Psalm 29:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.

New Living Translation
The voice of the LORD strikes with bolts of lightning.

English Standard Version
The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

New American Standard Bible
The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.

King James Bible
The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

Christian Standard Bible
The voice of the LORD flashes flames of fire.

Contemporary English Version
The voice of the LORD makes lightning flash

Good News Translation
The voice of the LORD makes the lightning flash.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The voice of the LORD flashes flames of fire.

International Standard Version
The voice of the LORD shoots out flashes of fire.

NET Bible
The LORD's shout strikes with flaming fire.

New Heart English Bible
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The voice of Lord Jehovah that cuts off the flame of fire.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The voice of the LORD heweth out flames of fire.

New American Standard 1977
The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.

King James 2000 Bible
The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.

American King James Version
The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.

American Standard Version
The voice of Jehovah cleaveth the flames of fire.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The voice of the Lord divideth the flame of fire:

Darby Bible Translation
The voice of Jehovah cleaveth out flames of fire.

English Revised Version
The voice of the LORD cleaveth the flames of fire.

Webster's Bible Translation
The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

World English Bible
Yahweh's voice strikes with flashes of lightning.

Young's Literal Translation
The voice of Jehovah is hewing fiery flames,
(7) The voice . . .--Literally, the voice of Jehovah cleaving flames of fire. The word is used of hewingstone and wood (Isaiah 10:15). The reference to lightning in this verse is universally admitted, some even seeing an allusion to the brief and sudden flash in the single clause of which the sentence is composed. But the most various explanations are given of the image employed. One of these--that of beating out as from an anvil--may be set aside as clumsy and unworthy of the poet. But the comparison with Isaiah 51:9, and Hosea 6:5, where the same verb is used of God's "judgments," makes it possible that the lightnings here are regarded as "thought-executing fires," and if language would allow, we might translate "hewing with flames of fire," and illustrate by

"And ever and anon some bright white shaft

Burnt through the pine-tree roof, here burnt and there,

As if God's messenger through the close wood screen

Plunged and replunged his weapon at a venture,

Feeling for guilty thee and me."

BROWNING: Pippa Passes.

But this, though the usual ancient translation, is now generally rejected in favour of the allusion to "forked lightning," as we call it, the ignes trisulci of Ovid, a natural metaphor by which to try to represent the "nimble stroke of quick cross-lightnings." For the apparent physical mistake in making thunder the agent in producing the lightning, see Note on Psalm 29:5.

Verse 7. - The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire; rather, the voice of the Lord heweth out flames of fire. The poet describes the appearances of things, not the actual reality. To him it seems as if the thunder, rolling along the sky, hewed out a chasm in the clouds, from which the forked lightning issued. The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire. Or "cutteth with flames of fire" (e); that is, the thunder breaks through the clouds with flames of fire, or lightning, as that is sometimes called, Psalm 105:32; and with which it cleaves asunder trees and masts of ships, cuts and hews them down, and divides them into a thousand shivers. Some refer this, in the figurative and mystical sense, to the giving of the law on Mount Sinai (f), on which the Lord descended in fire, and from his right hand went a fiery law; but rather this may be applied to the cloven or divided tongues of fire which sat upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, as an emblem of the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit bestowed on them; though it seems best of all, as before, to understand this of the voice of Christ in the Gospel, which cuts and hews down all the goodliness of men, and lays them to the ground, Hosea 6:5; and is of a dividing nature, and lays open all the secrets of the heart, Hebrews 4:12; and, through the corruption or human nature, is the occasion of dividing one friend from another, Luke 12:51; and like flames of fire it has both light and heat in it; it is the means of enlightening men's eyes to see their sad estate, and their need of Christ, and salvation by him; and of warming their souls with its refreshing truths and promises, and of inflaming their love to God and Christ, and of setting their affections on things above, and of causing their hearts to burn within them.

(e) "caedit cum flammis ignis", Cocceius, Gejerus. (f) Jarchi in loc. 7. divideth—literally, "hews off." The lightning, like flakes and splinters hewed from stone or wood, flies through the air.29:1-11 Exhortation to give glory to God. - The mighty and honourable of the earth are especially bound to honour and worship him; but, alas, few attempt to worship him in the beauty of holiness. When we come before him as the Redeemer of sinners, in repentance faith, and love, he will accept our defective services, pardon the sin that cleaves to them, and approve of that measure of holiness which the Holy Spirit enables us to exercise. We have here the nature of religious worship; it is giving to the Lord the glory due to his name. We must be holy in all our religious services, devoted to God, and to his will and glory. There is a beauty in holiness, and that puts beauty upon all acts of worship. The psalmist here sets forth God's dominion in the kingdom of nature. In the thunder, and lightning, and storm, we may see and hear his glory. Let our hearts be thereby filled with great, and high, and honourable thoughts of God, in the holy adoring of whom, the power of godliness so much consists. O Lord our God, thou art very great! The power of the lightning equals the terror of the thunder. The fear caused by these effects of the Divine power, should remind us of the mighty power of God, of man's weakness, and of the defenceless and desperate condition of the wicked in the day of judgment. But the effects of the Divine word upon the souls of men, under the power of the Holy Spirit, are far greater than those of thunder storms in the nature world. Thereby the stoutest are made to tremble, the proudest are cast down, the secrets of the heart are brought to light, sinners are converted, the savage, sensual, and unclean, become harmless, gentle, and pure. If we have heard God's voice, and have fled for refuge to the hope set before us, let us remember that children need not fear their Father's voice, when he speaks in anger to his enemies. While those tremble who are without shelter, let those who abide in his appointed refuge bless him for their security, looking forward to the day of judgment without dismay, safe as Noah in the ark.
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OT Poetry: Psalm 29:7 Yahweh's voice strikes with flashes of lightning (Psalm Ps Psa.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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