Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord
Or, "the earth has trembled at the presence of the Lord"; so the Syriac and Arabic versions render it; the imperative is sometimes put for the preterite or past tense, see ( Psalms 22:9 ) , likewise the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions thus render it, "the earth is moved at the presence of the Lord"; and then the sense is by a prosopopoeia. Is it to be wondered at, that we, the sea, the river of Jordan, the mountains and hills, have fled, or have been driven back, or have skipped like rams and lambs, when the whole earth, of which we are a part, has trembled at the presence of God? who, when he does but look, the earth trembles; and when he touches the hills, they smoke, ( Psalms 104:32 ) ( 68:8 ) . It is at the same presence of God we have been thus moved, the power of which we have felt, even
at the presence of the God of Jacob;
who brought Jacob out of Egypt, led him through the sea, and gave him the law on Sinai. This is not to be understood of the general and common presence of God, which is everywhere, and with all his creatures for this is not attended with such wonderful phenomena as here mentioned, either in the literal or mystic sense; but of the majestic, powerful, and gracious presence of God; such as he sometimes causes to attend his ministers, his word, his churches, his martyrs and confessors; and so as to strike an awe upon, and terror into, their greatest enemies, as well as to convert his own people.