Matthew Poole's Commentary
When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;THE ARGUMENT
This Psalm is a solemn commemoration of Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt; and probably it was to be sung, amongst others, at the celebration of the passover.
The psalmist, rehearsing God’s delivering the Israelites out of Egypt, exhorteth all creatures to praise him.
Which was a great aggravation of their captivity and misery. Compare Jeremiah 5:15.
Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.Judah, or Israel, as it is explained in the next clause; one tribe being put for all; which is a common synecdoche. Judah he mentions as the chief of all the tribes, not only in number and power, but also in dignity, in which the kingdom was to be seated, Genesis 49:10, &c., as at this time it actually was, and from which the Messias was to spring. His, i.e. God’s, which is easily understood from the whole context, and from the nature of the thing.
Sanctuary; or, holiness; the people of God’s holiness, as they are called, Isaiah 63:18; or, his holy people, as Deu 26:19 Daniel 8:24; sanctified or set apart from all the nations of the world to be his peculiar people and possession. His dominion, in a peculiar manner, to be governed by his laws, and honoured with his special presence and favour.
The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.Saw it, to wit, this glorious work of God in bringing his people out of Egypt.
The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.Horeb and Sinai, two tops of one mountain, and other neighbouring hills or mountains. Compare Exodus 19:18 Psalm 68:8 Habakkuk 3:6,10.
What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back?What was the cause of this unusual motion? Such speeches directed to senseless creatures are very frequent, both in Scripture and in other authors, and especially in poetical writings, such as this is.
Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs?No text from Poole on this verse.
Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;But why do I ask these questions? Ye mountains did no more than what was just and fit at the approach and appearance of the great God; yea, the whole earth hath reason to tremble and quake upon such occasions.
Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.No text from Poole on this verse.