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Psalm Sixty Eight

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

To the chief Musician, A Psalm or Song of David.

A Song or Psalm. This is the last, longest and most triumphantly rejoicing of David's six psalms headed “A Song or Psalm.” See note on Psalm 66.

Psalm 68:1 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

Let God arise. This Messianic psalm begins with an intimation of Christ's resurrection (“Let God arise”) and also His eventual rising from His present throne in the heavens (note Psalm 110:1) to vanquish all His enemies at the end of the age.

Psalm 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.

Psalm 68:3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

Psalm 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.

his name JAH. This is the only place in the Bible where God is called JAH. The name is probably a contraction of the much more common name Jehovah, Or Yahweh, usually rendered as “Lord,” both meaning essentially the self-existent one. JAH never had a beginning. He rides on the “heavens”—that is the vast spaces of the cosmos which He created.

Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

Psalm 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

Psalm 68:7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah

Psalm 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.

Psalm 68:9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

Psalm 68:10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.

Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

gave the word. The written “Word” is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16); it is the privilege and responsibility of all those redeemed thereby to “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2).

Psalm 68:12 Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.

Psalm 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.

Psalm 68:14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.

Psalm 68:15 The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.

Psalm 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.

Psalm 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.

thousands of angels. The number is idiomatic for an innumerable multitude, as in Hebrews 12:22. God is seen as riding on a vast army of angels, as He was also seen (Psalm 68:4), riding upon the heavens, and even upon the heaven of heavens (Psalm 68:33).

Psalm 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

ascended on high. As quoted in the New Testament (Ephesians 4:8), this passage is applied to Christ in His ascension after He first descended into Hades (“the lower parts of the earth”), then “ascended up far above all things” (Ephesians 4:9-10).

captivity captive. When Christ ascended up from hades to heaven, He “proclaimed liberty to the captives” (Isaiah 61:1) and carried them with Him up to Paradise. The captives refer to those who had died, having faith in the coming Redeemer. The picture corresponds to that of a returning conqueror, bringing back with him those who had been captives in an enemy land.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah

Psalm 68:20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

Psalm 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.

wound the head. When Christ returns to earth again, He—the Seed of the Woman—will crush the head of the old Serpent (Genesis 3:15) and all the Serpent's seed.

Psalm 68:22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:

Psalm 68:23 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.

Psalm 68:24 They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

Psalm 68:25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.

Psalm 68:26 Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.

Psalm 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.

Psalm 68:28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.

Psalm 68:29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.

Psalm 68:30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.

Psalm 68:31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

Psalm 68:32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord. Selah

Psalm 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.

of old. After all rebellion is vanquished, the mighty voice of the Creator of the heaven of all heavens resounds throughout the universe that He—as of old—is Lord forever.

Psalm 68:34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.

Psalm 68:35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.