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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 97:7

 

 

Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, Who boast themselves of idols; Worship Him, all you gods.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Confounded be fell they - Rather, They shall be confounded that boast themselves in idols. There is a remarkable play on the letters here, המתהללים hammithhalelim, who move like madmen; referring to the violent gestures practiced in idolatrous rites.

Of idols - באלילים baelilim, in vanities, emptinesses; who "make much ado about nothing," and take a mad and painful pleasure in ridiculous and unprofitable ceremonies of religion.

Worship him - Who? Jesus: so says the apostle, Hebrews 1:6. Who will dare to dispute his authority?

All ye gods - Οἱ αγγελοι αυτου, his angels: so the Septuagint and the apostle: "Let all the angels of God worship him:" and the words are most certainly applied to the Savior of the world by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews; see the note there. The Chaldee says: "All nations who worship idols shall adore him."


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-97.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Confounded be all they that serve graven images - Hebrew, “Let them be ashamed.” The idea is, that they would be disappointed. They would find that these were not real gods; that their trust in them was vain; and that they had evinced great folly in relying on that which could not aid them in the day of necessity. See Job 6:20, note; Psalm 22:5, note; Psalm 25:2, note. Compare Isaiah 20:5. What is here affirmed of the worshippers of idols will be found to be true at last of all who put their trust in anything but the true God.

That boast themselves of idols - That worship idols, and glory in them as if they could save; or, that glory in their own idol-gods as if they were more powerful than those of other people. It would not be unnatural that nations which worshipped idols should glory in them, or that one people should boast of their gods as more powerful - more worthy to be trusted - than those which were worshipped in other lands.

Worship him, all ye gods - Hebrew, אלהים 'Elohiym The Septuagint and the Vulgate render this, “all his angels.” The original word אלהים 'Elohiym is that which is commonly applied to the true God (Genesis 1:1, et saepe), though it may be applied to angels, or to magistrates. See Psalm 82:1, note; Psalm 82:6, note. On the general meaning of this passage, and the question respecting its reference to the Messiah, see the notes at Hebrews 1:6. The reference here, according to the quotation in Hebrews 1:6, is to the angels. The original word will admit of this interpretation, and the entire structure of the psalm will justify its application to the Messiah.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-97.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

THE DESTRUCTION OF IDOL-WORSHIPPERS

"Let them be put to shame that serve graven images,

That boast themselves of idols: Worship him, all ye gods."

"Graven images ... idols" (Psalms 97:7). Since the Edict of Theodosius (381 A.D.), pagan temples and the worship of idols has been outlawed among many of the earth's civilized nations. However, the worship of the evil things which the idols represented is still flourishing. Indeed the temples of Bacchus are closed, but countless millions of our fellow-Americans worship the liquor bottle. The temple of Aphrodite Pan Demos atop the Acro Corinthus has been destroyed, but unbridled sex is the god of countless millions. And then as William Jennings Bryan stated it, "Men are worshipping Money, Power, Fame, Travel, Sex, Liquor, Fashion, Pleasure, Popularity, Entertainment, Food, and Success, to name only a few of the modern `gods' that have replaced the ancient idols."

Only God is entitled to the worship and adoration of men; and the warning here is stark and blunt enough. Those who worship anything other than the Almighty God are on a collision course with disaster, and are certain to perish.

"Worship him all ye gods" (Psalms 97:7). See the chapter introduction for a discussion of this.


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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 97:7". "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

Confounded be all they that serve graven images,.... Images of gold, silver, and stone, graven by art and man's device; to serve and worship which must be the grossest ignorance and stupidity, which, when convinced of, must fill with shame and confusion: this may be considered either as a prayer, that the idolatrous Gentiles might be enlightened to see the vanity of their idols, and their worship of them, and turn to the living God; or as a prophecy that it should be; for it may be rendered, "they are" or "shall be confounded", or "ashamed"F20יבשו "pudefiunt", Cocceius; "erubescent", Gejerus. , as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi; which had its accomplishment in the first times of the Gospel; when, being preached in the Gentile world, multitudes forsook their idols and served the true God; and especially at the opening of the sixth seal, when Pagan worship was abolished throughout the Roman empire; and when the kings and great men in it, through shame, confusion, and dread, fled to the rocks and mountains, to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb, Revelation 6:12, and will have a further accomplishment, when the Papists, the worshippers of the beast, shall be ashamed of their graven images, of the Virgin Mary, and other saints; which will be when the Gospel shall be published throughout the world, Revelation 14:6,

that boast themselves of idols; as their saviours and deliverers, which yet are nothing, as the wordF21באלילים "in diis nihili"; Tigurine version; so some in Vatablus, Cocceius. signifies; that praise and extol them, as the givers of good things to them, or the procurers of them for them; that glory in them, and in their worship of them, than which nothing can be a greater instance of folly and madness:

worship him, all ye gods; those that are so called, the graven images and idols before mentioned; let them bow down, and be prostrate before the Lord, as Dagon before the ark; or they that serve other gods, as Kimchi; so the Targum,

"and all the nations that serve idols shall worship before him;'

rather kings and princes, civil magistrates, who are sometimes called gods, are meant, Psalm 95:3, and who, in the latter day especially, shall serve and worship the Messiah, Psalm 72:10 though it is best of all to interpret it of angels, as this word Elohim is rendered in Psalm 8:5, and Aben Ezra says there are some of their interpreters that understand it of angels: the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, and so Apollinarius, render it, "worship him, all his angels": GussetiusF23Ebr. Comment. p. 386. interprets it, "all that is God's"; all that belong to him, angels and men, and all creatures; particularly angels, the most noble of all: and this sense is confirmed by an inspired writer, who manifestly refers to and quotes this passage, and applies it to the angels worshipping Christ, the first begotten Son of God, when he came into the world, Hebrews 1:6, with which compare Luke 2:13, from whence it appears not only that Christ is superior to angels, for the proof of which it is produced by the apostle; but that he is truly God, since God only is the object of religions worship; and that, if he is worshipped by angels, he ought to be worshipped by men; and that angels are not the proper objects of worship, since they are worshippers.


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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 97:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-97.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

e Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, f all [ye] gods.

(e) He signifies that God's judgments are ready to destroy the idolatry.

(f) Let all who are esteemed in the world fall down before him.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-97.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Idolaters are utterly put to shame, for if angels must worship Him, how much more those who worshipped them.

all ye gods — literally, “all ye angels” (Psalm 8:5; Psalm 138:1; Hebrews 1:6; Hebrews 2:7). Paul quotes, not as a prophecy, but as language used in regard to the Lord Jehovah, who in the Old Testament theophania is the second person of the Godhead.


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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 97:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-97.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

Confounded — Let them be ashamed of their folly.

Gods — All you whom the Gentiles have made the objects of their worship.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "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

7Confounded be all those who serve graven images. The Psalmist draws a broad distinction here, as in the psalm next to this, between the true God and the false gods which men form for themselves. This he does that the praise which he had ascribed might not be applied to any but the true God. Men are all ready to admit that they ought to celebrate the praises of God, but, naturally prone as they are to superstition, few indeed will be bound down to worship God in the manner which is right. No sooner have they to do with God than they deviate into the most baseless delusions. Each fashions a god for himself, and all choose what suits them best in the medley of inventions. This is the reason why the sacred writers, under the apprehension that men may turn to false gods, are careful in giving exhortations to the worship of God, to state at the same time who the true God is. The order observed by the Psalmist suggests the remark, that corrupt superstitions will never be removed until the true religion obtains. Prevented from coming to the true God by the slowness of their spiritual apprehension, men cannot fail to wander in vanities of their own; and it is the knowledge of the true God which dispels these, as the sun disperses the darkness. All have naturally a something of religion born with them, (100) but owing to the blindness and stupidity, as well as the weakness of our minds, the apprehension which we conceive of God is immediately depraved. Religion is thus the beginning of all superstitions, not in its own nature, but through the darkness which has settled down upon the minds of men, and which prevents them from distinguishing between idols and the true God. The truth of God is effectual when revealed in dispelling and dissipating superstitions. Does the sun absorb the vapors which intervene in the air, and shall not the presence of God himself be effectual much more? We need not wonder then that the Psalmist, in predicting the Kingdom of God, triumphs over the ungodly nations, which boasted in graven images, as when Isaiah, speaking of the rise of the Gospel, adds,

“Then all the idols of Egypt shall fall,” (Isaiah 19:1)

