Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
Ps 114:1-8. The writer briefly and beautifully celebrates God's former care of His people, to whose benefit nature was miraculously made to contribute.
1-4. of strange language—(compare Ps 81:5).
Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.
The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.
The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.
4. skipped … rams—(Ps 29:6), describes the waving of mountain forests, poetically representing the motion of the mountains. The poetical description of the effect of God's presence on the sea and Jordan alludes to the history (Ex 14:21; Jos 3:14-17). Judah is put as a parallel to Israel, because of the destined, as well as real, prominence of that tribe.
What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?
5-8. The questions place the implied answers in a more striking form.
Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?
Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;
7. at the presence of—literally, "from before," as if affrighted by the wonderful display of God's power. Well may such a God be trusted, and great should be His praise.
Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.