Psalm 104:7
At your rebuke they fled; at the voice of your thunder they hurried away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
104:1-9 Every object we behold calls on us to bless and praise the Lord, who is great. His eternal power and Godhead are clearly shown by the things which he hath made. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. The Lord Jesus, the Son of his love, is the Light of the world.At thy rebuke they fled - At thy command; or when thou didst speak to them. The Hebrew word also implies the notion of "rebuke," or "reproof," as if there were some displeasure or dissatisfaction. Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 17:10; Ecclesiastes 7:5; Isaiah 30:17; Psalm 76:6. It is "as if" God had been displeased that the waters prevented the appearing or the rising of the dry land, and had commanded them to "hasten" to their beds and channels, and no longer to cover the earth. The allusion is to Genesis 1:9, and there is nowhere to be found a more sublime expression than this. Even the command, "And God said, Let there be light; and there was light," so much commended by Longinus as an instance of sublimity, does not surpass this in grandeur.

At the voice of thy thunder they hasted away - They fled in dismay. The Hebrew word - חפז châphaz - contains the idea of haste, trepidation, consternation, alarm, "as if" they were frightened; Psalm 31:22. God spake in tones of thunder, and they fled. It is impossible to conceive anything more sublime than this.

6-9. These verses rather describe the wonders of the flood than the creation (Ge 7:19, 20; 2Pe 3:5, 6). God's method of arresting the flood and making its waters subside is poetically called a "rebuke" (Ps 76:6; Isa 50:2), and the process of the flood's subsiding by undulations among the hills and valleys is vividly described.7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

11 They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst.

12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.

13 He watereth the hills from his chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

17 Where the birds make their nests; as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.

18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.

Psalm 104:7

"At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away." When the waters and vapours covered all, the Lord had but to speak and they disappeared at once. As though they had been intelligent agents the waves hurried to their appointed deeps and left the land to itself; then the mountains lifted their heads, the high lands rose from the main, and at length continents and islands, slopes and plains were left to form the habitable earth. The voice of the Lord effected this great marvel. Is not his word equal to every emergency? potent enough to work the greatest miracle? By that same word shall the waterfloods of trouble be restrained, and the raging billows of sin be rebuked the day cometh when at the thunder of Jehovah's voice all the proud waters of evil shall utterly haste away. "O Lord, my God, thou art very great."

continued...

At thy rebuke; upon thy severe command, Genesis 1:9; which he calls a rebuke, to imply that there was something in that state of things which might seem to need reproof and correction, even that confusion of earth and water together, which therefore God amended in his second day’s work.

They fled; they immediately went to the place which God had allotted to them. Of thy thunder; of thy sovereign command, which as they could not but hear, so they durst not disobey. He ascribes sense and reason to inanimate creatures by a figure called prosopopaeia. At thy rebuke they fled,.... The depths of water that covered the earth fled, went off apace, when Christ, the essential Word, gave the word of command that they should; saying, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so", Genesis 1:9 and this being called a "rebuke", suggests as if there was something amiss, irregular and disorderly, and to be amended; as if these waters were not in their proper place.

At the voice of thy thunder they hasted away; ran off with great precipitancy; just as a servant, when his master puts on a stern countenance, and speaks to him in a thundering, menacing manner, hastes away from him to do his will and work. This is an instance of the mighty power of Christ; and by the same power he removed the waters of the deluge; when they covered the earth, and the tops of the highest hills; and rebuked the Red sea, and it became dry land; and drove back the waters of Jordan for the Israelites to pass through; and who also rebuked the sea of Galilee when his disciples were in distress: and with equal ease can he and does he remove the depth of sin and darkness from his people at conversion; rebukes Satan, and delivers out of his temptations, when he comes in like a flood; and rebukes the waters of affliction when they threaten to overwhelm; who are his servants, and come when he bids them come, and go when he bids them go.

