Psalm 99:5
Exalt you the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Worship at his footstool.Prostrate your. selves at His footstool. The earth is called the “footstool” of God (Isaiah 66:1; comp. Matthew 5:35); in other places the expression is used of the sanctuary (Psalm 132:7; comp. Isaiah 60:13; Lamentations 2:1). In 1Chronicles 28:2 it seems to refer to the ark. No doubt here, after mentioning the throne above the cherubims, we must think of the ground on which the ark stood, or of the ark itself.

Psalm 99:5. Exalt ye the Lord — Give him the glory of the good government you are under, as it is now established. And worship at his footstool — That is, at his ark, which was the footstool to the mercy-seat, between the cherubim. Or we must cast ourselves down upon the pavement of his courts; and good reason we have to be thus reverent, for he is holy, and his holiness should strike an awe upon us, as it doth on the angels themselves, Isaiah 6:2-3. Observe, reader, that God is to be worshipped and glorified, is the one inference always drawn from every position of David. And surely the greater the public mercies are in which we have a share, the more we are obliged to bear a part in the public homage paid to God. The setting up of the kingdom of Christ, especially, ought to be matter of our praise. Observe further, when we draw nigh to God to worship him, our hearts ought to be filled with high thoughts of him, and we ought to exalt him in our souls. And the more we abase ourselves, and the more prostrate we are before God, the more we exalt him.99:1-5 God governs the world by his providence, governs the church by his grace, and both by his Son. The inhabitants of the earth have cause to tremble, but the Redeemer still waits to be gracious. Let all who hear, take warning, and seek his mercy. The more we humble ourselves before God, the more we exalt him; and let us be thus reverent, for he is holy.Exalt ye the Lord our God - See the notes at Psalm 30:1. The meaning is, Let his name be, as it were, lifted up on high, so as to be conspicuous or seen from afar. Let it be done with a lofty voice; let it be with ascriptions of praise.

And worship at his footstool - By humble prostration at his feet. The footstool is that on which the feet rest when one is sitting, and the reference here is to the footstool on which the feet of a king rested when he sat on his throne or chair of state. To worship at his footstool - compare 1 Chronicles 28:2; Psalm 132:7 - denotes the deepest humility and the profoundest prostration and reverence. It is as if we could not look on his face, or on his throne, or on his gorgeous and magnificent robes, but bowed our heads in lowly reverence, and deemed it sufficient honor to lie low before that on which his feet rested. To show the dignity and majesty of God, the earth itself is represented as being merely his footstool; as being, in comparison with the heaven - the place of his seat - his "throne," only as the footstool is as compared with the splendid chair of state. Isaiah 66:1; Matthew 5:34-35.

For he is holy - See Psalm 99:3. Margin, "it is holy." The translation in the text best expresses the sense. The fact that God is "holy" is a reason for lowly and profound prostration before him.

4, 5. To His wise and righteous government all nations should render honor.

king's … judgment—His power is combined with justice.

he is holy—(compare Ps 22:3).

At his footstool; before the ark, which is so called,

1 Chronicles 28:2 Psalm 132:7.

For he is holy; or rather, for it, to wit, the ark, is holy; it is consecrated to be a pledge of God’s presence, and the only place of God’s public worship. Exalt ye the Lord our God,.... Christ, who is Lord of all, and Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, our Lord and our God; exalt him in his person, as God over all, blessed for ever; in his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, by hearkening to his word, by trusting in his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, and by submitting to his ordinances, and obeying his commands; exalt him in heart, thought, and affection, thinking highly of him, and affectionately loving him; exalt and extol him in words, speak of his love and loveliness, and of the great things he has done; exalt him in private and in public, in the family and in the house of God; make mention of him everywhere, that his name be exalted:

and worship at his footstool; worship him who is the object of the adoration of angels, and ought to be of men; worship him privately and publicly, internally and externally, in spirit and in truth; at his footstool, on earth, he being on his throne in heaven; see Isaiah 65:1 or else the ark is meant, which is so called, 1 Chronicles 28:2, and this being a type of the human nature of Christ, that may be meant here; and which, though not the object of worship, nor is it said, worship his footstool, but at it; yet, in worshipping Christ, respect is to be had unto him, as in our nature, in which he has done such great things for us: the Targum is,

"worship in or at the house of his sanctuary;''

so Kimchi interprets it of the sanctuary, which agrees with Psalm 99:9,

for he is holy: essentially holy, glorious in holiness as a divine Person, and therefore to be worshipped: or "it is holy"; the footstool, the ark, the human nature of Christ, in which the Godhead dwells bodily.

Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his {c} footstool; for he is holy.

(c) That is, before his temple or ark, where he promised to hear when they worshipped him, as now he promises his spiritual presence, wherever his Church is assembled.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. his footstool] In 1 Chronicles 28:2 the Ark is called Jehovah’s footstool, and so too probably in Psalm 132:7; but as there was no Ark in the Second Temple, the Temple itself must be meant here, or possibly (cp. Psalm 99:9) Zion. Cp. Lamentations 2:1; Isaiah 60:13; Isaiah 66:1 (of the earth).

for he is holy] Holy is he.Verse 5. - Exalt ye the Lord our God (comp. ver. 9; and see also Psalm 118:20 and Isaiah 25:1). And worship at his footstool. The "footstool of God" is everywhere (except in Isaiah 66:1) the ark of the covenant, which he that sat upon the cherubim touched, as it were, with his feet (see 1 Chronicles 28:2; Psalm 132:7; Lamentations 2:1; Isaiah 60:13). Israel is called upon to worship God as he sits in his holy temple, enthroned above the cherubim, with his feet upon the mercy seat. For he is holy; rather, as in ver. 3, holy is he. Here, too, it is all an echo of the earlier language of Psalms and prophets: Psalm 98:7 equals Psalm 96:11; Psalm 98:7 like Psalm 24:1; Psalm 98:8 after Isaiah 55:12 (where we find מחא כּף instead of the otherwise customary תּקע כּף, Psalm 47:2; or הכּה כּף, 2 Kings 11:12, is said of the trees of the field); Psalm 98:9 - Psalm 96:13, cf. Psalm 36:10. In the bringing in of nature to participate in the joy of mankind, the clapping rivers (נהרות) are original to this Psalm: the rivers cast up high waves, which flow into one another like clapping hands;

(Note: Luther renders: "the water-floods exult" (frohlocken); and Eychman's Vocabularius predicantium explains plaudere by "to exult (frohlocken) for joy, to smite the hands together prae gaudio;" cf. Luther's version of Ezekiel 21:17.)

cf. Habakkuk 3:10, where the abyss of the sea lifts up its hands on high, i.e., causes its waves to run mountain-high.

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