Psalms 96

1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his[a] holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

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Psalms 96 Commentary

Chapter 96

A call to all people to praise God. (1-9) God's government and judgment. (10-13)

Verses 1-9 When Christ finished his work on earth, and was received into his glory in heaven, the church began to sing a new song unto him, and to bless his name. His apostles and evangelists showed forth his salvation among the heathen, his wonders among all people. All the earth is here summoned to worship the Lord. We must worship him in the beauty of holiness, as God in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. Glorious things are said of him, both as motives to praise and matter of praise.

Verses 10-13 We are to hope and pray for that time, when Christ shall reign in righteousness over all nations. He shall rule in the hearts of men, by the power of truth, and the Spirit of righteousness. His coming draws nigh; this King, this Judge standeth before the door, but he is not yet come. The Lord will accept the praises of all who seek to promote the kingdom of Christ. The sea can but roar, and how the trees of the wood can show that they rejoice we know not; but He that searches the heart knows what is the mind of the Spirit, and understands the words, the broken language of the weakest. Christ will come to judge the earth, to execute just vengeance on his enemies, and to fulfil his largest promises to his people. What then are we? Would that day be welcome to us? If this be not our case, let us now begin to prepare to meet our God, by seeking the pardon of our sins, and the renewal of our souls to holiness.

Cross References 33

  • 1. Psalms 30:4; 1 Chronicles 16:23
  • 2. Psalms 33:3; S Psalms 40:3; Psalms 98:1; Psalms 144:9; Psalms 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; S Revelation 5:9
  • 3. S Psalms 68:4
  • 4. Psalms 27:1; Psalms 71:15
  • 5. Psalms 8:1
  • 6. S Psalms 71:17; Revelation 15:3
  • 7. S Psalms 48:1; Psalms 18:3; Psalms 145:3
  • 8. S Deuteronomy 28:58; S 1 Chronicles 16:25; Psalms 89:7
  • 9. S Psalms 95:3
  • 10. S Leviticus 19:4
  • 11. S Genesis 1:1; S 2 Chronicles 2:12; Psalms 115:15
  • 12. S Psalms 21:5
  • 13. Psalms 29:1; Psalms 89:17
  • 14. Psalms 29:1
  • 15. Psalms 22:27
  • 16. Psalms 45:12; S Psalms 51:19; Psalms 72:10
  • 17. Psalms 65:4; Psalms 84:10; Psalms 92:13; Psalms 100:4
  • 18. Exodus 23:25; John 1:9
  • 19. S Psalms 93:5; Psalms 29:2
  • 20. S Exodus 15:14; Psalms 114:7
  • 21. Psalms 33:8
  • 22. Psalms 97:1
  • 23. Psalms 24:2; Psalms 78:69; Psalms 119:90
  • 24. S Psalms 93:1
  • 25. Psalms 58:11
  • 26. Psalms 67:4; Psalms 98:9
  • 27. S Revelation 12:12
  • 28. Psalms 97:1; Psalms 98:7; Isaiah 49:13
  • 29. Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 55:12; Ezekiel 17:24
  • 30. Psalms 65:13
  • 31. Revelation 19:11
  • 32. S Psalms 7:11; Acts 17:31
  • 33. Psalms 86:11

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or Lord"with the splendor of"

Chapter Summary


This psalm was written by David, as appears from 1Ch 16:7,23 to whom it is ascribed by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions. This and part of Psalm 105 were first composed and sung at the bringing of the ark from the house of Obededom to the city of David; and here it is detached from that with a new introduction to it, and applied to the times and kingdom of the Messiah, and; with great propriety, since the ark was an eminent type of him. The inscription in the Syriac version is,

``a Psalm of David, a Prophecy of the coming of the Messiah, and of the calling of the Gentiles that believe in him:''

and very rightly, since express mention is made of them in it, and of the publication of the Gospel among them; and clear reference is had to Christ, who is the Jehovah all along spoken of Jarchi well observes, that wherever a "new song" is mentioned, it is to be understood of future time, or the times of the Messiah; and the end of the psalm shows it,

\\he cometh to judge\\

Psalms 96 Commentaries