The Lord of Majesty Acclaimed as King of the World
1A psalm of David.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,*
give to the LORD glory and might;
2Give to the LORD the glory due his name.
Bow down before the LORD’s holy splendor!a
3The voice of the LORD* is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over the mighty waters.
4The voice of the LORD is power;
the voice of the LORD is splendor.b
5The voice of the LORD cracks the cedars;
the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon,
6Makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
and Sirion* like a young bull.
7The voice of the LORD strikes with fiery flame;
8the voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh.
9*The voice of the LORD makes the deer dance
and strips the forests bare.
All in his Temple say, “Glory!”
10The LORD sits enthroned above the flood!*c
The LORD reigns as king forever!
11May the LORD give might to his people;*
may the LORD bless his people with peace!d
* [Psalm 29] The hymn invites the members of the heavenly court to acknowledge God’s supremacy by ascribing glory and might to God alone (Ps 29:1–2a, 9b). Divine glory and might are dramatically visible in the storm (Ps 29:3–9a). The storm apparently comes from the Mediterranean onto the coast of Syria-Palestine and then moves inland. In Ps 29:10 the divine beings acclaim God’s eternal kingship. The Psalm concludes with a prayer that God will impart the power just displayed to the Israelite king and through the king to Israel.
* [29:1] Sons of God: members of the heavenly court who served Israel’s God in a variety of capacities.
* [29:3] The voice of the LORD: the sevenfold repetition of the phrase imitates the sound of crashing thunder and may allude to God’s primordial slaying of Leviathan, the seven-headed sea monster of Canaanite mythology.
* [29:6] Sirion: the Phoenician name for Mount Hermon, cf. Dt 3:9.
* [29:9b–10] Having witnessed God’s supreme power (Ps 29:3–9a), the gods acknowledge the glory that befits the king of the divine and human world.
* [29:10] The flood: God defeated the primordial waters and made them part of the universe, cf. Ps 89:10–13; 93:3–4.
* [29:11] His people: God’s people, Israel.
b. [29:4] Ps 46:7; 77:18–19; Jb 37:4; Is 30:30.