Psalm xcviii. (Dominus regnavit.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Himself. There is no title in Hebrew. Hence many have attributed it to Moses, with the preceding psalms. But the name of Samuel destroys this pretension, and most people suppose that David wrote it at the removal of the ark. (Calmet) — Others refer it to the return from captivity, (Theodoret) or to the dedication of the second temple, (Calmet) and the reign of the Messias. (Berthier) — Angry. Though many enemies rage, and the whole earth be stirred up to oppose the reign of Christ, he shall still prevail. (Challoner) (Psalm ii.) — His will shall be done, (Worthington) for He sitteth on the Cherubim. (Haydock) — Ferrand infers from this expression, that the psalm cannot regard the times after the captivity, as the ark existed no more. But this is not clear; and, at any rate, this idea might still be retained, as God is represented on a chariot drawn by Cherubim, Ezechiel x. 1., and Daniel iii. 55. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Loveth judgment. Requireth discretion. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “the king’s strength loveth judgment.” He does nothing unjustly, as the enemy is forced to confess. (Calmet) — This is the highest glory of a king. (Theodoret) — God requires that we should honour him, by correcting our faults. (St. Augustine) — Directions. Most right and just laws to direct men. (Challoner) — Jacob. There God principally instructed mankind, and punished the perverse. Other nations he seemed to have left to themselves. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Adore his foot-stool. The ark of the covenant was called, in the Old Testament, God’s foot-stool: over which he was understood to sit, on his propitiatory, or mercy-seat, as on a throne, between the wings of the Cherubim, in the sanctuary: to which the children of Israel paid a great veneration. But as this psalm evidently relates to Christ, and the New Testament, where the ark has no place, the holy Fathers understand this text of the worship paid by the Church to the body and blood of Christ in the sacred mysteries: in as much as the humanity of Christ is, as it were, the foot-stool of the divinity. So St. Ambrose, l. 3. de Spiritu Sancto, c. 12., and St. Augustine upon this psalm. (Challoner) — The last mentioned holy Doctor inculcates the obligation of adoring Jesus Christ in the blessed Eucharist, and refutes the Capharnaites, &c., John vi. (Worthington) — The Jews adored God, shewing a relative honour, by prostrating themselves before the ark, in the same manner as Catholics do before holy images. (Berthier) — It is. Septuagint and some psalters, “he is holy.” (Calmet) — Hebrew is ambiguous. (Berthier) — “I discover how I may adore the foot-stool,…without impiety. Christ took flesh of Mary,…and give it us to eat for our salvation. But none eats that flesh, till he have first adored it.” (St. Augustine)
Ver. 6. Moses and Aaron among his priests. By this it is evident, that Moses also was a priest, and indeed the chief priest, in as much as he consecrated Aaron, and offered sacrifice for him, Leviticus viii. So that his pre-eminence over Aaron makes nothing for lay church headship. (Challoner) (Worthington) — Samuel is only mentioned as a Levite. See 1 Kings xxv. 1. (Calmet)
Ver. 7. Cloud. As he did to Samuel in the night. (Berthier) — Them. By their example, the psalmist insinuates, that priests in the new law shall pray for the people. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. All their inventions. That is, all the enterprizes of their enemies against them, as in the case of Core, Dathan, and Abiron. (Challoner) (Numbers xvi.) (Worthington) Syriac, “injuries.” The failings of these great men were punished in mercy. (Calmet) — Thou hast made them harmless in all their works. (Houbigant)
Ver. 9. Mountain. On Sion, or in the Catholic Church. (Berthier) — “Those who do not adore on this mountain, are not heard unto eternal life.” (St. Augustine)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The reign of the Lord in Sion: that is, of Christ in his Church.
1 A psalm for David himself.
The Lord hath reigned, let the people be angry: he that sitteth on the Cherubim: let the earth be moved.
2 The Lord is great in Sion, and high above all people.
3 Let them give praise to thy great name: for it is terrible and holy: 4 and the king’s honour loveth judgment.
Thou hast prepared directions: thou hast done judgment and justice in Jacob.
5 Exalt ye the Lord, our God, and adore his footstool: for it is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests: and Samuel among them that call upon his name.
They called upon the Lord, and he heard them: 7 he spoke to them in the pillar of the cloud.
They kept his testimonies, and the commandment which he gave them.
8 Thou didst hear them, O Lord, our God: thou wast a merciful God to them, and taking vengeance on all their inventions.
9 Exalt ye the Lord, our God, and adore at his holy mountain: for the Lord, our God, is holy.