|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
124:1-5 God suffers the enemies of his people sometimes to prevail very far against them, that his power may be seen the more in their deliverance. Happy the people whose God is Jehovah, a God all-sufficient. Besides applying this to any particular deliverance wrought in our days and the ancient times, we should have in our thoughts the great work of redemption by Jesus Christ, by which believers were rescued from Satan.
Verse 4. - Then the waters had overwhelmed us. A sudden and startling change of metaphor. In the quick transition of Oriental thought, the fire becomes a flood - an irresistible torrent-stream, carrying all before it (comp. Psalm 18:4; Psalm 144:7). The stream had gone over our soul; i.e. "had mounted up over our heads, and stifled our breath of life."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then the waters had overwhelmed us,.... People, comparable to waters for their multitude, Strength, force, and impetuosity; which bear down all before them, and against which there is no standing; which, like the waters of the flood, overflow and destroy all they pass over. These are the floods of ungodly men, which are very destructive and terrible; see Revelation 17:15; together with all those reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, which come along with them; which the presence of God only can bear up his people under, and carry them through, Sol 8:7;
the stream had gone over our soul; and so deprived them of life; the whole force of the enemy; which, like a stream, flows in with great strength and rapidity, when a breach is made and spreads itself, Arama interprets it of the stream of the Egyptians, and restrains it to them, their armies and forces; but it rather designs others, and the enemies of God's people in general, which threaten their ruin, even their very souls and lives: it may be applied to the stream of corruptions, the flood of temptation and flow of persecutions, such as the flood the dragon cast out of his mouth after the woman; which, were it not for divine grace and assistance, would destroy the saints, who have no might against this great force, 2 Chronicles 20:12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4, 5. (Compare Ps 18:4, 16).
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