Psalms 99

The King Is Holy

1 The Lord reigns! Let the peoples tremble. He is enthroned above the cherubim.[a] Let the earth quake.
2 The Lord is great in Zion; He is exalted above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise Your great and awe-inspiring name.[b] He is holy.
4 The mighty King loves justice.[c] You have established fairness; You have administered justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt the Lord our God; bow in worship at His footstool.[d] He is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests; Samuel also was among those calling on His name. They called to the Lord, and He answered them.
7 He spoke to them in a pillar of cloud;[e] they kept His decrees and the statutes He gave them.
8 Lord our God, You answered them. You were a God who forgave them, but punished[f] their misdeeds.[g] [h]
9 Exalt the Lord our God; bow in worship at His holy mountain,[i] for the Lord our God is holy.

Psalms 99 Commentary

Chapter 99

The happy government God's people are under. (1-5) Its happy administration. (6-9)

Verses 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.

Verses 6-9 The happiness of Israel is made out by referring to the most useful governors of that people. They in every thing made God's word and law their rule, knowing that they could not else expect that their prayers should be answered. They all wonderfully prevailed with God in prayer; miracles were wrought at their request. They pleaded for the people, and obtained answers of peace. Our Prophet and High Priest, of infinitely greater dignity than Moses, Aaron, or Samuel, has received and declared to us the will of the Father. Let us not only exalt the Lord with our lips, but give him the throne in our heart; and while we worship him upon his mercy-seat, let us never forget that he is holy.

Footnotes 9

  • [a]. Ex 25:22; 1 Sm 4:4; Ezk 11:22
  • [b]. Ps 44:8; 138:2; Neh 1:5
  • [c]. Ps 37:28; Isa 61:8
  • [d]. Ps 132:7; 1 Ch 28:2; Isa 66:1
  • [e]. Nm 12:5; 14:14; Dt 31:15-18
  • [f]. Lit avenged
  • [g]. Or but avenged misdeeds done against them
  • [h]. Lv 26:25; Dt 32:41
  • [i]. Ps 2:6; 48:1; Ezk 20:40

Chapter Summary


This psalm, with the foregoing from Ps 90:1 is ascribed to Moses by Jarchi and others; but cannot be his, since mention is made of Samuel in it, who lived many years after him. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, more rightly attribute it to David; the inscription of the Syriac version, after saying it is David's, subjoins,

``concerning the destruction of the Midianites, whom Moses and the people of Israel led captive;''

of which there is not the least mention in it; but it more truly adds,

``and a prophecy concerning the glory of the kingdom of the Messiah;''

as it undoubtedly is.

Psalms 99 Commentaries

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