English Basic Explanation - Chapter 99
This chapter continues the series of Psalms describing the universal recognition of God that the world will achieve in the time of the Mashiah. In this chapter's first verse, the author briefly describes the tumultuous events that will precede Mashiah's arrival, which the commentaries explain as a reference to the war of "Gog U'maggog." The dramatic defeat of Israel's enemies will result in the nations' widespread acceptance of God's kingship, and their declaration that "He is exalted over all the nations!" (verse 2).
The subsequent verses emphasize that the enemy nations will come to recognize not only the truth of God's existence and His unlimited power, but also His special relationship with Am Yisrael. Firstly, they will acknowledge the "Mishpat U'sedaka" – "justice and righteousness" – that God has performed for Israel (verse 4). According to some commentators, this refers to the exile and suffering that the Jewish nation had endured. Whereas until the redemption this suffering has been seen by the enemy peoples as evidence of the Jews' rejection by God, at the time of the Mashiah the nations will recognize that God punished Israel as a parent punishes a child, but His love and devotion to them has never ended. Other commentators explain this phrase as a reference to the laws of the Torah. During the exile, the enemy nations look with ridicule and scorn upon the Misvot that we observe, but ultimately they will congratulate Am Yisrael for the profundity and beauty of our Torah.
The final verses of this chapter speak about the greatness of the Jewish prophets, pointing in particular to Moshe, Aharon and Shemuel, the three prophets who achieved the highest prophetic stature. Their ability to invoke divine compassion on behalf of Am Yisrael testifies to God's special love and affection for His people. Even when He was compelled to punish them, He accepted the prayers of these prophets and was a "Kel Nose" – a "forgiving God" (verse 8) – who was prepared to grant His nation atonement in response to their repentance and prayers.
Thus, at the time of Mashiah, the gentile nations will recognize the Almighty as not only God of the world, but also as the God of Am Yisrael, acknowledging the special bond and covenant that exists between Him and the Jewish people.