Psalm 93

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Psalm 93
"The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty"
Royal psalm
Plaque on Capel Penuel-Peniel at Peniel, Bachau - geograph.org.uk - 1399707.jpg
Verse 5 engraved in Welsh at Peniel Chapel, Tremadog, Gwynedd, in 1811
Other name
  • Psalm 92 (Vulgate)
  • Dominus regnavit, decorem indutus est
LanguageHebrew (original)

Psalm 93 is the 93rd psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty". The Book of Psalms is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. It is Psalm 92 in the slightly different numbering system of the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate versions of the Bible. Its Latin title is Dominus regnavit, decorem indutus est.[1] It is the first of a series of psalms (Psalms 93–99) which are called royal psalms as they praise God as King.[2]

The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Anglican and Protestant worship. It has been set to music often throughout centuries. The Latin version was set by Hildegard of Bingen, Josquin des Prez, Jean-Joseph de Mondonville and Jules Van Nuffel, among others. Heinrich Schütz and Ferdinand Hiller composed settings in German. Handel used verses from the psalm for his Chandos Anthem No. 4 for use in the Anglican Church.

Background and themes[edit]

The two main themes of Psalm 93 are God's kingship and a connection with Friday, the sixth day of the week (counting from Sunday). The Zohar notes that in Hebrew, this psalm contains 45 words, which is the gematria (numerical value) of the word adam (Hebrew: אדם, "man"). Adam was created on the sixth day of Creation and went on to proclaim God as King.[3][4] Psalm 93 was also designated as the Song of the Day for Friday, to be sung by the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem.[5] (This tradition continues today in the psalm's inclusion in the regular Friday morning prayer service in Judaism.[6]) According to Rabbi Yaakov Emden, the connection with the sixth day is reinforced by the psalm's description of God "in His full grandeur and power as He was when He completed the six days of Creation", and the reference to donning grandeur further alludes to the way Jews dress up in their nicest garments on Friday to greet the approaching Shabbat.[5][7] Psalm 93 also hints to the future Messianic Age, when the entire world will acknowledge God as King.[8]

Spurgeon notes that the Septuagint connects Psalm 93 with the sixth day of the week by titling it "On the day before the Sabbath, when the earth was founded: A Psalm of thanksgiving to (or for) David". This wording was similarly adopted by the Vulgate.[9]

Spurgeon adds that the theme of God's sovereignty is clear from the first line of the psalm.[9] Henry notes how the psalm reinforces God's kingship by comparing him to earthly kings, stating:

Concerning God's kingdom glorious things are here spoken.
I. Have other kings their royal robes? So has he (v. 1).
II. Have they their thrones? So has he (v. 2).
III. Have they their enemies whom they subdue and triumph over? So has he (v. 3, v. 4).
IV. Is it their honour to be faithful and holy? So it is his (v. 5).[10]

Text[edit]

Hebrew Bible version[edit]

Following is the Hebrew text and an English translation of Psalm 93:[11]

Verse Hebrew English
1 יְהֹוָ֣ה מָלָךְ֘ גֵּא֪וּת לָ֫בֵ֥שׁ לָבֵ֣שׁ יְ֖הֹוָה עֹ֥ז הִתְאַזָּ֑ר אַף־תִּכּ֥וֹן תֵּ֜בֵ֗ל בַּל־תִּמּֽוֹט The Lord has reigned; He has attired Himself with majesty; yea the Lord has attired Himself, He has girded Himself with might. The world also is established that it cannot be moved.
2 נָכ֣וֹן כִּסְאֲךָ֣ מֵאָ֑ז מֵ֖עוֹלָ֣ם אָֽתָּה Your throne is established of old; You are from everlasting.
3 נָֽשְׂא֚וּ נְהָר֨וֹת | יְהֹוָ֗ה נָֽשְׂא֣וּ נְהָר֣וֹת קוֹלָ֑ם יִשְׂא֖וּ נְהָר֣וֹת דָּכְיָֽם The rivers have raised, O Lord, the rivers have raised their voice; the rivers have raised their depths.
4 מִקֹּל֨וֹת | מַ֚יִם רַבִּ֗ים אַדִּירִ֣ים מִשְׁבְּרֵי־יָ֑ם אַדִּ֖יר בַּמָּר֣וֹם יְהֹוָֽה More than the voices of great waters and more than the mightiest breakers of the sea, is the Lord mighty on high.
5 עֵֽדֹתֶ֨יךָ | נֶֽאֶמְנ֬וּ מְאֹ֗ד לְבֵֽיתְךָ֥ נָֽאֲוָה־קֹ֑דֶשׁ יְ֜הֹוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים Your testimonies are very faithful to Your house, the dwelling of holiness, O Lord, to the length of days.

King James Version[edit]

  1. The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.
  2. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.
  3. The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
  4. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.
  5. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.

