Psalms 29PSALM 29 OVERVIEW Title. A Psalm of David. The title affords us no information beyond the fact that David is the author of this sublime song. Subject. It seems to be the general opinion of modern annotators, that this Psalm is meant to express the glory of God as heard in the pealing thunder, and seen in the equinoctial tornado. Just as the eighth Psalm is to be read by moonlight, when the stars are bright, as the nineteenth needs the rays of the rising sun to bring out its beauty, so this can be best rehearsed beneath the black wing of tempest, by the glare of the lightning, or amid that dubious dusk which heralds the war of elements. The verses march to the tune of thunderbolts. God is everywhere conspicuous, and all the earth is hushed by the majesty of his presence. The word of God in the law and gospel is here also depicted in its majesty of power. True ministers are sons of thunder, and the voice of God in Christ Jesus is full of majesty. Thus we have God's works and God's word joined together: let no man put them asunder by a false idea that theology and science can by any possibility oppose each other. We may, perhaps, by a prophetic glance, behold in this Psalm the dread tempests of the latter days, and the security of the elect people. Division. The first two verses are a call to adoration. From Psalms 29:3-10 the path of the tempest is traced, the attributes of God's word are rehearsed, and God magnified in all the terrible grandeur of his power; and the last verse sweetly closes the scene with the assurance that the omnipotent Jehovah will give both strength and peace to his people. Let heaven and earth pass away, the Lord will surely bless his people. EXPOSITION Verse 1. Give, i.e., ascribe. Neither men nor angels can confer anything upon Jehovah, but they should recognise his glory and might, and ascribe it to him in their songs and in their hearts. Unto the Lord, and unto him alone, must honour be given. Natural causes, as men call them, are God in action, and we must not ascribe power to them, but to the infinite Invisible who is the true source of all. O ye mighty. Ye great ones of earth and of heaven, kings and angels, join in rendering worship to the blessed and only Potentate; ye lords among men need thus to be reminded, for ye often fail where humbler men are ardent; but fail no longer, bow your heads at once, and loyally do homage to the King of kings. How frequently do grandees and potentates think it beneath them to fear the Lord; but, when they have been led to extol Jehovah, their piety has been the greatest jewel in their crowns. Give unto the Lord glory and strength, both of which men are too apt to claim for themselves, although they are the exclusive prerogatives of the self existent God. Let crowns and swords acknowledge their dependence upon God. Not to your arms, O kings, give ye the glory, nor look for strength to your hosts of warriors, for all your pomp is but as a fading flower, and your might is as a shadow which declineth. When shall the day arrive when kings and princes shall count it their delight to glorify their God? "All worship be to God only," let this be emblazoned on every coat of arms. EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Whole Psalm. In this Psalm, the strength of Jehovah is celebrated; and the exemplification of it is evidently taken from a thunderstorm in Lebanon. The Psalm seems to be addressed to the angels. See Psalms 89:7. It thus begins: -- "Render unto Jehovah, ye sons of the mighty, Render unto Jehovah glory and strength; Render to Jehovah the glory of his name; Bow down to Jehovah in the majesty of holiness!" Immediately follows the description of the thunderstorm, in which it does not seem fanciful to observe the historical progression which is usual on such occasions. The first lines seem to describe only the noise of the thunder, the description growing more intense as the rumbling draws nearer. "The voice of Jehovah is above the waters; The God of glory thundereth, Jehovah is louder than many waters, The voice of Jehovah in strength, The voice of Jehovah in majesty!" But now the effects become visible; the storm has descended on the mountains and forests: -- "The voice of Jehovah shivers the cedars, Even shivers Jehovah the cedars of Lebanon; And makes them to skip, like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion, like a young buffalo, The voice of Jehovah forks the lightning's flash!" From the mountains the storm sweeps down into the plains, where, however, it effects are not so fearful as on the mountains -- "The voice of Jehovah causeth the desert to tremble -- The voice of Jehovah causeth to tremble the desert of Kadesh -- The voice of Jehovah causeth the oaks to tremble, And lays bare the forests! Therefore, in his temple every one speaks of his glory." The description of the swollen torrents closes the scene -- "Jehovah upon the rain torrent sitteth. Yea, sitteth Jehovah a king for ever." And the moral of application of the whole is -- "Jehovah to his people will give strength, Jehovah will bless his people with peace." Robert Murray