|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
96:1-9 When Christ finished his work on earth, and was received into his glory in heaven, the church began to sing a new song unto him, and to bless his name. His apostles and evangelists showed forth his salvation among the heathen, his wonders among all people. All the earth is here summoned to worship the Lord. We must worship him in the beauty of holiness, as God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. Glorious things are said of him, both as motives to praise and matter of praise.
Verse 5. - For all the gods of the nations are idols; rather, vanities, or nothings. In the original there is a play upon the words - the elohim of the nations are mere elilim. Elilim is a favourite designation of the heathen gods in Isaiah. Compare the statement of St. Paul, "We know that an idol is nothing in the world" (1 Corinthians 8:4). But the Lord made the heavens. That which is nothing can do nothing, can make nothing. How far superior is Jehovah, who "made the heavens" (comp. Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24)!
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For all the gods of the nations are idols,.... Or are "nothings" (o), nonentities; such as have not, and never had, any being, at least many of them, but in the fancies of men; and all of them such as have no divinity in them;
an idol is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4,
but the Lord made the heavens; and all the hosts of them, the sun, moon, and stars; these are the curious workmanship of his fingers, and which declare his glory, and show him to be truly and properly God, who is to be feared and worshipped; see Hebrews 1:10.
(o) "nihila", Tigurine version, Cocceius, Michaelis.
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