The mountains saw thee, [and] they trembled
At the power and presence of God, as Sinai of old; (See Gill on Habakkuk 3:6) by which are signified mighty people and nations, kings and great men, struck with terror at the amazing providence of God in the world, on the behalf of his own people, and against their enemies; see ( Revelation 6:14-17 ) : the overflowing of the water passed by;
which is usually referred to the overflowing of the river Jordan at the time of the passage of the Israelites through it, when the waters above stood and rose up as a heap, and those below failed, and were cut off, and passed away into the salt sea, ( Joshua 3:15 Joshua 3:16 ) but perhaps it may refer to the times of David, when he conquered all his enemies round about, who were like an overflowing flood; but now passed away, particularly the Philistines, who had always been very troublesome to Israel, but now were overcome by David at Baalperazim; where the Lord, on the contrary, broke forth upon his enemies as the breach of waters, from whence the place had its name, ( 2 Samuel 5:20 ) and as this respects time that was then to come, when this prayer was made, it may regard the flood of persecution, which ceased in Constantine's time, when Paganism was abolished, and Christianity established; concerning which it might be said, "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone", ( Song of Solomon 2:11 ) and the word
F14 here used signifies a large shower of rain, causing an inundation, a storm, a tempest; and so fitly expresses the violence of persecution, now at an end: the deep uttered his voice, [and] lifted up hands on high;
language very poetical, exceeding striking, very beautiful and elegant. It is generally understood of the deep waters of the Red sea, or of Jordan, or both, when divided for the Israelites to pass through; at which time, when they rose up, they made a great noise, and stood on a heap; and so the phrases are expressive of the roaring and raging of them as they rose up, which was as if they had spoken; and of the position in which they were, standing up on high, as if they had hands, and these lifted up: but rather they figuratively refer to the mighty nations conquered by David, who asked favour and mercy of him, and signified their subjection to him; and, having respect to times to come, may denote the subjection of the multitude of people and nations in the Roman empire to Christ, when heathenism was abolished in it; and the joy and rejoicing of Christians upon it, and the ceasing of persecution in it, even high and low, rich and poor, all ranks and degrees of men; height and depth, men in high or low circumstances, signified by the depth uttering his voice, and the height lifting up its hands, in token of praise and thankfulness; for so the latter clause may be rendered, "the height lifted up his hands" F15; and answers to the deep in the preceding clause; agreeable to this sense is Jarchi's note,
``"the deep uttered his voice": the inhabitants of the earth praised him; "the height lifted up his hands"; the host of heaven confessed unto him;''every creature in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, ascribed blessing, honour, glory, and power, to the Lord on this occasion, ( Revelation 5:13 ) . The Targum is,
``the powers on high stood wondering;''amazed at what was done, and lifted up their hands with astonishment.
F14 (Mrz) "nimbus", Tigurine version; "impetus", Munster; "imber aquosus", Cocceius, Van Till; "inundatio aquarum", Burkius.
F15 (avn whydy Mwr) "altitudo manum suam sublevavit", Munster; "tudo manus suas tulit", Burkius.