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PSALM 96

  1. O, sing to jehovah a new song; sing to jehovah, all the earth:
  2. Sing to jehovah, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day today.
  3. Declare his glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples.
  4. For jehovah is great, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
  5. For all the gods of the peoples are vanities; but jehovah made the heavens!
  6. Glory and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
  7. Give to jehovah, O you families of the peoples, give to jehovah glory and strength.
  8. Give to jehovah the glory of his mime; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
  9. Fall prostrate before jehovah in the ornament of holiness; tremble before him all the earth.
  10. Say among the nations, jehovah reigns; yea, the world shall be established, it cannot be moved: he shall judge the people with rectitude.
  11. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof.
  12. Let the field and all that is therein be joyful; then shall the trees of the forest exult.
  13. Before jehovah; for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth; he judges the world with justice, and the peoples with his truth.

The Internal Sense

Celebration of the lord by his church, that he alone has power and glory, verses 1 to 9; that he will come to judgement, that the heavens and the church may worship him in joy of heart, verses 10 to 12; that he comes to judgement, verse 13.

Exposition

Verses 1, 2, 3. Sing to jehovah a new song, etc, etc, That to bless Jehovah is here to glorify him, and to give him thanks, is evident; and since all glorification of him is from spiritual truths and from spiritual good, it is therefore said, bless you his name, show forth his salvation from day today; name also is predicated of truths, and salvation of good; that to sing a song signifies to glorify from those truths and that good, may be seen above. AE 340.

The acknowledgement and celebration of the lord with joy of heart for his coming is signified by singing to Jehovah, bless his name, show forth his salvation from day today; the corning itself is described by Jehovah comes; inasmuch as his coming is when the last judgement is at hand, therefore it is said, he comes to judge the earth, he shall judge the world in justice, and the people in truth; by the earth is meant the church, by the world are meant those in the church who are in the good of charity, and by people those who are in truths thence derived; that the coming of the lord is when the last judgement is at hand, was said above; for then the wicked will be separated from the good, or the goats from the sheep, and the wicked will be sentenced to hell, and the good to heaven. AE 612.

That hereby is signified the glorification of the lord by those who are of the spiritual church, on account of liberation, is evident from the signification of singing a song, as denoting glorification; the reason why it denotes the glorification of the lord is because by jehovah in the Word is meant the lord, and from the representation of Moses and the sons of Israel, as denoting those who are of the spiritual church; that the glorification of the lord is on account of liberation, is evident from what was shown in the foregoing chapter, namely that they who are of the spiritual church were saved solely by the coming of the lord into the world, and that until that time they were detained in the lower earth, and there infested by spirits who were in falses derived from evil, and were liberated by the lord after he had made the Human principle in himself divine. The reason why to sing a song denotes to glorify, and thus a song denotes glorification, is because songs in the ancient church, and afterwards in the Jewish, were prophetic, and treated of the lord, especially of his coming into the world, and destroying the diabolical crew at that time more raging than ever, and liberating the faithful from their assaults; and inasmuch as the prophetic of songs contained such things in the internal sense, hence by them is signified the glorification of the lord, that is, the celebration of him from gladness of heart; for gladness of heart is especially expressed by a song, inasmuch as gladness in a song breaks forth, as it were, of itself into sound; hence it is that jehovah, that is, the lord, in songs is called Hero, a Man of war, the God of armies, the Conqueror, Strength, Defence, the only Shield; and the diabolical crew, which was destroyed, is called the enemy, which was smitten, swallowed up, overwhelmed, cast into hell. AC 8261.

Verse 3. His wonders, or, miracles; see Psalm 78:43, Exposition.

Verse 7. Give to jehovah, O you families of the peoples; give to jehovah glory and strength. As nations signified goodnesses, so also did families, because every nation consisted of families, families, however, signify goodnesses when predicated of nations, but, truths when predicated of people, as in David, "Give to jehovah, you families of the peoples, give to jehovah glory and strength." In this and the preceding verse families are predicated of goodnesses, because they were families of nations. AC 1261.

Verse 8. Bring an offering, and come into his courts. For the signification of courts, see Psalm 84:10, Exposition.

Verse 12. Let the field and all that is therein be joyful; then shall also the trees of the forest exult. The church as to science, or as to externals, is signified by a forest in David, "Let the field and all that is therein be joyful; then shall all the trees of the forest exult;" for the church is called a forest, a garden, and a paradise; a forest, from science; a garden, from intelligence; and a paradise, from wisdom; and since a forest denotes the church as to science, thus as to externals, it denotes also a religious principle. AC 9011.

Verse 13. Before jehovah; for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth; he shall judge the world with, justice, and the peoples with his truth. These words relate to the coming of the lord, and to the last judgement, at that time; inasmuch as by world are signified those of the church who are in good, and by people, those who are in truths; therefore it is said that he will judge the world in justice, and the people in truth. AE 741.

Few at this day know what is meant by the Last judgement. It is generally supposed that it is to be accompanied with the destruction of the world; and it is hence conjectured, that this terrestrial globe is to perish by fire, together with all things that exist in the visible world; and that then, for. the first time, the dead shall rise again, and shall undergo their judgement; when the wicked are to be cast into hell, and the good to ascend into heaven. These conjectures are grounded in the prophetical parts of the Word, where mention is made of a new heaven and a new earth, and also of the New Jerusalem; mankind not being aware, that the prophetical parts of the Word, in their internal sense, have a totally different signification from what appears in the literal sense; and that by heaven, or the sky, is not meant heaven or the sky, nor by earth the earth, but the church of the lord in general, and with every individual in particular. By the last judgement is meant the last time of the church; and also, the last time of every one's life. To speak of it, first, as denoting the last time of the church. It was the last judgement of the most ancient church, or that before the flood, when their posterity perished, whose destruction is described by the flood. It was the last judgement of the ancient church, or that after the flood, when almost all who belonged to that church became idolaters, and were dispersed. It was the last judgement of the representative church which succeeded among the posterity of Jacob, when the twelve tribes were carried away into captivity, and dispersed amongst the nations; and afterwards when the Jews, after the coming of the lord, were driven out of the land of Canaan, and scattered over the face of the whole earth. The last judgement of the present church, which is called the Christian church, is what is meant, in the Revelation of John, by the new heaven and the new earth.

That the last time of the life of every man, when he dies, is to him the last judgement, is not unknown to some, but still few believe it. Nevertheless it is a certain truth, that every man rises again after death into another life, and undergoes his judgement. This judgement is thus accomplished. As soon as his corporeal organs grow cold, which happens a few days after his decease, he his raised again of the lord by celestial angels, who are at first attendant on him; but in case he be such that he cannot remain with them, he is then received into the care of spiritual angels; and successively afterwards into the care of good spirits. For all who come into the other life, be they who they may, are welcome guests who meet a kind reception. But as every one's desire follows him, he who has led a wicked life cannot abide long with the angels and good spirits, but successively separates himself from them, repeating these separations till he comes among spirits whose life is similar and conformable to that which he had while in the world. It then appears to him as if he was in his former bodily life, and, in fact, this present life is a continuation of his past. From this life his judgement commences. They who have led a wicked life, in process of time descend to hell: and they who have led a good life, are by degrees elevated by the lord into heaven. Such is the last judgement of every individual person; of which we have spoken from experience in the first part of this work. See AC 168189.

As to what the lord spoke concerning the last times, saying, that then the sea and the waves shall roar, the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven, nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, with several other particulars; Matthew 24:7, 29; Luke 21:25; they all, both in general and in particular, signify the state of the church, in regard to what it would be at the time of the Last judgement. By the sea and the waves roaring, nothing else is signified than that heresies and controversies, in general within the church, and in particular in every individual, would be thus noisy and outrageous: by the sun nothing else is meant than love to the lord and towards our neighbour; by the moon, faith; and by stars, the knowledges of faith; which in the last times would thus be darkened, would not give light, and would fall from heaven, that is, would vanish away. The like is said by the lord in Isaiah 13:10. Also, by nation rising up against nation and kingdom against kingdom, nothing else is meant than evils rising against evils, and falsities against falsities, etc. There are reasons, replete with arcana, why the lord thus spoke in this style. That seas, the sun, the moon, the stars, nations, and kingdoms, have such a signification, I know of a certainty; and it was shown in the first part of this work. AC 21172120.

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