Psalms 68:11-20

11 The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
12 “Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder.
13 Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,[a]the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold.”
14 When the Almighty[b] scattered the kings in the land, it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon.
15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain, Mount Bashan, rugged mountain,
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.[c]
18 When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from[d] the rebellious— that you,[e]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.

Psalms 68:11-20 Meaning and Commentary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm [or] Song of David. The Targum makes the argument of this psalm to be the coming of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; in which it is followed by many of the Jewish interpreters: but Aben Ezra rejects such an interpretation of it, and thinks that David composed it, concerning the war he had with the uncircumcised nations, the Philistines and others, 2 Samuel 8:1, &c. And so the title of the Syriac version begins, "a psalm of David, when the kings prepared themselves to fight against him:" and Kimchi says it was composed on account of Sennacherib's army coming against Jerusalem, in the times of Hezekiah, and so delivered by David, under a spirit of prophecy concerning that affair; though he owns that some of their writers interpret it of the war of Gog and Magog, in the times of the Messiah they yet expect. But they are much nearer the truth, who take it that it was written on occasion of the ark being brought to the city of David; seeing it begins with much the same words that Moses used when the ark set forward in his times, Numbers 10:35; and the bringing of which was attended with great joy and gladness, 2 Samuel 6:14; such as the righteous are called upon to express in this psalm, Psalm 68:3. And this being a type of Christ, and of his ascending the holy hill of God, may be allowed of; for certain it is that this psalm treats of the coming of Christ, and of blessings by him, and of victory over his enemies; and particularly of his ascension to heaven, as most evidently appears from Ephesians 4:8; and from prophecies in it, concerning the calling of the Gentiles. Wherefore the latter part of the Syriac inscription of it is very pertinent; "also a prophecy concerning the dispensation of the Messiah, and concerning the calling of the Gentiles to the faith." Jarchi interprets Psalm 68:31 of the Messiah.

Cross References 21

  • 1. Luke 2:13
  • 2. Joshua 10:16
  • 3. S Judges 5:30
  • 4. S Genesis 49:14
  • 5. 2 Samuel 22:15; Joshua 10:10
  • 6. Judges 9:48
  • 7. ver 22; Numbers 21:33; Jeremiah 22:20
  • 8. S Psalms 36:6
  • 9. Deuteronomy 12:5; S Psalms 2:6; Psalms 132:13
  • 10. Psalms 132:14
  • 11. S 2 Kings 2:11; Isaiah 66:15; Habakkuk 3:8
  • 12. Deuteronomy 33:2; Daniel 7:10
  • 13. S Psalms 47:5
  • 14. Psalms 7:7
  • 15. Judges 5:12
  • 16. Ephesians 4:8*
  • 17. S Numbers 17:10
  • 18. S Psalms 65:5
  • 19. Psalms 81:6; Psalms 55:22
  • 20. S 1 Samuel 10:19
  • 21. Psalms 56:13; Jeremiah 45:5; Ezekiel 6:8

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Or "the campfires;" or "the saddlebags"
  • [b]. Hebrew "Shaddai"
  • [c]. Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text "Lord is among them at Sinai in holiness"
  • [d]. Or "gifts for people," / "even"
  • [e]. Or "they"
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.