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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 29


1 A psalm of David. 2 Give to the LORD, you heavenly beings, give to the LORD glory and might;


Give to the LORD the glory due God's name. Bow down before the LORD'S holy splendor!


3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over the mighty waters.


The voice of the LORD is power; the voice of the LORD is splendor.


The voice of the LORD cracks the cedars; the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon,


4 Makes Lebanon leap like a calf, and Sirion like a young bull.


The voice of the LORD strikes with fiery flame;


5 the voice of the LORD rocks the desert; the LORD rocks the desert of Kadesh.


6 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. All in his palace say, "Glory!"


7 The LORD sits enthroned above the flood! The LORD reigns as king forever!


8 May the LORD give might to his people; may the LORD bless his people with peace!



1 [Psalm 29] The hymn invites the members of the heavenly court to acknowledge God's supremacy by ascribing glory and might to God alone ( Psalm 29:1-2a, 9b). Divine glory and might are dramatically visible in the storm ( Psalm 29:3-9a). The storm apparently comes from the Mediterranean onto the coast of Syria-Palestine and then moves inland. In Psalm 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.

2 [1] You heavenly beings: literally "sons of God," i.e., members of the heavenly court who served Israel's God in a variety of capacities.

3 [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.

4 [6] Sirion: the Phoenician name for Mount Hermon. Cf Deut 3:9.

5 [8] The desert of Kadesh: probably north of Palestine in the neighborhood of Lebanon and Hermon.

6 [9b-10] Having witnessed God's supreme power ( Psalm 29:3-9a), the gods acknowledge the glory that befits the king of the divine and human world.

7 [10] The flood: God defeated the primordial waters and made them part of the universe. Cf Psalm 89:10-13; 93:3-4.

8 [11] His people: God's people, Israel.

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