Psalm 74:13

13 It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.

Read Psalm 74:13 Using Other Translations

Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.
You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.

What does Psalm 74:13 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 74:13

Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength
This and the following instances from hence to ( Psalms 74:18 ) are proofs of God's working salvation in the midst of the earth; some of them seem peculiar to the people of Israel, and others are benefits common to mankind in general; which the church makes use of to encourage her faith and hope, in expectation of salvation, and deliverance out of her present distressed and melancholy circumstances. This seems to refer to the Lord's dividing of the Red sea into parts by a strong east wind, while Moses lifted up his rod and stretched out his hand as he was ordered, as a token of the divine power, and so the children of Israel passed through it as on dry land, ( Exodus 14:21 ) , and he that did this can make way for his redeemed ones to return to Zion with everlasting joy, ( Isaiah 51:10 ) . Some render the words, "thou hast broken the sea by thy strength" F7; subdued and conquered it, and so hast the dominion over it, rulest the raging of it, settest bounds to it, and hast ordered its proud waves to go so far and no farther; and thus the Arabic version, "thou hast made it to stand"; and the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, "thou hast confirmed it": but our version is best, which refers it to the work of God at the Red sea, and with which the Targum agrees; and Aben Ezra observes, that some refer it to the dividing of the Red sea:

thou breakest the heads of the dragons in the waters:
or great whales, as the word is rendered in ( Genesis 1:21 ) , by which are meant Pharaoh and his generals, his captains and chief men, who were destroyed in the waters of the Red sea; comparable to dragons for their strength, for their cruelty to the children of Israel, and for their wrath and malice against them; and so, for the same reason, another Pharaoh, king of Egypt, in later times, is called the great dragon, that lies in the midst of his rivers, ( Ezekiel 29:3 ) ( 32:2 ) and the king of Babylon or of Egypt, ( Isaiah 27:1 ) . So the Targum paraphrases it:

``thou hast broken the heads of dragons, and hast suffocated the Egyptians in the sea.''

Rome Pagan is compared to a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, which have been broken and destroyed, ( Revelation 12:3 Revelation 12:7-9 ) , and Rome Papal has the power, seat, and great authority of the dragon; and though the Romish antichrist has two horns like a lamb, he speaks as a dragon, who also has seven heads and ten horns, and which ere long will be broke in pieces, see ( Revelation 13:1 Revelation 13:2 Revelation 13:11 ) ( 19:15 ) ( 2:27 ) , in the faith of which the church might be strengthened, by considering what God had done to the heads of the dragon in the Red sea; to which may be added that Satan is called a dragon, ( Psalms 91:13 ) ( Revelation 12:9 ) ( 20:2 ) , whose head was bruised, and his principalities and powers spoiled, by Christ at his death, and will be utterly destroyed at his second coming.


F7 (trrwp) "contrivisti", Pagninus, Montanus; "disrupisti", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis; "rupisti", Cocceius.
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