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; Heb 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).
The Divine Ruler of All
1The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.#a. [97:1] Ps 75:4; 93:1; 96:10.
2Cloud and darkness surround him;
justice and right are the foundation of his throne.#b. [97:2] Ps 85:11; 89:15; Ex 19:6; Dt 4:11; 5:22; 1 Kgs 8:12.
3Fire goes before him,
consuming his foes on every side.
4His lightening illumines the world;
the earth sees and trembles.#c. [97:4] Ps 18:8; 50:3; 77:18; 99:1; Jgs 5:4–5.
5The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.#d. [97:5] Jdt 16:15; Mi 1:4.
6The heavens proclaim his justice;
all peoples see his glory.#e. [97:6] Ps 50:6.
7All who serve idols are put to shame,
who glory in worthless things;
all gods#All gods: divine beings thoroughly subordinate to Israel’s God. The Greek translates “angels,” an interpretation adopted by Heb 1:6. bow down before him.#f. [97:7] Ps 96:5.
8Zion hears and is glad,
and the daughters of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments, O Lord.#g. [97:8] Ps 48:12.
9For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth,#h. [97:9] Ps 83:19.
exalted far above all gods.
10You who love the Lord, hate evil,
he protects the souls of the faithful,#i. [97:10] Ps 121:7.
rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
11Light dawns for the just,
and gladness for the honest of heart.#j. [97:11] Ps 112:4.
12Rejoice in the Lord, you just,
and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.#k. [97:12] Ps 30:5.