Psalm xcv. (Cantate Domino.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. When the house was built, &c. Alluding to that time, and then ordered to be sung; but principally relating to the building of the Church of Christ, after our redemption from the captivity of satan. (Challoner) — Captivity. The greater canticle of David, (1 Paralipomenon xvi.) was probably divided, on that occasion, (Calmet) into three. This forms the second part, from ver. 23; as the psalm civ., to ver. 16., does the first. The three last verses of David’s canticle, (ver. 34.) occur [in] Psalm cv. 1, 47. But in reality, there are so many variations, that it seems most probable, (Haydock) that he revised that work, and left us the three psalms in their present form. This perhaps relates to the establishment of the Church, though it might be also sung at the return from Babylon. (Berthier) — Modern Jews understand it of their future re-union under the Messias. (Kimchi) (Calmet) — The rebuilding of the temple is foretold, as a figure of man’s redemption. (Worthington) — New canticle. As the blessed do, (Apocalypse v. 9., and xv. 4.) and those who receive the Messias, Isaias xlii. 10. (Berthier) — Love sings the new canticle. (St. Augustine) — Earth. And not Judea alone, ver. 7. (Berthier)
Ver. 2. Lord….his name. As ver. 7., and 8. The plural and singular denote the Trinity. (Worthington) — Shew forth. Septuagint, “evangelize,” bene nuntiate. (St. Augustine) — “Tell the glad tidings” of salvation incessantly. This preaching shall continue for ever. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Devils. Hebrew elilim, “diminutive gods, (Haydock) nothings, (Calmet) vain things.” (Montanus) (1 Paralipomenon) — We have idols, as Protestants read here. These were in fact, either devils, or vain imaginations of men. St. Paul says, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians viii. 4. They cannot claim self-existence, and if the true God were not to support those creatures, the sun, &c., which have been the objects of adoration, they would presently cease to be. (Haydock) — This most plausible species of idolatry is therefore refuted, since the Lord made the heavens. (Calmet) — The Creator alone can be considered as God; the devils prompt the people to adore other things. (Worthington) — It would appear but a small praise for the Lord to be feared above all gods, (Haydock) if they were “nothing.” Hence the Septuagint have used the word devils, to signify, that these potent, but maleficent beings, which the pagans adored, were infinitely beneath God, and worse than nothing. (Berthier)
Ver. 6. Before him. At his disposal; whereas the idols can bestow nothing. (Calmet) — Sanctuary, or “sanctification.” (Worthington) 1 Paralipomenon, in his place. (Haydock)
Ver. 7. Kindreds; patriæ, or families, as it is expressed, 1 Paralipomenon xvi. (Haydock)
Ver. 8. Sacrifices. Hebrew Mincha, “the oblation” of flour, &c., (Haydock) which denotes the blessed Eucharist, and the spiritual sacrifices of prayer, &c. (Menochius) — Victims shall cease, but the pure oblation shall continue among the Gentiles, Malachias i. 11. (Berthier) — Courts. This shews that their conversion is predicted, since they could not otherwise come thither. (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Moved. Hebrew, “in labour,” (Isaias xxvi. 17.; Theodoret; Calmet) or “fear ye before him all the earth.” (Houbigant) — In Paralipomenon, the sentences are in a different order. (Haydock)
Ver. 10. Reigned. St. Bernard says, “the kingdom of Jesus is in the wood.” (Du Hamel) — St. Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho) accuses the Jews of retrenching apo tou xulou, “from the wood,” which all the Latin Fathers, except St. Jerome, acknowledge in their copies. That ancient author, being born among the Samaritans, could hardly be so ignorant of the Hebrew text, and his antagonist does not attempt to refute the charge; so that it seems probable, that they were in the original, (Berthier) and since erased by the Jews, from the Septuagint, who added them, (Worthington) by the spirit of prophecy. (Tournemine) — But how came Christians to permit this to be done in their Hebrew, Greek, and Latin copies? The words in question may have been, therefore, a marginal gloss, which had crept into the text. (Faber, Justiniani, &c.) — They do not occur in the parallel passage, (1 Paralipomenon) nor in the Vulgate, though they be retained in the Roman breviary. (Calmet) — Lindan objects this perfidy of the Jews to the Reformers, not reflecting, that he thus condemns the Vulgate. Genebrard is of opinion, that “the Septuagint were inspired to add these words, which some half-learned critics have thought proper to expunge with an impiety which is now but too common.” The Popes have not, however, thought that the cross stood in need of this support. (Amama) — The Chaldean and Syriac, as well as all the copies of the Septuagint extant, and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions taken from it, and all the Greek interpreters and Fathers, (except St. Justin) with St. Jerome, both in his versions from the Hebrew and Septuagint, omit these words, which are found in the Roman, Gothic, and other psalters. Origen’s Hexapla seem to have most enabled the Greeks to discern the interpolation, which the Latins retained longer, not having such easy access to that work. Whatever may be the decision on this important matter, it is certain that the reign of Christ was propagated from the wood, in a wonderful manner, as he there began to draw all to himself, and the prophet seems evidently to allude to the times when Christ proclaimed, the kingdom of God is at hand, and when the conversion of the Gentiles, and the institution of the blessed Eucharist (ver. 8.) would fill all the world with rapture. (Haydock) — The positive testimony of St. Justin, and the Italic version used by the Latin Fathers, (Berthier) Tertullian, St. Augustine, &c., (Worthington) seems of more weight to prove the authenticity of the words, than the simple omission in the copies of Origen, and St. Jerome, &c., to evince the contrary. (Berthier) — Corrected. Evil morals and idolatry, (Menochius) rather than the physical order of the globe, Psalm xcii. 1. (Berthier) — Hebrew, “he hath balanced,” (Houbigant) or established. (Haydock) — The Christian faith shall not be abolished, (Menochius) or corrected. (Haydock) — “Faith is not to be reformed.” (Tertullian) — Justice. Ancient psalters add, “and the Gentiles in his wrath,” ver. 13., and Psalm xcviii. 8.
Ver. 11. Fulness. Its raging billows, (Calmet) fishes, (Menochius) those who live upon the water. (Haydock) — Let al testify their joy. Every thing is animated by the psalmist. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. Judge. Or “rule,” as he invites all to rejoice. (Calmet) — But this will be done by all nature, when God shall punish the wicked. (Haydock) — He now judges by his ministers, and will pass sentence at the last day. (Worthington) — This verse is added, instead of the last three in 1 Paralipomenon xvi., which occur in Psalm cv. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
An exhortation to praise God for the coming of Christ and his kingdom.
1 A canticle for David himself, when the house was built after the captivity.
Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all people.
4 For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Praise and beauty are before him: holiness and majesty in his sanctuary.
7 Bring ye to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the Gentiles, bring ye to the Lord glory and honour: 8 bring to the Lord glory unto his name.
Bring up sacrifices, and come unto his courts: 9 adore ye the Lord in his holy court.
Let all the earth be moved at his presence. 10 Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned.
For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with justice.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, let the sea be moved, and the fulness thereof: 12 the fields and all things that are in them shall be joyful.
Then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice 13 before the face of the Lord, because he cometh: because he cometh to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with justice, and the people with his truth.