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Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Jah — Is an abbreviation of the name Jehovah, which the Heathens pronounced Jao.
Before him — Before the ark where he is present, as David is said to dance before the Lord, upon this occasion, 2 Samuel 6:14.
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
Habitation — In heaven.
God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
Rebellious — Those who rebel against God.
O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; /*Selah*/:
Wentest — In the cloudy pillar, as their captain leading them up out of Egypt.
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.
Dropped — Poured down great showers, which accompanied those mighty thunders.
Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.
Weary — Dry and thirsty, and parched with excessive heat, and ready to faint for want of rain, Psalm 63:1.
Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.
Thy congregation — The people of Israel.
It — This land for the use of thy people: which God did by designing it for them, and expelling the old inhabitants; by furnishing it with all sorts of provisions, and making it fruitful by his special blessing.
Poor — Such thy really were, when God undertook the conduct of them into Canaan.
The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
Gave — He put this triumphant song into their mouths.
Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.
Kings — The kings of Canaan, and other nations who came forth against the Israelites, accompanied with great and numerous armies.
The spoil — There was enough, not only for those who took it, but also to be divided to their wives and children, when they came home.
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.
Ye — Ye Israelites.
Ye are — Tho' you have formerly been exposed to great reproach and misery, yet God hath changed your condition.
Gold — Beautiful and glorious, like the feathers of a dove, which according to the variety of its postures, and of the light shining upon it, look like silver and gold.
When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.
Therein — In Canaan, at the coming of the Israelites. The land was as white as mount Salmon is with the snow.
The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.
The hill — Zion, the seat of God's ark.
High hill — Which is not to be understood of external height, but of its spiritual height, or exaltation, in regard of the glorious privileges of God's presence, and worship.
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.
Leap — Why do you triumph and look upon Zion with contempt? He speaks to the hills by an usual figure.
Will dwell — This hill, though despicable in your eyes, is precious in God's, and chosen by him for his perpetual residence.
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
Chariots — The armies (whereof chariots were an eminent part in those times) which attend upon God to do his pleasure.
Twenty thousand — An innumerable company, a certain number being put for an uncertain.
Among them — Here the psalmist seems to be transported by the prophetic spirit, from the narration of those external successes, to the prediction of the Messiah; and of the transcendent privileges and blessings accruing to mankind thereby.
As in Sinai — God is no less gloriously, though less terribly present here, than he was in Sinai, when the great God attended with thousands of his angels, solemnly appeared to deliver the law. Yea, here is a greater privilege than Sinai had, The Lord Jehovah descending from heaven into an human body, as appears by his ascending thither again, which the next verse describes.
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.
Ascended — This has a manifest reference to Christ, and his ascension into heaven, in whom alone it is literally accomplished, and to whom therefore it is ascribed, Ephesians 4:8. Although the expressions are borrowed from the ancient custom of princes, who, after some glorious achievements, used to go up into their royal cities in triumphant chariots, being attended by their captive enemies, and afterward to distribute gifts to their soldiers and subjects, and sometimes to do some acts of clemency even to their rebels and enemies.
Captivity — Those whom thou hast taken captive; death and sin, and the devil, and all the enemies of Christ, and of his people, whom Christ led in triumph, having spoiled them, and making a shew of them openly, Colossians 2:15.
Received — According to thy manhood thou hast received from God all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and all those gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, which are necessary either to the perfection of thy nature, or to the good of thy church and people.
Rebellious — Thy most stubborn and rebellious enemies, whether Jews or Gentiles.
Might dwell — That he who as man is ascended into the highest heavens, might, as God, come down to them, and dwell with them, not only in and by his ordinances in which he is present, but also by his spirit dwelling in their hearts.
He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.
Issues — Escapes or deliverances.
But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
Hairy — In ancient times many people used to wear long and shaggy hair, that their looks might be more terrible to their enemies.
The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:
Bring again — I will give my people as great deliverances as I formerly did, when I saved them from Og, king of Bashan.
The sea — From the Egyptians at the Red Sea.
That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.
That, … — And as it was at the Red Sea, and at Bashan before, so yet again thine enemies shall be slain in such numbers, that thou mayst wade in their blood, and thy dogs lick it up in the field.
They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
They — Men saw and observed it.
Goings — The procession of the ark to Zion, the solemnity whereof is particularly described in the following verses.
The sanctuary — The tabernacle prepared for it.
Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
Fountain — All ye people of Israel.
There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
There is — Present in this solemn pomp of carrying the ark to Zion.
Little — Called little, because it was exceedingly diminished, and almost extinguished under the Judges, Judges 20:35; 21:3 etc.
Ruler — The tribe which had lately swayed the scepter, but now submitted to David.
Company — The people of that tribe who waited upon them.
Zebulun, … — He mentions these tribes, because they lived in the remotest parts of the land of Canaan. And so by naming two of the nearest tribes, and two of the farthest, he intimates that the other tribes also came upon this occasion, as is manifest from2Samuel6:15-19.
Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
Thy God — Having spoken of Israel, he now directs his speech to them.
Commanded — Hath ordained or effectually procured.
Thy strength — all that strength and power which thou hast put forth at any time
Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.
thy temple — The temple which Solomon shall build.
Kings — Kings of the Gentiles: which was done in part, in the times of Solomon and Hezekiah, but more fully when the Lord was come into his temple.
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.
Rebuke — Chastise those that will not bring presents to thee.
The bulls — The fierce and furious adversaries of God, and of his church; the calves, are people or soldiers depending upon them.
Delight — That merely out of a love to mischief and spoil, make war upon others, and upon us particularly.
Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
Ethiopia — He names these, as the ancient enemies of God, and of his people; but by them he understands all other nations of the like character.
Unto God — Begging mercy of him. This prophecy, as also the next verse, evidently belongs to the times of the Messiah.
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.
Heavens — The highest heavens; dwelling there in infinite glory, and from thence looking down upon all the inhabitants of the earth, and ruling them by his almighty power.
Of old — From the beginning of the world; whereas the ark was only some hundred years old.
A voice — His gospel, published by Christ and his apostles, assisted by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven; which might well be called God's voice, and that a mighty voice, because it produced such great and wonderful effects.
Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.
Ascribe — Acknowledge that he is able to do whatsoever he pleaseth.
Excellency — His excellent power and goodness.
Is over — Dwells among them. He is indeed the universal Lord, but in a special manner, he is the God of Israel.
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.
Terrible — Deservedly to be feared.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 68". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany