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Psalms 29:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[A Psalm of David.]] Ascribe unto Jehovah, O ye sons of the mighty, Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] Give to the LORD, O ye mighty, give to the LORD glory and strength.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] Give unto Jehovah, ye sons of the mighty ones, give unto Jehovah glory and strength;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[A Melody of David.]] Give to Yahweh, ye sons of the mighty,—Give to Yahweh, [both] glory and strength:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A Psalm of David. Ascribe to Jehovah, ye sons of the mighty, Ascribe to Jehovah honour and strength.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— A psalm for David, at the finishing of the tabernacle. Bring to the Lord, O ye children of God: bring to the Lord the offspring of rams.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[A Psalme of Dauid.]] Giue vnto the LORD (O ye mighty) giue vnto the LORD glory and strength.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[A Psalm of David [on the occasion] of the solemn assembly of the Tabernacle.]] Bring to the Lord, ye sons of God, bring to the Lord young rams; bring to the Lord glory and honour.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[A Psalm of Dawid.]] Give unto Yahweh, O ye elim, give unto Yahweh glory and strength.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[A Psalm 4210
{4210} Prime
From H2167; properly instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes.
of Dwi דָּוִד.]] 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
Give 3051
{3051} Prime
A primitive root; to give (whether literally or figuratively); generally to put; imperatively (reflexively) come.
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
unto Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
O ye lm אֵלִים, 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
{0410} Prime
Shortened from H0352; strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity).
give 3051
{3051} Prime
A primitive root; to give (whether literally or figuratively); generally to put; imperatively (reflexively) come.
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
unto Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
glory 3519
{3519} Prime
From H3513; properly weight; but only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness.
and strength. 5797
{5797} Prime
From H5810; strength in various applications (force, security, majesty, praise).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 29:1

_ _ Psalms 29:1-11. Trust in God is encouraged by the celebration of His mighty power as illustrated in His dominion over the natural world, in some of its most terrible and wonderful exhibitions.

_ _ Give — or, “ascribe” (Deuteronomy 32:3).

_ _ mighty — or, “sons of the mighty” (Psalms 89:6). Heavenly beings, as angels.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 29:1-11

_ _ In this psalm we have,

_ _ I. A demand of the homage of the great men of the earth to be paid to the great God. Every clap of thunder David interpreted as a call to himself and other princes to give glory to the great God. Observe, 1. Who they are that are called to this duty: “O you mighty (Psalms 29:1), you sons of the mighty, who have power, and on whom that power is devolved by succession and inheritance, who have royal blood running in your veins!” It is much for the honour of the great God that the men of this world should pay their homage to him; and they are bound to do it, not only because, high as they are, he is infinitely above them, and therefore they must bow to him, but because they have their power from him, and are to use it for him, and this tribute of acknowledgment they owe to him for it. 2. How often this call is repeated; Give unto the Lord, and again, and a third time, Give unto the Lord. This intimates that the mighty men are backward to this duty and are with difficulty persuaded to it, but that it is of great consequence to the interests of God's kingdom among men that princes should heartily espouse them. Jerusalem flourishes when the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it, Revelation 21:24. 3. What they are called to do — to give unto the Lord, not as if he needed any thing, or could be benefited by any gifts of ours, nor as if we had any thing to give him that is not his own already (Who hath first given to him?), but the recognition of his glory, and of his dominion over us, he is pleased to interpret as a gift to him: “Give unto the Lord your own selves, in the first place, and then your services. Give unto the Lord glory and strength; acknowledge his glory and strength, and give praise to him as a God of infinite majesty and irresistible power; and whatever glory or strength he has by his providence entrusted you with offer it to him, to be used for his honour, in his service. Give him your crowns; let them be laid at his feet; give him your sceptres, your swords, your keys, put all into his hand, that you, in the use of them, may be to him for a name and a praise.” Princes value themselves by their glory and strength; these they must ascribe to God, owning him to be infinitely more glorious and powerful than they. This demand of homage from the mighty must be looked upon as directed either to the grandees of David's own kingdom, the peers of the realm, the princes of the tribes (and it is to excite them to a more diligent and constant attendance at God's altars, in which he had observed them very remiss), or to the neighbouring kings whom he by his sword had made tributaries to Israel and now would persuade to become tributaries to the God of Israel. Crowned heads must bow before the King of kings. What is here said to the mighty is said to all: Worship God; it is the sum and substance of the everlasting gospel, Revelation 14:6, Revelation 14:7. Now we have here, (1.) The nature of religious worship; it is giving to the Lord the glory due to his name, Psalms 29:2. God's name is that whereby he has made himself known. There is a glory due to his name. It is impossible that we should give him all the glory due to his name; when we have said and done out best for the honour of God's name, still we come infinitely short of the merit of the subject; but when we answer that revelation which he has made of himself, with suitable affections and adorations, then we give him some of that glory which is due to his name. If we would, in hearing and praying, and other acts of devotion, receive grace from God, we must make it our business to give glory to God. (2.) The rule of the performance of religious exercises; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, which denotes, [1.] The object of our worship; the glorious majesty of God is called the beauty of holiness, 2 Chronicles 20:21. In the worship of God we must have an eye to his beauty, and adore him, not only as infinitely awful and therefore to be feared above all, but as infinitely amiable and therefore to be loved and delighted in above all; especially we must have an eye to the beauty of his holiness; this the angels fasten upon in their praises, Revelation 4:8. Or, [2.] The place of worship. The sanctuary then was the beauty of holiness, Psalms 48:1, Psalms 48:2; Jeremiah 17:12. The beauty of the sanctuary was the exact agreement of the worship there performed with the divine appointment — the pattern in the mount. Now, under the gospel, solemn assemblies of Christians (which purity is the beauty of) are the places where God is to be worshipped. Or, [3.] The manner of worship. We must be holy in all our religious performances, devoted to God, and to his will and glory. There is a beauty in holiness, and it is that which puts an acceptable beauty upon all the acts of worship.

