Ps 96:1-13. The substance of this Psalm, and portions of the ninety-seventh, ninety-eighth, and hundredth, are found in 1Ch 16:7-36, which was used by David's directions in the dedication of the tabernacle on Mount Zion. The dispensation of the Messiah was typified by that event, involving, as it did, a more permanent seat of worship, and the introduction of additional and more spiritual services. Hence the language of these Psalms may be regarded as having a higher import than that pertinent to the occasion on which it was thus publicly used.
1-3. All nations are invited to unite in this most joyful praise. new song--literally, "fresh," or new mercies (Ps 33:3 40:3).
2. show forth--literally, "declare joyful tidings." salvation--illustrates His glory in its wonders of love and mercy. 4, 5. For He is not a local God, but of universal agency, while idols are nothing. 6. Honour and majesty--are His attendants, declared in His mighty works, while power and grace are specially seen in His spiritual relations to His people. 7-9. Give--or, "ascribe" (Ps 29:1) due honor to Him, by acts of appointed and solemn worship in His house.
8. offering--of thanks.
9. beauty of holiness--(Ps 29:2). fear . . . him--(Ps 2:11). 10. Let all know that the government of the world is ordered in justice, and they shall enjoy firm and lasting peace (compare Ps 72:3,7 Isa 9:6,7). 11-13. For which reason the universe is invoked to unite in joy, and even inanimate nature (Ro 8:14-22) is poetically represented as capable of joining in the anthem of praise.