|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-19 The first words, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did. God's manifestation of his presence is very fully described, ver. 7-15. Little appeared of man, but much of God, in these deliverances. It is not possible to apply to the history of the son of Jesse those awful, majestic, and stupendous words which are used through this description of the Divine manifestation. Every part of so solemn a scene of terrors tells us, a greater than David is here. God will not only deliver his people out of their troubles in due time, but he will bear them up under their troubles in the mean time. Can we meditate on ver. 18, without directing one thought to Gethsemane and Calvary? Can we forget that it was in the hour of Christ's deepest calamity, when Judas betrayed, when his friends forsook, when the multitude derided him, and the smiles of his Father's love were withheld, that the powers of darkness prevented him? The sorrows of death surrounded him, in his distress he prayed, Heb 5:7. God made the earth to shake and tremble, and the rocks to cleave, and brought him out, in his resurrection, because he delighted in him and in his undertaking.
Verse 8. - There went up a smoke out of his nostrils. Emissions of smoke are a common feature of volcanic disturbances, with which earthquakes are closely connected. The LXX. give, instead of "out of his nostrils," in his anger (ἐν ὀργῇ αὐτοῦ), which is better, since the Hebrew prefix בּ, "in," certainly cannot mean "out of." And fire out of his mouth devoured. Fire-balls are said to have accompanied some earthquakes, as especially that one by which Julian's design of rebuilding Jerusalem was frustrated. Coals were kindled by it. The fire-balls above spoken of are declared to have scorched and burnt the workmen employed by Julian (Amm. Marc., 23. 1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There went up a smoke out of his nostrils,.... This, with what follows, describes a storm of thunder; the "smoke" designs thick black clouds, gathered together; "fire" intends lightning; and "coals of fire", hot thunderbolts; and the whole is borrowed from, and is an allusion to what was at the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, Exodus 19:16; The majesty of God is here set forth in much such language as is the leviathan in Job 41:19; the "smoke of his nostrils" seems to intend the indignation of God against the enemies of David, of Christ, and of his people, and the punishment be will inflict upon them, Isaiah 65:5. The Targum interprets it of the pride and insolence of Pharaoh;
and fire out of his mouth devoured; God is a wall of fire round about his people, and a consuming one to his and their enemies. This expresses the wrath of God upon the Jewish nation, and his sending the Roman armies to burn their city, Matthew 22:7;
coals were kindled by it; the Jews being as dry trees, were fit fuel for the fire of divine wrath, and so presently became as coals of fire; so the antichristian party, upon the pouring out of the fourth vial, will be scorched with heat, and blaspheme the name of God, Revelation 16:8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. smoke out … his nostrils—bitter in His wrath (compare Ps 74:1).
by it—that is, the fire (Ex 19:18).
Psalm 18:8 Parallel Commentaries
Psalm 18:8 NIV
Psalm 18:8 NLT
Psalm 18:8 ESV
Psalm 18:8 NASB
Psalm 18:8 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible