|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
68:22-28 The victories with which God blessed David over the enemies of Israel, are types of Christ's victory, for himself and for all believers. Those who take him for theirs, may see him acting as their God, as their King, for their good, and in answer to their prayers; especially in and by his word and ordinances. The kingdom of the Messiah shall be submitted to by all the rulers and learned in the world. The people seem to address the king, ver. 28. But the words are applicable to the Redeemer, to his church, and every true believer. We pray, that thou, O God the Son, wilt complete thine undertaking for us, by finishing thy good work in us.
Verse 25. - The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after (comp. 2 Samuel 6:15; 1 Chronicles 15:16-28). In Assyrian musical processions the players on instruments precede the singers ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 1, p. 542). Among them were the damsels playing with timbrels; rather, in the midst of the damsels, etc. The damsels are represented, not as intermixed with the (male) singers and players on instruments, but as encircling them. (On the use of "timbrels" (tambourines) by Israelite maidens, see Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The singers went before,.... The apostles and ministers of the word, the sweet singers of Israel, the charmers that charm so very wisely: the Gospel is a joyful sound; it is like vocal music, harmonious and delightful; it is as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, as Ezekiel's ministry was, Ezekiel 33:32; it is a voice of love, grace, and mercy, of peace, pardon, and righteousness, and of eternal life and salvation by Christ; it is as music in the ears of sensible souls, when sounded forth, and sung out clearly and distinctly by the faithful ministers of it. The allusion seems to be to singers going before armies, when marching to battle, or returning with victory; see 2 Chronicles 20:21;
the players on instruments followed after; so the sweet strains of the Gospel, the melodious notes and distinguishing sounds of it, as well as the praises of God's people, are, in the New Testament, signified by harps, and men's playing upon them, Revelation 5:8;
amongst them were the damsels playing with timbrels; or "in the midst of the virgins playing with timbrels" (u); or "beating on tabrets"; as women used to do when they met their kings returning from the conquest of their enemies; see 1 Samuel 18:6; these may be the pure and primitive churches of Christ, and the members thereof, rejoicing at the preaching of the Gospel, and praising God for the blessings of grace in it; in the midst of which the ministers of the word sung the new song of Gospel truths: and who may be compared to damsels or virgins for their beauty and comeliness through Christ; for their relation to him, being betrothed unto him; and for their strong and chaste affection for him; for their uncorruptness in doctrine and worship, and their uprightness in their lives and conversation, Revelation 14:4; the allusion may be to Miriam and the women with her at the Red sea, Exodus 15:20; and the Targum interprets the whole verse of Moses and Aaron singing at the Red sea, and of Miriam and the women playing with timbrels.
(u) "in medio puellarum", Pagninus, Montanus; "inter puellas", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Cocceius, Gejerus.
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