Psalms 68:31

31 Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush[a] will submit herself to God.

Psalms 68:31 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
English Standard Version (ESV)
31 Nobles shall come from Egypt; Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.
New Living Translation (NLT)
31 Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals ; let Ethiopia bring tribute to God.
The Message Bible (MSG)
31 Let Egyptian traders bring blue cloth and Cush come running to God, her hands outstretched.
American Standard Version (ASV)
31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall haste to stretch out her hands unto God.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt. Sudan will stretch out its hands to God [in prayer].
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
31 Ambassadors will come from Egypt; Cush will stretch out its hands to God.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
31 Messengers will come from Egypt. The people of Cush will be quick to bring gifts to you.

Psalms 68:31 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 68:31

Princes shall come out of Egypt
The Vulgate Latin and all the Oriental versions render it "ambassadors". This verse is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, under the names of Egypt and Ethiopia; which will be at the same time that the kings of the earth will become Christians, and antichrist will be destroyed. The Gospel is said to be preached in Egypt by Mark the Evangelist; and no doubt but there were conversions there in the first times of the Gospel; but there will be more in the latter day; see ( Psalms 87:3 Psalms 87:4 ) ( Isaiah 19:1-25 ) . Unless we understand this of kings and princes, that shall leave the communion of the church of Rome, which is spiritually and mystically Egypt, and join themselves with the true churches of see ( Revelation 11:8 ) ( 18:4 ) . The conversion of every sinner is a coming out of Egypt; it is a call of them out of darkness and bondage, worse than that of Egypt, into light and liberty, when they are set among princes, even the princes of Christ's people;

Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God;
the Gospel is said to be preached in Ethiopia by the Evangelist Matthew, and also by Matthias, who succeeded Judas in the apostleship; by means of whose ministry there is reason to conclude some were converted: and we have an instance of a famous Ethiopian, that was converted and baptized by Philip, ( Acts 8:27 ) ; and who very likely carried the Gospel into this country, and spread it: so that this prophecy began to have its fulfilment then, but will have a greater hereafter; see, ( Psalms 87:4 ) . All men are like Ethiopians, even God's elect, in a state of nature and unregeneracy: they are black with original sin and actual transgressions; and can no more remove this blackness than the Ethiopian can change his skin, ( Jeremiah 13:23 ) . They are, like them, idolaters, serving divers lusts and pleasures, the idols of their own hearts; are in a state of distance, afar off from God and Christ, and from his people, word, and ordinances; and are enemies in their minds by wicked works, yea, enmity itself, and stretch out their hands against God; but when they are called and converted, and made sensible of their state, then they stretch out their hands unto God, as a gesture of sorrow, ( Jeremiah 4:31 ) ( Lamentations 1:17 ) ; expressing their sorrow for sin, as committed against God, and because of the evil that is in it; and look to Christ, and stretch out their hands to him, whom they have pierced, and mourn; and as a prayer gesture, ( Job 11:13 ) . For, as soon as a man is converted, he prays and cries to God for pardoning grace and mercy, and to be cleansed from his sin, and to be openly received into his favour, and to enjoy communion with him; and as the gesture of a man in the utmost danger, who stretches out, his hand to lay hold on anything to save him; and so a sinner, sensible of its danger, and seeing Christ and salvation in him, it stretches out its hand, lays hold on him, and will have him and no other to be its Saviour, and receives his righteousness, and grace out of his fulness; and as the gesture of one that is conquered, resigning up himself into the victor's hands, as a token of submission, peace, and reconciliation F13; so sinners, in the day of Christ's power upon them, are made willing to submit and give up themselves to him. In the Hebrew text it is, "shall make her hands to run unto God" F14; that is, with an offering, gold or some treasure, to bring it unto God, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, interpret it, which may very well be understood of the offering of themselves, as well as of the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise. The Targum is,

``the sons of Ham shall come, the great men out of Egypt, to be made proselytes; the children of Cush (or Ethiopia) shall run to stretch out their hands in prayer to God.''

Jarchi's note is,

``and then when thou shalt destroy Esau (his posterity), and the King Messiah shall arise, they shall bring to thee gifts out of Ethiopia.''

And so he owns this to be a prophecy of the Messiah; and so it is applied to the times of the Messiahs and to the nations bringing gifts to him, in the Talmud F15, and other Jewish writings F16.


F13 Vid. Caesar. Comment. de Bello Gallic. l. 7. c. 48. "Oremus pacem et dextras tendamus inermes". Virgil. Aeneid. 11.
F14 (Uyrt) "faciet currere", Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F15 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 118. 2.
F16 Shemot Rabba, s. 35. fol. 136. 4.

Psalms 68:31 In-Context

29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring you gifts.
30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations. Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver. Scatter the nations who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush will submit herself to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Isaiah 19:19; Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14
  • 2. Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 18:1; Zephaniah 3:10

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, the upper Nile region
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