Psalm 97:12
Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
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97:8-12 The faithful servants of God may well rejoice and be glad, because he is glorified; and whatever tends to his honour, is his people's pleasure. Care is taken for their safety. But something more is meant than their lives. The Lord will preserve the souls of his saints from sin, from apostacy, and despair, under their greatest trials. He will deliver them out of the hands of the wicked one, and preserve them safe to his heavenly kingdom. And those that rejoice in Christ Jesus, and in his exaltation, have fountains of joy prepared for them. Those that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. Gladness is sure to the upright in heart; the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment. Sinners tremble, but saints rejoice at God's holiness. As he hates sin, yet freely loves the person of the repentant sinner who believes in Christ, he will make a final separation between the person he loves and the sin he hates, and sanctify his people wholly, body, soul, and spirit.Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous - See the notes at Psalm 33:1.

And give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness - Margin, "to the memorial" (compare Psalm 30:4). The idea is, "to the memory of his holiness;" that is, when his holiness comes before the mind; when it is remembered; when it is thought of. Give thanks or rejoice,

(a) that God is holy; that he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; that there is One eternally pure who presides over the universe; that there is One who will always do what is right;

(b) that such a Being is our God - our covenant-keeping God; that we may look to him, trust in him, enjoy him.

Wicked people do not rejoice that there is a God at all, and especially that God is a "holy God;" but it is one of the characteristics of true piety to rejoice in the thought that there is a God, and that he is perfectly holy, and hence, to feel conscious happiness whenever his name is mentioned, and whenever his attributes are referred to. The highest source of joy for man is that there is a God, and that God is exactly what he is, pure and holy. It would be a source of deepest sorrow if there were no God, or if God were in any respect, even the slightest, a different being from what he is.

11. sown—to spring forth abundantly for such, who alone can and well may rejoice in the holy government of their sovereign Lord (compare Ps 30:4; 32:11). In consideration of his holy and righteous nature and government, or of his faithfulness in making good that great promise of sending the Messias into the world; for holiness is sometimes taken for faithfulness, which is one part or branch of it. Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous,.... In the word of the Lord, as the Targum; in Christ, the essential Word, in his person, the greatness, glory, and fulness of it; in his righteousness, and in salvation by him, and that always; see Philippians 4:4,

and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness; of his essential holiness, as a divine Person, in which he is glorious, and which appears in all that he has done; and of the holiness of his nature and life, as man and Mediator, which are imputed to his people for their justification; and at the remembrance of that holiness which they have from him, and are made partakers of in sanctification: and at the remembrance of that perfect holiness which they shall have with him in heaven to all eternity. Holiness may also signify his faithfulness in the discharge of his work and office as Mediator, and in the fulfilment of his promises to his people; See Gill on Psalm 30:4.

Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the {k} remembrance of his holiness.

(k) Be mindful of his benefits and only trust in his defence.

12. Be glad in Jehovah, ye righteous;

And give thanks unto his holy name.

His holy name, lit. the memorial of his holiness. His name is that which brings to remembrance all that He is and does. See Exodus 3:15; Psalm 135:13.

The first line is from Psalm 32:11 a; the second from Psalm 30:4 b.Verse 12. - Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous. Such being the blessedness of the righteous, they are finally exhorted to "rejoice in the Lord," i.e. to show forth their gratitude to God in psalms and hymns of joy (comp. Psalm 32:11; Psalm 33:1-3), and to give thanks to him at the remembrance of his holiness; or rather, to give thanks to his holy memorial, which is the same as giving thanks to his Name (comp. Psalm 30:4, and the comment ad loc.).

Again we have nothing but echoes of the older literature: Psalm 97:4 equals Psalm 77:19; Psalm 97:4, cf. Psalm 77:17; Psalm 97:5, cf. Micah 1:4; Psalm 97:5, cf. Micah 4:13; Psalm 97:6 equals Psalm 50:6; Psalm 97:6, cf. Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 40:5; Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 66:18. The poet goes on to describe that which is future with historical certainty. That which Psalm 77:19 says of the manifestation of God in the earlier times he transfers to the revelation of God in the last time. The earth sees it, and begins to tremble in consequence of it. The reading ותּחל, according to Hitzig (cf. Ew. ֗232, b) traditional, is, however, only an error of pointing that has been propagated; the correct reading is the reading of Heidenheim and Baer, restored according to MSS, ותּחל (cf. 1 Samuel 31:3), like ותּבן, ותּקם, ותּרם, and ותּשׂם. The figure of the wax is found even in Psalm 68:3; and Jahve is also called "Lord of the whole earth" in Zechariah 4:14; Zechariah 6:5. The proclamation of the heavens is an expression of joy, Psalm 96:11. They proclaim the judicial strictness with which Jahve, in accordance with His promises, carries out His plan of salvation, the realization of which has reached its goal in the fact that all men see the glory of God.
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