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Psalms 68:1 « To the chief Musician, A Psalm [or] Song of David. » Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.
A Psalm or Song of David ] Made at that time when, having overcome his enemies, he brought arcam in arcem, the ark of God into the tower of Sion. Confer Psa 68:1 with Numbers 10:35 . Herein also he treateth of the greatest secrets of Christ’s kingdom, and prophesieth of things to come, as Acts 2:30-31 ; witness the apostle, Ephesians 4:8 .
Ver. 1. Let God arise ] He need do no more that his enemies may be scattered, though never so closely united, etiamsi cataphraetus incedat Satan, as Luther speaketh; digitum suum tantum moveat, et dissipabuntur hostes, Let the Lord but stir his finger only, let him but look unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire, and they shall be troubled, as Exodus 14:24 , funduntur et fugantur cum primum se exserit Deus, as those Philistines, 2 Samuel 5:17-25
Let them also that hate him flee before him ] Athanasius telleth us that evil spirits may be put to flight by this psalm; and that Antony, the hermit, fought against the devil with this verse, and worsted him. This may be done also as well with other texts of Scripture. Luther encountered the devil with that sentence, Thou hast put all things under his feet (Colloq. Mens.); another Dutch divine with this, The Son of God came to dissolve the works of the devil; a third with those words, The seed of the woman shall break the serpent’s head (Cramerus). As the rocks repel the boisterous waves - conantia frangere, frangunt; so doth Christ, the Rock (the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, Dan 2:45 ), all his Church’s enemies.
Psa 68:2 As smoke is driven away, [so] drive [them] away: as wax melteth before the fire, [so] let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
Ver. 2. As smoke is driven away, &c. ] Smoke at first sight seemeth formidable, but soon vanisheth; and the higher it ascendeth the sooner it is dissipated: so here. Guicciardine saith of Charles VIII of France, that he came into the field like thunder and lightning, but went out like a snuff; more than a man at first, and less than a woman at last. A semblably of God’s enemies.
As wax melteth before the fire, &c. ] Wax is a more solid substance than smoke, but, held to the fire, it quickly dissolveth. The psalmist both prayeth and prophesieth here, that the downfall of the Church’s enemies may be praeceps et praesentissimum, sad and sudden, as is elegantly set forth by these two similitudes.
Psa 68:3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
Ver. 3. But let the righteous be glad ] When he seeth the vengeance, Psalms 58:10 See Trapp on " Psa 58:10 " while this wise King scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them, Proverbs 20:26 .
Let them rejoice before God ] Heb. At the presence of God, from which the wicked must flee, Psalms 68:1 . See Isaiah 33:14 .
Yea, let them exceedingly rejoice ] Heb. rejoice with gladness; overabound exceedingly with joy, as St Paul did, 2 Corinthians 7:4 . Joy is the just man’s portion, which the wicked may not meddle with, Hosea 9:1 .
Psa 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Ver. 4. Sing unto God, sing praises ] Cantate, Psallite, do it daily and duly, not in a customary, formal, bedulling way. For a help hereunto was this psalm penned, quo nihil ornatius, magnificentius, divinius denique scribi a quoquam possit, saith learned Beza, in a lofty and lively style.
Extol him that rideth upon the heavens ] Exalt him so, as when a heap is made up unto a great height. Beza rendereth it, Sternite viam equiti deserti, Cast up or pave the way for him that rideth in the desert. Confer Isa 40:3-4 Mal 3:1 Matthew 3:3 . The Septuagint render it, οδοποιησατε , Raise up the way, and make it ready (as they use to do before kings that ride in triumph), that the King of glory may come into your hearts, those deserts indeed.
By his name Jah ] The same with Jehovah, that proper and incommunicable name of God. Some of the heathens called it Jao, as Diodorus Siculus, Macrobius, &c. Holy and reverend is this name, Aυταυτος , Essentiator, and it is here and elsewhere given to Christ. See it interpreted Revelation 1:4 .
Psa 68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, [is] God in his holy habitation.
Ver. 5. A father of the fatherless, &c. ] Pupillorum pater, et viduarum vindex, a title that God much glorieth in; and although he rideth upon the heavens, and is higher than the highest, yet so low stoopeth he to our meanness; neither will he leave his people orphans or comfortless, John 14:18 , for
God is in his holy habitation ] Not in heaven only, but in and with his Church on earth; the ark and mercy seat were never sundered.
Psa 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry [land].
