to God, that when he reigns, righteousness revives in the world. He as evidently denies that we can have any righteousness, till God subjects us to the yoke of his word, by the gentle but powerful influences of his Spirit. A great proportion of men obstinately resist and reject the government of God. Hence the Psalmist was forced to exhibit God in his severer aspect, to teach the wicked that their perverse opposition will not pass unpunished. When God draws near to men in mercy, and they fail to welcome him with becoming reverence and respect, this implies impiety of a very aggravated description; on which account it is that the language of denunciation suits with the kingdom of Christ. The Psalmist intimates that those who should despise God in the person of his only-begotten Son, will feel in due time and certainly the awful weight of his majesty. So much is implied in the expression used — The earth Shall See. For the wicked, when they find that their attempts are vain in fighting against God, resort to subterfuge and concealment. The Psalmist declares that they would not succeed by any such vain artifice in hiding themselves from God.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-97.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 97:1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad [thereof].

Ver. 1. The Lord reigneth] This is matter of greatest joy to the righteous. Gaudeo quod Christus Dominus est, alioqui totus desperassem, I am glad that Christ is Lord of all; for otherwise I should uttely have been out of hope, saith Miconius, in an Epistle to Calvin, upon the view of the Church’s enemies.

Let the multitudes of isles be glad] As more happy herein than any of those called the Fortunate Islands, or than Cyprus, anciently called Macaria, that, is, The blessed isle, for her abundance of commodities.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-97.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 97.

The majesty of God's kingdom. The church rejoiceth at God's judgments upon idolaters. An exhortation to godliness and gladness.

The Greeks call this, "A Psalm of David, after his land was restored to him;" i.e. as Bishop Patrick explains it, after he was made master of all those countries which God anciently designed to be the inheritance of Israel. See 1 Chronicles 18:1-2. But in its sublimer meaning it belongs to Christ's triumph over the grave at his resurrection. This appears from those words which the apostle to the Hebrews alleges out of the 7th verse, and applies to Christ's royal power and authority over angels: and this the Hebrew Rabbis themselves, as Kimchi confesses, take to be here intended. Agreeably to this, the title of the psalm, in the Syriac version, says, "This psalm foretels the coming of Christ." The attentive reader will observe a great similarity between this and the 18th psalm: the poetical imagery of both is exceedingly lofty and grand; and the thoughts and style of both are so much alike, that it cannot be questioned whether they were both written by the same hand. To give an instance: The invisibility of God is thus finely described in the 18th psalm, the 9th and following verses: Darkness was under his feet: he made darkness his secret place: his pavilion round about him were dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies: and then, to shew that by this dark and gloomy scene he only meant to describe that attribute of God, the Psalmist adds, Psalms 97:12. At the brightness that was before him, &c. In like manner the same attribute is here thus described, Psalms 97:2 clouds and darkness, &c. and then too it presently follows, in the very next verse, A fire goeth before him. The curious reader will compare the whole, and judge for himself.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-97.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The same subject that ran through the former Psalm is here continued: and Jesus, as the Christ of God, is the sum and substance of it. Very strong and solid reasons are given wherefore the Church should unceasingly rejoice in the contemplation of the Redeemer's reign; and well may she give her loudest response of Amen, to every part of it.

Psalms 97:1

What a sweet thought is it to consider the reign of Jesus, in grace here, in glory hereafter; in all the kingdoms of his government, temporal, spiritual, eternal, natural, moral, or spiritual; in providence or grace! Precious Lord! while my soul beholds thee in this glorious view, what occurrence can cast me down?


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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-97.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PSALM 97

THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm seems to have both the same author and the same scope with the former. And although the psalmist might take occasion to pen it from those signal manifestations of God’s power and righteousness on his behalf, and against his enemies, yet he had a further aim in it, even at the coming of the Messias, which he here describes. And whereas there are two comings of Christ plainly distinguished in the New Testament, these are but confusedly mentioned in the Old Testament; and the prophets sometimes speak of his first coming in words and phrases which seem more properly to agree to the second, as Malachi 3:1,2 4:1,2. But whatsoever the psalmist designed or understood, this is certain, that the Holy Ghost meant the last clause of Psalms 97:7 of Christ, as is affirmed, Hebrews 1:6, and therefore it is more than probable that all the rest of the Psalm is to be understood of him, and of his coming and kingdom.

A description of the majesty of God’s kingdom, Psalms 97:1-6. The church rejoiceth at his justice and judgment upon idolaters, Psalms 97:7-9, with an exhortation to godliness and spiritual rejoicing, Psalms 97:10-12.

The Lord reigneth; See Poole "Psalms 96:10".

The multitude of isles; the Gentile nations, as this word, being used Isaiah 42:4, is expounded Matthew 12:21, even those which are most remote from Judea, (then the only seat of God’s people and worship,) from which they were divided by the sea, or to which they usually went by sea; such places being commonly called

isles in Scripture, as Genesis 10:5 Isaiah 11:11 66:19; which being mentioned, because there might be some doubt about them, it is sufficiently implied that those countries which were nearer to them should unquestionably partake of the same privilege.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-97.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. The Lord reigneth—See Psalms 96:10; Psalms 99:1. This is the keynote to the psalm.

