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 - - 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
BookBook of Psalms
Hebrew Bible partKetuvim
Order in the Hebrew part1
CategorySifrei Emet
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part19

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

In the Masoretic text and in English versions it has no title or author, but the Septuagint and Vulgate entitle it "On the day before the Sabbath, when the earth was founded: A Psalm of thanksgiving to (or for) David".[3]

The psalm forms a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other Protestant worship. It has often been set to music. 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.[4][5] Psalm 93 was also designated as the Song of the Day for Friday, to be sung by the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem:[6] this tradition continues today in the psalm's inclusion in the regular Friday morning prayer service in Judaism.[7] 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.[6][8] Psalm 93 also hints to the future Messianic Age, when the entire world will acknowledge God as King.[9]

Charles 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: Psalmus ipsi David, quarta sabbati.[10][3] Spurgeon adds that the theme of God's sovereignty is clear from the first line of the psalm.[3] Matthew 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).[11]


Hebrew Bible version[edit]

Following is the Hebrew text of Psalm 93:

Verse Hebrew
1 יְהֹוָ֣ה מָלָךְ֘ גֵּא֪וּת לָ֫בֵ֥שׁ לָבֵ֣שׁ יְ֖הֹוָה עֹ֥ז הִתְאַזָּ֑ר אַף־תִּכּ֥וֹן תֵּ֜בֵ֗ל בַּל־תִּמּֽוֹט
2 נָכ֣וֹן כִּסְאֲךָ֣ מֵאָ֑ז מֵ֖עוֹלָ֣ם אָֽתָּה
3 נָֽשְׂא֚וּ נְהָר֨וֹת | יְהֹוָ֗ה נָֽשְׂא֣וּ נְהָר֣וֹת קוֹלָ֑ם יִשְׂא֖וּ נְהָר֣וֹת דָּכְיָֽם
4 מִקֹּל֨וֹת | מַ֚יִם רַבִּ֗ים אַדִּירִ֣ים מִשְׁבְּרֵי־יָ֑ם אַדִּ֖יר בַּמָּר֣וֹם יְהֹוָֽה
5 עֵֽדֹתֶ֨יךָ | נֶֽאֶמְנ֬וּ מְאֹ֗ד לְבֵֽיתְךָ֥ נָֽאֲוָה־קֹ֑דֶשׁ יְ֜הֹוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים

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.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text tradition, which includes the Aleppo Codex (10th century), and Codex Leningradensis (1008).[12]

The extant palimpsest AqTaylor includes a translation into Koine Greek by Aquila of Sinope in c. 130 CE, containing verse 3.[13]


A plaque with Psalm 93:4 is affixed to the south side of the west pier lightouse, Whitby, United Kingdom.


Psalm 93 is the Song of the Day for Friday, recited in that day's morning prayer service.[7] Some communities also recite this psalm as the ma'amad (special daily prayer) for Friday.[14] Additionally, Psalm 93 is the final psalm said during the Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night, acting as a summation of the preceding seven psalms.[15][16] It is also recited in its entirety during Pesukei dezimra on Shabbat, Yom Tov, and - in many communities - on Hoshana Rabbah.[17] In most Sephardic communities, it is recited in mincha on Friday as well.

Verse 1 (in the Hebrew) is quoted in Mishnah Tamid 7:4.[18] 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.[19][14][20]

Verse 4 (in the Hebrew) is said by the seas in Perek Shirah.[14][21]

Psalm 93 is said as a prayer for success in a court case.[22]

Musical settings[edit]

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


"Dominus regnavit" is Psalm 92 in the Vulgate; it was set by Hildegard of Bingen.[23] A motet setting it for choir a cappella, with an added doxology, is attributed to Josquin des Prez.[24][25]

Jean-Joseph de Mondonville set the psalm in 1734 as a Grand Motet in several movements, Dominus regnavit decorum.[26] Jules Van Nuffel, founder and conductor of the choir at St. Rumbold's Cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium,[27] set the psalm in Latin, Dominus regnavit, for four-to-six-part choir and organ, Op. 49, in 1935.[28]


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.[29] Handel used verses from the psalm for his Chandos Anthem No. 4 in 1717 or 1718, intended for use in the Anglican Church.[30]

Ferdinand Hiller wrote a setting in German for men's choir and orchestra, published in Leipzig, 1864.[31]

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.[32]


Shlomo Carlebach composed a melody for the last two verses in the Hebrew, to be sung during Kabbalat Shabbat.[33] Charles Salaman arranged a setting based on Mendelssohn's Elijah that is sung in the Friday night shabbat service in London's Spanish and Portuguese synagogue.


  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 92 (93) Archived 30 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Nelson 2018, p. 855.
  3. ^ a b c Spurgeon, C., The Treasury of David: Psalm 93, accessed 30 March 2022
  4. ^ Zohar III, Emor.
  5. ^ Nulman 1996, pp. 160–161.
  6. ^ a b Scherman 2005, p. 322.
  7. ^ a b Nulman 1996, p. 160.
  8. ^ Abramowitz, Rabbi Jack (2019). "Friday". Orthodox Union. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  9. ^ Scherman 2005, pp. 321–322.
  10. ^ Psalm 93:1: Vulgate
  11. ^ Henry, Matthew (2019). "Psalms 93". Bible Study Tools. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  12. ^ *Würthwein, Ernst (1995). The Text of the Old Testament. Translated by Rhodes, Erroll F. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. pp. 35–37. ISBN 0-8028-0788-7. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  13. ^ *Schürer, Emil; Vermes, Geza; Millar, Fergus (2014). The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ: Volume 3.i. A&C Black. p. 497. ISBN 9780567604521.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Nulman 1996, p. 161.
  16. ^ Scherman 2005, p. 321.
  17. ^ Scherman 2005, p. 388.
  18. ^ Scherman 2005, p. 479.
  19. ^ Scherman 1989, p. 456.
  20. ^ Birnbaum, p. 55.
  21. ^ Slifkin, Nosson (2002). "Perek Shirah" (PDF). Zoo Torah. p. 4. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Success". Daily Tehillim. Archived from the original on 14 December 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  23. ^ 11,000 virgins: chants for the Feast of St. Ursula searchworks.stanford
  24. ^ Free scores by Dominus regnavit (Josquin des Prez) in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki).
  25. ^ Willem Elders: Josquin Des Prez and His Musical Legacy: An Introductory Guide, Leuven University Press, 2013
  26. ^ Jean-Joseph Cassan Mondonville (1711–1772) / Grand Motet `Dominus regnavit decorum` (Psalm 92) (1734)
  27. ^ Jules Van Nuffel / Biography
  28. ^ Dominus regnavit, Op.49 (Nuffel, Jules van): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
  29. ^ Schütz, Heinrich / Der Beckersche Psalter SWV 97a-256a Bärenreiter
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Psalm 93, Op.112 (Hiller, Ferdinand): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
  32. ^ Sing Psalms Combined Word Edition (incl Scottish Psalter)
  33. ^ "Mikolot Mayim". Zemirot Database. Retrieved 11 February 2019.

Cited sources[edit]

External links[edit]