Uses[edit]

Judaism[edit]

Psalm 93 is the Song of the Day for Friday, recited in that day's morning prayer service.[6] Some communities also recite this psalm as the ma'amad (special daily prayer) for Friday.[12] Additionally, Psalm 93 is the eighth and final psalm said during the Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night, acting as a summation of the preceding seven psalms.[13][14] It is also recited in its entirety during Pesukei dezimra on Shabbat, Yom Tov, and Hoshana Rabbah.[15]

Verse 1 (in the Hebrew) is quoted in Mishnah Tamid 7:4.[16] Verse 1 is also one of the ten verses in the section of Malkhuyot (Sovereignty) which is recited in the Mussaf Amidah on Rosh Hashanah.[17][12][18]

Verse 4 (in the Hebrew) is said by the seas in Perek Shirah.[12][19]

Psalm 93 is said as a prayer for success in a court case.[20]

Musical settings[edit]

Interior of St. Rumbold's Cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium, where Van Nuffel worked

Catholic[edit]

"Dominus regnavit" is Psalm 92 in the Vulgate; it was set by Hildegard of Bingen.[21] A motet setting it for choir a cappella, with an added doxology, is attributed to Josquin des Prez.[22][23]

Jean-Joseph de Mondonville set the psalm in 1734 as a Grand Motet in several movements, Dominus regnavit decorum.[24] Jules Van Nuffel, founder and conductor of the choir at St. Rumbold's Cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium,[25] set the psalm in Latin, Dominus regnavit, for four-to-six-part choir and organ, Op. 49, in 1935.[26]

Protestant[edit]

The Lutheran Baroque composer Heinrich Schütz set Psalm 93 in German, "Der Herr ist König herrlich schön" (The Lord is King, heavenly beautiful), for choir as part of his composition of the Becker Psalter, SWV 191.[27] Handel used verses from the psalm for his Chandos Anthem No. 4 in 1717 or 1718, intended for use in the Anglican Church.[28]

Ferdinand Hiller wrote a setting in German for men's choir and orchestra, published in Leipzig, 1864.[29]

In the Free Church of Scotland's 2003 psalter, Sing Psalms, Psalm 93 starts "The Lord is king; his throne endures." Set to the common meter, the recommended melodies are St. Magnus, Southwark and Stroudwater.[30]

Jewish[edit]

Shlomo Carlebach composed a melody for the last two verses in the Hebrew, to be sung during Kabbalat Shabbat.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 92 (93) Archived 30 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine medievalist.net
  2. ^ Nelson 2018, p. 855.
  3. ^ Zohar III, Emor.
  4. ^ Nulman 1996, pp. 160–161.
  5. ^ a b Scherman 2005, p. 322.
  6. ^ a b Nulman 1996, p. 160.
  7. ^ Abramowitz, Rabbi Jack (2019). "Friday". Orthodox Union. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  8. ^ Scherman 2005, pp. 321–322.
  9. ^ a b "Psalm 93 Bible Commentary". Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David. Christianity.com. 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  10. ^ Henry, Matthew (2019). "Psalms 93". Bible Study Tools. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Tehillim – Psalms – Chapter 93". Chabad.org. 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Brauner, Reuven (2013). "Shimush Pesukim: Comprehensive Index to Liturgical and Ceremonial Uses of Biblical Verses and Passages" (PDF) (2nd ed.). p. 44.
  13. ^ Nulman 1996, p. 161.
  14. ^ Scherman 2005, p. 321.
  15. ^ Scherman 2005, p. 388.
  16. ^ Scherman 2005, p. 479.
  17. ^ Scherman 1989, p. 456.
  18. ^ Birnbaum, p. 55.
  19. ^ Slifkin, Nosson (2002). "Perek Shirah" (PDF). Zoo Torah. p. 4. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Success". Daily Tehillim. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  21. ^ 11,000 virgins: chants for the Feast of St. Ursula searchworks.stanford
  22. ^ Free scores by Dominus regnavit (Josquin des Prez) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki).
  23. ^ Willem Elders: Josquin Des Prez and His Musical Legacy: An Introductory Guide, Leuven University Press, 2013
  24. ^ Jean-Joseph Cassan Mondonville (1711–1772) / Grand Motet `Dominus regnavit decorum` (Psalm 92) (1734) https://classical-music-online.net/en/production/46688
  25. ^ Jules Van Nuffel / Biography julesvannuffel.be
  26. ^ Dominus regnavit, Op.49 (Nuffel, Jules van): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
  27. ^ Schütz, Heinrich / Der Beckersche Psalter SWV 97a-256a Bärenreiter
  28. ^ Reininghaus, Till (2009). "O sing unto the Lord a new song / Cannons Anthem (2nd version) / HWV 249b" (PDF). Carus-Verlag. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  29. ^ Psalm 93, Op.112 (Hiller, Ferdinand): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
  30. ^ https://freechurch.org/assets/documents/2017/Psalmody/Sing%20Psalms%20Combined%20Words%20Edition%20(incl.%20Scottish%20Psalter)%20-%20with%20bookmarks%20+Tune%20Reccomendations.pdf
  31. ^ "Mikolot Mayim". Zemirot Database. Retrieved 11 February 2019.

Cited sources[edit]

External links[edit]