Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Psalms 66

Verses 1-20

This Ps. triumphantly celebrates a great national deliverance. The whole earth is summoned to join in the chorus of praise (Psalms 66:1-4). The memories of the exodus are recalled (Psalms 66:5-7), but only as an introduction to more recent trials and triumphs (Psalms 66:8-12), and the Ps. ends with vows of lavish sacrifice (Psalms 66:13-15), and with enthusiastic testimony to God’s great goodness (Psalms 66:16-20). The failure of Sennacherib’s invasion, and the return from Babylon have each been suggested as the occasion of the Ps., and the former is the more probable. There is a striking change from ’we’ and ’us’ (Psalms 66:1-12) to ’I’ and ’me’ (Psalms 66:13-20), which is best explained by supposing that the Psalmist at first merges himself in the nation, and afterwards regards his people’s deliverance in the light of a personal blessing, as it has been an answer to personal prayer.

3. Art thou in thy works] RV ’are thy works’: see 65s.

6. The sea] the Red Sea. Flood] RV ’river,’ the Jordan. There] both at the Red Sea and at the Jordan.

8. People] RV ’peoples.’ These foreign nations are to praise ’our God,’ Israel’s God.

9. Holdeth] RM ’putteth,’ or better, ’hath set.’ There is a definite allusion to a recent deliverance from national ruin. Suffereth not] better, ’hath not suffered.’

10-12. The peril is described in a succession of figures, the refining furnace, the net, the burden, the prostration of the vanquished under the trampling of the victors’ horses, fire, water.

11. Affliction] RV ’a sore burden.’

13. Pay.. my vows] make the offerings I promised.

15. Incense of rams] not actual incense, but the ’sweet savour’ of the burning flesh.

16. For my soul] for the deliverance of my life: see Psalms 66:9.

17. He was extolled, etc.] RM ’high praise was under my tongue,’ ready to break forth when prayer should be answered.

18. RM ’If I had regarded iniquity.. the Lord would not hear.’ The answer of God was the proof that the prayer had been offered from an upright heart.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.