Psalms 114

1 When Israel came out of Egypt, Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
2 Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back;
4 the mountains leaped like rams, the hills like lambs.
5 Why was it, sea, that you fled? Why, Jordan, did you turn back?
6 Why, mountains, did you leap like rams, you hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.

Psalms 114 Commentary

Chapter 114

An exhortation to fear God.

- Let us acknowledge God's power and goodness in what he did for Israel, applying it to that much greater work of wonder, our redemption by Christ; and encourage ourselves and others to trust in God in the greatest straits. When Christ comes for the salvation of his people , he redeems them from the power of sin and Satan, separates them from an ungodly world, forms them to be his people, and becomes their King. There is no sea, no Jordan, so deep, so broad, but, when God's time is come, it shall be divided and driven back. Apply this to the planting the Christian church in the world. What ailed Satan and his idolatries, that they trembled as they did? But especially apply it to the work of grace in the heart. What turns the stream in a regenerate soul? What affects the lusts and corruptions, that they fly back; that prejudices are removed, and the whole man becomes new? It is at the presence of God's Spirit. At the presence of the Lord, not only mountains, but the earth itself may well tremble, since it has lain under a curse for man's sin. As the Israelites were protected, so they were provided for by miracles; such was that fountain of waters into which the flinty rock was turned, and that rock was Christ. The Son of God, the Rock of ages, gave himself to death, to open a fountain to wash away sins, and to supply believers with waters of life and consolation; and they need not fear that any blessing is too great to expect from his love. But let sinners fear before their just and holy Judge. Let us now prepare to meet our God, that we may have boldness before him at his coming.

Cross References 9

  • 1. S Exodus 13:3; S Exodus 29:46
  • 2. Psalms 76:1
  • 3. S Exodus 15:17; Psalms 78:68-69
  • 4. Exodus 14:21; Psalms 77:16
  • 5. S Exodus 15:8; S Joshua 3:16
  • 6. S Judges 5:5
  • 7. S Exodus 14:21
  • 8. S Exodus 15:14; S 1 Chronicles 16:30; Psalms 96:9
  • 9. S Exodus 17:6; S Numbers 20:11; Psalms 107:35

Chapter Summary


The title of this psalm in the Arabic version is "hallelujah", as in some preceding ones; it is part of the great "Hallel" sung at the passover, and with great propriety; since the subject matter of it is the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, typical of our spiritual redemption by Christ; and of the effectual calling of God's elect out of a state of nature into a state of grace; and particularly of the conversion of the Gentiles, and the bringing of them from Paganism to Christianity: the inscription of the Syriac version is,

``a psalm without a name, out of the ancient writing; concerning Moses, who sung praise at the sea; but unto us the calling of the Gospel, by which we become a new people; spiritual to God, who is incarnate; to Jesus Christ, who redeemed us by his blood from the curse of the Scripture (the law), and hath cleansed us from sin by his Spirit.''

Psalms 114 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.