Earth—The word might signify landthe land of Palestine, but, more probably, the nations generally.

Multitude of isles—The foreign nations, particularly the maritime nations, sea coasts, or nations beyond seas, as to the Hebrews, or those of whom the Hebrews had no knowledge but by commerce. See Psalms 72:10; Psalms 45:12


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-97.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

1. The announcement of God"s earthly reign97:1

How do we know that the psalmist was describing a future reign of God and not His eternal reign? The marginal translation, "has assumed kingship," captures the aspect of God"s reign that this psalm presents. God will assume worldwide dominion when Jesus Christ returns, and that will provide occasion for the whole planet to rejoice as never before.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-97.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 97:1. The Lord reigneth — He that made the world, governs it; he that called the universe into existence, upholds and presides over it; and he rules, judges, and rewards, or punishes his intelligent, free, and immortal creatures, whether men or angels. The Lord Jesus reigns; the providential kingdom is interwoven with the mediatorial, and the administration of both is in the hand of Christ; who is therefore both head of the church, and head over all things to the church: see on Psalms 93:1; Psalms 96:10. Let the earth rejoice — The inhabitants of the world everywhere; for hereby they are honoured and benefited unspeakably: they are blessed with sure protection, a wise and equitable government, holy, just, and salutary laws, and an ample provision for the supply of all their wants. Let the multitude of isles be glad thereof — Not only let the people of Israel rejoice in him, as king of the Jews, and the daughter of Zion, as her king, but let all the earth rejoice in his exaltation; for the kingdoms of the world shall, sooner or later, become his kingdoms. There is enough in Christ for the multitude of isles to rejoice in; for, though millions have been made happy in him, yet still there is room.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-97.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

David. His name occurs not in Hebrew, though the psalm is worthy of him. (Berthier) --- It may refer to the return from captivity, as a figure of the world's redemption. --- Things. In rescuing his people from slavery, and in the incarnation. (Calmet) --- For him. Or alone. (Menochius) --- Christ raised himself by his own power. (Calmet) (Isaias lxii. 5.) --- He redeemed mankind for his own glory, sibi. (Berthier)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-97.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

The LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

The LORD reigneth. See note on Psalms 93:1.

reigneth = hath taken a kingdom.

the earth. Note that this Book (IV) and its Psalms have relation to the earth or land. See notes on p. 809.

isles = coasts or coastlands beyond Palestine. Put for the Gentile world.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-97.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Psalms 97:1-12.-Yahweh's coming with consuming judgments on the idolatrous world-powers. Such was Assyria, that threatened Judah. Yahweh's vengeance on His enemies (Psalms 97:1-3); the trembling produced by the sight of His glory on the earth, the skies, and all people (Psalms 97:4-6); how angels, and how Judah shall receive Him at His coming to confound the idols (Psalms 97:7-9); how the saints who love Him ought to hate evil and rejoice in His holiness, through which gladness is in store for them (Psalms 97:10-12). The psalm leans upon David's Psalms 18:1-50; Psalms 30:1-12; Psalms 33:1-22; Psalms 34:1-22; Psalms 37:1-40. As it is made up of quotations from the older Scriptures, so its grand subject, Messiah, shall combine, at His coming again as the Sun of righteousness, all the scattered rays of sacred prophecy, psalmody, and history.

The Lord reigneth - the same abrupt proclamation of Yahweh's anticipated assumption of the Kingdom appears throughout this series of psalms (Psalms 93:1; Psalms 96:10). The abruptness marks that it will take the earth by surprise. His saints break out into joyous thanksgiving for it (Isaiah 25:9 : cf. Revelation 11:17).

Let the earth rejoice - (Psalms 96:11) let the multitude of isles be glad thereof - (cf Psalms 72:10; and the probably contemporary prophet, Isaiah 42:10; Isaiah 42:12; Isaiah 60:9.) The "isles" include all maritime regions. The earth and isles which are to rejoice at the Lord's coming are distinct from the God-opposed 'enemies' (Psalms 97:3), who are to be 'burnt up' by the "fire" that "goeth before him." They are the pagan nations of the whale earth who have taken no part with Antichrist, and who shall be converted by the word of the Lord going forth with power from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-4). The blessing awaiting the people of Abraham is not merely for themselves, but that through them "all families of the earth may be blessed" (Genesis 12:2-3).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-97.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) The Lord reigneth.—For the thought and imagery comp. Psalms 96:10-11.

Multitude of the isles.—Literally, isles many. This wide glance to the westward embracing the isles and coasts of the Mediterranean (Psalms 72:10), possibly even more distant ones still, is characteristic of the literature of post-exile times. (Comp. Isaiah 42:10-11; Isaiah 51:15.)


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-97.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
A. M. 3000. B.C. 1004. Lord
93:1; 96:10,11; 99:1; Obadiah 1:21; Matthew 3:3; 6:10,13; Mark 11:10; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 11:17
the earth
2:11; 98:4-6; Isaiah 49:13; Luke 2:10,11
let the multitude of isles
Heb. let the many, or great isles.
Genesis 10:5; Isaiah 11:11; 24:14-16; 41:5; 42:4,10-12; 49:1; 51:5; 60:9; Isaiah 66:19; Zephaniah 2:11

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 97:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-97.html.

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