_ _ II. Good reason given for this demand. We shall see ourselves bound to give glory to God if we consider,

_ _ 1. His sufficiency in himself, intimated in his name JehovahI am that I am, which is repeated here no fewer than eighteen times in this short psalm, twice in every verse but three, and once in two of those three; I do not recollect that there is the like in all the book of psalms. Let the mighty ones of the earth know him by this name and give him the glory due to it.

_ _ 2. His sovereignty over all things. Let those that rule over men know there is a God that rules over them, that rules over all. The psalmist here sets forth God's dominion,

_ _ (1.) In the kingdom of nature. In the wonderful effects of natural causes, and the operations of the powers of nature, we ought to take notice of God's glory and strength, which we are called upon to ascribe to him; in the thunder, and lightning, and rain, we may see, [1.] His glory. It is the God of glory that thunders (thunders is the noise of his voice, Job 37:2), and it declares him a God of glory, so awful is the sound of the thunder, and so bright the flash of its companion, the lightning; to the hearing and to the sight nothing is more affecting than these, as if by those two learning senses God would have such proofs of his glory to the minds of men as should leave the most stupid inexcusable. Some observe that there were then some particular reasons why thunder should be called the voice of the Lord, not only because it comes from above, is not under the direction or foresight of any man, speaks aloud, and reaches far, but because God often spoke in thunder, particularly at Mount Sinai, and by thunder discomfited the enemies of Israel. To speak it the voice of the God of glory, it is here said to be upon the water, upon many waters (Psalms 29:3); it reaches over the vast ocean, the waters under the firmament; it rattles among the thick clouds, the waters above the firmament. Every one that hears the thunder (his ear being made to tingle with it) will own that the voice of the Lord is full of majesty (Psalms 29:4), enough to make the highest humble (for none can thunder with a voice like him) and the proudest tremble — for, if his voice be so terrible, what is his arm? Every time we hear it thunder, let our hearts be thereby filled with great, and high, and honourable thoughts of God, in the holy adorings and admirings of whom the power of godliness does so much consist. O Lord our God! thou art very great. [2.] His power (Psalms 29:4.): The voice of the Lord is powerful, as appears by the effects of it; for it works wonders. Those that write natural histories relate the prodigious effects of thunder and lightning, even out of the ordinary course of natural causes, which must be resolved into the omnipotence of the God of nature. First, Trees have been rent and split by thunderbolts, Psalms 29:5, Psalms 29:6. The voice of the Lord, in the thunder, often broke the cedars, even those of Lebanon, the strongest, the stateliest. Some understand it of the violent winds which shook the cedars, and sometimes tore off their aspiring tops. Earthquakes also shook the ground itself on which the trees grew, and made Lebanon and Sirion to dance; the wilderness of Kadesh also was in like manner shaken (Psalms 29:8), the trees by winds, the ground by earthquakes, and both by thunders, of which I incline rather to understand it. The learned Dr. Hammond understands it of the consternations and conquest of neighbouring kingdoms that warred with Israel and opposed David, as the Syrians, whose country lay near the forest of Lebanon, the Amorites that bordered on Mount Hermon, and the Moabites and Ammonites that lay about the wilderness of Kadesh. Secondly. Fires have been kindled by lightnings and houses and churches thereby consumed; hence we read of hot thunderbolts (Psalms 78:48); accordingly the voice of the Lord, in the thunder, is here said to divide the flames of fire (Psalms 29:7), that is, to scatter them upon the earth, as God sees fit to direct them and do execution by them. Thirdly, The terror of thunder makes the hinds to calve sooner, and some think more easily, than otherwise they would. The hind is a timourous creature, and much affected with the noise of thunder; and no marvel, when sometimes proud and stout men have been made to tremble at it. The emperor Caligula would hide himself under his bed when it thundered. Horace, the poet, owns that he was reclaimed from atheism by the terror of thunder and lightning, which he describes somewhat like this of David, lib. 1, ode 34. The thunder is said here to discover the forest, that is, it so terrifies the wild beasts of the forest that they quit the dens and thickets in which they hid themselves are so are discovered. Or it throws down the trees, and so discovers the ground that was shaded by them. Whenever it thunders let us think of this psalm; and, whenever we sing this psalm, let us think of the dreadful thunder-claps we have sometimes heard, and thus bring God's words and his works together, that by both we may be directed and quickened to give unto him the glory due unto his name; and let us bless him that there is another voice of his besides this dreadful one, by which God now speaks to us, even the still small voice of his gospel, the terror of which shall not make us afraid.

_ _ (2.) In the kingdom of providence, Psalms 29:10. God is to be praised as the governor of the world of mankind. He sits upon the flood; he sits King for ever. He not only sits at rest in the enjoyment of himself, but he sits as King in the throne which he has prepared in the heavens (Psalms 103:19), where he takes cognizance of, and gives orders about, all the affairs of the children of men, and does all according to his will, according to the counsel of his will. Observe, [1.] The power of his kingdom: He sits upon the flood. As he has founded the earth, so he has founded his own throne, upon the floods, Psalms 24:2. The ebbings and flowings of this lower world, and the agitations and revolutions of the affairs in it, give not the least shake to the repose nor to the counsels of the Eternal Mind. The opposition of his enemies is compared to the flood (Psalms 93:3, Psalms 93:4); but the Lord sits upon it; he crushes it, conquers it, and completes his own purposes in despite of all the devices that are in men's hearts. The word here translated the flood is never used but concerning Noah's flood; and therefore some think it is that which is here spoken of. God did sit upon that flood as a Judge executing the sentence of his justice upon the world of the ungodly that was swept away by it. And he still sits upon the flood, restraining the waters of Noah, that they turn not again to cover the earth, according to his promise never to destroy the earth any more by a flood, Genesis 9:11; Isaiah 54:9. [2.] The perpetuity of his kingdom; He sits King for ever; no period can, or shall, be put to his government. The administration of his kingdom is consonant to his counsels from eternity and pursuant to his designs for eternity.

_ _ (3.) In the kingdom of grace. Here his glory shines most brightly, [1.] In the adorations he receives from the subjects of that kingdom (Psalms 29:9). In his temple, where people attend his discoveries of himself and his mind and attend him with their praises, every one speaks of his glory. In the world every man sees it, or at least may behold it afar off (Job 36:25); but it is only in the temple, in the church, that it is spoken of to his honour. All his works do praise him (that is, they minister matter for praise), but his saints only do bless him, and speak of his glory of his works, Psalms 145:10. [2.] In the favours he bestows upon the subjects of that kingdom, Psalms 29:11. First, He will qualify them for his service: He will give strength to his people, to fortify them against every evil work and to furnish them for every good work; out of weakness they shall be made strong; nay, he will perfect strength in weakness. Secondly, He will encourage them in his service: He will bless his people with peace. Peace is a blessing of inestimable value, which God designs for all his people. The work of righteousness is peace (great peace have those that love thy law); but much more the crown of righteousness: the end of righteousness is peace; it is endless peace. When the thunder of God's wrath shall make sinners tremble the saints shall lift up their heads with joy.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 29:1

Ye — Ye potentates and rulers of the earth. Glory — By an humble and thankful acknowledgment of it.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 29:1

"A Psalm of David." Give unto the LORD, O ye (a) mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

(a) He exhorts the proud tyrants to humble themselves under God's hand, and not to be inferior to brute beasts and dumb creatures.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 2:10-12 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. ... Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him.
Psalms 68:31-34 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. ... Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency [is] over Israel, and his strength [is] in the clouds.
Psalms 96:7-9 Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. ... O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
Isaiah 60:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, [those] nations shall be utterly wasted.
Jeremiah 13:16-18 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, [and] make [it] gross darkness. ... Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, [even] the crown of your glory.
Revelation 5:11-14 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; ... And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four [and] twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Heb. sons of the mighty
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Ps 2:10; 68:31; 96:7. Is 60:12. Jr 13:16. Rv 5:11.

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