Psalms 68

Listen to Psalms 68
1 1God shall arise, his enemies shall be 2scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him!
2 As 3smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; 4as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God!
3 But 5the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
4 Sing to God, 6sing praises to his name; 7lift up a song to him who 8rides through 9the deserts; his name is 10the LORD; exult before him!
5 11Father of the fatherless and 12protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
6 God 13settles the solitary in a home; he 14leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but 15the rebellious dwell in 16a parched land.
7 O God, when you 17went out before your people, 18when you marched through 19the wilderness, Selah
8 20the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.
9 21Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad; you restored your inheritance as it languished;
10 your flock[a] found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you 22provided for the needy.
11 The Lord gives 23the word; 24the women who announce the news are a great host:
12 25"The kings of the armies--they flee, they flee!" The women at home 26divide the spoil--
13 though you men lie among 27the sheepfolds-- the wings of a dove covered with silver, its pinions with shimmering gold.
14 When the Almighty scatters kings there, let snow fall on 28Zalmon.
15 O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan; O many-peaked[b] mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain, at the mount that God 29desired for his abode, yes, where the LORD will dwell forever?
17 30The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
18 31You ascended on high, 32leading a host of captives in your train and 33receiving gifts among men, even among 34the rebellious, 35that the LORD God may dwell there.
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily 36bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah
20 Our God is a God of salvation, 37and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
21 38But God will strike the heads of his enemies, the hairy crown of him who walks in his guilty ways.
22 The Lord said, "I will bring them back 39from Bashan, 40I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23 that you may 41strike your feet in their blood, that 42the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from the foe."
24 Your procession is[c] seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary--
25 43the singers in front, 44the musicians last, between them 45virgins playing tambourines:
26 46"Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you[d] who are of 47Israel's fountain!"
27 There is 48Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead, the princes of Judah in their throng, the princes of 49Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
28 50Summon your power, O God,[e] the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings shall 51bear gifts to you.
30 Rebuke 52the beasts that dwell among the reeds, the herd of 53bulls with the calves of the peoples. 54Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute; scatter the peoples who delight in war.[f]
31 Nobles shall come from 55Egypt; 56Cush shall hasten to 57stretch out her hands to God.
32 58O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah
33 to him 59who rides in 60the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he 61sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 62Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose 63power is in 64the skies.
35 65Awesome is God from his[g]66sanctuary; the God of Israel--he is the one who gives 67power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!

Psalms 68 Commentary

Chapter 68

A prayer-- The greatness and goodness of God. (1-6) The wonderful works God wrought for his people. (7-14) The presence of God in his church. (15-21) The victories of Christ. (22-28) Enlargement of the church. (29-31) The glory and grace of God. (32-35)

Verses 1-6 None ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. God is the joy of his people, then let them rejoice when they come before him. He who derives his being from none, but gives being to all, is engaged by promise and covenant to bless his people. He is to be praised as a God of mercy and tender compassion. He ever careth for the afflicted and oppressed: repenting sinners, who are helpless and exposed more than any fatherless children, are admitted into his family, and share all their blessings.

Verses 7-14 Fresh mercies should put us in mind of former mercies. If God bring his people into a wilderness, he will be sure to go before them in it, and to bring them out of it. He provided for them, both in the wilderness and in Canaan. The daily manna seems here meant. And it looks to the spiritual provision for God's Israel. The Spirit of grace and the gospel of grace are the plentiful rain, with which God confirms his inheritance, and from which their fruit is found. Christ shall come as showers that water the earth. The account of Israel's victories is to be applied to the victories over death and hell, by the exalted Redeemer, for those that are his. Israel in Egypt among the kilns appeared wretched, but possessed of Canaan, during the reigns of David and Solomon, appeared glorious. Thus the slaves of Satan, when converted to Christ, when justified and sanctified by him, look honourable. When they reach heaven, all remains of their sinful state disappear, they shall be as the wings of the dove, covered with silver, and her feathers as gold. Full salvation will render those white as snow, who were vile and loathsome through the guilt and defilement of sin.

Verses 15-21 The ascension of Christ must here be meant, and thereto it is applied, ( Ephesians 4:8 ) . He received as the purchase of his death, the gifts needful for the conversion of sinners, and the salvation of believers. These he continually bestows, even on rebellious men, that the Lord God might dwell among them, as their Friend and Father. He gave gifts to men. Having received power to give eternal life, the Lord Jesus bestows it on as many as were given him, ( John 17:2 ) . Christ came to a rebellious world, not to condemn it, but that through him it might be saved. The glory of Zion's King is, that he is a Saviour and Benefactor to all his willing people, and a consuming fire to all that persist in rebellion against him. So many, so weighty are the gifts of God's bounty, that he may be truly said to load us with them. He will not put us off with present things for a portion, but will be the God of our salvation. The Lord Jesus has authority and power to rescue his people from the dominion of death, by taking away the sting of it from them when they die, and giving them complete victory over it when they rise again. The crown of the head, the chief pride and glory of the enemy, shall be smitten; Christ shall crush the head of the serpent.

Verses 22-28 The victories with which God blessed David over the enemies of Israel, are types of Christ's victory, for himself and for all believers. Those who take him for theirs, may see him acting as their God, as their King, for their good, and in answer to their prayers; especially in and by his word and ordinances. The kingdom of the Messiah shall be submitted to by all the rulers and learned in the world. The people seem to address the king, ver. Verse 28 . But the words are applicable to the Redeemer, to his church, and every true believer. We pray, that thou, O God the Son, wilt complete thine undertaking for us, by finishing thy good work in us.

Verses 29-31 A powerful invitation is given to those that are without, to join the church. Some shall submit from fear; overcome by their consciences, and the checks of Providence, they are brought to make peace with the church. Others will submit ( psalms 68:29-31 ) service of God, and in the gospel of Christ which went forth from Jerusalem, which is enough to invite sinners out of all nations.

Verses 32-35 God is to be admired and adored with reverence and godly fear, by all that attend in his holy places. The God of Israel gives strength and power unto his people. Through Christ strengthening us we can do all things, not otherwise; therefore he must have the glory of all we do, with our humble thanks for enabling us to do it, and for accepting the work of his hands in us.

