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Psa 29:1


The time of David's first attempt to bring the Ark to Zion: 1Ch 13 (not 1Ch 15). Storm and whirlwind (and earthquake? v 8) suggest that the solemn procession expressing David's well-intentioned purpose was drastically interrupted by "natural" violence. The whirlwind was evidently violent enough to scare the oxen drawing the cart (v 6, where unicorn = ox-cherub: Psa 22:21; 80:1). Hence also Uzzah's concern for the Ark, and his sudden death by lightning (v 7). The psalm about David's second attempt looks back in awe and reverence to the happenings of that day of dread. Now the voice of the Lord in thunder and storm is replaced by repeated trumpet blasts (1Ch 15:28,29). Psa 18:7-15 is a very striking comparable passage.

In the LXX, Psa 29 has a brief enigmatic title which might mean: "At the exit of the Tabernacle", or "At the going forth of the Tabernacle".

The (seven-fold) voice of the Lord is His thunder in the storm (v 3; cp Joh 12:29,30; Exo 9:23,28; 20:18; Job 37:2-5; Isa 30:30; 58:1; Eze 1:24). (Cp also the "rushing mighty wind" on the Day of Pentecost: Act 2:2.) The seven thunders of Rev 10:3 are later described as each being an "angel with a great voice" (Rev 14:6,7,9). 

LITURGICAL USE: In the late temple era this psalm was used at the Feast of Trumpets, when seven priests blew trumpets at the entrance of the Sanctuary. This ceremony was repeated on the Day of Atonement itself. Vv 1 and 2 exhort the people to prepare themselves for the Day of Atonement which followed ten days later. Paul seemed to see the Feast of Trumpets (and the shortly following Day of Atonement) as typical of the resurrection and judgment of the Last Days: 1Co 15:52; 1Th 4:16. "The Lord will bless his people with peace" (v 11) is a clear allusion to the High Priestly blessing of the Day of Atonement (Num 6:22-27). "The strength of the Lord" (v 11) is an indirect allusion to the Shekinah Glory, manifest above the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies (v 1; Psa 80:1), from whence it shines forth in blessing on that Day.

Cp the 7-fold trumpet blast of Rev 8; 9 with Psa 29 (where "voice" occurs seven times). The introductory passage (Rev 8:1-6) has a marked sequence of allusions to the Day of Atonement ceremony:
1.        A half-hour silence while the high-priest is in the sanctuary.
2.        The burning of much incense: Lev 16:13. 3.        Coals of fire cast into the Land, and open signs of God's rejection of the prayers of Israel, instead of the manifestation the Shekinah Glory in the Most Holy.
Last Days fulfillment of the trumpet-visions are abundant (WRev 106,107). In the Apocalypse earthquake and storm are repeated accompaniments of the coming of the King of Glory. The double element of open judgment and gracious acceptance in David's bringing of the Ark to Zion will find expression in the Lord's coming. Psa 28:7,8 identifies "strength" (vv 1,11) with the glory of the Messiah, "his Anointed". "The beauty of holiness" (v 2) is another synonym for the Shekinah Glory (Psa 110:3; 1Ch 16:29; 2Ch 20:21). (Another possibility is reference to special priestly garments for the Day of Atonement: "for glory and for beauty": Exo 28:3.) "The flood" (v 10) is the same word as in Gen 7:7. Also see Luk 17:26,27: "As it was in the days of Noah." The lesson of the Flood is that God rules, and that no matter what circumstances may arise, He rules for ever -- manifesting Himself in judgment upon the wicked.

Since there is good reason to associate all of Psa 22:1 through Psa 31:5 with Christ while on the cross (cp Psa 22:1 with Mat 27:46, and Psa 31:5 with Luk 23:46), then the violent storm of Psa 29 should also be connected with the darkness and earthquake of the crucifixion scene (cp again Psa 18:7-15 and notes there).

O MIGHTY ONES: Heb "ye sons of Elim". The same phrase, in Psa 89:5-7, clearly describes immortal angels. Job 38:7 has a similar, though not identical, term. Also, see Psa 103:20.
Psa 29:2
THE SPLENDOR OF HIS HOLINESS: AV mg has "his glorious sanctuary". RSV has "in holy array". And NEB, like NIV, "the splendor of holiness". Is the glory described here (a) God's glory, (b) the glory of His house, or (c) the glory of His people? In fact, it is all three! The immortalized sons of God will be the sanctuary: Psa 110:3; cp Isa 26:19. Other Scriptures speak of the beauty and glory of God's sanctuary, also with an eye toward the future spiritual reality (Psa 96:9; Isa 60:7; Hag 2:7,9).

If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free online Bible study course on our website, This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort. You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.

I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless!