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The Glory-God Thunders

King David’s poetic praise to God for the last days

The Feast of Tabernacles[a]

29 Proclaim his majesty, all you mighty sons of Yahweh,[b]
    giving all the glory and strength back to him!
Be in awe before his majesty.
    Be in awe before such power and might!
    Come worship wonderful Yahweh, arrayed in all his splendor,
    bowing in worship as he appears in the beauty of holiness.
    Give him the honor due his name.
    Worship him wearing the glory-garments
    of your holy, priestly calling!
3–4 The voice of the Lord echoes through the skies and seas.
    The Glory-God reigns as he thunders in the clouds.
    So powerful is his voice, so brilliant and bright—
    how majestic as he thunders over the great waters![c]
His tympanic thunder topples the strongest of trees.[d]
    His symphonic sound splinters the mighty forests.
Now he moves Zion’s[e] mountains by the might of his voice,
    shaking the snowy peaks with his earsplitting sound!
The lightning-fire flashes, striking as he speaks.
God reveals himself when he makes the fault lines quake,
    shaking deserts, speaking his voice.
God’s mighty voice makes the deer to give birth.[f]
    His thunderbolt-voice lays the forest bare.
    In his temple all fall before him with each one shouting,
    “Glory, glory, the God of glory!”[g]
10 Above the furious flood,[h] the Enthroned One reigns,
    the King-God rules with eternity at his side.
11 This is the one who gives his strength and might to his people.
    This is the Lord giving us his kiss of peace.[i]

Footnotes

  1. 29 The additional words of the inscription are found in the Septuagint. Ps. 29 is one of the loveliest poems ever written. It is pure and unrestrained praise. The name Yahweh is found eighteen times in eleven verses. David was a prophetic seer, and this psalm can properly be interpreted to speak of God’s majesty revealed in the last days.
  2. 29:1 Mighty sons of Yahweh in Hebrew is beni ‘elim. ‘Elim is from the root word elah, which is the word for “God,” “gods,” “mighty warriors,” “mighty men,” “heroes,” “angels,” and “heavenly beings,” and could be used to describe anyone who shows any strength or power.
  3. 29:3–4 The sea (“great waters”) is a term often used in the Bible to symbolize the sea of humanity. See Isa. 57:20; Rev. 17:15.
  4. 29:5 Trees in the Bible are symbols used for men. The strongest of men are toppled and bowed down when the Glory-God speaks.
  5. 29:6 Or “Sirion” (Mount Hermon), an ancient term for Mount Zion. See Ps. 133.
  6. 29:9 Or “God’s mighty voice makes the oaks to whirl.”
  7. 29:9 The Septuagint reads “Those who give him glory he carries to his house.”
  8. 29:10 The Hebrew word for “flood” is found thirteen times in the Bible and is always used in connection to man’s rebellion and turning away from God. Thirteen is the biblical number signifying apostasy. Sitting as King, he rules even over the dark flood of evil to make it end.
  9. 29:11 In Jewish synagogues this psalm is read on the first day of the Feast of Pentecost. The Christian church was born on Pentecost two thousand years ago when the mighty “storm” of the Spirit came into the upper room. See Acts 2. The last word of this psalm is “peace.” It begins with a storm, but God brings his people peace even in the midst of storms.

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