New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Holy King
1 The Lord is king, the peoples tremble;
he is enthroned on the cherubim,[b] the earth quakes.(A)
2 Great is the Lord in Zion,
exalted above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name:
Holy is he!(B)
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel among those who called on his name;
they called on the Lord, and he answered them.(E)
7 From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his decrees, the law he had given them.(F)
8 O Lord, our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
though you punished their offenses.(G)
9 Exalt the Lord, our God;
bow down before his holy mountain;
holy is the Lord, our God.
- Psalm 99 A hymn to God as the king whose grandeur is most clearly seen on Mount Zion (Ps 99:2) and in the laws given to Israel (Ps 99:4). Israel is special because of God’s word of justice, which was mediated by the revered speakers, Moses, Aaron, and Samuel (Ps 99:6–8). The poem is structured by the threefold statement that God is holy (Ps 99:3, 5, 9) and by the twice-repeated command to praise (Ps 99:5, 9).
- 99:1 Enthroned on the cherubim: cherubim were composite beings with animal and human features, common in ancient Near Eastern art. Two cherubim were placed on the ark (or box) of the covenant in the holy of holies. Upon them God was believed to dwell invisibly, cf. Ex 25:20–22; 1 Sm 4:4; 2 Sm 6:2; Ps 80:2.
- 99:5 Footstool: a reference to the ark, cf. 1 Chr 28:2; Ps 132:7.