A prayer at the removing of the ark, 1-3. An exhortation to praise God for his mercies, 4-6; for his care of the church, 7-18; for his great works, 19-35.
1 [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm or Song of David.] Let God arise. Let his enemies be scattered. Let those who also hate him flee before him.
2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away. As wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3 But let the righteous be glad. Let them rejoice before God. Indeed, let them exceedingly rejoice.
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name. Extol him who rides upon the heavens by his name, YAH, and rejoice before him.
5 A father of the fatherless and a judge of the widows is God in his holy habitation.
6 God sets the solitary in families. He brings out those who are bound with chains. But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
7 O God, when you went forth before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, [Selah.]
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.
9 You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, by which you confirmed your inheritance when it was weary.
10 Your congregation has dwelt therein. You, O God, have prepared your goodness for the poor.
11 The Lord gave the word. The company of those who published it was great.
12 Kings of armies fled apace. And she who tarried at home divided the spoil.
13 Though you have lain among the pots, yet you shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver and her feathers with yellow gold.
14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.
15 The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan, a high hill as the hill of Bashan.
16 Why do you leap, you lofty hills? This is the hill which God desires to dwell in. Indeed, the LORD will dwell in it forever.
17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels. The Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
18 You have ascended on high. You have led captivity captive. You have received gifts among men, even among the rebellious also, so that the LORD God might dwell with them.
19 Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. [Selah.]
20 He who is our God is the God of salvation. And the issues from death belong to GOD the Lord.
21 But God will wound the head of his enemies and the hairy scalp of such a one as goes on still in his trespasses.
22 The Lord said, "I will bring back from Bashan, I will bring my people back from the depths of the sea,
23 So that your foot may be dipped in the blood of your enemies and the tongue of your dogs in the same."
24 They have seen your goings, O God, even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
25 The singers went before. The players on instruments followed after. Among them were the damsels playing with tambourines.
26 Bless God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
27 There is the youngest, Benjamin, with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their counsel, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
28 Your God has commanded your strength. Strengthen, O God, that which you have wrought for us.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem, kings shall bring presents to you.
30 Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds, the multitude of the bulls with the calves of the people, until each submits himself with pieces of silver. Scatter the people who delight in war.
31 Princes shall come out of Egypt. Cush shall soon stretch out her hands to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. O sing praises to the Lord, [Selah.]
33 To him who rides upon the heavens of heavens, which are of old. Behold, he sends out his voice—a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe strength to God. His excellence is over Israel and his strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, you are awesome out of your holy places. The God of Israel is he who gives strength and power to his people. Blessed be God.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 68[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
In this psalm it was David's design to celebrate the victories which, through the blessing of God, he had gained over his enemies; but, in the opening verses, he commends the power and goodness of God generally, as seen in the government of the world at large. From this he passes to the consideration of what God had done in redeeming his chosen people, and of the continued proofs of fatherly care which he had manifested to the posterity of Abraham. He then proceeds to the subject which he had more particularly in view, prosecuting it at length, and in terms of the most exalted description; praising the signal display of Divine power which he, and the whole nation with him, had experienced. Now that he had been made king, he infers that the Church was brought to a settled condition, and that God, who seemed to have departed, would now at length erect his throne, as it were, in the midst of it, and reign. In this it would evidently appear, that he designed, typically, to represent the glory of God afterwards to be manifested in Christ.
[v.18] - Quoted in Ephesians 4:8.