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Psalms 68:17

17 With mighty chariotry, twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands, the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place.

Psalms 68:17 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 68:17

The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand
By which are meant the angels, as the following clause shows; called "chariots", because they have appeared in such a form, ( 2 Kings 2:11 ) ( 6:17 ) ; and because, like chariots of war, they are the strength and protection of the Lord's people; and because of their swiftness in doing his work; and because they are for his honour and glory: they are the chariots of God, in which he rides about the world doing his will; they are the chariots in which Christ ascended up to heaven, and in which he will descend at the last day; and in which he now fetches the souls of his people to him at death, and will make use of them at the resurrection to gather them to him, when their bodies are raised by him: their number is very great, and in other places is mentioned as greater, ( Daniel 7:10 ) ( Revelation 5:11 ) ; Christ speaks of twelve legions of them, ( Matthew 26:53 ) ; there is a multitude of them, and they are said to be even innumerable, ( Luke 2:13 ) ( Hebrews 12:22 ) ; which is observed, both for the glory of God, and for the safety of his people: even "thousands of angels"; the word for "angels" is only used in this place; Kimchi and Ben Melech take it to be one of the names of angels by which they were called: some derive it from a word which signifies "peaceable [and] quiet"; as expressive of the tranquil state in which they are in heaven, always beholding the face of God there: others from a word which signifies "sharp", as Jarchi; and so refers to their being the executioners of God's wrath and vengeance on men, and alluding to a sort of chariots with sharp hooks used in war: others from a word which signifies to "second"; these being the second, or next to God, the chief princes; or, as Aben Ezra, it denotes the number of angels, even "two thousand"; so the Targum,

``the chariots of God are two myriads (or twenty thousand) of burning fires, two thousand of angels lead them;''

the Lord [is] among them [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place];
that is, at the head of them, being their Governor and Commander, at whose beck they are, and ready to do his will; and he was among them when he ascended to heaven, as it follows, being carried up by them; as he was among them at Sinai, when the law was given; for Christ was there then, ( Acts 7:38 ) ; and attended with ten thousands of his holy angels, by whom the law was ordained, spoken, and given, ( Deuteronomy 33:2 ) ( Acts 7:53 ) ( Galatians 3:19 ) ( Hebrews 2:2 ) ; which Sinai is called the holy place, from the presence of God there, and the law given from it: or else the sense is, that Christ is among the angels as in Sinai of old; so in the holy place, in Sion his holy hill, the church under the Gospel dispensation, where there are an innumerable company of angels, ( Hebrews 12:22 ) ; according to the construction of the word in the Hebrew text, it seems as if Sinai was in the holy place, the inside of it being of cedar, like the Shittim wood that grew about Sinai F12; or rather the worship commanded and directed to on mount Sinai was performed in it.


F12 Vid. Texelii Phoenix, l. 3. c. 7. p. 281.

Psalms 68:17 In-Context

15 O mighty mountain, mountain of Bashan; O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16 Why do you look with envy, O many-peaked mountain, at the mount that God desired for his abode, where the Lord will reside forever?
17 With mighty chariotry, twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands, the Lord came from Sinai into the holy place.
18 You ascended the high mount, leading captives in your train and receiving gifts from people, even from those who rebel against the Lord God's abiding there.
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. (Selah)

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Cn: Heb [The Lord among them Sinai in the holy] (place)