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Psalm 93

STROPHE DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
The Majesty of the Lord
No MT Intro
The Eternal Reign of the Lord Hymn Extolling God as King God the King The Majesty of God
93:1-2 93:1-2 93:1-2 93:1-2 93:1
        93:2
93:3-5 93:3-4 93:3-4 93:3-4 93:3
        93:4
  93:5 93:5 93:5 93:5

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Guide to Good Bible Reading")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Etc.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 93:1-2
 1The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
 The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength;
 Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
 2Your throne is established from of old;
 You are from everlasting.

93:1-2 This strophe describes YHWH as the reigning King of creation (cf. Ps. 47:2; 96:10; 97:1; 99:1). The first four verbs of Ps. 93:1 are perfects.

1. reigns - BDB 573, KB 590, Qal perfect, cf. Ps. 96:10

2. clothed - BDB 527, KB 519, Qal perfect (twice)

3. girded Himself - BDB 25, KB 25, Hithpael perfect, note He girded Himself, which denotes the sovereignty of YHWH

It seems surprising that the next two verbs of Ps. 93:1, which speak of His world being firmly established (cf. 93:2, a Niphal; Ps. 96:10) and that it will not be moved, are both imperfects, which denote an ongoing action (cf. 1 Chr. 16:30). In this context the perfects may denote past time and the imperfects current/future time, but limited to this age.

93:1 Notice that these perfect verbs speak of YHWH's kingly dress. His dress is a metaphorical way of asserting His character and power.

1. clothed with majesty (BDB 145)

2. clothed with strength (BDB 738)

Psalm 104:1 asserts He is clothed with "splendor" (BDB 217) and "majesty" (BDB 214). Psalm 6:5-6 asserts He is girded with "might" (BDB 150).

93:2 The eternal reign of the eternal YHWH (cf. Ps. 93:5c; 45:6; 90:2) is secure (cf. Ps. 10:16; 29:10; 46:10; 52:7)! Circumstances may seem to be supreme but they are only temporary. Our God reigns (cf. Dan. 2:44; 7:14,27; Luke 1:33; Rev. 11:15,17; 19:6)!

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 93:3-5
 3The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
 The floods have lifted up their voice,
 The floods lift up their pounding waves.
 4More than the sounds of many waters,
 Than the mighty breakers of the sea,
 The Lord on high is mighty.
 5Your testimonies are fully confirmed;
 Holiness befits Your house,
 O Lord, forevermore.

93:3-4 The NASB divides this Psalm into two strophes, 93:1-2 and 93:3-5, but all the other English translations I use to compare strophe divisions (NKJV, NRSV, TEV, NJB), have Ps. 93:5 as a separate concluding statement.

Psalm 93:3-4 speaks of YHWH's creation and control of watery chaos (cf. Ps. 74:12-17; 89:9-10; Isa. 51:9). As Ps. 93:1 had a contrast between perfects and imperfects denoting past and current/future acts of this age (cf. Zech. 14:9), so too, Ps. 93:3. There is no verb in 93:4, but it also reflects YHWH as the eternal, victorious King of the universe!

93:3 The verb (BDB 669, KB 724) is used three times, once in each line of poetry. This verse may reflect a poetic line used of Ba'al found in the Ras Shamra texts (i.e., Ugaritic). The Hebrew language often took the religious imagery of their neighbors/captors and applied it to YHWH, the only true God!

93:4 "mightier" The adjective (BDB 12) is used to describe the raging of the waves (i.e., enemies of God at creation and through time, such as Egypt, Babylon) but YHWH is higher, greater, more powerful than all the enemies (initial, temporal, and eschatological)!

93:5 "testimonies" This term (BDB 730 III) reflects YHWH's revelation. See SPECIAL TOPIC: TERMS FOR GOD'S REVELATION. YHWH

1. has established Himself as King forever

2. is victorious over watery chaos

3. has fully revealed Himself (see Special Topic: Characteristics of Israel's God) and His purposes (see Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan)

▣ "Holiness befits Your house" For "holiness" see SPECIAL TOPIC: GLORY (DOXA). The AB, vol. 17, by Mitchell Dahood (also see NIDOTTE, vol. 3, #2, p. 2) takes "holy" as a title for the angels of the heavenly council (cf. Ps. 29:1), thus making the line read

"In your temple the holy ones will laud you" (pp. 339, 343).

The verb "befits" can be analyzed in two ways.

1. a verb - BDB 610, KB 659, Pilel perfect (OT Parsing Guide by Beall, Banks and Smith, p. 449)

2. an adverb - BDB 610 (Analytical Key to the OT, by Owens, p. 425)

"House" refers to the Tabernacle of the wilderness and later the temple in Jerusalem.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. Does this Psalm refer to initial creation or the exodus?

2. How is the Psalm related to the ANE themes of

a. watery chaos

b. God as Divine Warrior

3. To what does "testimonies" refer?