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