Psalms 68:18

18 When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from[a] the rebellious— that you,[b]LORD God, might dwell there.

Psalms 68:18 in Other Translations

18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
18 You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there.
18 When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the LORD God will live among us there.
18 You climbed to the High Place, captives in tow, your arms full of booty from rebels, And now you sit there in state, God, sovereign God!
18 You ascended to the heights, taking away captives; You received gifts from people, even from the rebellious, so that the Lord God might live [there].

Psalms 68:18 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 68:18

Thou hast ascended on high
Which is to be understood, not of Moses ascending up to the firmament, as the Targum and Jarchi interpret it, of which we nowhere read; nor of David's going up to the high fortresses, as Aben Ezra; nor of God's ascent from Mount Sinai; but of Christ's ascension to heaven, as the apostle cites and explains it in ( Ephesians 4:8 Ephesians 4:9 ) ; which ascension respects him as man, was not figurative, as in ( Genesis 17:22 ) ; but real and local, from earth to heaven, and was certain and visible; he was seen to go up by angels and men; and, because of the certainty of it, it is here expressed in the past tense, though it was then future;

thou hast led captivity captive;
meaning either such who had been captives, in which sense the word is used, ( Psalms 126:1 ) ; and so may design either those who had been prisoners in the grave, but were set free at Christ's resurrection, and went with him in triumph to heaven; or all his people, whom he redeemed by his blood from that captivity and bondage they were in by nature; or rather those who led them captive are here meant by "captivity"; such as sin, Satan, the world, death, and every spiritual enemy, whom Christ conquered and triumphed over; the allusion may be to public triumphs, when captives were led in chains, even kings and great men, that had captivated others: the words seem to be borrowed out of ( Judges 5:12 ) ;

thou hast received gifts for men;
the gifts of the Holy Spirit, qualifying men for the ministry of the Gospel, as they are interpreted by the Apostle, ( Ephesians 4:11 ) ; these Christ received from his divine Father in human nature, when he ascended up to heaven, in order to give them to men; and which he did in a very extraordinary manner on the day of Pentecost. The Targum and Syriac version render it, "thou hast given gifts to men"; and the Arabic version, "and he gave gifts to men", as the apostle, ( Ephesians 4:8 ) ;

yea, [for] the rebellious also;
disobedient and unbelieving F13, as all men are by nature, even God's elect, before conversion, ( Titus 3:3 ) ; who are not only called by grace, and have the blessings of grace bestowed upon them; but some of them have gifts given them, whereby they are fitted to preach the Gospel to others, as Saul, the blasphemer, persecutor, and injurious; and some of those among the Jews, that were concerned in the crucifixion of Christ: though some think the Gentiles are intended, on whom the Holy Spirit was poured forth after our Lord's ascension; and so the Targum interprets it of the rebellious, who become proselytes, and return by repentance;

that the Lord God might dwell [among them];
that is, that they, by the gifts and graces of the Spirit bestowed on them, might become a fit habitation for God; or that "they", the rebellious, being now partakers of the grace of God and his gifts, "might dwell [with] the Lord God"


F14 in his churches; enjoy his divine presence, and have communion with him in his word and ordinances.

F13 (Myrdwo) (apeiyountev) Sept. "non credentes", V. L.
F14 (Nkvl) "ut habitent cum Jah, Jehovah", Piscator; "cum Deo", Gejerus; "ut habitent pulchritudinem Dei", Cocceius.

Psalms 68:18 In-Context

16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain, at the mountain where God chooses to reign, where the LORD himself will dwell forever?
17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.
18 When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious— that you,LORD God, might dwell there.
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.

Cross References 5

Footnotes 2

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