Psalm 29:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 29:8, NIV: The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

Psalm 29:8, ESV: The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

Psalm 29:8, KJV: The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

Psalm 29:8, NASB: The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

Psalm 29:8, NLT: The voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

Psalm 29:8, CSB: The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

What does Psalm 29:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

To depict God's incredible power, David speaks of the Lord's voice as a raging thunderstorm or an earthquake (Psalm 29:3–7). This verse seems to blend both images. God's "voice" is not merely a matter of speech or communication. What God "speaks" is that which He wills (Genesis 1:1–3; Psalm 33:6). God's voice, per this psalm, shatters mighty trees and makes mountains leap like playful calves.

Here, David refers to the wilderness of Kadesh. This was desert territory near a town about 75 miles or 120 kilometers north of Damascus. "Shaking" could mean the emotional impact of desert-dwellers seeing divine power, or a literal physical experience (Acts 4:31). It could also refer to the results of a huge storm or earthquake (Acts 16:26).

Those who have been in earthquake zones are aware of the devastation an earthquake can cause. However, nothing happens by chance. The Lord commands weather and nature, and He uses both to accomplish His purposes. He allowed lightning to fall (Job 1:16) as part of the testing Job endured to demonstrate the genuineness of his faith in the Lord. The apostle Peter writes: "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6–7).