Matthew Poole's Commentary
The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.THE ARGUMENT
This Psalm contains an assertion or declaration of God’s sovereign and universal dominion in and over the whole world; which is here set forth, partly for the comfort of God’s church and people against all the assaults of their numerous and potent adversaries; and partly to give an intimation and assurance of the accomplishment of that great promise of the kingdom of the Messias, which was not to be confined to the Israelites, but to be extended to all the nations of the earth; which, though wonderful in our eyes, the supreme and almighty Ruler of the world could easily effect. This and the six following Psalms, according to the opinion of the Hebrew doctors, belong to the times of the Messias.
A description of the majesty, Psalm 93:1, and power of God, Psalm 93:2-4. The certainty of God’s word, and necessity of holiness in God’s house, Psalm 93:5.
The Lord reigneth: he is the King and Governor, not only of Israel, but of the whole world, as the last clause of the verse expounds it; and accordingly he will in his due time set up his empire over all nations, in the hands of his Son the Messias.
Is clothed with strength: that majesty and strength which he always had in himself, he now hath, and will shortly much more show it forth in the eyes of all people. The effect of God’s government of the world shall be this, that he will order and overrule all the confusions, and divisions, and hostilities in the world, so as they shall end in an orderly, peaceable, and happy settlement, and in the erection of that kingdom of the Messias which can never be moved.
Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.And this kingdom of thine is no new or upstart kingdom, as it may seem to the ignorant world, but the most ancient of all kingdoms, being from everlasting to everlasting, although it was not always equally manifested in the world.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.The floods; the enemies of thy kingdom, who are oft compared to floods for their numbers, force, rage, &c. See Isaiah 8:7,8 17:12,13 Jer 46:7,8. They have both by their words and actions made opposition against it.
The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.The King of heaven is too strong for all earthly potentates, and will subdue them under his feet.
Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.Thy testimonies, i.e. thy words; either,
1. Thy precepts, which are commonly called God’s testimonies. And so having spoken of God’s kingdom, he now showeth that the laws of that kingdom are just, and true, and holy; which is a singular commendation of it. Or,
2. Thy promises, as may be gathered from the following words,
are sure, or true, or faithful; which attribute properly belongs, and every where in Scripture is ascribed, to promises rather than to precepts. And the promises no less than the precepts are God’s testimonies, or the witnesses or declarations of his mind and will to mankind. And he seems here to speak of those great and precious promises concerning the erection and establishment of his kingdom in the world by the Messias; which, saith he, are infallibly true, and shall certainly be accomplished in thy time.
Holiness becometh thine house: this is to be understood, either,
1. Of God’s church or people, who are sometimes called God’s house, and whose business and delight is in God’s house and service there performed. So the sense is, It becometh thy people to be holy in all their approaches to thee, and worshippings of thee. Or rather,
2. Of God himself who dwelt in his house, from whence he gave forth his oracles, and where all his testimonies were kept upon record. This seems better to suit with the context, the business of this Psalm being rather to describe the dominion of God than the duty of his people. And so the sense seems to be this, Holiness is the constant ornament and glory of thy house. Or it becometh thee who dwellest in thy house to be holy in all thy words and actions; and therefore thy testimonies are very sure, and thou wilt undoubtedly fulfil all thy promises. For holiness seems to be here taken for God’s faithfulness, as it is Psalm 60:6 89:35; or, which comes to the same thing, for his justice or righteousness, whereby he is obliged to make good all his promises, as that word is very commonly used.