Since the knowledge of God has been hid from the view of men, we are taught also that there is no reason to be surprised at the host of superstitions which have overspread the world. We have an exemplification of the same truth in our own day. The knowledge of the true doctrine is extinguished amongst the Turks, the Jews, and Papists, and, as a necessary consequence, they lie immersed in error; for they cannot possibly return to a sound mind, or repent of their errors, when they are ignorant of the true God. When the Psalmist speaks of their being confounded, he means that the time was come when those who were given to idolatry should repent, and return to the worship of the true God. Not that all without exception would be brought to genuine repentance, — for experience has taught us in these our own times how atheistical men (101) will cast off superstition, and yet assume the most shameless effrontery, but that this is one of those consequences which the knowledge of God should effect, the turning of men from their errors unto God. Some there are who obstinately resist God, of which we have many examples in the Papacy; but we have every reason to believe that they are secretly prostrated by that which they affect to despise, and confounded notwithstanding their opposition. What the Psalmist says a little after, Let all the gods (102) worship before him, properly applies to the angels, in whom there shines forth some small portion of divinity, yet it may, though less appropriately, be extended to fictitious gods; as if he had said, Whatever is accounted or held as a god must quit its place and renounce its claims, that God alone may be exalted. Hence it may be gathered that the true definition of piety is, when the true God is perfectly served, and when he alone is so exalted, that no creature obscures his divinity; and, accordingly, if we would not have true piety entirely destroyed amongst us, we must hold by this principle, That no creature whatever be exalted by us beyond measure,

Stuart, in the above remarks, speaks as if it were doubtful whether Paul in Hebrews 1:6, “And again, when he bringeth the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him,” quotes from the 7th verse of the 97th Psalm. Commentators are divided in opinion on this point, some maintaining that the quotation is from Psalms 97:0, and others that it is from Deuteronomy 32:43, in the Septuagint version, where the very words are found which appear in Hebrews 1:6, although only in that version; the Hebrew and all the ancient versions being without them. One difficulty attending the supposition of his quoting from Deuteronomy 32:43 is, that the subject connected with this command to the angels (if we admit the clause in the Septuagint to be a part of the sacred text) has no relation to the Messiah. The context celebrates the victory over the enemies of Israel, which God will achieve. After saying that ‘his arms should be drunk with blood, and that his sword should devour flesh with the blood of the slain and of captives, from the time when he begins to take vengeance on the enemy,’ the Septuagint (not the Hebrew) immediately inserts, εὐφράνθητε οὐρανοὶ ἅμα αὐτῷ καὶ προκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι θεοῦ. This in the place where it stands must mean, “Let the inhabitants of the heavenly world rejoice in the victory of God over the enemies of his people, and let them pay their adoration to him.” But the Messiah does not seem to be at all alluded to any where in the context, much less described as being introduced into the world It is not therefore very likely that this is the passage quoted, unless we suppose that Paul borrowed the words merely as fitted to express the idea which he intended to convey, without any reference to their original meaning. The probability is in favor of a quotation from the text before us; which in the Septuagint runs thus: προσκυνήσατε αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ. Paul’s words are, και προσκυνησάτώσαν αὐτῷ παντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ. Here the variation from the Septuagint is so very inconsiderable, making no change upon the sense of the passage, that the discrepancy, especially when it is considered that very few of the quotations from the Old Testament in the New agree verbatim either with the Hebrew or Septuagint, is no argument against the supposition of the Apostle’s quoting this text from that version which was in general use among the Jews. And this psalm admits of an easy application to the coming and kingdom of the Messiah, whose advent was to destroy idolatry, and be the source of rejoicing and happiness to all the righteous, which the passage in Deuteronomy referred to does not. — See Stuart s Commentary on Hebrews 1:6, and Excursus 6.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-97.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 97:7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all [ye] gods.

Ver. 7. Confounded be all they that serve graven images] Those instruments of idolatry, and lurking places of devils, diabolicae inspirationis et iustinctus participes. Such and their servants we may lawfully pray against.

That boast themselves of idols] As did that idolatrous Micah, 17:4-5, Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 3:1-7; Julian, called, therefore Idolian; the Papists at this day. See Dr Rainolds de Idololatria Romana.

Worship him, all ye gods] i.e. All ye angels, saith the Greek and Arabic; and the apostle saith the same, Hebrews 1:6, proving Christ to be God-man. This psalm, saith Beza, is highly to be prized of all Christ’s, as containing a most divine epitome of all gospel mysteries.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-97.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 97:7. Confounded be all they, &c.— Let them all be ashamed, who worship graven images; who applaud themselves in vanity. Mudge. The next sentence, Worship him, all ye gods, or elohim, is applied by the Apostle to the Hebrews, to the worship paid by the angels to Christ. The Vulgate, LXX, and several other versions, render it, Worship him, all ye angels. But we shall say more on this when we come to Hebrews 1:6.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-97.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

This is every day manifested in the kingdom of grace, when poor sinners are brought over from the worshipping of dumb idols, to serve the living and true God: and how eminently will it be displayed in the last day, in the kingdom of glory, when Christ shall be all in all!


