Continuing a project on Psalms 90- 119
Translation and comment 4
Yahweh reigns, he is robed as king;
Yahweh is robed, he is clothed with power;
Yes, He has fixed the earth firmly;
It shall not be shaken.
Your throne was fixed in former times:
From all ages you are God.
The waters are rising, Yahweh
The waters have raised their voice
The waters have raised up their roaring waves.
Over the voice of many waters
Over the mighty surge of the sea
Yahweh is mighty on high.
Your Law is lasting;
Holiness is the beauty of your house, Yahweh,
Till days are done.
The key to understanding this psalm is the connection between most of it and the last three lines. We can remind ourselves that the raging sea is a symbol of chaos, of the great deep which God has brought under control in the act of creation, in itself a matter of establishing distinctions and limits: light here, darkness there, dry land here, the sea there. This order is continuous with the moral and ritual orders revealed in the Torah. the Law of God. Challenges to any part of God’s order threaten the whole. So the nations that persecute Israel, and the enemies that oppress just people, are often compared, in their arrogance and power, to the might of the sea. God is celebrated as effortlessly victorious over such threats. His Law, given to Israel, lasts for ever; as does the temple, as an image of the holiness that the Holy One commands.