- A psalm of David.1
Angels honoring God
- 1 Angels of heaven,2 honor the LORD.
Honor the LORD for his splendor and power.
- 2 Honor the LORD with the glory he deserves.
Worship the LORD for the majesty of his holiness.
Voice of thunder
- 3 The LORD’s voice rises above ocean waves.
God’s glorious voice thunders.3
The LORD is louder than the sea.
- 4 The LORD’s voice is powerful.
The LORD’s voice is rich in splendor.
- 5 The LORD’s voice snaps the towering cedars.
You heard it right.
The LORD breaks and splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
- 6 He makes Lebanon dance like a happy calf,
And Mount Hermon4 like a wild baby ox.
- 7 The LORD’s voice bursts into flames of lightning.
- 8 The LORD’s voice shakes the distant badlands.
The barren Desert of Kadesh trembles at the sound.
- 9 At the LORD’s voice, deer give birth
And trees stand naked, stripped of their leaves.
Voices in his Temple respond: “Glory!”
- 10 The LORD controls the floods, too.
The LORD’s in charge,
He’s king now and forever.
- 11 May the LORD give his people the strength they need.
May he bless their lives with peace and goodness.5
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
Scholars report that there are several possible literal translations: “sons of most high,” “sons of God,” or “sons of gods.” The context suggests these are celestial beings of God’s heavenly kingdom. They’re the good guys.
Some scholars speculate that the songwriter is saying God controls the weather. It’s not the local Canaanite storm god Baal, who was said to speak in thunder and lightning. The prophet Elijah made that case when he challenged the priests of Baal to a contest of calling down fire (lightning) from the sky. God won (1 Kings 18).
Literally “Sirion,” another name for Mount Hermon, on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and Syria.
The Hebrew word for “peace and goodness” is “shalom.” It’s a word that means “wellbeing” in a lot of ways: peace of mind, health, financial security, safety. If it’s part of what makes life good, it’s part of “shalom.”