Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
Ps 96:1-13. The substance of this Psalm, and portions of the ninety-seventh, ninety-eighth, and hundredth, are found in 1Ch 16:7-36, which was used by David's directions in the dedication of the tabernacle on Mount Zion. The dispensation of the Messiah was typified by that event, involving, as it did, a more permanent seat of worship, and the introduction of additional and more spiritual services. Hence the language of these Psalms may be regarded as having a higher import than that pertinent to the occasion on which it was thus publicly used.
1-3. All nations are invited to unite in this most joyful praise.
new song—literally, "fresh," or new mercies (Ps 33:3; 40:3).
Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
2. show forth—literally, "declare joyful tidings."
salvation—illustrates His glory in its wonders of love and mercy.
Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
4, 5. For He is not a local God, but of universal agency, while idols are nothing.
For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
6. Honour and majesty—are His attendants, declared in His mighty works, while power and grace are specially seen in His spiritual relations to His people.
Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
7-9. Give—or, "ascribe" (Ps 29:1) due honor to Him, by acts of appointed and solemn worship in His house.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
8. offering—of thanks.
O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
9. beauty of holiness—(Ps 29:2).
fear … him—(Ps 2:11).
Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
10. Let all know that the government of the world is ordered in justice, and they shall enjoy firm and lasting peace (compare Ps 72:3, 7; Isa 9:6, 7).
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
11-13. For which reason the universe is invoked to unite in joy, and even inanimate nature (Ro 8:14-22) is poetically represented as capable of joining in the anthem of praise.
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 the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.