God’s Majesty in the Storm
1 A psalm of David.
Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,[b]
ascribe to the Lord glory and might.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name;[c]
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord[d] echoes over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is filled with majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord shatters the cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.[e]
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion[f] like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth
with bolts of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.[g]
9 The voice of the Lord batters the oaks
and strips the forests bare,
while in his temple all cry out, “Glory!”[h]
10 The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;[i]
the Lord is enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord grant strength to his people.
May the Lord bless his people with peace.
- Psalm 29:1 The psalmist sings a hymn of praise to the Lord, the King of creation, evoking his power and glory in the storm that terrifies the foes of Israel, while sparing the chosen people. He concludes by asking the Lord to give similar power to the king and to Israel.
We can pray this psalm in the knowledge that the voice of God has acquired a body in Christ Jesus, living Word of the Father. It calls upon all who are in heaven, on earth, and in the netherworld to attribute to Christ all glory and power, and to adore him alone.
- Psalm 29:1 Mighty ones: literally, “sons of God,” which in the beginning probably referred to the pagan deities but later came to be understood as referring to the angels (see Pss 82:1; 89:7; Job 1:6). To eliminate the polytheistic meaning of the expression, the Septuagint and Vulgate added immediately after “mighty ones” the line “bring to the Lord the offspring of rams.” This passage is sometimes applied to Israel, the son of God (see Ex 4:22; Deut 14:1; Acts 17:28).
- Psalm 29:2 Name: see note on Ps 5:12. In the splendor of his holiness: it probably refers to the priestly garments to be worn in the liturgy (see Ps 110:3), although it may also refer to God or to the sanctuary.
- Psalm 29:3 The voice of the Lord: this phrase appears seven times in imitation of the sound of thunder and symbolizes the power of God, the Lord of history as well as the Master of the elements, whose voice no one can resist (see Job 37:4f; Ezek 10:5).
- Psalm 29:5 The cedars of Lebanon: i.e., the strongest of all trees (see Isa 2:13).
- Psalm 29:6 Sirion: a Phoenician name for Mount Hermon in northern Palestine. The mountains there were originally given the general name of Lebanon.
- Psalm 29:8 The wilderness of Kadesh: probably a border location in southern Palestine; some believe it is a location north of Palestine near Lebanon and Mount Hermon.
- Psalm 29:9 The cry of Glory! takes place either in heaven (v. 2) or in the temple of Jerusalem whose liturgy echoes the heavenly praises.
- Psalm 29:10 Enthroned above the flood: a reference to God’s control of the unruly primordial waters (see Gen 1:2, 6-10) or to his sending of the flood (see Gen 6:17), which was the first manifestation of the divine justice. Thus, the Lord will know how to make the cause of his people triumph (see Job 20:28; 22:16; Isa 24:18; 59:9ff).