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This is a Nature-Psalm, calling on the angels to praise God (Psalms 29:1-2), describing the manifestation of His power in the thunderstorm (Psalms 29:3-9) and the flood (Psalms 29:10), and ending with an assurance of His favour to His people.
1. Give] in the sense of ’ascribe.’ Mighty] RV ’sons of the mighty.’ The angels are meant.
2. The beauty of holiness] RM ’holy array,’ like the robes of the priests in an earthly sanctuary.
3. The voice of the Lord] the thunder. The phrase occurs seven times in the Ps. The waters] not of the sea, but of the storm-cloud: see Psalms 18:11.
5. The cedars] the strongest trees, yet riven in the thunderstorm.
6. Them] the mountains which the thunder shakes, besides breaking the trees that grow on them. Sirion] Hermon. Lebanon and Her-mon are the highest mountains in Palestine.
Unicorn] RV ’wild-ox.’
7. Divideth (RV ’cleaveth,’ RM ’heweth’) the flames of fire] The reference is to the sharp, pointed lightning flashes which accompany the thunder.
8. The wilderness of Kadesh] in the extreme S. of Palestine, as Lebanon and Hermon are in the extreme N.
9. Maketh the hinds to calve] an actual effect of terrifying thunderstorms; or perhaps the meaning is, ’whirleth the oaks.’ Discovereth] RV ’strippeth bare,’ by the wind, or the strokes of lightning. His temple] or palace, is not the great temple of Nature, but heaven itself, where the angels minister (Psalms 29:1-2). Doth every one speak, etc.] RV ’everything saith, Glory,’ but better, ’every one,’ i.e. of the angels. From the heavens they look down with wonder and delight upon the storm, in which they see the manifestation of the divine glory.
10. Sitteth upon the flood] RV ’sat as king at the Flood,’ the great traditional convulsion of nature (Genesis 7, 8), which revealed God’s mercy as well as His power and wrath. The attributes then disclosed remain unchanged, and this is the ground of the assurance expressed in Psalms 29:11, which is a beautiful conclusion to a Ps. of sublime grandeur.
11. Give strength] The power of this mighty God is given to His people as they need it: see Isaiah 40:29-31.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 29". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent