PSALM 68 - Messiah: The LORD who goes before His people (to bring them into their rest).
68:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm [or] Song of David.
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered:
let them also that hate him flee before him.
Moses spoke these words when the Ark set out before Israel in the wilderness. (Num 10:33-36)
Likewise, The Lord goes before His people in all ages. (This theme is briefly stated in v.1-6.)
The remainder of this psalm provides a time line of the Lord's going before His people Israel,
in several specific periods of history (some are yet future):
  1. Bringing them out of Egypt and through the wilderness, v.7-10
  2. Leading them into the Promised Land and displacing its occupants, v.11-14
  3. Watching over Jerusalem, during Israel's dispersions, in the times of the Gentiles, v.15-17
  4. Ascending into Heaven, having made full provision for His own, v.18-20
  5. Judging His enemies, and restoring His people, v.21-23
  6. Returning to the Sanctuary, to dwell among His people, v.24-27
  7. Reigning over all the earth with His people, established in His millenial Kingdom, v.28-35
68:2 As smoke is driven away, [so] drive [them] away:
as wax melteth before the fire, [so] let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
The Lord Himself destroys His enemies. 2Thes 1:8,9; Rev 6:15-17
68:3 But let the righteous be glad;
let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
Rev 18:20
68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name:
extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH,
and rejoice before him.
Jah- a shortened form of Jehovah,
the name by which His covenant with Israel is guaranteed & established.
He goes before & above His people. cp. Gen 22:16-18; Ex 6:3; Ex 19:3,4; Deut 33:26-29
(Note: in Deut 33, "Jeshurun" means "the Righteous One".)
68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows,
[is] God in his holy habitation.
Powerful as He is, yet, He cares for even the lowest of His people personally.
Deut 10:18; Psa 138:6; Psa 146:7-9; Luk 18:2-7
68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: {cp. Psa 113:9}
solitary- For this word, the Septuagint uses GK= "monogenes",
which is the NT word for the "only begotten" Son. cp. Psa 22:30
he bringeth out those which are bound with chains:
but the rebellious dwell in a dry [land].
Alternate reading [GWms]:
"God bringeth the exiled home.
He bringeth those who were bound with chains,
even the rebellious who dwelt in a parched land." (ref. to Israel)
cp. Psa 107:8-14; Hos 2:3; Mal 1:3
A. Bringing them out of Egypt and through the wilderness, v.7-10.
68:7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people,
when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:
{Ex 13:21}
68:8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God:
[even] Sinai itself [was moved] at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
cp. Ex 19:16-18; Heb 12:26; Rev 11:19
68:9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain,
whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.
rain...- The Lord plentifully provided for His people, even in the wilderness, with
water from the Rock, manna from heaven, and (in their land) rain for their crops.
Psa 78:19,20,24-27; Deut 11:10-14
68:10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: {ie., in the wilderness}
thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.
cp. Deut 26:5-9; Deut 32:8-14; 1Sam 2:8; Luk 1:53
B. Leading them into the Promised Land and displacing its occupants, v.11-14.
68:11 The Lord gave the word: {ie., He commanded and occasioned victory [GWms]}
great [was] the company of those that published [it].
The Lord gave the victory.
The people proclaim what He has done, in the following song: (v.12-14)
68:12 Kings of armies did flee apace:
eg., Ex 14:25; Num 31:8; Josh 10:42
and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.
1Sam 30:24
68:13 Though ye have lien among the pots, [yet shall ye be as] the wings of a dove
covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.
lien among the pots- alternate reading "remained among the sheepfolds"
Even those disengaged from the battle, or indifferent & unenthused by the cause
(eg., the tribe of Reuben, Judg 5:16), will share the reward of His battle on their behalf.
dove- speaks of sacrifice, and/or of peace.
silver- speaks of redemption.
gold- speaks of the glory of God manifested. see v.18, also cp. Ezek 16:6-14
68:14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was [white] as snow in Salmon.
Almighty- HB= Shaddai, a name of God emphasizing that He strengthens & satisfies His people.
Salmon- a wooded hill in Samaria, the name means "shade" or "dark", perhaps a "black forest".
The sense may be (A) that the garments of the fallen kings stood out against the background;
Or (B) that the kings could no more stand before the Lord, than snow can endure the heat
of the sun in this normally hot region (note that [white] is a supplied word).
C. Watching over Jerusalem, during Israel's dispersions, in the times of the Gentiles, v.15-16.
68:15 The hill of God [is as] the hill of Bashan; an high hill [as] the hill of Bashan.
alternate reading [NASV]:
"A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan,
a mountain [of many] peaks is the mountain of Bashan."
68:16 Why leap ye, ye high hills?
[this is] the hill [which] God desireth to dwell in;
yea, the LORD will dwell [in it] for ever.
alt. reading [NASV]:
"Why do you look with envy, O mountains with [many] peaks?
At the mountain which God has desired for His abode?
Surely, the LORD will dwell [there] forever."
The many peaks are symbolic of the earth's kingdoms which are envious of Jerusalem.
cp. Psa 2:6; Psa 114:1-8; Isa 2:2-3; Rev 21:2,3
68:17 The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angels:
the Lord [is] among them, [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place].
cp. 2King 6:16,17; Mat 26:53,54
D. Ascending into Heaven, having made full provision for His own, v.18-20.
68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: {cp. Prov 30:4}
thou hast received gifts for men; yea, [for] the rebellious also,
that the LORD God might dwell [among them].
This verse is quoted in the NT in reference to Christ's resurrection & ascension
(see Eph 4 and Acts 2 references below).
led captivity captive- ie., Christ emptied paradise, taking the righteous dead w/ Him to Heaven.
Heb 12:22,23
gifts for men - include:
- - the Holy Spirit. "Acts 2:34,38"; Joh 14:16,17
- - men of God. "Eph 4:7-16"
for the rebellious also- ie., for those who once were such,
but who are now born anew through Christ. 1Cor 6:9-11
68:19 Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits,
even] the God of our salvation. Selah.
{Eph 1:3}
68:20 [He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; {Isa 45:17-22}
and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death.
the issues...- or, the way of escape from...
cp. Deut 32:39; Joh 5:21,23,28,29; Joh 11:25,26; Heb 2:14-15; Rev 1:18
E. Judging His enemies, and restoring His people, v.21-23.
68:21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies,
[and] the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
one as goeth on still in his trespass-
cp. Ezek 18:27-30; Luk 13:5; Heb 2:2,3; 2Pet 3:7-9 ultimately refers to Satan & the antichrist.
A common OT word for ''devils'' (HB= sa'ir) is lit., ''hairy ones'' (cp. Eng. 'satyr'). eg.: 2Chr 11:15
68:22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan,
I will bring [my people] again from the depths of the sea:
cp. Deut 30:1-9; Isa 11:11-16; Jer 23:5-8
68:23 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of [thine] enemies,
[and] the tongue of thy dogs in the same.
cp. Rev 14:20; Rev 19:17-21
F. Returning to the Sanctuary, to dwell among His people, v.24-27.
68:24 They have seen thy goings, O God;
[even] the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
cp. Psa 24:7-10; Ezek 44:1-3
68:25 The singers went before, the players on instruments [followed] after;
among [them were] the damsels playing with timbrels.
cp. Jer 31:4,13; Rev 15:2,3
68:26 Bless ye God in the congregations,
[even] the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
or, "...[you who are] of the fountain of Israel." [NASV]
(ie., you who have sprung from Abraham).
68:27 There [is] little Benjamin [with] their ruler,
the princes of Judah [and] their council,
the princes of Zebulun, [and] the princes of Naphtali.
These tribes represent all of Israel, the southern (B + J) and northern (Z + N) kingdoms.
The divided kingdom will be united under their King. Ezek 37:19-27
G. Reigning over all the earth with His people, established in His millenial Kingdom, v.28-35.
68:28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength:
strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
Psa 138:7,8; Isa 40:27-31; 2Cor 12:9,10; Eph 3:20
68:29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.
Isa 60:6-11 Rev 21:23-26
68:30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, {or, ''rebuke the beasts among the reeds'' [NASV]}
Gentile kings are seen here as animals. (cp. Dan 7, Rev 13)
the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people,
Those rebuked include leaders (bulls) and their followers who are like them (calves).
Rev 14:9-12
[till every one] submit himself with pieces of silver:
scatter thou the people [that] delight in war.
Psa 46:6-11
68:31 Princes shall come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.
Psa 72:8-11; Isa 19:18-25; Isa 45:14
68:32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth;
O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:
68:33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, [which were] of old;
lo, he doth send out his voice, [and that] a mighty voice.
Rev 11:12,15,19; Rev 16:1,15-21
68:34 Ascribe ye strength unto God:
his excellency [is] over Israel, and his strength [is] in the clouds.
68:35 O God, [thou art] terrible
{ie., dreadful, to be feared} out of thy holy places:
out of thy holy places- ie., When the Holy One moves out against the "unholy". (vs.1-2)
the God of Israel [is] he that giveth strength and power unto [his] people. {vs.3-6}
Blessed [be] God.

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