Macheyne, 1813-1843. Whole Psalm. There is no phenomenon in nature so awful as a thunderstorm, and almost every poet from Homer and Virgil down to Dante and Milton, or rather down to Grahame and Pollok, has described it. In the Bible, too, we have a thunderstorm, the twenty-ninth Psalm -- the description of a tempest, which, rising from the Mediterranean, and travelling by Lebanon and along the inland mountains, reaches Jerusalem, and sends the people into the temple porticoes for refuge; and; besides those touches of terror in which the geographical progress of the tornado is described, it derives a sacred vitality and power from the presence of Jehovah in each successive peal. James Hamilton, D.D., in "The Literary Attractions of the Bible," 1849. Whole Psalm. A glorious Psalm of praise sung during a tempest, the majesty of which shakes universal nature, so much so that the greatness of the power of the Lord is felt by all in heaven and on earth. This Lord is the God of his people, who blesses them with strength and peace. To rightly appreciate the feelings of the bard, one ought to realise an Oriental storm, especially in the mountainous regions of Palestine, which, accompanied by the terrific echoes of the encircling mountains, by torrents of rain like waterspouts, often scatters terror on man and beast, destruction on cities and fields. Wilson, the traveller, describes such a tempest in the neighbourhood of Baalbek: "I was overtaken by a storm, as if the floodgates of heaven had burst; it came on in a moment, and raged with a power which suggested the end of the world. Solemn darkness covered the earth: the rain descended in torrents, and sweeping down the mountain side, became by the fearful power of the storm transmuted into thick clouds of fog." Compare also our Lord's parable, taken from life, in Matthew 7:27. Augustus F. Tholuck, in loc. Verse 1. Give unto the Lord. Give, give, give. This showeth how unwilling such are usually to give God his right, or to suffer a word of exhortation to this purpose. John Trapp. Verse 1. O ye mighty. The Septuagint renders it, O ye sons of rams! These bell wethers should not cast their noses into the air, and carry their crest the higher, because the shepherd hath bestowed a bell upon them, more than upon the rest of the flock. John Trapp. Verse 1-2. There are three gives in these two verses: -- Give unto the Lord, give unto the Lord, give unto the Lord the glory that is due unto his name. Glory is God's right, and he stands upon his right; and this the sincere Christian knows, and therefore he gives him his right, he gives him the honour and the glory that is due unto his name. But pray do not mistake me. I do not say that such as are really sincere do actually eye the glory of Christ in all their actions. Oh, no! This is a happiness desirable on earth, but shall never be attained till we come to heaven. Bye and base ends and aims will be still ready to creep into the best hearts, but all sincere hearts sigh and groan under them. They complain to God of them, and they cry out for justice, justice upon them; and it is the earnest desire and daily endeavours of their souls to be rid of them; and therefore they shall not be imputed to them, nor keep good things from them. But now take a sincere Christian in his ordinary, usual, and habitual course, and you shall find that his aims and ends in all his actions and undertakings are to glorify God, to exalt God, and to lift up God in the world. If the hypocrite did in good earnest aim at the glory of God in what he does, then the glory of God would swallow up his bye aims and carnal ends, as Aaron's rod swallowed up the magician's rods. Exodus 7:10-12. Look, as the sun puts out the light of the fire, so the glory of God, where it is aimed at, will put out and consume all bye and base ends. This is most certain, that which is a man's great end, that will work out all other ends. He that sets up the glory of God as his chief end, will find that his chief end will by degrees eat out all low and base ends. Look, as Pharaoh's lean kine ate up the fat Ge 31:4, so the glory of God will eat up all those fat and worldly ends that crowd in upon the soul in religious work. Where the glory of God is kept up as a man's greatest end, there all bye and base ends will be kept at an under. Thomas Brooks. HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS Verse 1. The duty of ascribing our strength and the honour of it to God; the penalty of neglecting to do so; the pleasure of so doing. Verse 1. National glorying should be in the Lord. EXPOSITION Verse 2. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name. A third time the admonition is given, for men are backward in glorifying God, and especially great men, who are often too much swollen with their own glory to spare time to give God his rightful praise, although nothing more is asked of them than is most just and right. Surely men should not need so much pressing to give what is due, especially when the payment is so pleasant. Unbelief and distrust, complaining and murmuring, rob God of his honour; in this respect, even the saints fail to give due glory to their King. Worship the Lord, bow before him with devout homage and sacred awe, and let your worship be such as he appoints. Of old, worship was cumbered with ceremonial, and men gathered around one dedicated building, whose solemn pomp was emblematic of the beauty of holiness; but now our worship is spiritual, and the architecture of the house and the garments of the worshippers are matters of no importance; the spiritual beauty of inward purity and outward holiness being far more precious in the eyes of our thrice holy God. O for grace ever to worship with holy motives and in a holy manner, as becometh saints! The call to worship in these two verses chimes in with the loud pealing thunder, which is the church bell of the universe ringing kings and angels, and all the sons of earth to their devotions. EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Verse 1-2. See Psalms on "Psalms 29:1" for further information. Verse 2. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name. Which yet you cannot do, for his name is above all praise! Psalms 148:13; but you must aim at it. The Rabbins observe that God's holy name is mentioned eighteen several times in this Psalm; that great men especially may give him the honour of his name, that they may stand in awe and not sin, that they may bring presents to him who ought to be feared, and those also the very best of the best, since he is a great king, and standeth much upon his seniority. Malachi 1:14. John Trapp. Verse 2. Worship the Lord. If any should ask, Why is the Lord to be worshipped? Why must he have such high honours from those that are high? What doth he in the world that calls for such adoration? David answereth meteorologically as well as theologically, he answers from the clouds Psalms 29:3-4, "The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty;" as if he had said, Although the Lord Jesus Christ will not set up an outward, pompous, political kingdom, such as that of Cyrus, Alexander, etc., yet by the ministry of the gospel he will erect a spiritual kingdom, and gather to himself a church that shall abide for ever, out of all the nations of the earth; for the gospel shall be carried and preached, to not only the people of Israel, the Jews, but to the Gentiles, all the world over, that the minds of men may be enlightened, awakened, and moved with that unheard of doctrine of salvation by Christ, which had been hid from ages and generations. Joseph Caryl. HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS Verse 2. (first clause). Royal dues, the royal treasury, loyal subjects paying their dues, the king receiving them. Smugglers and preventive men. Verse 2. (second clause). Inspired ritualism. What to do? Worship. Whom? The Lord. How? In the beauty of holiness. Absence of all allusions to place, time, order, words, form, vestments, etc. EXPOSITION Verse 3. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. The thunder is not only poetically but instructively called "the voice of God," since it peals from on high; it surpasses all other sounds, it inspires awe, it is entirely independent of man, and has been used on some occasions as the grand accompaniment of God's speech to Adam's sons. There is a peculiar terror in a tempest at sea, when deep calleth unto deep, and the raging sea echoes to the angry sky. No sight more alarming than the flash of lightning around the mast of the ship; and no sound more calculated to inspire reverent awe than the roar of the storm. The children of heaven have often enjoyed the tumult with humble joy peculiar to the saints, and even those who know not God have been forced into unwilling reverence while the storm has lasted. The glory of God thundereth. Thunder is in truth no mere electric phenomenon, but is caused by the interposition of God himself. Even the old heathen spake of Jupiter Tonans; but our modern wise men will have us believe in laws and forces, and anything or nothing so they may be rid of God. Electricity of itself can do nothing, it must be called and sent upon its errand; and until the almighty Lord commissions it, its bolt of fire is inert and powerless. As well might a rock of granite, or a bar of iron fly in the midst of heaven, as the lightning go without being sent by the great First Cause. The Lord is upon many waters. Still the Psalmist's ear hears no voice but that of Jehovah, resounding from the multitudinous and dark waters of the upper ocean of clouds, and echoing from the innumerable billows of the storm tossed sea below. The waters above and beneath the firmament are astonished at the eternal voice. When the Holy Spirit makes the divine promise to be heard above the many waters of our soul's trouble, then is God as glorious in the spiritual world as in the universe of matter. Above us and beneath us all is the peace of God when he gives us quiet. EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Verse 3. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. Yes, great God, these torrents of tears which flow down from my eyes announce thy divine presence in my soul. This heart hitherto so dry, so arid, so hard; this rock which thou hast struck a second time, will not resist thee any longer, for out of it there now gushes healthful waters in abundance. The selfsame voice of God which overturns the mountains, thunders, lightens, and divides the heaven above the sinner, now commands the clouds to pour forth showers of blessings, changing the desert of his soul into a field producing a hundredfold; that voice I hear. J. B. Massillon. Verse 3-10. The Lord, etc. All things which we commonly say are the effects of the natural powers of matter and laws of motion, are, indeed (if we will speak strictly and properly), the effects of God's acting upon matter continually and at every moment, either immediately by himself, or mediately by some created intelligent being. Consequently there is no such thing as the cause of nature, or the power of nature. Samuel Clarke, 1675-1729. "The friend and disciple of Newton." Verse 3-10. The voice of the Lord on the ocean is known, The God of eternity thundereth abroad; The voice of the Lord from the depth of his throne Is terror and power; -- all nature is awed. The voice of the Lord through the calm of the wood Awakens its echoes, strikes light through its caves; The Lord sitteth King on the turbulent flood, The winds are his servants, his servants the waves. James Montgomery, 1771-1854. Verse 3-11 -- Messiah's voice is in the cloud, The God of glory thunders loud. Messiah rides along the floods, He treads upon the flying clouds. Messiah's voice is full of power, His lightnings play when tempests lower. Messiah's voice the cedars breaks, While Lebanon's foundation quakes. Messiah's voice removes the hills, And all the plains with rivers fills. The voice of their expiring God, Shall make the rocks to start abroad; Mount Zion and Mount Sirion, Shall bound along with Lebanon: The flames of fire shall round him wreathe, When he shall on the ether breathe. Messiah's voice shall shake the earth, And, lo! the graves shall groan in birth, Ten thousand thousand living sons Shall be the issue of their groans. The peace of God the gospel sounds; The peace of God, the earth rebounds, The gospel everlasting shines A light from God that never declines. This is the light Jehovah sends, To bless the world's remotest ends. Barclay's Paraphrase. HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS Verse 3. God's voice heard in trouble and above trouble, or in great personal and national calamities. EXPOSITION Verse 4. The voice of the Lord is powerful. An irresistible power attends the lightning of which the thunder is the report. In an instant, when the Lord wills it, the force of electricity produces amazing results. A writer upon this subject, speaks of these results as including a light of the intensity of the sun in his strength, a heat capable of fusing the most compact metals, a force in a moment paralysing the muscles of the most powerful animals; a power suspending the all pervading gravity of the earth, and an energy capable of decomposing and recomposing the closest affinities of the most intimate combinations. Well does Thompson speak of "the unconquerable lightning," for it is the chief of the ways of God in physical forces, and none can measure its power. As the voice of God in nature is so powerful, so is it in grace; the reader will do well to draw a parallel, and he will find much in the gospel which may be illustrated by the thunder of the Lord in the tempest. His voice, whether in nature or revelation, shakes both earth and heaven; see that ye refuse not him that speaketh. If his voice be thus mighty, what must his hand be! beware lest ye provoke a blow. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The King of kings speaks like a king. As when a lion roareth, all the beasts of the forest are still, so is the earth hushed and mute while Jehovah thundereth marvellously. "It is listening fear and dumb amazement all." As for the written word of God, its majesty is apparent both in its style, its matter, and its power over the human mind; blessed be God, it is the majesty of mercy wielding a silver sceptre; of such majesty the word of our salvation is full to overflowing. EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Verse 3-10. The Lord, etc. See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 3-10. See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 3-11: -- See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 4. The voice of the Lord. These vehement repetitions resemble a series of thunderclaps; one seems to hear the dread artillery of heaven firing volley after volley, while peal on peal the echo follows the sound. C. H. S. Verse 4. The voice of the Lord is powerful. I would render unto God the glory due unto his name, for the admirable change which he has wrought in my heart. There was nothing to be found in me but an impious hardness and inveterate disorder. From this helpless state he changed me into a new man and made resplendent the glory of his name and the power of his grace. He alone can work such prodigies. Unbelievers who refuse to acknowledge the hand of God in creation must surely in this case admit that "this is the finger of God." Yes, great God, chaos knows not how to resist thee, it hears thy voice obediently, but the obdurate heart repels thee, and thy mighty voice too often calls to it in vain. Thou art not so great and wonderful in creating worlds out of nothing as thou art when thou dost command a rebel heart to arise from its abyss of sin, and to run in the ways of thy commandments. To disperse a chaos of crime and ignorance by the majesty of thy word, to shed light on the direst darkness, and by the Holy Ghost to establish harmonious order where all was confusion, manifests in far greater measure thine omnipotence than the calling forth of heavenly laws and celestial suns from the first chaos. J. B. Massillon. Verse 4. O may the evangelical "Boanerges" so cause the glorious sound of the gospel to be heard under the whole heaven, that the world may again be made sensible thereof; before that voice of the Son of Man, which hath so often called sinners to repentance, shall call them to judgment. George Horne. Verse 4. Where the word of a king is, there is power, but what imperial voice shall be likened unto the majestic thunder of the Lord? C. H. S. HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS Verse 4. Power and majesty of the gospel. Illustrate by succeeding verses. Verse 4. (last clause). "The majestic voice." See Spurgeon's Sermons, No. 87. EXPOSITION Verse 5. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars. "Black from the stroke above, the smouldering pine Stands a sad shattered trunk." Noble trees fall prostrate beneath the mysterious bolt, or stand in desolation as mementoes of its power. Lebanon itself is not secure, high as it stands, and ancient as are its venerable woods: Yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. The greatest and most venerable of trees or men, may not reckon upon immunity when the Lord is abroad in his wrath. The gospel of Jesus has a like dominion over the most inaccessible of mortals; and when the Lord sends the word, it breaks hearts far stouter than the cedars. EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Verse 3-10. The Lord, etc. See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 3-10. See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 3-11: -- See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 5. The voice of Jehovah. Philosophers think not that they have reasoned skilfully enough about inferior causes, unless they separate God very far from his works. It is a diabolical science, however, which fixes our contemplations on the works of nature, and turns them away from God. If any one who wished to know a man, should take no notice of his face, but should fix his eyes only on the points of his nails, his folly might justly be derided. But far greater is the folly of those philosophers, who, out of mediate and proximate causes, weave themselves vails lest they should be compelled to acknowledge the hand of God, which manifestly displays itself in his works. John Calvin. Verse 5. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars, etc. Like as tempests when they arise, and lightnings, quickly and in a trice, hurl down and overturn mountains and the highest trees; even so doth the Lord bring down with a break neck fall, the proud, haughty, arrogant, and insolent, who set themselves against God, and seek the spoil of those that be quiet and godly. Robert Cawdray. Verse 5. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars. The ancient expositors remind us that the breaking of the cedar trees by the wind, is a figure of the laying low of the lofty and proud things of this world, by the rushing mighty wind of the Holy Spirit, given on that day. Confringit cedros Deus, hoc est humiliat superbos. (S. Jerome, and so S. Basil.) Christopher Wordsworth. Verse 5. The Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. What a shame is it then that our hard hearts break not, yield not, though thunder struck with the dreadful menaces of God's mouth! John Trapp. Verse 5. "Breaketh the cedars of Lebanon:" -- When high in the air the pine ascends, To every ruder blast it bends. The palace falls with heavier weight, When tumbling from its airy height; And when from heaven the lightning flies, It blasts the hills that proudest rise. Horace, translated by Philip Francis, D.D., 1765. Verse 5. The cedars of Lebanon. These mighty trees of God, which for ages have stood the force of the tempest, rearing their evergreen colossal boughs in the region of everlasting snow, are the first objects of the fury of the lightning, which is well known to visit first the highest objects. Robert Murray Macheyne. HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS Verse 5. The breaking power of the gospel. EXPOSITION Verse 6. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. Not only the trees, but the mountains themselves move as though they frisked and leaped like young bulls or antelopes. As our own poets would mention hills and valleys known to them, so the Psalmist hears the crash and roar among the ranges of Libanus, and depicts the tumult in graphic terms. Thus sings one of our own countrymen: -- "Amid Carnavon's mountains rages loud The repercussive roar: with mighty crash Into the flashing deep, from the rude rocks Of Penmaen Mawr, heaped hideous to the sky, Tumble the smitten cliffs; and Snowdon's peak, Dissolving, instant yields his wintry load. Far seen, the heights of heathy Cheviot blaze, And Thule bellows through her utmost isles." The glorious gospel of the blessed God has more than equal power over the rocky obduracy and mountainous pride of man. The voice of our dying Lord rent the rocks and opened the graves: his living voice still works the like wonders. Glory be to his name, the hills of our sins leap into his grave, and are buried in the red sea of his blood, when the voice of his intercession is heard. EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Verse 3-10. The Lord, etc. See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 3-10. See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 3-11: -- See Psalms on "Psalms 29:3" for further information. Verse 6. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn; that is, the Lord by his thundering, powerful voice, first, will make them skip, as frightened with fear; and secondly, as revived with joy. Yet more Psalms 29:7, "The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire;" that is, will send and divide to every one as they need 1 Corinthians 12:11, the Holy Spirit, who is compared to and called fire Matthew 3:11, and who came as with a thunderstorm of a rushing mighty wind, and with the appearance of cloven tongues, like as of fire, and sat upon each one of the apostles. Acts 2:2-3. Nor did this voice of thunder, accompanied with divided flames of fire reach Jerusalem only; for, as it follows Psalms 29:8, "The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh;" that is, the Lord by the voice of the gospel shall go forth with power to those Gentiles, who are like a wilderness, barren of goodness, and not fertilized in spirituals, though they dwell in well governed cities, and are well furnished with morals. It shall go forth also to those Gentiles who inhabit waste wildernesses, and are not so much as reduced to civility. These wildernesses, the thundering voice of the Lord hath shaken heretofore, and doth shake at this day, and will yet further shake, that the fulness of the Gentiles may come in. Many of these wildernesses hath the Lord turned into fruitful fields, and pleasant lands, by the voice of the gospel sounding among them. For in these wildernesses (as it followeth, Psalms 29:9), "The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve;" that is, they that were as wild, as untaught, and untamed as the hind, or any beast in the forest, he brings to the sorrows of their new birth, to repentance and gospel humiliation, and in doing this, "he (as the psalmist goes on), discovereth the forests;" that is, opens the hearts of men, which are as thick set and full grown with vanity, pride, hypocrisy, self love, and self sufficiency, as also with wantonness and sensuality, as any forest is overgrown with thickets of trees and bushes, which deny all passage through till cleared away with burning down or cutting up. Such an opening, such a discovery, doth the Lord make in the forests of men's hearts, by the sword and fire, that is, by the word and spirit of the gospel; and when this is done, the forest becomes a temple, and as that verse concludes, "In his temple doth every one speak of his glory." And if the floods of ungodliness rise up against the people, whom the thunder and lightning of the gospel have subdued to Christ, and framed into a holy temple, then the psalmist assures us Ps 29:10, "The Lord sitteth upon the flood," that is, it is under his power, he rules and overrules it; "Yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever;" and Psalms 29:11, "The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace." Thus the Lord "thundereth marvellously" Job 37:5, and these are glorious marvels which he thundereth; he converts sinners. Thus, though I like not their way who are given to allegorize the Scriptures, yet I doubt not but we may make a profitable use of this and many other Scriptures by way of allegory. This being an undeniable truth, which is the ground of it -- that the Lord puts forth, as it were, the power of thunder and lightning in the preaching of his Word; these two things are to be marked. Joseph Caryl. Verse 6. He maketh them also to skip like a calf. That is to say, he hath made the splinters and broken pieces of trees that have been struck with lightning, to fly up into the air, or when they have been shaken by the wind, storms, or by earthquakes. John Diodati. Verse 6. The original is -- "And makes them skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion, like a young buffalo." At first sight it might appear that the cedars were still meant, and that Lebanon and Sirion were used by metonymy for the cedars which grew upon them. But,
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