Psalm 93:1
The LORD reigns, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, with which he has girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.
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(1) The Lord reigneth.—Comp. Psalm 97:1; Psalm 99:1. Better, Jehovah has become king: the usual term for ascending the throne (2Samuel 15:10; 1Kings 1:11; 1Kings 1:13; 2Kings 9:13); used in Isaiah of the re-establishment of the State after the Captivity (Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 52:7); and by the latest of Israel’s poets, in that prophetic strain which looks beyond time and this world (Revelation 19:6). The robing and girding with the sword were part of the ceremony of inauguration of a monarch’s reign. (See Note, Psalm 45:3.)

The Lord is clothed . . .—These clauses run better: majesty he has put on: Jehovah has put (it) on: with strength has girded himself.

For the same representation of Jehovah as a warrior arranging himself for battle, compare Isaiah 59:17; Isaiah 63:1; or as a monarch robed in splendour, Psalm 104:1.

The world also is established.—This would better begin Psalm 93:3. That the earth should be solidly seated in its hidden foundation, is itself a marvel; but this wonder is mentioned only to bring into greater relief the thought of the next verse, that the throne of God, to which the earth is only as a footstool (Isaiah 66:1), has its foundation firm and everlasting, free from the vicissitudes which beset earthly monarchies.

Psalm 93:1. 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 Messiah. It was the psalmist’s glory and confidence that, though the nations boasted of the power and splendour of their kings, and trusted to their military preparations, yet the Lord, the great Jehovah, the God of Israel, still reigned. He is clothed with majesty, &c. — As kings are with their royal ornaments, and is girded with almighty strength, as warriors are with the sword: that majesty and strength, which he always had in himself, he now hath, and will shortly much more show forth in the eyes of all people. The world also is established that it cannot be moved — 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 it, so as they shall end in an orderly, peaceable, and happy settlement, and in the erection of that kingdom of the Messiah which can never be moved.93:1-5 The majesty, power, and holiness of Christ's kingdom. - The Lord might have displayed only his justice, holiness, and awful power, in his dealings with fallen men; but he has been pleased to display the riches of his mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. In this great work, the Father has given all power to his Son, the Lord from heaven, who has made atonement for our sins. He not only can pardon, but deliver and protect all who trust in him. His word is past, and all the saints may rely upon it. Whatever was foretold concerning the kingdom of the Messiah, must be fulfilled in due time. All his people ought to be very strictly pure. God's church is his house; it is a holy house, cleansed from sin, and employed in his service. Where there is purity, there shall be peace. Let all carefully look if this kingdom is set up in their hearts.The Lord reigneth - The same commencement of a psalm occurs in Psalm 97:1-12; Psalm 99:1-9. The same idea is often found in the Scriptures. 1 Chronicles 16:31; Psalm 47:8; Isaiah 52:7; Revelation 19:6. The thought seems abrupt here. It would appear as if the psalmist had been meditating on the dark things which occur in the world; the mysteries which abound; the things which seem irreconcilable with the idea that there is a just government over the world, and that suddenly the idea occurs, as a flash of lightning in a storm, that Yahweh reigns over all, and that all must be right. Amidst all these things God sits upon the throne; he orders all events; he sways his scepter over all; he orders all things according to his own will; he secures the accomplishment of his own purposes.

He is clothed with majesty - That is, he puts on, or wears this; he appears in this as a garb, or robe. The word rendered "majesty" means properly "loftiness," and is applied to the swelling of the sea Psalm 89:9, or to a column of smoke, Isaiah 9:18. The idea here is, that God is exalted; and that he appears in such a manner as to indicate his proper dignity. See the notes at Isaiah 6:1.

The Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself - There is an allusion here to the mode of dress among the Orientals - the custom of girding the loins when one labored, or walked, or ran. See the notes at Matthew 5:38-41.

The world also is stablished - Is firm; is on a solid foundation. It cannot be shaken or destroyed by natural convulsions, or by the power of man.

That it cannot be moved - Moved out of its place; overthrown; destroyed. This seems to have been spoken in view of some impending calamity, as if everything were to be swept away. The psalmist consoles himself with the thought that the world was firmly established; that no storm or tempest could be so violent as to remove it out of its place. The ground of consolation is the essential stability of what God has ordained.


Ps 93:1-5. This and the six following Psalms were applied by the Jews to the times of the Messiah. The theme is God's supremacy in creation and providence.

1. God is described as a King entering on His reign, and, for robes of royalty, investing Himself with the glorious attributes of His nature. The result of His thus reigning is the durability of the world.

1 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.

2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

4 The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.

Psalm 93:1

"The Lord reigneth," or Jehovah reigns. Whatever opposition may arise, his throne is unmoved; he has reigned, does reign, and will reign for ever and ever. Whatever turmoil and rebellion there may be beneath the clouds, the eternal King sits above all in supreme serenity; and everywhere he is really Master, let his foes rage as they may. All things are ordered according to his eternal purposes, and his will is done. In the verse before us it would seem as if the Lord had for a while appeared to vacate the throne, but on a sudden he puts on his regal apparel and ascends his lofty seat, while his happy people proclaim him with new joy, shouting "The Lord reigneth." What can give greater joy to a loyal subject than a sight of the king in his beauty? Let us repeat the proclamation, "the Lord reigneth," whispering it in the ears of the desponding, and publishing it in the face of the foe. "He is clothed with majesty." Not with emblems of majesty, but with majesty itself, everything which surrounds him is majestic. His is not the semblance but the reality of sovereignty. In nature, providence, and salvation the Lord is infinite in majesty. Happy are the people among whom the Lord appears in all the glory of his grace, conquering their enemies, and subduing all things unto himself; then indeed is he seen to be clothed with majesty.

"The Lord is clothed with strength." His garments of glory are not his only array, he wears strength also as his girdle. He is always strong, but sometimes he displays his power in a special manner, and may therefore be said to be clothed with it; just as he is always majestic essentially, but yet there are seasons when he reveals his glory, and so wears his majesty, or shows himself in it. May the Lord appear in his church, in our day, in manifest majesty and might, saving sinners, slaying errors, and honouring his own name. O for a day of the Son of man, in which the King Immortal and Almighty shall stand upon his glorious high throne, to be feared in the great congregation, and admired by all them that believe. "Wherewith he hath girded himself." As men gird up their loins for running or working, so the Lord appears in the eyes of his people to be preparing for action, girt with his omnipotence. Strength always dwells in the Lord Jehovah, but he hides his power full often, until, in answer to his children's cries, he puts on strength, assumes the throne, and defends his own. It should be a constant theme for prayer, that in our day the reign of the Lord may be conspicuous, and his power displayed in his church and on her behalf. "Thy kingdom come" should be our daily prayer: that the Lord Jesus does actually reign should be our daily praise.

"The world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved." Because Jehovah reigns terrestrial things for a while are stable. We could not be sure of anything if we were not sure that he has dominion. When he withdraws his manifest presence from among men all things are out of order; blasphemers rave, persecutors rage, the profane grow bold, and the licentious increase in wantonness; but when the divine power and glory are again manifested order is restored, and the poor distracted world is at peace again. Society would be the football of the basest of mankind if God did not establish it, and even the globe itself would fly through space, like thistle-down across the common, if the Lord did not hold it in its appointed orbit. That there is any stability, either in the world or in the church, is the Lord's doings, and he is to be adored for it. Atheism is the mother of anarchy; the reigning power of God exhibited in true religion is the only security for the human commonwealth. A belief in God is the foundation and corner-stone of a well-ordered state.

Psalm 93:2

"Thy throne is established of old." Though thou mayest just now appear in more conspicuous sovereignty, yet thine is no upstart sovereignty; in the most ancient times thy dominion was secure, yea, before time was, thy throne was set up. We often hear of ancient dynasties, but what are they when compared with the Lord? Are they not as the bubble on the breaker, born an instant ago and gone as soon as seen? "Thou art from everlasting." The Lord himself is eternal. Let the believer rejoice that the government under which he dwells has an immortal ruler at its head, has existed from all eternity and will flourish when all created things shall have for ever passed away. Vain are the rebellions of mortals, the kingdom of God is not shaken.

Psalm 93:3

"The floods have lifted up, O Lord." Men have raged like angry waves of the sea, but vain has been their tumult. Observe that the Psalmist turns to the Lord when he sees the billows foam, and hears the breakers roar; he does not waste his breath by talking to the waves, or to violent men; but like Hezekiah he spreads the blasphemies of the wicked before the Lord. "The floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves." These repetitions are needed for the sake both of the poetry and the music, but they also suggest the frequency and the violence of wicked assaults upon the government of God, and the repeated defeats which they sustain. Sometimes men are furious in words - they lift up their voice, and at other times they rise to acts of violence - they lift up their waves; but the Lord has control over them in either case. The ungodly are all foam and fury, noise and bluster, during their little hour, and then the tide turns or the storm is hushed, and we hear no more of them; while the kingdom of the Eternal abides in the grandeur of its power.

Psalm 93:4

continued...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.

The Lord reigneth,.... The King Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true Jehovah. God over all, the Lord God omnipotent: he has reigned, he was set up as King from everlasting; he reigned throughout the whole Old Testament dispensation; he was promised, and prophesied of, as a King; he came as such, in human nature, into the world, though his kingdom was not with observation; when he ascended to heaven, he was made or declared Lord and Christ, and was crowned with glory and honour; he now reigns in the hearts of his people, by his Spirit and grace; and, ere long, he will take to himself his great power, and reign more manifestly; when the kingdoms of this world shall become his, and he shall be King over all the earth; and this his government will be still more apparent when he shall come in person, and reign with his saints on earth a thousand years; and, after that, for ever and ever, in heaven:

he is clothed with majesty; with all the regalia and ensigns of royalty; seated on a throne of glory, with a crown of pure gold on his head, a sceptre of righteousness in his hand, and arrayed with robes of honour and majesty; so that his appearance at his kingdom will be very splendid, Psalm 104:1,

the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself; as he was, when he came here on earth, travelling in the greatness of his strength, and mighty to save; bearing the sins of his people, conflicting with and spoiling principalities and powers, and obtaining eternal redemption; and which also appeared in carrying the Gospel into the Gentile world, and succeeding it, against all the opposition made unto it; and making his way into the hearts of sinners at conversion, binding the strong man armed, and dispossessing him, and taking his place; in strengthening them with strength in the inward man, against him and all enemies; and keeping them by his power, through faith, unto salvation: and which will be further manifest in the destruction of antichrist, and in the ruin of all the antichristian states, which will make way for his spiritual reign; and especially this will be seen, at his personal coming, by raising the dead in Christ, causing the heavens and earth to pass away, and making new ones; and binding Satan for a thousand years, that he may give no disturbance to his subjects during that time:

the world also is established, that it cannot be moved; the world to come, of which Christ is the Father; that which is not put into subjection to angels, Isaiah 9:6, the Gospel dispensation, the church state in it; which, though it has been unsettled, the church has been tossed about with tempests, and has been moved from place to place, and obliged to fly into the wilderness; yet, in the latter day, it will be established on the top of the mountains: this is one of the glorious things that are spoken of it, and for the accomplishment of which we should earnestly pray, and give the Lord no rest until it is; after which it shall never be moved again; it shall be a tabernacle that shall never be taken down; there will be no enemies to attack it; all will be vanquished and destroyed; the beast, the false prophet, and the old serpent the devil, Psalm 87:3.

(a) T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 31. 1. & Tamid, fol. 33. 2.

The LORD {a} 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.

(a) As God by his power and wisdom has made and governed the world, so must the same be our defence against all enemies and dangers.

1. Jehovah hath proclaimed himself king; he hath robed himself with majesty;

Jehovah hath robed himself, hath girded himself with strength.

The verbs in the perfect tense express not merely a fact (Jehovah reigneth) but an act. For a time, while His city was in ruins and His people in exile, He seemed to have divested Himself of the insignia of royalty and abdicated His throne. The ancient promise of Exodus 15:18 seemed to have failed. But now He has once more vindicated His sovereignty by the deliverance of His people and the judgement of their enemies. The prophet’s prayer (Isaiah 51:9) is answered, his vision (Isaiah 52:7) is fulfilled. Jehovah has proclaimed Himself King, put on His royal robes, girded Himself like a warrior for action (Exodus 15:3; Psalm 65:6; Isaiah 59:17) with that strength which is His inalienable attribute (Exodus 15:13; Psalm 29:1; Psalm 68:34). For majesty cp. the use of the cognate verb in Exodus 15:1; Exodus 15:21 (“hath triumphed gloriously”); and Isaiah 12:5 (“excellent things”); Psalm 26:10.

“Jehovah has proclaimed Himself king” is the key-note of this group of Psalms of the Restoration (Psalm 96:10; Psalm 97:1; Psalm 99:1; cp. Psalm 103:19). Cp. also Psalm 47:7-8.

the world also is stablished &c.] Yea, the world shall be stablished that it be not shaken. This is the consequence of Jehovah’s once more assuming His sovereignty. The moral order of the world which seemed tottering to its fall is reestablished. Cp. Psalm 82:5. Here and in Psalm 96:10, where the words recur, some critics would follow the Ancient Versions in reading tiqqçn for tiqqôn; Yea, he has adjusted, or, ordered, the world. Cp. the use of the same word in Psalm 75:3. This reading appears in the P.B.V., “He hath made the round world so sure,” which follows the Vulg., etenim firmavit orbem terrae. But the advantage of the change is doubtful. See note on Psalm 93:2.

1, 2. Jehovah’s new proclamation of His eternal sovereignty.Verse 1. - The Lord reigneth; rather, is become King (ἐβασίλευσεν, LXX.); comp. Psalm 10:16; Psalm 47:6; Psalm 96:10; Psalm 97:1, etc. God is regarded as having for a time laid aside, or hidden, his sovereignty, but as now at length coming forward and inaugurating the theocracy. The writer may have in his mind some recent manifestation of Divine power, or he may be anticipating the final establishment of the reign of Messiah. He is clothed with majesty; or, "he hath robed himself in majesty" (Cheyne). The Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself; literally, the Lord is clothed, he hath girded himself, with strength (comp. "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord," Isaiah 51:9). The world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. When God "takes his kingdom," he firmly establishes his sway over the earth, with its inhabitants, in such sort that "it cannot be moved" - it can suffer no violent agitation or disturbance. The hitherto oppressed church then stands forth vindicated and glorious. The futt. consec. as preterites of the ideal past, pass over further on into the pure expression of future time. The lxx renders: καὶ ὑψωθήσεται (ותּרם) ὡς μονοκέρωτος τὸ κέρας μου. By ראים (incorrect for ראם, primary form ראם), μονόκερως, is surely to be understood the oryx, one-horned according to Aristotle and the Talmud (vid., on Psalm 29:6; Job 39:9-12). This animal is called in Talmudic קרשׂ (perhaps abbreviated from μονόκερως); the Talmud also makes use of ארזילא (the gazelle) as synonymous with ראם (Aramaic definitive or emphatic state רימא).

(Note: Vid., Lewysohn, Zoologie des Talmud, 146 and 174.)

The primary passages for figures taken from animal life are Numbers 23:22; Deuteronomy 33:17. The horn is an emblem of defensive power and at the same time of stately grace; and the fresh, green oil an emblem of the pleasant feeling and enthusiasm, joyous in the prospect of victory, by which the church is then pervaded (Acts 3:19). The lxx erroneously takes בּלּותי as infin. Piel, τὸ γῆράς μου, my being grown old, a signification which the Piel cannot have. It is 1st praet. Kal from בּלל, perfusus sum (cf. Arabic balla, to be moist, ballah and bullah, moistness, good health, the freshness of youth), and the ultima-accentuation, which also occurs in this form of double Ajin verbs without Waw convers. (vid., on Job 19:17), ought not to mislead. In the expression שׁמן רענן, the adjective used in other instances only of the olive-tree itself is transferred to the oil, which contains the strength of its succulent verdure as an essence. The ecclesia pressa is then triumphans. The eye, which was wont to look timidly and tearfully upon the persecutors, the ears, upon which even their name and the tidings of their approach were wont to produce terror, now see their desire upon them as they are blotted out. שׁמע בּ (found only here) follows the sense of ראה בּ, cf. Arab. nḍr fı̂, to lose one's self in the contemplation of anything. שׁוּרי is either a substantive after the form בּוּז, גּוּר, or a participle in the signification "those who regarded me with hostility, those who lay in wait for me," like נוּס, fled, Numbers 35:32, סוּר, having removed themselves to a distance, Jeremiah 17:13, שׁוּב, turned back, Micah 2:8; for this participial form has not only a passive signification (like מוּל, circumcised), but sometimes too, a deponent perfect signification; and חוּשׁ in Numbers 32:17, if it belongs here, may signify hurried equals in haste. In שׁוּרי, however, no such passive colouring of the meaning is conceivable; it is therefore: insidiati (Luzatto, Grammatica, 518: coloro che mi guatavano). There is no need for regarding the word, with Bttcher and Olshausen, as distorted from שׁררי (the apocopated participle Pilel of the same verb); one might more readily regard it as a softening of that word as to the sound (Ewald, Hitzig). In Psalm 92:12 it is not to be rendered: upon the wicked doers (villains) who rise up against me. The placing of the adjective thus before its substantive must (with the exception of רב when used after the manner of a numeral) be accounted impossible in Hebrew, even in the face of the passages brought forward by Hitzig, viz., 1 Chronicles 27:5; 1 Samuel 31:3;

(Note: In the former passage כהן ראשׁ is taken as one notion (chief priest), and in the latter אנשׁים בקשׁת (men with the bow) is, with Keil, to be regarded as an apposition.)

it is therefore: upon those who as villains rise up against. The circumstance that the poet now in Psalm 92:13 passes from himself to speak of the righteous, is brought about by the fact that it is the congregation of the righteous in general, i.e., of those who regulate their life according to the divine order of salvation, into whose future he here takes a glance. When the prosperity lit. the blossoming of the ungodly comes to an end, the springing up and growth of the righteous only then rightly has its beginning. The richness of the inflorescence of date-palm (תּמר) is clear from the fact, that when it has attained its full size, it bears from three to four, and in some instances even as many as six, hundred pounds of fruit. And there is no more charming and majestic sight than the palm of the oasis, this prince among the trees of the plain, with its proudly raised diadem of leaves, its attitude peering forth into the distance and gazing full into the face of the sun, its perennial verdure, and its vital force, which constantly renews itself from the root - a picture of life in the midst of the world of death. The likening of the righteous to the palm, to the "blessed tree," to this "sister of man," as the Arabs call it, offers points of comparison in abundance. Side by side with the palm is the cedar, the prince of the trees of the mountain, and in particular of Mount Lebanon. The most natural point of comparison, as ישׂגּה (cf. Job 8:11) states, is its graceful lofty growth, then in general τὸ δασὺ καὶ θερμὸν καὶ θρέψιμον (Theodoret), i.e., the intensity of its vegetative strength, but also the perpetual verdure of its foliage and the perfume (Hosea 14:7) which it exhales.

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