Verse 6. Fear took hold upon them there. They were in Giant Despair's grip. Where they hoped to triumph, there they quivered with dismay. They did not take the city, but fear took hold on them. And pain, as of a woman in travail. They were as much overcome as a woman whose fright causes premature delivery; or, as full of pain as a poor mother in her pangs -- a strong expression, commonly employed by Orientals to set forth the extremity of anguish. When the Lord arises for the help of his church, the proudest of his foes shall be as trembling women, and their dismay shall be but the beginning of eternal defeat.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5-6. See Psalms on "Psalms 48:5" for further information.
Verse 6. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Nothing is more unaccountable than panic. No man, no body of men can adequately guard against such terror. He who made the ears can easily make them to tingle. He who holds the winds in his fist, can easily make them whisper alarm, or roar dismay. This is specially to be expected when men so act as to have their own conscience against them. Job 15:21 . But God can at any time so forsake men as that they shall be unmanned, and play the fool exceedingly. Leviticus 26:36 . Men have fought bravely several battles, and then played the coward. William S. Plumer.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- The opposition of worldly powers to the church. "The kings," etc.
- The manner in which they are subdued -- by their own fears; conscience has persecuted those who have persecuted the church of God. They who have seized the ark of God have been glad to return it with an offering.
- The completeness of their overthrow, As a fleet of ships of Tarshish, dispersed, broken, and engulfed by the east wind.