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John Gill’s Commentary of the Whole Bible: Psalm 93

Psalms 93:1


This psalm is by some ascribed to Moses, by others to David, which latter is more probable; with which agree the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions; all which, excepting the Syriac and Arabic versions, say it is a psalm that was made to be sung the day before the sabbath; and it was a custom with the Jews {a} to sing it on the sixth day of the week; which it is likely the authors of the Septuagint version were acquainted with, and therefore inserted it in the title of the psalm, though it is not in the Hebrew text. The subject of the psalm is the kingdom of God; not of nature and providence, but of grace; the kingdom of the Messiah; of the certainty, firmness, and eternity of it, notwithstanding the opposition of mighty enemies; being established by the sure promises of God, which his faithfulness and holiness were engaged to make good. Kimchi says, that all these psalms, this and the following to Psalm 101, are concerning the Messiah; and so say Kabvenaki and Ben Melech.

Ver. 1. The Lord reigneth,… The King Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true Jehovah. God over all, the Lord God omnipotent: he has reigned, he was set up as King from everlasting; he reigned throughout the whole Old Testament dispensation; he was promised, and prophesied of, as a King; he came as such, in human nature, into the world, though his kingdom was not with observation; when he ascended to heaven, he was made or declared Lord and Christ, and was crowned with glory and honour; he now reigns in the hearts of his people, by his Spirit and grace; and, ere long, he will take to himself his great power, and reign more manifestly; when the kingdoms of this world shall become his, and he shall be King over all the earth; and this his government will be still more apparent when he shall come in person, and reign with his saints on earth a thousand years; and, after that, for ever and ever, in heaven:

he is clothed with majesty; with all the regalia and ensigns of royalty; seated on a throne of glory, with a crown of pure gold on his head, a sceptre of righteousness in his hand, and arrayed with robes of honour and majesty; so that his appearance at his kingdom will be very splendid, Ps 104:1,

the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself; as he was, when he came here on earth, travelling in the greatness of his strength, and mighty to save; bearing the sins of his people, conflicting with and spoiling principalities and powers, and obtaining eternal redemption; and which also appeared in carrying the Gospel into the Gentile world, and succeeding it, against all the opposition made unto it; and making his way into the hearts of sinners at conversion, binding the strong man armed, and dispossessing him, and taking his place; in strengthening them with strength in the inward man, against him and all enemies; and keeping them by his power, through faith, unto salvation: and which will be further manifest in the destruction of antichrist, and in the ruin of all the antichristian states, which will make way for his spiritual reign; and especially this will be seen, at his personal coming, by raising the dead in Christ, causing the heavens and earth to pass away, and making new ones; and binding Satan for a thousand years, that he may give no disturbance to his subjects during that time:

the world also is established, that it cannot be moved; the world to come, of which Christ is the Father; that which is not put into subjection to angels, Isa 9:6, the Gospel dispensation, the church state in it; which, though it has been unsettled, the church has been tossed about with tempests, and has been moved from place to place, and obliged to fly into the wilderness; yet, in the latter day, it will be established on the top of the mountains: this is one of the glorious things that are spoken of it, and for the accomplishment of which we should earnestly pray, and give the Lord no rest until it is; after which it shall never be moved again; it shall be a tabernacle that shall never be taken down; there will be no enemies to attack it; all will be vanquished and destroyed; the beast, the false prophet, and the old serpent the devil, Ps 87:3.

{a} T. Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 31. 1. & Tamid, fol. 33. 2.

Psalms 93:2

Ver. 2. Thy throne is established of old,… Or “prepared from eternity” {b}; Christ was set up and anointed as King from everlasting; he had a kingdom appointed and prepared for him so early; and his throne, which is prepared in the heavens, is an established one; it is for ever and ever; his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; of his government, and the increase of it, there is no end:

thou art from everlasting; as a divine Person, as God, and the Son of God; or he could not have been anointed unto or invested with the kingly office so early; nor have had a glory with his Father before the world began: his eternal existence, as God, accounts for the establishment of his throne of old, without which it could not be.

{b} Nwkn wam “paratum”, Pagninus, Montanus; “a principio”, Targum; “ab antiquo”, Syr. “ab aeterno”, Gejerus; so Ainsworth.

Psalms 93:3

Ver. 3. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice,… The Targum adds,

“in a song,”

taking the words in a good sense; and so some of the ancients, as Jerome particularly, understood them of the apostles and their ministrations; who lifted up their voice like a trumpet, which went into all the world, and unto the ends of the earth; and who came with the fulness of the gifts and graces of the Spirit; and were attended with a force and power which bore down all before them: but rather by “the floods” are meant the enemies of Christ, his kingdom, and interest; and by their “lifting up their voice”, the opposition made by them thereunto; see Isa 8:7, this was fulfilled in the Jews and Gentiles, who raged, like foaming waves of the sea, against Christ, and lifted up their voices to have him crucified; in the Roman emperors, and in the ten persecutions under them; in those floods of errors and heresies, which the dragon has cast out of his mouth to devour the church of Christ, against which the Spirit of the Lord has lifted up a standard in all ages; in the antichristian kingdoms, compared to many waters, on which the whore of Rome is said to sit, Re 17:1 and especially in antichrist himself, who has opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, his tabernacle, and they that dwell therein; and will be further fulfilled in the last persecution and slaying of the witnesses, and in the Gog and Magog army, which shall encompass the beloved city and camp of the saints. Kimchi interprets it of Gog and Magog, and of the kings that shall be gathered together to fight against Jerusalem:

the floods lift up their waves; with great strength, making a great noise, and threatening with ruin and destruction, as before.

Psalms 93:4

Ver. 4. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters,… Christ is the most High; he is God over all, higher than the highest; he is, as King, higher than the kings of the earth; he is in the highest heavens, and higher than they; he is highly exalted, as Mediator, at the right hand of God: he is the mighty God, and mighty Saviour; yea, he is Almighty, and therefore mightier than all his enemies, and the noise they make, and the force they use; he is stronger than the strong man armed; than Satan, and all his principalities and powers; than all the persecuting princes and potentates of this world; than antichrist, and all the antichristian states: yea, than “the mighty waves of the sea”; the same are intended as before {c}.

{c} Vide Homer. Iliad. 21. v. 190, ]91. where the same is said of Jove, almost in the same words, and repeated as here.

Psalms 93:5

Ver. 5. Thy testimonies are very sure,… Meaning not the works of God, of nature, and providence, which testify of his power and Godhead, and other perfections of it; rather the word of God, the Scriptures of truth, the law and Gospel; the one being a testimony of his will to be done by men, the other a testimony of his good will to men; which are sure and true, and to be believed; though it seems best of all to understand them of the promises of God, which testify what he will do, or shall be done hereafter, and which are all yea and amen in Christ; and especially those that respect his kingdom and interest, the glory, stability, and eternity of it, things which are the principal subjects of this psalm; all which promises are sure and certain, true and faithful, firm, and to be believed; see Ge 19:9,

holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever; or “unto length of days” {d}: holiness is a dress or clothing; though it is not the robe of a justifying righteousness, yet it is an inner garment, which makes the saints all glorious within; it is a very beautiful and becoming dress; it is called “the beauty of holiness”, and it is always becoming; it becomes the church and people of God, all that are of the household of God, both now and for evermore; it will never be out of use; it will be more and more in use, both in the spiritual reign of Christ, and in the New Jerusalem church state, and in heaven to all eternity; see Zec 14:20.

{d} Mymy Kral “in longitudinem dierum”, Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.