Psalms 68:6

6 God sets the lonely in families,[a]he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalms 68:6 in Other Translations

6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
6 God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
6 God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
6 God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom, but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
6 God provides homes for those who are deserted. He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a scorched land.

Psalms 68:6 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 68:6

God setteth the solitary in families
Which the Jewish writers generally understand of an increase of families, with children in lawful marriage; see ( Psalms 113:9 ) ; an instance of which we have in Abraham and Sarah; from which single or solitary ones, when joined in marriage, sprung a numerous offspring, ( Isaiah 51:2 ) ( Hebrews 11:12 ) . And to this sense the Targum paraphrases the words;

``God is he that joins, couples single ones into a couple, as one:''

some copies add,

``to build an house out of them;''

that is, a family; see ( Ruth 4:11 ) . But it may be better interpreted of the fruitfulness and increase of the church with converts, under the Gospel dispensation, even from among the Gentiles; who were before solitary, or were alone, without God and Christ, and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; but being called and converted by the ministry of the word, were brought into and placed in Gospel churches, or families; see ( Isaiah 54:1 ) ( Galatians 4:26 Galatians 4:27 ) ( Ephesians 2:19 ) ( Acts 14:23 ) ; and may be applied to particular persons, who, before conversion, may be said to be "solitary" or alone; living without God, the knowledge and fear of him, and fellowship with him, being alienated from the life of him through ignorance; and without Christ, and communion with him, he not dwelling in them, nor they in him; and also sensual, not having the Spirit, his graces and fruits; being destitute of faith, hope, and love: and, moreover, aliens from the people of God, having no society with them, being in a state of solitude and darkness, and under the power of sin and Satan; helpless and "desolate", as the word here used rendered, ( Psalms 25:16 ) . But, in effectual calling, such are brought out of this dismal state, and being drawn with the cords of love by the Spirit, to the Father and the Son, and brought to a spiritual acquaintance with them, they are "set in families", or placed in Gospel churches; which, as families, have a master over them, who is Christ the Son and firstborn, of whom they are named; where are saints of various ages, sizes, and standing; some fathers, some young men, and some children; where are provisions suitable for them, and stewards to give them their portion of meat in due season, who are the ministers of the word; and laws and rules, by which they are directed and regulated, and everything is kept in good decorum;

he bringeth out those which are bound with chains;
as Peter and others literally, ( Acts 12:5-11 ) ( 2 Corinthians 11:23 ) ; or rather it is to be understood spiritually of such as are bound with the chains of their own sins, and are under the power of them, with the fetters of the law, in which they are held, and who are led and kept captive by Satan; those Christ the Son makes free, proclaims liberty to them, says to such prisoners, Go forth; and, by the blood of his covenant, sends them forth, and directs them to himself, the strong hold, as prisoners of hope; see ( Isaiah 61:1 ) ( 49:9 ) ( Zechariah 9:11 Zechariah 9:12 ) . The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, "he bringeth forth the prisoners with fortitude"; so Apollinarius, "with his great power and strength"; and the Syriac version, with prosperity; or in a pompous manner, as the Targum. But the words may be better rendered, "he bringeth forth the prisoners", either as Ainsworth, "into fit (and commodious) places", or rather, "into the conveniencies" or "commodities": that is, of life, such as prisoners are destitute of;

but the rebellious dwell in a dry [land];
meaning the Jews, to whom Christ came, and whom they rejected, reviled, hated, and would not have him to reign over them, and were a gainsaying and disobedient people; for which their land was smitten with a curse, and in the time of their wars became a dry land; when famine and pestilence were everywhere, and such tribulation as was never known, ( Isaiah 8:21 Isaiah 8:22 ) ( Matthew 24:6 Matthew 24:7 Matthew 24:21 ) . Moreover, the nations of the world, among whom they are dispersed, are a dry land to them; and even such places as are become fruitful through the preaching of the Gospel are no other to them, who neither do hear it, nor will they hear it; and they are like persons in a dry and thirsty land, vainly expecting a Messiah, who will never come. This may also be applied to all that obey not the Gospel of Christ, who will be punished with everlasting destruction from his presence, and shall not have a drop of cold water allowed them to cool their tongue. The allusion may be thought to be to the Jews, that murmured and rebelled against God, and vexed his Spirit in the wilderness, where their carcasses fell; and so dwelt in a dry land, and entered not into rest, or the land of Canaan. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, render it, "in graves"; Apollinarius paraphrases it,

``he bringeth the dead out of the graves to light.''

Psalms 68:6 In-Context

4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds ; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families,he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
7 When you, God, went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness,
8 the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Psalms 25:16
  • 2. Psalms 113:9
  • 3. Psalms 79:11; Psalms 102:20; Psalms 146:7; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; Acts 12:6
  • 4. Psalms 107:34; Isaiah 35:7; Isaiah 49:10; Isaiah 58:11

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "the desolate in a homeland"
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