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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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PSALM 96

Ps 96:1-13. The substance of this Psalm, and portions of the ninety-seventh, ninety-eighth, and hundredth, are found in 1Ch 16:7-36, which was used by David's directions in the dedication of the tabernacle on Mount Zion. The dispensation of the Messiah was typified by that event, involving, as it did, a more permanent seat of worship, and the introduction of additional and more spiritual services. Hence the language of these Psalms may be regarded as having a higher import than that pertinent to the occasion on which it was thus publicly used.

1-3. All nations are invited to unite in this most joyful praise.

new song—literally, "fresh," or new mercies (Ps 33:3; 40:3).

2. show forth—literally, "declare joyful tidings."

salvation—illustrates His glory in its wonders of love and mercy.

4, 5. For He is not a local God, but of universal agency, while idols are nothing.

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.

7-9. Give—or, "ascribe" (Ps 29:1) due honor to Him, by acts of appointed and solemn worship in His house.

8. offering—of thanks.

9. beauty of holiness—(Ps 29:2).

fear … him—(Ps 2:11).

10. Let all know that the government of the world is ordered in justice, and they shall enjoy firm and lasting peace (compare Ps 72:3, 7; Isa 9:6, 7).

11-13. For which reason the universe is invoked to unite in joy, and even inanimate nature (Ro 8:14-22) is poetically represented as capable of joining in the anthem of praise.

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