Psalm 29:1-11

Lebanon Cedar

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Psalm 29

1Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

2Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.

4The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

6He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

7The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

8The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

9The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

10The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

11The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

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A Psalm of David,

  1. Give to jehovah, O you sons of the gods, give to jehovah glory and strength.
  2. Give to jehovah the glory of his name; bow down to jehovah in the ornament of holiness.
  3. The voice of jehovah is upon the waters; the god of glory thunders; jehovah is on great waters.
  4. The voice of jehovah is full of power; the voice of jehovah is full of majesty.
  5. The voice of jehovah breaks the cedars, yea, jehovah breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
  6. And he makes them skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like the young of Unicorns.
  7. The voice of jehovah divides the flames of fire.
  8. The voice of jehovah shakes the wilderness; jehovah shakes the wilderness of Kadish.
  9. The voice of jehovah makes the hinds to bring forth; and makes bare the forests; and in his temple does every one speak of glory.
  10. jehovah sits on the flood, yea, jehovah sits a king for ever.
  11. jehovah gives strength to his people; jehovah will bless his people with peace.

The Internal Sense

That they who are in truths from the Word will adore the lord, who is the Word, verses 1 to 4; of the power of Divine Truth from the lord, verses 5 to 11.


Verses 3 to 9. The voice of jehovah is upon the waters, the god of glory thunders, jehovah is on great waters; the voice of jehovah breaks the cedars, jehovah breaks the cedars of Lebanon, and makes them to dance as a calf; Lebanon and, Sirion as a son of Unicorns; the voice of jehovah divides the flames of fire; the voice of jehovah makes the wilderness to tremble, makes to tremble the wilderness of Kadish; the voice of jehovah makes the hinds to bring forth, and makes bare the forests; but in his temple every one says glory. He who is not aware that singular things in the above words, as to every expression, are holy and divine, may say within himself, if he be a mere natural man, what can this mean, that jehovah sits on the waters, that, by his voice he breaks the cedars, makes them to dance us a calf, and Lebanon as a son of unicorns; that he makes the lands to bring forth, with several other particulars; for he knows not that the power of Divine Truth, or the Word, is described by those things in the spiritual sense; for in that sense, by the voice of jehovah, which is there thunder, is meant Divine Truth or the Word in its power; by the great waters, on which jehovah sits, are meant its truths; by the cedars and by Lebanon, which he breaks, are meant the false principles of the rational man; by a calf and a son of unicorns the false principles of the natural and sensual man; by a flame of fire the affection of what is false; by a wilderness and the wilderness of Kadish the church where there is neither truth nor good; by hinds which jehovah makes to bring forth are meant the Gentiles who are in natural good; and by the forests which he makes bare are meant the sciences and knowledges which the Word opens to them; wherefore it follows, “In his temple every one says glory,” by which is meant, that in singular the things of the Word there are Divine Truths, for temple signifies the lord, and hence the Word, also heaven and the church, and glory signifies Divine Truth. From these considerations it is evident, that in the Word there is not an expression which does not describe the Divine power of the Word against false principles of every kind amongst natural men, and the Divine power of reforming the nations. S. S. 18.

Verse 9. The voice of jehovah makes the hinds to bring forth, etc. That there is an internal sense in this expression, is manifest from this consideration, that immediately afterwards it is said, In his temple every one says glory, which words, without a spiritual sense, do not cohere with the preceding. AC 6413.

The subject treated of in the above Psalm is concerning the Divine Truth which destroys falses and evils; this Divine Truth is the voice of jehovah; but the glory which is said is the Divine Truth which is in heaven and the church. AC 9926. see also AC 10182; sec also AE 201.

