Psalm 29 uses the phrase “voice of Yahweh” ( qol YHWH ) seven times (vv. 3, 4 [2x], 5, 7, 8, 9). Yahweh’s thunderous sevenfold voice creates and destroys, kills and makes alive. It breaks cedars but also enlivens Lebanon to skip like a calf. It shakes the wilderness but also makes deer to calve.

Several times, David first states what the “voice of Yahweh” does and then adds something that “Yahweh” does. Yahweh’s voice is upon the waters, and Yahweh Himself is over many waters (v. 3). The voice breaks cedars, and so does Yahweh (v. 5). The voice shakes the wilderness, and Yahweh shakes Kadesh (v. 8). Yahweh and His voice are united in action, and it is as if the Voice is Yahweh Himself as He is Speech and Speech-Act. This is the living Voice by which Yahweh created, the Voice by which He judges, the Voice that was in the beginning with Yahweh and was Yahweh and was in the bosom of Yahweh, the Voice by which Yahweh is King forever.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart