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Bible Commentaries

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible

Psalms 99

Verses 1-9

Praise of the Messiah, the Thrice Holy.

The psalmist, in this hymn of praise which fits so well into this series, sets forth the merciful government of God, particularly as exercised in and for His Church, in the work of the Messiah.

v. 1. The Lord reigneth, Jehovah the Messiah is King; let the people tremble, venturing into His presence only with awe and reverence; He sitteth between the cherubim, the space between the outstretched wings of the golden cherubim on the mercy-seat being the place where the Lord revealed Himself to His people, Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89. Let the earth be moved, inspired with fear by His lofty presence.

v. 2. The Lord is great in Zion, in His holy Church, and He is high above all the people, in His capacity of King in His threefold kingdom.

v. 3. Let them praise Thy great and terrible name, the awe-inspiring revelation of His majesty; for it is holy, emphatic in the Hebrew: "Holy is He," this being one line from the wonderful seraphic hymn, Isaiah 6:1-4.

v. 4. The King's strength also loveth judgment, His essential righteousness causes Him to exercise right at all times; Thou dost establish equity, uprightness and true justice in dealing with men at all times; Thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. The reference is not merely to the theocratic government of God in the Old Testament, but to the Messiah's rule in His Kingdom of Grace, in which He freely gives to the members of this kingdom the righteousness which He gained for them, by virtue of which they may proudly lift up their heads in the judgment of the Lord.

v. 5. Exalt ye the Lord, our God, for this manifestation of His grace, and worship at His footstool, prostrating themselves upon the steps leading up to His throne, in humble adoration, such places being found wherever the Lord finds two or three gathered together in His name: for He is holy. Again the words of the seraphic hymn ring out: "Holy is He!" The singer now, in casting about for a suitable comparison, looks back into the history of Israel.

v. 6. Moses, who sometimes performed the functions of priest, Exodus 24; Exodus 40:22-23, and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among them that call upon His name, 1 Samuel 7:8-9, these three being prominent representatives of the Old Testament Church; they called upon the Lord, their entire worship being an expression of their faith in Jehovah of Israel, and He answered them, thus recognizing them as His children by faith, with whom He was united in the fellowship which obtains between the Lord and all believers.

v. 7. He spake unto them, to His entire people, in the cloudy pillar; they kept His testimonies, the true Israelites, the people of the Lord in the real sense of the word, observed all the commandments and precepts of Jehovah, and the ordinance, that of the covenant, that He gave them.

v. 8. Thou answeredst them, O Lord, our God; Thou wast a God that forgavest them, the entire people of the children of Israel, though Thou tookest vengeance of their inventions, punishing them for their misdeeds, for their acts of rebellion. Forgiveness does not include the remission of the punishment which attaches to many sins; the chastening, rather, works greater humility.

v. 9. Exalt the Lord, our God, giving Him the honor due to His majesty and power, and worship at His holy hill, on the mountain where He revealed Himself, that is, in the New Testament, wherever He comes to men in His Gospel, in His grace and truth; for the Lord, our God, is holy, again the emphatic: "For holy is Jehovah, our God. " That is the song of praise which the Christians sing in honor of their Messiah and King, the thrice holy world without end.

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Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 99". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/psalms-99.html. 1921-23.