Ver. 6. God setteth the solitary in families ] i.e. He blesseth them with issue. See Psalms 113:9 , and so he doth the Church, Isaiah 54:1 , in these days of the gospel especially.
He bringeth out those which are bound in chains ] As he did Peter, Acts 12:7 , Paul and Silas, Act 16:25-26 Some read it thus, He bringeth out those which are bound, in commoditates, into places where they may live commodiously and cheerfully. As on the other side,
The rebellious dwell in a dry land ] In locis torridis, aridis, exsuccis et siticulosis, in dry and desert countries, where they are destitute of God’s blessing and his soul refreshing comforts. The Hebrew word signifieth a bleak or white soil, such as is all Egypt where the Nile arriveth not, viz. a whitish sand, bearing no grass, but two little weeds, of which they make glass. Where the river watereth is a black mould, so fruitful, say travellers, as they do but throw in the seed, and have four rich harvests in less than four months. Hence Egypt is called the world’s granary.
Psa 68:7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:
Ver. 7. O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people ] Here the former benefits of God to his people are recited, et additis miris coloribus depicta potius quam descripta, and rather depainted out in lively colours than described. We must stir up ourselves to thankfulness for what God hath done for our forefathers; neither must the memory of his mercies ever grow stale with us.
Psa 68:8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: [even] Sinai itself [was moved] at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Ver. 8. The earth shook, the heavens also dropped ] Velut in sudorem soluti, as if they had been put into a sweat; in so terrible a manner was the law given, that God’s fear might fall upon us, Exo 20:18-21 As for the gospel, it is that rain of liberalities, Psalms 68:9 , confiming God’s inheritance when it is weary.
Even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God ] Some render it, a facie Dei huius Sinaici, a facie Dei, Die Israel. These two verses are taken out of Deborah’s song, Judges 5:4-5 .
Psa 68:9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.
Ver. 9. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain ] Heb. Thou didst speak out a rain of liberalities. Spiritually this meaneth the doctrine of the gospel, Deuteronomy 32:2 Isa 45:8 Hosea 14:6 , and the gifts of the Holy Ghost, bestowed freely and plentifully.
Psa 68:10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.
Ver. 10. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein ] Pecus tuum, thy cattle, so some render it, and interpret it as the flocks and herds, whereby of his goodness God prepared for his poor, those creatures being profitable both ad esum et ad usum.
Psa 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great [was] the company of those that published [it].
Ver. 11. The Lord gave the word ] That is, the occasion. De victu dixit, nunc de victoria, saith Vatablus; how God provided his people of victuals the psalmist had told us, now of the victory; the good news whereof shall soon be in every one’s mouth, like the word in an army, with joyful acclamations and outcries, Deus obtulit occasionem laetandi, ovandi et triumphandi.
Great was the company (Heb. army) of those that published it] Such are the preachers of the gospel, Romans 10:15 , an office taken now from the angels, and given to the ministers; whence that angel turned over Cornelius to Peter for further information, Act 10:1-6 The Hebrew word for publishers or preachers here is feminine, not to countenance our praedicantissae (such as was that Jezebel Mrs Hutchinson of New England), but to show the weakness of the means (fishermen and the like) that God is pleased to use in this great work, for the greater manifestation of his power in the success, as some conceive, Ut imbecillitatem ministrorum Ecclesiae notet (Moller).
Psa 68:12 Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.
Ver. 12. Kings of armies did flee apace ] Heb. did flee, did flee. Or, shall flee, shall flee; which one interpreteth of devils (called principalities and powers), formerly using to give oracles; but after Christ’s birth ceasing to do so. As also of Licinius and other tyrants fleeing before Constantine, the first Christian emperor. See Revelation 9:11 . Antichrist is the king of locusts, and he fleeth daily before the Evangelici, the new gospellers, as he calleth them. Bellarmine complaineth, that ever since we held the Pope to be antichrist, non mode non crevit eius imperium, sed semper magis ac magis deerevit, his kingdom hath not only not increased, but more and more daily decreased (Lib. iii. de Pont. Rein., cap. 21).
And she that tarried at home divided the spoil ] That is, tota congregatio quae non pugnabat, says Kimchi. Or, the women also (those domi portae ) came forth to pillage. These days of the gospel do abound with many godly matrons and holy virgins. And it is easy to observe that the New Testament affordeth more store of good women than the Old.
Psa 68:13 Though ye have lien among the pots, [yet shall ye be as] the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.
Ver. 13. Though ye have lien among the pots ] Inter Chytropodas. Quasi obruti toti et oppleti fuligine et tenebris, black and sooty, as the black guard of an army, or as scullions in a kitchen, who lie sometimes all night, like beasts, in a chimney corner; or as your forefathers in Egypt, when their shoulders were not yet removed from the burden, nor their hands from the pots, Psalms 81:6 . The meaning is, though ye have been in a low and loathsome condition, yet now ye shall shine and flourish. Verba sunt mulierum, saith Kimchi, these are the words of those women, annunciatrices preachers, in Psalms 68:11 . Beza maketh them to be the psalmist’s words to those women that divided the spoil, Psalms 68:12 . Vixistis adhuc puellae, &c., ye have hitherto dwelt at home, and washed pots, &c., but now, being enriched by the spoils, ye may come abroad fair and trim, like white doves with gilt feathers.
Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove ] Ye shall fly swiftly from the storm of cruel persecution, saith the Syriac interpreter; yea, you shall shine, and make a glorious show, sicut niveae columbae per medium acrem inter volitandum aureum quendam splendorem eiaculantur. See Isaiah 54:11-13 : the Church’s bricks made in her bondage shall be turned into sapphires.
Psa 68:14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was [white] as snow in Salmon.
Ver. 14. When the Almighty scattered kings in it ] i.e. In the wilderness as they passed; or in Canaan which they possessed, according to Psalms 68:1 . Or, scattered kings for her, that is, for his Church, or for her that tarrieth at home, Psalms 68:12 , a periphrasis of the Church, in the times of primitive persecution especially, till the Almighty scattered those persecuting princes. Some of the Jewish doctors understand it to be Gog and Magog.
It was white as snow in Salmon ] Or, she was white as snow in Salmon; not only as the wings of a dove, but glorious and glittering as snow on that high hill, Judges 9:47-48 . At the top of the Alps nothing is to be seen but snow, which hath lain there beyond the memory of man, and, as some say, ever since the flood. The same may be as true of Salmon, which some here take for a noun substantive common, and render it, albesces in caligine, thou shalt wax white in darkness. The old Emperor Andronicus, lighting upon this verse in his psalter, and applying it to himself, was much settled and satisfied concerning his troubles (Turk. Hist. fol. 164).
Psa 68:15 The hill of God [is as] the hill of Bashan; an high hill [as] the hill of Bashan.
Ver. 15. The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan ] Bashan was fat and fertile, but Sion was better; because the place where God’s honour dwelled, any relation to whom doth greatly ennoble any place or person: so Genesis 17:21-22 , Ishmael have I blessed, twelve princes shall he beget; but my covenant will I establish with Isaac. Since thou hast been precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, Isaiah 43:4 .
Psa 68:16 Why leap ye, ye high hills? [this is] the hill [which] God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell [in it] for ever.
Ver. 16. Why leap ye, ye high hills? ] Why do ye pride and please yourselves in your privileges of nature, so far above this of Sion? Quare contenditis, montes gibbosi? so some render it, and tell us, that the original word ratsad is Syriac, and significth to envy, to irritate, to insult, or contend with any one.
This is the hill which God desireth to dwell in ] This low, little, barren hill of Sion; and God’s election maketh the difference, as it did of Aaron’s rod from the rest, and doth still of the Church from the rest of the world. The Lamb Christ is on Mount Sion, Revelation 14:1 .
Psa 68:17 The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angels: the Lord [is] among them, [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place].
Ver. 17. The chariots of God are twenty thousand ] Heb. The chariot, to note the joint service of all the angels, who are here called Shinan, of their changeableness now taken away by Christ, say some; of their pre-excelleney above other creatures, say others, as being second or next unto God, the chief princes, the nobles of that court, as Daniel 10:13 , Michael one of the chief princes. The Seventy render it ευθυμουντων , the cheerful ones such as are in joy and tranquillity, freely serving God in all his wars, carrying the elect, and marching about them.
The Lord is among them, as in Sinai ] i.e. The angels make Sion as dreadful to all her enemies as those angels made Sinai at the delivery of the Law. See Hebrews 12:22 .
In the holy place ] Holy for the time while God appeared there, so 2 Peter 1:18 , Tabor is called the holy mount.
Psa 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, [for] the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell [among them].
Ver. 18. Thou hast ascended on high ] As a conqueror doth on his triumphal chariot; the Romans ascended up to the Capitol, leading their captives bound behind them, and giving gifts unto the people (Plut. in Æmyl.). They might have this custom from David, and these words might be the people’s acclamation to David, or, as some think, both the kings and people’s acclamation to the ark, that notable type of Christ, to whom St Paul applieth it, Ephesians 4:8-9 , and teacheth us to understand it of his wonderful ascension.
Thou hast led captivity captive ] i.e. Thou hast captivated those that once held us in captivity; for so God’s justice required, Isaiah 33:1 , so he had forepromised, Isa 24:22 Revelation 13:10 , and so Christ hath fulfilled, Colossians 2:15 , saving his people to the uttermost, from sin, death, hell, and the devil, who had taken them alive captive at his pleasure, 2 Timothy 2:26 .
Thou hast received gifts for men ] Heb, in man; some render it in Adam, Qualia erant in Adamo, tails dat Christus, saith Eugubinus, Christ gave such gifts to his people (for if he received with one hand, he gave with the other, and the fruits of his victories are all for his subjects) as were in Adam, Sed Beth servilis non praeponitur proprio nomini. True it is, that he repaireth God’s once lost image in them, but the gifts here meant are mentioned by the apostle, Ephesians 4:11 , viz. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, &c. Lo, these were those gifts that Christ bestowed upon his Church at the day of his coronation, and solemn inauguration into his throne, at the time of his trimnphant ascension. These he received that he might give; and he held it more blessed to give than to receive. A like expression we have Hosea 14:2 . "Receive us graciously," Heb. Take good, sc. to bestow it upon us, as Acts 2:23 .
Yea, for the rebellious also ] Rebellion at first, till thou hast given them a better heart. See Romans 4:5 ; Romans 5:6 , or, if they continue so, yet they may share in common gifts and external privileges.
That the Lord God might dwell among them ] viz. In his religion and true worshippers, for which end he giveth restraining grace to the very rebellions.
Psa 68:19 Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. Selah.
Ver. 19. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us ] sc. With blessings, or with crosses turned into blessings, as being sanctified, and having their properties altered; for of themselves they are fruits of sin, and a piece of the curse. Let us not load him with our iniquities, &c.
Psalms 68:20 [He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death.
Ver. 20. He that is our God, is the God of salvation ] Or, This God is unto us a God of salvation, in the plural, so that he can save us, and doth, from a thousand deaths and dangers; and when he hath delivered us today, he both can and will do it again tomorrow; he hath for his people omnimodam salutem.
And unto God the Lord belong the issues from death ] When we think there is no way but one for us, he appeareth as out of an engine, and pulleth us out of death’s jaws. The Lord knoweth how to deliver his, 2 Peter 2:9 , from the most desperate and deadly dangers. Peter might well say it, for he had the experience of it, Acts 12:7-11 ; Christ hath the keys of death, Revelation 1:18 , the sole dominion and disposal of it. Servat nos a morte, sicut ipse primus exibat e manu mortis.
Psa 68:21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, [and] the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
Ver. 21. But God shall wound the head of his enemies ] Cruentabit caput, a wound in the head if deep (and God strikes no small blows) is mortal. Christ will break the head of those that bruise his heel, that attempt anything against him and his. By head here Diodati understandetb the devil, that prince of the world, Deuteronomy 32:42 Psa 110:6 Habakkuk 3:13 . Evil spirits in Scripture are called Shegnirim, shag-haired, Lev 17:7 Isaiah 13:21 . And they go on in their trespasses; they do infinitely hate God, and sin that sin against the Holy Ghost every moment. But the most understand it of wicked men.
And the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still, &c. ] This is God’s enemy, that by his wilful wickedness striketh, and as it were shooteth, at God, runneth upon him, even upon his neck, and upon the thick bosses of his bucklers, Job 15:25-26 , His hairy scalp, setting forth his fierceness, Job 5:5 . Note this against anti-roundheads. See Ezekiel 44:20 .
Psa 68:22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring [my people] again from the depths of the sea:
Ver. 22. The Lord said ] That is assurance good enough.
I will bring again from Bashan ] Og the giant’s country, where Israel was in no small distress and danger till that monster was taken out of the way, Numbers 21:33 Deuteronomy 3:1-2 : q.d. I will, if need require, and as occasion serveth, do as much for mine again as I did once at Bashan, and at the Red Sea. Some interpret this and the following verses of the calling of the Jews. The glorious things (saith one) which God will effect in their behalf are here reduced to five heads: First, the bringing of them home from most extreme difficulties, naming Bashan, because of the slaughter spoken of, Psalms 68:14 , and the deep of the sea, alluding to Exodus 14:16 , peradventure he meaneth the drying up of Euphrates before them. For this first head aimeth at those times, the beginning of the Jews’ repair unto their country. The second head is, the great and famous victory that God will give, delivering them out of those difficulties and distresses, Psalms 68:22 . See Isaiah 63:1-4 . The third head is, the Jews’ thorough conversion, by occasion of that singular mercy of God, Psalms 68:23 , and the form of a goodly Church (under the type of the old synagogue) set up among Jacob’s posterity, Psalms 68:24 , the ten tribes as well as the tribe of Judah; which is concluded by acknowledging their strength to come from God, a prayer to perfect his work begun, and a spur to put into these kings of the east (as they are so called, Rev 16:12 ), to present in the temple at Jerusalem (in the public congregation) testimonies of their thankfulness, Psalms 68:25-28 . The fourth head is, the taming of their proud enemies, and the forcing them at least to counterfeit a subjection, Psalms 68:29 . The fifth head is, the general calling of all the kingdoms of the earth to join themselves unto the Church of Christ, which shall follow the conversion of the Jews. And this he shutteth up with provoking all nations to give unto God the praises that are due unto him for it; and his own particular thanksgiving, Psalms 68:30-34 . Thus he.
Psa 68:23 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of [thine] enemies, [and] the tongue of thy dogs in the same.
Ver. 23. That thy foot may be dipped ] Heb. redded, imbrued, made gore bloody. Hereby is implied a very great slaughter. Confer Revelation 19:17-18 ; Revelation 19:21 .
Psa 68:24 They have seen thy goings, O God; [even] the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
Ver. 24. They have seen thy goings, O God ] Namely, the holy manner of conducting the ark with even and proportionable restings and settings down (Diod.). See 2 Samuel 6:13 . The ark is here and elsewhere called God, because a symbol of his special presence. When we are called to hear God’s word, and pray publicly, though we see not God, yet we may see his goings Deus enim ipse chorum agit, et primas tenet in illo incessu (Vatab.).
Of my God, my King ] David, though he were a king, yet held himself but God’s mandatory, or substitute.
Psa 68:25 The singers went before, the players on instruments [followed] after; among [them were] the damsels playing with timbrels.
Ver. 25. The singers went before, &c. ] Thus they were marshalled, when the ark was conducted to Mount Sion, everything being done decently and in order. Christ ascending into heaven, and settling his kingdom, is perpetually praised by his Church.
Psa 68:26 Bless ye God in the congregations, [even] the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
Ver. 26. Bless ye God in the congregations ] i.e. Catervatim ac turmatim, by troops and companies.
Even the Lord from the fountain of Israel ] That is, from the heart, say some, which is the true fountain of praising God. Others understand it as Christ, who is of the fountain of Israel, Romans 9:5 ; there are those who think that the study of the Hebrew tongue is here recommended to us. Reuchlin was wont to say, that the Latins drank out of cisterns, the Greeks out of ponds, but the Hebrews out of the fountain itself. Calvin and the most interpreters read the words, Ye that are of the fountain of Israel, springing out of his loins. See Deu 33:28 Isaiah 48:1 ; Isaiah 51:1 .
Psa 68:27 There [is] little Benjamin [with] their ruler, the princes of Judah [and] their council, the princes of Zebulun, [and] the princes of Naphtali.
Ver. 27. There is little Benjamin with their ruler ] Though before they had stood out for Saul and his house, yet now they bore a part in this solemn celebrity, as being next unto the sanctuary. Of this tribe was St Paul, Tricubitalis ille homuncio, sed insatiabilis Dei cultor, as Chrysostom calleth him, little in stature, but in labours more abundant. The first precious stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem is a jasper, Revelation 21:19 , which in Aaron’s breastplate was the last, Exodus 28:20 , on which Benjamin’s name was graven. This intimateth, saith Ainsworth, the last now to be first, and chief in Christian Churches.
The princes of Judah and their council ] Or company, or purple-arrayed ones. Beza rendereth it, Lapidatores eorum, the stoners of the enemies. The word is found here only; and Forsterus thinketh that our Saviour alludeth to it when, as Mark 3:17 , he calleth James and John Boanerges.
The princes of Zebulun ] Sic absolvitur pompa triumphalis. These are mentioned as most remote, bringing up the rear. In those tribes Christ walked, and therehence he called sundry of his disciples.
Psa 68:28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
Ver. 28. Thy God hath commanded thy strength ] A brave expression, admired by Longinus, a heathen rhetorician. See the like Deu 28:8; Psalms 33:9 ; Psalms 42:8 ; Psalms 44:4 . God both made and ruleth the world without tool or toil; he enableth his people to subsist and to resist their enemies by his will only, and by the efficacy of his word. Suppeditavit tibi Deus tantum robur, nequid superbias, saith Vatablus.
Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us ] Petamus ut det, quod ut habeamus iubet, Pray to the God of all grace to make us the same that he requireth us to be.
Psa 68:29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.
Ver. 29. Because of thy temple ] Or, out of thy temple at Jerusalem, q.d. strengthen us out of thy temple, out of the fulness that is in thy Son, thereby typified.
Shall kings bring presents unto thee ] See Trapp on " Psa 68:22 "
Psa 68:30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, [till every one] submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people [that] delight in war.
Ver. 30. Rebuke the company of spearmen ] Or, lancemen; Heb. the beast of the reeds; that is, say some, voluptuous persons that wallow in wealth, plenty, and pleasure, Job 40:21 , Sicut Pontifices, Cardinales, Episcopi et horum satellites. as Popes, cardinals, bishops and their underlings. Behemoth lieth in the fens, which Gul. Parisiensis applieth to the devil in sensual hearts; reeds grow not but in fat and moist places: but they do better who render it the rout, or crew, of the cane; that is, men that bear reeds or canes, whereof spears, arrows, and lances were wont to be made; these men, or rather beasts, cruel, savage, and bloody, rebuke, that is, repress.
The multitude of the bulls ] The commanders and chieftains.
With the calves of the people ] The common soldiers.
With pieces of silver ] With a homage penny, as they call it.
That delight in war ] That make a sport of it, as Joab, 2 Samuel 2:14 ; as Pyrrhus, king of Epirotes, who made a recreation of warfare. So did not David, though, necessitated thereunto for the glory of God, he was a man of war from his youth. If we princes, said our Henry VII, should delight in war, or take every occasion that is offered, the world should never be quiet, but wearied with continual wars.
Psa 68:31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
Ver. 31. Princes shall come out of Egypt ] The Gentiles shall one day be called, and caused Deum verum cognoscere et colere; even Egypt, that archenemy of the Church; and Ethiopia, the offspring of cursed Ham.
Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God ] Heb. shall make her hands to run; whereby is noted her speediness in giving or in receiving the gospel, Manibus pedibusque obnixe omnia faciet (Terent.). It is likely that that good eunuch, Acts 8:26-39 , preached the Christian verity which himself had embraced, for goodness is diffusive; and birds, when they come to a full heap of corn, will chirp and call in for their fellows. The Habassines are still a kind of Christians, the Nubians have forsaken the faith once delivered, and embraced instead of it partly Mahometanism, and partly idolatry, through lack of ministers, as Alvarez reports (Hist. Aethi. cap. 137).
Psa 68:32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:
Ver. 32. Siny unto God, ye kingdoms ] No such joy as that of the converted; Isaiah 35:10 , "The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads," &c. Bernard, for a certain time after his conversion, remained, as it were, deprived of his senses, by the excessive consolations he had from God. The like befell Cyprian, Austin, and others.
Psa 68:33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, [which were] of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, [and that] a mighty voice.
Ver. 33. To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens ] i.e. The highest heaven, Deuteronomy 10:14 .
Which were of old ] And do still remain in the same state.
Lo, he doth send out his voice ] i.e. Thundereth, as Psalms 29:3 ; whensoever, therefore, we hear it thunder, Sciamus Deum ipsum loqui, hoc est sensibilem reddi. Let us know that God himself speaks, this is to restore us to our senses.
Psa 68:34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency [is] over Israel, and his strength [is] in the clouds.
Ver. 34. Ascribe ye strength unto God ] The high thunderer, υψιβρεμετης (Altitonans); acknowledge your own nothingness, submit to his government.
His excellency is over Israel, and his strength, &c. ] i.e. His glory shineth no less in Israel than the thunder roareth in the clouds.
Psa 68:35 O God, [thou art] terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel [is] he that giveth strength and power unto [his] people. Blessed [be] God.
Ver. 35. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places ] So the sanctuary is called, because divided into three parts; and here hence God was terrible in his manifestations to his people, and in his operations to his enemies. See Psalms 67:2-3 .
Blessed be God ] Hereupon, saith one, God was called in Israel, Baruc-hu, the Blessed, as Mark 14:61 , with Matthew 26:63 . See Luke 1:68 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 68". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/