The Meaning of Psalms 96:5 Explained

Psalms 96:5

KJV: For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

YLT: For all the gods of the peoples are nought, And Jehovah made the heavens.

Darby: For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but Jehovah made the heavens.

ASV: For all the gods of the peoples are idols; But Jehovah made the heavens.

What does Psalms 96:5 Mean?

Context Summary

Psalm 96:1-13 - "the Lord Reigneth"
This psalm is found also in 1 Chronicles 16:1-43. Note the thrice-repeated command, Sing, sing, sing, Psalms 96:1-2; the corresponding, thrice-repeated, Give, give, give, Psalms 96:7-8; the triple call for joy from heaven, sea, and land, Psalms 96:11-12. It is good to read these psalms; they impart the burning devotion of these olden saints. They break on our lethargy as the bugle-call on the sleeping soldier. Notice that we call men to a Jubilate, not a Miserere, when we invite them to come home to God.
What a stately procession escorts the King to the throne of the world! He comes to reign in equity. Righteousness and truth which had fled the world return with Him. Honor and majesty are His avant-couriers. Strength and beauty stand in His court-circle. When we are brought into the divine Kingdom, and are at one with God, we detect the unison of nature in her song of praise. The seas provide the bass; the quivering leaves, the song of buds, the hum of insect life provide the tenors and altos; while the stars in their courses sing the treble. To the anointed ear, the new song has already begun. [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalm 96

1  An exhortation to praise God
4  for his greatness
8  for his kingdom
11  for his general judgment

What do the individual words in Psalms 96:5 mean?

For all the gods of the peoples [are] idols but Yahweh the heavens made
כִּ֤י ׀ כָּל־ אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָעַמִּ֣ים אֱלִילִ֑ים וַֽ֝יהוָ֗ה שָׁמַ֥יִם עָשָֽׂה

אֱלֹהֵ֣י  the  gods 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
הָעַמִּ֣ים  of  the  peoples 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: עַם 
Sense: nation, people.
אֱלִילִ֑ים  [are]  idols 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלִיל  
Sense: of nought, good for nothing, worthless.
וַֽ֝יהוָ֗ה  but  Yahweh 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
שָׁמַ֥יִם  the  heavens 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: שָׁמַיִם  
Sense: heaven, heavens, sky.
עָשָֽׂה  made 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָשָׂה 
Sense: to do, fashion, accomplish, make.