Psalm 68

The God of Sinai and the Sanctuary has brought us through the wilderness
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Text
Explanation
This psalm is a history lesson. It has challenged translators, but the message is clear enough.
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.
 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.
 3  But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
  1 - Let God arise Standing indicates taking power. da1201. Compare nu1035.
  2 - Smoke ps03720, mi0103ff.
  2 - Wicked perish Some believe that they live forever in torment in the middle of the earth. The Bible just doesn't teach this. jn0316.
  4 - Rideth upon the heavens Instead of "heavens" we may read "desert." Except that in the Ugaritic language it could be "rideth on the clouds." Perhaps the KJV manuscripts are a lot more reliable than some think.
.4  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
.5  A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
 6  God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
  What a loving and personal God we have! He is often misunderstood to be harsh and without grace in the OT. jn1627.
.7 ¶ O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:
 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.
 9  Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.
 10  Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.
  8 - Dropped Probably better translated "tossed."
 11  The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published [proclaimed] it.
 12  Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.
 12 "Kings of armies flee, they flee, And she who remains at home divides the spoil. (NKJV)
 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.
 14  When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.
  11 - The Lord gave the word They went forward to conquer the land. See His command concerning Ai jos0801.
  11 - Those that published In harmony with the Hebrew grammar, these would be women. See 1sa1806, ex1520.
  12 - Kings ... flee apace The NKJV is better.
  13 - Lien among the pots Literally, "Remain sitting by the hearthstones." Or "Even while you sleep among the campfires." (NIV).
  14 - Salmon There is a hill called Mt. Zalmon near Shechem jg0948, but it would rarely have snow. It may have been Jebel Hauran east of the Sea of Galilee.
 15 ¶ The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.
 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.
.17  The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
.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.
  18 - Ascended ... gifts This is a prophecy of the blessings of the Spirit made possible by the victory of Christ on the cross ep0408.
 19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
 20  He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.
  19 - Daily How wonderful! And we must daily come to Him in prayer.
  20 - God of our salvation Connect this thought with the title given to the psalm by translators above.
 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.
 22 ¶ The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:
 The Lord said: `From Bashan I bring back, I bring back from the depths of the sea. (YLT)
 23  That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.
 24  They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
.25  The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.
 26  Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
 27  There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
  22 - Bring again We see that the wicked, not the righteous, are to be brought back and that it is for punishment according to the next verses.
  22 - My people These were supplied by translators and obscure the meaning of the text. See the YLT literal translation.
  23 - Foot ... dipped Trampling represents victory over enemies. See on ps05810. Also 2sa2239, re1201.
  23 - Dogs We are reminded of Jezebel 1ki2123. Here the trampling pictures the final punishment of the wicked at the second resurrection which is at the end of the thousand years. At the beginning of that time is the coming of Christ re1115, re0107. The righteous dead are raised. The righteous living join them and are taken to heaven. 1th0416. The wicked, not raised at that time, obviously stay dead while the wicked living then are destroyed re1911-21. So during the thousand years, all the wicked are dead while all the righteous live and reign with Christ in heaven re2004,5. This is the time of the Great White Throne re2011 the final judgment of the wicked and the second death. See chart.
  27 - Benjamin Mt. Zion was near the tribes mentioned. The word, little, is from sair which may also mean "young" or "low." Reference may be to Saul.
.28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us. 
 29  Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.
 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.
 31  Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
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 32 ¶ Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:
.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.
 34  Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.
 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.
  33 - Rideth See on v4; de1014.
  35 - Giveth strength What a blessing 1co1013.

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