Psalm 96:6
Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
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(6) Honour . . . The whole universe displays Jehovah’s majesty, but chiefly his sanctuary in Israel, where it is typified by the costly splendour of the building and its rites. So the version of Apollinaris, “Pureness and stately glory fit his shrine.” The chronicler having adopted this psalm as suitable for the occasion when the ark was brought to Zion by David, has substituted “strength and gladness are in his place” possibly because the Temple was not built at that time.

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.Honour and majesty are before him - This part of the verse is taken literally from 1 Chronicles 16:27. The meaning is, that that which constitutes honor, glory, majesty, is in his presence, or wherever he is. Whereever he manifests himself, there are the exhibitions of honor and majesty. They are always the accompaniments of his presence.

Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary - This is slightly varied from the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 16:27. The word rendered "strength" is in both places the same. The word rendered "beauty" here - תפארת tiph'ereth - is in 1 Chronicles 16:27 חדוה chedvâh - "joy or gladness." The word here rendered "sanctuary" - מקדשׁ miqdâsh - is in 1 Chronicles 16:27 - מקום mâqôm - "place." These variations are such as to show that the psalm is not a mere extract, but that it was altered of design, and adapted to the occasion on which it was to be employed - confirming the supposition that it may have been used in the re-dedication of the temple after the return from the captivity. The word "sanctuary" refers to the holy place where God dwells; his sacred abode, whether his residence in heaven, or the temple on earth as the place of his earthly habitation. When it is said that "strength" is there, it means that the dwelling-place of God is the source of "power," or that power emanates from thence; that is, from God himself. When it is said that "beauty" is there, the meaning is, that whatever is suited to charm by loveliness; whatever is a real ornament; whatever makes the world attractive; whatever beautifies and adorns creation, has its home in God; it proceeds from him. It may be added that whatever there is of "power" to reform the world, and convert sinners; whatever there is to turn people from their vicious and abandoned course of life; whatever there is to make the world better and happier, proceeds from the "sanctuary" - the church of God. Whatever there is that truly adorns society, and makes it more lovely and attractive; whatever there is that diffuses a charm over domestic and social life; whatever there is that makes the world more lovely or more desirable to live in - more courteous, more gentle, more humane, more kind, more forgiving - has its home in the "sanctuary," or emanates from the church of God.

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. Before him, i.e. in his presence, like beams shot out from his face, who is the Sun of righteousness. There is an unconceivable glory and majesty in his countenance, and in the place of his presence.

In his sanctuary; or, in his holy place; where he records his name and affords his presence. There are the manifestations of God’s power and grace, or goodness, and all his perfections.

Honour and majesty are before him,.... He being set down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, and having honour and majesty laid upon him; being arrayed in robes of majesty, crowned with glory and honour, sitting on the same throne of glory with his Father, and having a sceptre of righteousness in his hand, and all the forms and ensigns of royalty and majesty about him; rays of light and glory darting from him; as well as those glorious and bright forms before him; the holy angels continually praising him; which is a much more noble sense than that of Kimchi's, who interprets them of the stars:

strength and beauty are in his sanctuary; the Targum is,

"the house of his sanctuary,''

the temple; the Gospel church, of which the temple or sanctuary was a figure: the strength of Christ is seen here, in the conversion of sinners by his Gospel, which is the rod of his strength, the power of God unto salvation, when it comes not in word only; and by which he also strengthens his people to the more vigorous exercise of grace and discharge of duty; here they go from strength to strength: the "beauty" of Christ is seen here; the King is held in the galleries of Gospel ordinances, and is beheld in his beauty; his people appear here in the beauties of holiness, and as a perfection of beauty, through the righteousness of Christ upon them; and as they observe the order of the Gospel, and do all things decently, and with a good decorum: or else, as Kimchi interprets it, heaven may be meant by the sanctuary, of which the holy place, made with hands, was a figure; here Christ reigns, girded with "strength"; here he rules as the Lord God omnipotent, having all power in heaven, and in earth, and doing according to his will in both; and from hence he shows himself strong on the behalf of his people; here. He, who is beauty itself, fairer than the children of men, dwells; here those beauteous forms of light and glory, the holy angels, are; and here the spirits of just men made perfect, who are without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, have their abode: in 1 Chronicles 16:27, it is,

strength and gladness are in his place; among his people and worshippers there.

{d} Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

(d) God cannot be known but by his strength and glory, the signs of which appear in his sanctuary.

6. The attributes of honour and majesty (Psalm 104:1) are perhaps personified, and regarded as attendants standing in God’s Presence. Strength and beauty are terms applied in Psalm 78:61 to the Ark, the symbol of His Presence. The sanctuary is not heaven, but the restored Temple, where with the eye of faith the Psalmist sees the glory of Jehovah returning to dwell, although the Ark was no longer there to represent it. Cp. Isaiah 60:13. 1 Chronicles 16:27 reads “Strength and gladness are in his place,” possibly to adapt the Psalm for the occasion when the Temple did not yet exist.

Verse 6. - Honour and majesty are before him. Another paronomasia - hod ve-hadar. Dr. Kay translates, "grandeur and majesty;" Professor Cheyne, "glory and grandeur." Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. The original phrase used seems to have been, "Strength and gladness are in his place" (1 Chronicles 16:27) - terms suiting the simplicity of David's time. When the psalms came to be used in the temple service, loftier language was more fitting. The whole passage has probable reference to the glory of God as seated between the cherubim in the first temple. Psalm 96:6Confirmation of the call from the glory of Jahve that is now become manifest. The clause Psalm 96:4, as also Psalm 145:3, is taken out of Psalm 48:2. כל־אלהים is the plural of כּל־אלוהּ, every god, 2 Chronicles 32:15; the article may stand here or be omitted (Psalm 95:3, cf. Psalm 113:4). All the elohim, i.e., gods, of the peoples are אלילים (from the negative אל), nothings and good-for-nothings, unreal and useless. The lxx renders δαιμόνια, as though the expression were שׁדים (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:20), more correctly εἴδωλα in Revelation 9:20. What Psalm 96:5 says is wrought out in Isaiah 40, Isaiah 44, and elsewhere; אלילים is a name of idols that occurs nowhere more frequently than in Isaiah. The sanctuary (Psalm 96:6) is here the earthly sanctuary. From Jerusalem, over which the light arises first of all (Isaiah 60), Jahve's superterrestrial doxa now reveals itself in the world. הוד־והדר is the usual pair of words for royal glory. The chronicler reads Psalm 96:6 עז וחדוה בּמקמו, might and joy are in His place (הדוה( ecalp siH ni era yoj d a late word, like אחוה, brotherhood, brotherly affection, from an old root, Exodus 18:9). With the place of God one might associate the thought of the celestial place of God transcending space; the chronicler may, however, have altered במקדשׁו into במקמו because when the Ark was brought in, the Temple (בית המקדשׁ) was not yet built.
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