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "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

Confounded be all they; let them be ashamed of their former folly herein, and be thereby brought to detest and forsake them; and those who will obstinately persist in their impiety and idolatry, let them be brought to confusion. Or, they shall be confounded; for this may be a prediction, and not an imprecation.

All ye gods; all you whom the Gentiles have made the objects of their worship, and who are capable of giving him worship; which two qualifications agree principally, if not solely, to the angels of God, whom the heathens manifestly worshipped in their images as an inferior sort of gods, of whom therefore this text is expounded, Hebrews 1:6.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". 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

7. Confounded—Put to shame, or confusion. The word denotes that confusion or perplexity of mind which results from a misplaced confidence, or the consequences of a wicked course now at length arrested and brought to judgment.

Idols—See on Psalms 96:5, where the same word occurs, but nowhere else in the Psalms.

Worship him, all ye gods— “Gods,” here, is, in Hebrew, Eloheem, the name of the one living and true God, which generally occurs in the plural form. It is sometimes, as here, applied to kings and magistrates, on account of their office as representatives of God, (see note on Psalms 8:5,) and the psalmist calls on such to abandon their “idols” and worship Him who is “over all, God blessed for ever.” In Hebrews 1:6, (where see note,) the apostle quotes from the Septuagint, and applies to Christ, “And let all the angels of God worship him,” which is generally admitted to refer to these words of the psalmist. The Septuagint of Deuteronomy 32:43 has the same words: “Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him.” But these words are not in the Hebrew, and it is inadmissible to suppose the apostle would quote an interpolation of a version to support a fundamental doctrine. He refers obviously to Psalms 97:7, and it is the clearest instance in Scripture of the translation of eloheem by angels. Professor Stuart supposes there was “a usus loquendi among the Jews” which allowed it, though not clearly brought out in the Scriptures, which appears probable. This quotation of the apostle determines our psalm to be Messianic in a high degree, and ranks it with Psalms 2, 110


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-97.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 97:7. Confounded be all they that serve graven images — That is, the Gentile world, who did service to them who by nature were no gods, Galatians 4:8. Let them be ashamed of their former folly herein, and be thereby brought to detest and forsake their idols. Thus interpreted, the words are a prayer for the conversion of the Gentiles, that those who had been so long serving dumb idols might be convinced of their error, ashamed of their folly, and might be brought, by the power of Christ’s gospel, to serve the only living and true God, and be as much ashamed of their idols as ever they were proud of them, Isaiah 2:20-21. Or, they shall be confounded. And so this is a prophecy, predicting the ruin of those that would not be reclaimed from their idolatry; they shall be confounded by the destruction of paganism in the Roman empire, which was fulfilled about three hundred years after Christ, so much to the terror of idolaters that even the mighty men among them are represented, Revelation 6:15-16, as saying to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, &c. This prayer and prophecy are still in force against anti-christian idolaters, who may here read their doom.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-97.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

graven images = an image, whether graven or molten (singular)

idols = nothings. Compare Psalms 96:5 and 1 Corinthians 8:4.

gods = judges, or rulers. See note on Exodus 22:9.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-97.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(7) Confounded—i.e., ashamed (Isaiah 42:17; Jeremiah 10:14). The same idea is conveyed by the very word “idols” in Hebrew—empty, worthless things, shaming those who worship them.

It is doubtful whether the verbs here are to be taken as imperatives. So LXX., Vulgate, and Authorised Version. Probably a fact is stated.

All ye gods.—Not “angels,” as in LXX. (See Note, Psalms 8:5.) Here, however, the term is directly intended to include among superhuman beings the agencies worshipped by heathen nations as deities. The quotation Hebrews 1:6 (see Note, New Testament Commentary) is made from the LXX. of Deuteronomy 32:43.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-97.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
Confounded
Exodus 20:4; Leviticus 26:1; Deuteronomy 5:8; 27:15; Isaiah 37:18,19; 41:29; 42:17; 44:9-11; Jeremiah 10:14; Revelation 14:8-10
worship
Exodus 25:20; 2 Chronicles 3:13; Hebrews 1:6; 1 Peter 1:12; Revelation 5:11-14

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 97:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-97.html.

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