Psalms 74:14

14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

Psalms 74:14 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 74:14

Thou breakest the heads of leviathan in pieces
A large fish, generally thought to be the whale, by some the crocodile, described in ( Job 41:1 ) to which the king of Egypt or Babylon is compared, ( Isaiah 27:1 ) and so the Romish antichrist in one of his characters is represented as a sea beast with many heads, which will all be broken in pieces in due time, ( Revelation 13:1 ) , as here is one "leviathan" with heads in the plural number. Aben Ezra thinks the word (lk) is wanting, and may be supplied thus, "thou hast broken the heads of every leviathan"; it may be interpreted as before of Pharaoh and his chief men; so the Targum,

``thou hast broken the heads of the mighty men of Pharaoh:''

and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness;
either to the wild beasts, called "tziim", the word here used, ( Isaiah 13:21 ) and may be called a people, as the ants and coneys are, ( Proverbs 30:25 Proverbs 30:26 ) , to whom the dead bodies of Pharaoh and his host, drowned in the Red sea, were given for food, when they were cast upon the shore, where the Israelites saw them dead, ( Exodus 14:28 ) , or to the "Ichthyophagy", a sort of people that dwelt by the Red sea, and lived on fishes; and so the Egyptians became their food, they living upon the fish which devoured their bodies, at least some of them: the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, render it, "to the people", the Ethiopians; who, it seems, living upon the borders of Egypt, took this opportunity, when Pharaoh and his host were drowned, and seized upon their country; but others refer it to the people of Israel themselves, as the Targum,

``thou hast given them for destruction to the people of the house of Israel, and their bodies to the dragons;''

and so Jarchi,

``thou hast given his mammon or riches to the people of Israel, to feed their companies and armies;''

and Kimchi interprets it of the spoil of the sea which the Israelites took from them; and they may be truly called the people inhabiting the wilderness, since they were in one forty years; so the Romish "leviathan", or antichristian whore, will be given to the Christian kings, who will hate her, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire; and to the Christian church, which now is in the wilderness, where it is nourished for a time and times, and half a time.

Psalms 74:14 In-Context

12 Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You cut openings for springs and torrents; you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Heb [food for the people]