He stood and measured the earth
This alludes to the ark of the Lord, the symbol of his presence, standing and abiding at Gilgal for the space of fourteen years, while the land of Canaan was subdued by Joshua; and then measured out by him, and divided by lot, as an inheritance to the children of Israel, according to the direction and appointment of the Lord, ( Joshua 13:1-33 ) &c.: here it may have respect to the mission of the apostles into the various parts of the world, and the distribution of it among them; some being sent into one part, and some into another, called their particular line and measure, ( 2 Corinthians 10:14-16 ) some into India, others into Ethiopia; some into Asia, and others into Europe; by which means the Gospel was preached everywhere, and great part of the world became Christians: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations;
with a look of his he made them give way; he drove the Canaanites out of the land, and separated them from one another, and scattered them about, to make room for his people Israel, ( Psalms 78:55 ) : and the everlasting mountains were scattered;
or, "were broken" F9: the perpetual hills did bow;
the mountains and hills that were from the beginning of the creation, that were settled upon their bases, and never moved, now trembled, shook, and bowed, as Sinai and others did, at the presence of the God of Israel; see ( Judges 5:5 ) ( Psalms 68:8 Psalms 68:16 ) or rather, figuratively, these may design the kingdoms and states, kings and princes, greater and lesser, belonging to the land of Canaan, which were shaken, moved, and taken by the Israelites, and brought into subjection to them; and in like manner kings and kingdoms, comparable to mountains and hills, through the preaching of the Gospel, and the power of Christ attending it, were brought to yield unto him, at the downfall of Paganism in the Roman empire: this is signified by every mountain and island being moved out of their places, and kings and great men calling to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb, ( Revelation 6:14-17 ) : his ways [are] everlasting;
and what he has done in ages past he can do again; his power, his wisdom, and his grace, are unchangeably the same; and all he does in time, every step he takes, is according to his counsels, purposes, and decrees in eternity, which infallibly come to pass; nor can he be hindered and frustrated in the execution of them; as he has begun, he will go on; as he has set up his kingdom in the world, he will support and maintain it; and though there are many obstructions and remoras in the way of it, he will go on, and remove them, until he has thoroughly established it, and brought it to its highest glory, which he has designed; all mountains and hills are nothing before him; he can soon make them a plain; see ( Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:17 ) : or, "the ways of the world F11 are his"; the world is under his government, and all things in it subject to his providence; he can rule and overrule all things for his own glory, and the good of his interest, and he will do it; everything is subject to his control, and under his direction; not a step can be taken without his will. This the prophet observes along with the above things, to encourage the faith and expectation of the saints, that the work of the Lord will be revived, and his kingdom and interest promoted and established in the world; though there may, and will, be many difficulties and distresses previous to it.
F9 (wuupty) "contriti sunt", Pagninus, Montanus; so R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 95. 1.
F11 (Mlwe twkylh) "itinera mundi", Vatablus, Tigurine version.