Psalm 96sn Psalm 96. The psalmist summons everyone to praise the Lord, the sovereign creator of the world who preserves and promotes justice in the earth.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song!sn A new song is appropriate because the Lord is constantly intervening in the world as its just king. See also Pss 33:3; 40:3; 98:1.
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord! Praise his name!
Announce every day how he delivers!tn Heb “announce from day to day his deliverance.”
3 Tell the nations about his splendor!
Telltn The verb “tell” is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line). all the nations about his amazing deeds!
4 For the Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise;
he is more awesome than all gods.tn Or perhaps “and feared by all gods.” See Ps 89:7.
5 For all the gods of the nations are worthless,tn The Hebrew term אֱלִילִים (’elilim, “worthless”) sounds like אֱלֹהִים (’elohim, “gods”). The sound play draws attention to the statement.
but the Lord made the sky.
6 Majestic splendor emanates from him;tn Heb “majesty and splendor [are] before him.”
his sanctuary is firmly established and beautiful.tn Heb “strength and beauty [are] in his sanctuary.”
7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the nations,
ascribe to the Lord splendor and strength!
8 Ascribe to the Lord the splendor he deserves!tn Heb “the splendor of [i.e., “due”] his name.”
Bring an offering and enter his courts!
9 Worship the Lord in holy attire!tn Or “in holy splendor.”
Tremble before him, all the earth!
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
The world is established, it cannot be moved.
He judges the nations fairly.”
11 Let the sky rejoice, and the earth be happy!
Let the sea and everything in it shout!
12 Let the fields and everything in them celebrate!
Then let the trees of the forest shout with joy
13 before the Lord, for he comes!
For he comes to judge the earth!
He judges the world fairly,tn The verbal forms in v. 13 probably describe God’s typical, characteristic behavior, though they may depict in dramatic fashion the outworking of divine judgment or anticipate a future judgment of worldwide proportions, in which case they could be translated “will judge the world.”
and the nations in accordance with his justice.tn Heb “and the nations with his integrity.”