Psalm 50:3

ESV Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest.
NIV Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.
NASB May our God come and not keep silent; Fire devours before Him, And a storm is violently raging around Him.
CSB Our God is coming; he will not be silent! Devouring fire precedes him, and a storm rages around him.
NLT Our God approaches, and he is not silent. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him.
KJV Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.

What does Psalm 50:3 mean?

The psalmist, Asaph, is setting a dramatic scene as God arrives to proclaim judgment (Psalm 50:1–2). This verse repeats common imagery used for God's power, including fire and storms (Deuteronomy 4:24; Isaiah 28:2). It also touches on themes Asaph often addressed in his work (Psalm 73:2–3; 74:10).

When God gave the Law to Israel, He descended on Mount Sinai in fire, and the mountain shook (Exodus 19:18). Exodus 24:17 says, "Now the appearance of the glory of the Lᴏʀᴅ was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel." Reflecting on that occasion, Moses told the people of Israel: "And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. Then the Lᴏʀᴅ spoke to you out of the midst of the fire" (Deuteronomy 4:11–12). It is customary for a human judge to be clothed with a robe, but the Judge of heaven and earth is clothed in brilliant glory.
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