Verse 10. jehovah sits on the flood. Walkings and journeyings relate to the movements of man, and thence signify progressions of life, or progressions of the thought from the intention of the thought from the intention of the will; but standings and sittings appertain to the rest of man, and thence signify the esse of life, from which is the existere thereof, thus to cause to live: wherefore to sit upon thrones, when predicated of judgement, signifies to be in operation to judge, consequently also to judge, whence comes the expression of sitting in judgement, which denotes to do judgement; to sit upon a throne likewise, when treating of a kingdom, signifies to he king or to reign. Inasmuch as jehovah, that is, the lord, is the very esse of the life of all, therefore to sit is predicated of him in various parts of the Word, as in David, “jehovah shall sit upon the flood, and he shall sit a king to eternity.” Psalm 29:10.

Verse 11. jehovah will bless his people with peace. Here is described the peace which they have who are in conjunction with the lord by the reception of Divine Good and Divine Truth from him, and that it is peace in which and from which is heavenly joy. AE 365.

The Translator’s Notes and Observations

The above is one of those Psalms, which leave no doubt on the well-disposed mind respecting the spiritual and internal sense contained in and conveyed by the sense of the letter. For in the description here given of what is called the voice of jehovah, how plain it is to see, that it cannot be true, if its meaning be limited to the mere literal expressions by which it is announced? Whilst then the interpretation of this Psalm is earnestly recommended to the reader’s attention as a satisfactory proof of the heavenly light by which the mind of the interpreter was illuminated, it is further pressed on his observation as a decisive and full demonstration, that the word of the most high is replete with a wisdom worthy of its divine author, and at the same time is calculated to elevate the human understanding to see by a light at once clear, edifying, and highly conducive to the promotion of its eternal happiness.

Verse 1. Give to jehovah, O you sons of the gods, give to jehovah glory and strength. What is here rendered O you sons of the gods, is expressed, in the received English version of the Psalms, by the term, mighty; but in the original Hebrew there is no such term, and it is merely said, O you sons of the gods. What is the proper sense and meaning of this expression, cannot perhaps be better understood than by the explanation of the original term, which is here rendered gods, as it is given in n. AC 8301 of the Arcana Coelestia. The words of the enlightened author are as follows:—” By gods, are meant the truths of good, and the reason is because by gods in a good sense are meant the angels, who are called gods, because they are substances or forms receptive of truth, in which is good from the lord. The angels, consequently the truths of good which are from the lord, are also meant by gods in the following passages:— ‘god stands in the company of god, in the midst of the gods he shall judge: I said you are gods, and you are all the sons of the Most High.’ Psalm 82:1, 6. That the truths which proceed from the lord are what are here meant by gods, is manifest from the consideration that it is first said, the company of god, and afterwards, in the midst of gods; That the term, god, is used in the word, where truth is treated of, see AC 2769, 2807, 2822, and that god in the supreme sense is the Divine Truth proceeding from the lord, AC 7268. Again, “I will confess to you in my whole heart, before the gods I will sing psalms to you,” Psalm 138:1; again, “There is none as you amongst the gods, O lord,” Psalm 86:8; again, “The great god is jehovah, and a great king over all gods,” Psalm 14:3. The reason why it is so often said that jehovah is above all gods, and that he is god of Gods, is because at that time several gods were worshipped, and the nations were distinguished by the gods whom they worshipped, and each nation believed that its own god was the supreme of all, and because hence a plurality of gods had a place in all minds.

The intelligent reader will not fail to discover, in the glory and strength which he is here required to give to jehovah, evident traces of that Marriage of the good and the true, which has been so repeatedly referred to in the preceding pages, for he will see intuitively, that glory has more immediate reference to the divine truth, and strength to the divine good.

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A collection of 150 psalms, whose Hebrew name is “The Book of Praise.” Authors of individual psalms include David, Solomon, Moses, Asaph, and others who are anonymous. The variety and unity of Psalms have given this book a unique place in the devotional life of the individual and the Church. Almost every aspect of man’s relation to God is depicted in these poems: simple trust, the sense of sin, appeal to a higher power in time of trouble, and the conviction that the world is in the hands of a loving God.