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Psalm 97[a]

The Divine Ruler of All


The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;
    let the many islands be glad.(A)
Cloud and darkness surround him;
    justice and right are the foundation of his throne.(B)
Fire goes before him,
    consuming his foes on every side.
His lightening illumines the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.(C)
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.(D)
The heavens proclaim his justice;
    all peoples see his glory.(E)


All who serve idols are put to shame,
    who glory in worthless things;
    all gods[b] bow down before him.(F)
Zion hears and is glad,
    and the daughters of Judah rejoice
    because of your judgments, O Lord.(G)
For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth,(H)
    exalted far above all gods.
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil,
    he protects the souls of the faithful,(I)
    rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light dawns for the just,
    and gladness for the honest of heart.(J)
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you just,
    and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.(K)


  1. Psalm 97 The hymn begins with God appearing in a storm, a traditional picture of some ancient Near Eastern gods (Ps 97:1–6); cf. Ps 18:8–16; Mi 1:3–4; Hb 3:3–15. Israel rejoices in the overthrowing of idol worshipers and their gods (Ps 97:7–9) and the rewarding of the faithful righteous (Ps 97:10–12).
  2. 97:7 All gods: divine beings thoroughly subordinate to Israel’s God. The Greek translates “angels,” an interpretation adopted by Hb 1:6.