Cross References 67

  • 1. Numbers 10:35; Isaiah 33:3
  • 2. [Psalms 89:10; Psalms 92:9]
  • 3. See Psalms 37:20
  • 4. Psalms 22:14; Psalms 97:5; Micah 1:4
  • 5. See Psalms 32:11
  • 6. Psalms 66:4
  • 7. [Isaiah 62:10]
  • 8. ver. 33; [Psalms 18:10]
  • 9. Isaiah 40:3
  • 10. Psalms 89:8
  • 11. See Psalms 10:14
  • 12. Deuteronomy 10:18
  • 13. Psalms 113:9; 1 Samuel 2:5
  • 14. Psalms 69:33; Psalms 107:10, 14; Psalms 146:7; Acts 12:7; Acts 16:26
  • 15. ver. 18
  • 16. [Psalms 107:33, 40]
  • 17. Exodus 13:21; Judges 4:14; Habakkuk 3:13; Zechariah 14:3
  • 18. Judges 5:4
  • 19. Psalms 78:40
  • 20. Exodus 19:18; Judges 5:4
  • 21. See Psalms 65:9, 10
  • 22. Psalms 65:9; Psalms 78:20
  • 23. [Psalms 33:9]
  • 24. [Exodus 15:20; 1 Samuel 18:6]
  • 25. Psalms 110:5; [Numbers 31:8; Joshua 10:16; Judges 5:19]; See Joshua 12:7-24
  • 26. Judges 5:30
  • 27. [Genesis 49:14; Judges 5:16]
  • 28. Judges 9:48
  • 29. Psalms 132:13, 14; [Psalms 78:54; Psalms 87:1, 2; Deuteronomy 12:5]
  • 30. 2 Kings 6:17; Habakkuk 3:8
  • 31. Psalms 7:7; Psalms 47:5; Cited Ephesians 4:8; [Acts 1:9]
  • 32. Judges 5:12
  • 33. [Acts 2:4, 33]
  • 34. [Romans 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:13]
  • 35. Psalms 78:60; Exodus 29:45; Revelation 21:3; [John 14:23]
  • 36. [Isaiah 46:4]
  • 37. Deuteronomy 32:39; Ecclesiastes 7:18; Revelation 1:18
  • 38. Psalms 110:6; Habakkuk 3:13
  • 39. Numbers 21:33
  • 40. See Amos 9:2-4
  • 41. Psalms 58:10
  • 42. [1 Kings 21:19; 1 Kings 22:38]
  • 43. Psalms 47:5; 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:16
  • 44. See Psalms 33:3
  • 45. Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34
  • 46. Psalms 22:25; Psalms 26:12
  • 47. Deuteronomy 33:28; Isaiah 48:1; [Isaiah 51:1]
  • 48. [1 Samuel 9:21]
  • 49. [Judges 5:18]
  • 50. See Psalms 42:8
  • 51. Psalms 45:12; Psalms 76:11; 1 Kings 10:10, 25; 2 Chronicles 32:23; Isaiah 18:7
  • 52. Job 40:21; Isaiah 19:6; Ezekiel 29:3, 4; [Ezekiel 32:2]
  • 53. Psalms 22:12
  • 54. [2 Samuel 8:2, 6]
  • 55. Isaiah 19:19, 21
  • 56. Psalms 87:4; Isaiah 45:14; Zephaniah 3:10
  • 57. Psalms 44:20
  • 58. Psalms 102:22
  • 59. Psalms 18:10; Psalms 104:3; Deuteronomy 33:26
  • 60. Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27
  • 61. Psalms 29:4; See Psalms 46:6
  • 62. Psalms 29:1
  • 63. Psalms 150:1
  • 64. Psalms 36:5; Psalms 57:10; Psalms 108:4
  • 65. [Psalms 65:5]; See Psalms 47:2
  • 66. [Psalms 110:2]
  • 67. Isaiah 40:29; See Psalms 29:11

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Or your congregation
  • [b]. Or hunch-backed; also verse 16
  • [c]. Or has been
  • [d]. The Hebrew for you is plural here
  • [e]. Probable reading; Hebrew Your God has summoned your power
  • [f]. The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
  • [g]. Septuagint; Hebrew your

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm [or] Song of David. The Targum makes the argument of this psalm to be the coming of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; in which it is followed by many of the Jewish interpreters: but Aben Ezra rejects such an interpretation of it, and thinks that David composed it, concerning the war he had with the uncircumcised nations, the Philistines and others, 2 Samuel 8:1, &c. And so the title of the Syriac version begins, "a psalm of David, when the kings prepared themselves to fight against him:" and Kimchi says it was composed on account of Sennacherib's army coming against Jerusalem, in the times of Hezekiah, and so delivered by David, under a spirit of prophecy concerning that affair; though he owns that some of their writers interpret it of the war of Gog and Magog, in the times of the Messiah they yet expect. But they are much nearer the truth, who take it that it was written on occasion of the ark being brought to the city of David; seeing it begins with much the same words that Moses used when the ark set forward in his times, Numbers 10:35; and the bringing of which was attended with great joy and gladness, 2 Samuel 6:14; such as the righteous are called upon to express in this psalm, Psalm 68:3. And this being a type of Christ, and of his ascending the holy hill of God, may be allowed of; for certain it is that this psalm treats of the coming of Christ, and of blessings by him, and of victory over his enemies; and particularly of his ascension to heaven, as most evidently appears from Ephesians 4:8; and from prophecies in it, concerning the calling of the Gentiles. Wherefore the latter part of the Syriac inscription of it is very pertinent; "also a prophecy concerning the dispensation of the Messiah, and concerning the calling of the Gentiles to the faith." Jarchi interprets Psalm 68:31 of the Messiah.

Psalms 68 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.