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Psalm 93:1-2

1. Jehovah hath reigned, he hath clothed himself with majesty: 11     Horsley translates, —
   “Jehovah is King,
Jehovah is gorgeously arrayed.”

   And, on the second line, he has the following note: — “The construction of the original is doubtful, though the sense be obvious. The text may be expounded in either of these two ways; יהוה (Jehovah) לבש (hath put on) גאות לבש (majesty of dress;) or, גאות לבש (majesty of dress) [is] לבש (the dress) יהוה (of Jehovah.)”
Jehovah hath clothed himself with strength, he hath girded himself: 22     See volume 2, page 455, note 2. Bishop Lowth supposes that here, as well as in that passage, there is an allusion to the precious and magnificent ornaments of the priests’ attire. “Such,” says he, “was the gracefulness, such the magnificence of the sacerdotal vestments, especially those of the High Priest; so adapted were they, as Moses says, (Exodus 28:2,) to the expression of glory and beauty, that to those who were impressed with an equal opinion of the sanctity of the wearer, nothing could possibly appear more venerable and sublime. To these, therefore, we find frequent allusions in the Hebrew poets, when they have occasion to describe extraordinary beauty or comeliness, or to delineate the perfect form of supreme Majesty. The elegant Isaiah (Isaiah 61:10) has a most beautiful idea of this kind when he describes, in his own peculiar manner, (that is, most magnificently,) the exultation and glory of the Church, after its triumphal restoration. Pursuing the allusion, he decorates her with the vestments of salvation, and clothes her in a robe of righteousness. He afterwards compares the Church to a bridegroom dressed for the marriage, to which comparison incredible dignity is added by the word Ikohen, a metaphor plainly taken from the apparel of the priests, the force of which, therefore, no modern language can express. No imagery, indeed, which the Hebrew writers could employ, was equally adapted with this to the display (as far as the human powers can conceive or depict the subject) of the infinite majesty of God, ‘Jehovah’ is therefore introduced by the Psalmist as ‘clothed with glory and with strength,’ (Psalm 93:1,) he is ‘girded with power,’ (Psalm 65:7;) which are the very terms appropriated to the describing of the dress and ornaments of the priests.” — Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrews, volume 1, pages 174, 175. he hath also established the world, it shall not be moved. 2. Thy throne is stable; 33     “Ou, prepare.” — Fr. marg. “Or, prepared.” from then, from everlasting art thou.

 

1 Jehovah hath reigned We here see what I have lately adverted to, that in the power of God there is exhibited to us matter of confidence; for our not investing God with the power which belongs to him, as we ought to do, and thus wickedly despoiling him of his authority, is the source of that fear and trembling which we very often experience. This, it is true, we dare not do openly, but were we well persuaded of his invincible power, that would be to us an invincible support against all the assaults of temptation. All admit in word what the prophet here teaches, That God reigns; but how few are there who oppose this shield to the hostile powers of the world, as it becomes them to do, that they may fear nothing however terrible? In this then consists the glory of God, that he governs mankind according to his will. It is said that he clothes himself with majesty and strength; not that we ought to imagine that there is any thing in him which is derived from another, but it is intended by the effect and indubitable experience to show his wisdom and righteousness in the government of mankind. The Psalmist proves that God will not neglect or abandon the world, from the fact that he created it. A simple survey of the world should of itself suffice to attest a Divine Providence. The heavens revolve daily, and, immense as is their fabric, and inconceivable the rapidity of their revolutions, we experience no concussion — no disturbance in the harmony of their motion. The sun, though varying its course every diurnal revolution, returns annually to the same point. The planets, in all their wanderings, maintain their respective positions. How could the earth hang suspended in the air were it not upheld by God’s hand? By what means could it maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it? Accordingly the particle אף, aph, denoting emphasis, is introduced — Yea, he hath established it.

2 Thy throne is stable Some read, is prepared, and this agrees well with the context. provided we take the two clauses as one sentence, meaning — O Lord, as thou art from eternity, even so thy throne is erected or prepared from that time For the sense which some have attached to the words, as if they contained a simple assertion of God’s eternity, is poor; and the Psalmist evidently intends to say that as God is eternal in essence, so he has always been invested with power and majesty. The term throne signifies, by the figure synecdoche, righteousness, and office or power of government; it being customary to transfer such images taken from men to God, in accommodation to our infirmity. 44     “Selon que ces similitudes-ci prinses des hommes ont de coustume d’estre appropriees a Dieu, pour le regard et la portee de nostre infirmite.” — Fr. By this ascription of praise the Psalmist effectually disposes of all the absurd ideas which have been broached, tending to deny or disparage the power of God, and declares, upon the matter, that God may sooner cease to be, than to sit upon his throne in the government of this world.


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