New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Lord of Majesty Acclaimed as King of the World
1 A psalm of David.
3 The voice of the Lord[c] is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is power;
the voice of the Lord is splendor.(B)
5 The voice of the Lord cracks the cedars;
the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon,
6 Makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
and Sirion[d] like a young bull.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes with fiery flame;
8 the voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the desert of Kadesh.
9 [e]The voice of the Lord makes the deer dance
and strips the forests bare.
All in his Temple say, “Glory!”
- Psalm 29 The hymn invites the members of the heavenly court to acknowledge God’s supremacy by ascribing glory and might to God alone (Ps 29:1–2a, 9b). Divine glory and might are dramatically visible in the storm (Ps 29:3–9a). The storm apparently comes from the Mediterranean onto the coast of Syria-Palestine and then moves inland. In Ps 29:10 the divine beings acclaim God’s eternal kingship. The Psalm concludes with a prayer that God will impart the power just displayed to the Israelite king and through the king to Israel.
- 29:1 Sons of God: members of the heavenly court who served Israel’s God in a variety of capacities.
- 29:3 The voice of the Lord: the sevenfold repetition of the phrase imitates the sound of crashing thunder and may allude to God’s primordial slaying of Leviathan, the seven-headed sea monster of Canaanite mythology.
- 29:6 Sirion: the Phoenician name for Mount Hermon, cf. Dt 3:9.
- 29:9b–10 Having witnessed God’s supreme power (Ps 29:3–9a), the gods acknowledge the glory that befits the king of the divine and human world.
- 29:10 The flood: God defeated the primordial waters and made them part of the universe, cf. Ps 89:10–13; 93:3–4.
- 29:11 His people: God’s people, Israel.