Psalms 97

Listen to Psalms 97
1 1The LORD reigns, 2let the earth rejoice; let the many 3coastlands be glad!
2 4Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; 5righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 6Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around.
4 His 7lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and 8trembles.
5 The mountains 9melt like 10wax before the LORD, before 11the Lord of all the earth.
6 12The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all 13the peoples see his glory.
7 All worshipers of images are 14put to shame, who make their boast in 15worthless idols; 16worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and 17is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.
9 For you, O LORD, are 18most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above 19all gods.
10 O you who love the LORD, 20hate evil! He 21preserves the lives of his 22saints; he 23delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 24Light 25is sown[a] for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
12 26Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and 27give thanks to his holy name!

Psalms 97 Commentary

Chapter 97

The Lord Jesus reigns in power that cannot be resisted. (1-7) His care of his people, and his provision for them. (8-12)

Verses 1-7 Though many have been made happy in Christ, still there is room. And all have reason to rejoice in Christ's government. There is a depth in his counsels, which we must not pretend to fathom; but still righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Christ's government, though it might be matter of joy to all, will yet be matter of terror to some; but it is their own fault that it is so. The most resolute and daring opposition will be baffled at the presence of the Lord. And the Lord Jesus will ere long come, and put an end to idol worship of every kind.

Verses 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.

Cross References 27

  • 1. See Psalms 93:1
  • 2. Psalms 96:11
  • 3. See Psalms 72:10
  • 4. Exodus 19:9; Deuteronomy 4:11; Deuteronomy 5:22; 1 Kings 8:12; See Psalms 18:11
  • 5. Psalms 89:14
  • 6. See Psalms 21:9; Psalms 50:3
  • 7. Psalms 77:18
  • 8. [Psalms 96:9]
  • 9. Nahum 1:5; [Judges 5:5]
  • 10. See Psalms 68:2
  • 11. Joshua 3:11
  • 12. See Psalms 50:6
  • 13. Isaiah 40:5; Isaiah 66:18; [Psalms 96:3]
  • 14. Isaiah 42:17; Isaiah 44:9
  • 15. Psalms 96:5
  • 16. Hebrews 1:6
  • 17. Psalms 48:11
  • 18. See Psalms 83:18
  • 19. See Psalms 95:3
  • 20. Proverbs 8:13; Amos 5:15; Romans 12:9; See Psalms 34:14
  • 21. Psalms 31:23; Psalms 37:28; Psalms 121:4; Psalms 145:20; Proverbs 2:8
  • 22. See Psalms 30:4
  • 23. Daniel 3:28; Daniel 6:27; Acts 12:11
  • 24. Psalms 112:4; Psalms 118:27; Proverbs 4:18
  • 25. [Proverbs 11:18; Hosea 10:12; James 3:18]
  • 26. See Psalms 32:11
  • 27. See Psalms 30:4

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Most Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome Light dawns

Chapter Summary


This psalm is ascribed to David by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions. It is of the same argument, and upon the same subject, as the preceding, the coming and kingdom of Christ; and that it respects his first coming into the world, when angels were called upon to worship him, appears from Ps 97:7 compared with Heb 1:6 though it is expressed in such language as seems to agree with his second coming; and, perhaps, both are included, with various things between the one and the other; or it respects the kingdom of Christ, from his first to his second coming; to which agrees the inscription of the Syriac version, which is

``a Psalm of David, in which he prophesies concerning the coming of the Messiah, and again he intimates in it his last appearance.''

Psalms 97 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.