At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. At thy rebuke they flee,

At the voice of thy thunder they haste away,

7, 8. The graphic imperfects are continued, picturing the process of the separation of land and water.Verse 7. - At thy rebuke they fled. It required only a few words from God (Genesis 1:9) for the whole surface of the earth to be changed. The waters "fled" - they shifted their place - removed from some portions of the earth's surface, and "gathered themselves together" into others, allowing the dry land to appear. Elevations and depressions of the land must have at the same time occurred. At the voice of thy thunder they hasted away (comp. Job 40:9, "Hast thou an arm like God, or canst thou thunder with a voice like his?"). The voice of God, especially when he speaks in "rebuke," is as thunder, The first decastich begins the celebration with work of the first and second days. הוד והדר here is not the doxa belonging to God πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος (Jde 1:25), but the doxa which He has put on (Job 40:10) since He created the world, over against which He stands in kingly glory, or rather in which He is immanent, and which reflects this kingly glory in various gradations, yea, to a certain extent is this glory itself. For inasmuch as God began the work of creation with the creation of light, He has covered Himself with this created light itself as with a garment. That which once happened in connection with the creation may, as in Amos 4:13; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 45:7; Jeremiah 10:12, and frequently, be expressed by participles of the present, because the original setting is continued in the preservation of the world; and determinate participles alternate with participles without the article, as in Isaiah 44:24-28, with no other difference than that the former are more predicative and the latter more attributive. With Psalm 104:2 the poet comes upon the work of the second day: the creation of the expanse (רקיע) which divides between the waters. God has spread this out (cf. Isaiah 40:22) like a tent-cloth (Isaiah 54:2), of such light and of such fine transparent work; נוטה here rhymes with עטה. In those waters which the "expanse" holds aloft over the earth God lays the beams of His upper chambers (עליּותתו, instead of which we find מעלותיו in Amos 9:6, from עליּה, ascent, elevation, then an upper story, an upper chamber, which would be more accurately עלּיּה after the Aramaic and Arabic); but not as though the waters were the material for them, they are only the place for them, that is exalted above the earth, and are able to be this because to the Immaterial One even that which is fluid is solid, and that which is dense is transparent. The reservoirs of the upper waters, the clouds, God makes, as the lightning, thunder, and rain indicate, into His chariot (רכוּב), upon which he rides along in order to make His power felt below upon the earth judicially (Isaiah 19:1), or in rescuing and blessing men. רכוּב (only here) accords in sound with כּרוּב, Psalm 18:11. For Psalm 104:3 also recalls this primary passage, where the wings of the wind take the place of the cloud-chariot. In Psalm 104:4 the lxx (Hebrews 1:7) makes the first substantive into an accusative of the object, and the second into an accusative of the predicate: Ὁ ποιῶν τοὺς ἀγγέλους αὐτοῦ πνεῦματα καὶ τοὺς λειτουργοὺς αὐτοῦ πυρὸς φλόγα. It is usually translated the reverse say: making the winds into His angels, etc. This rendering is possible so far as the language is concerned (cf. Psalm 100:3 Chethb, and on the position of the worlds, Amos 4:13 with Psalm 5:8), and the plural משׁרתיו is explicable in connection with this rendering from the force of the parallelism, and the singular אשׁ from the fact that this word has no plural. Since, however, עשׂה with two accusatives usually signifies to produce something out of something, so that the second accusative (viz., the accusative of the predicate, which is logically the second, but according to the position of the words may just as well be the first, Exodus 25:39; Exodus 30:25, as the second, Exodus 37:23; Exodus 38:3; Genesis 2:7; 2 Chronicles 4:18-22) denotes the materia ex qua, it may with equal right at least be interpreted: Who makes His messengers out of the winds, His servants out of the flaming or consuming (vid., on Psalm 57:5) fire (אשׁ, as in Jeremiah 48:45, masc.). And this may affirm either that God makes use of wind and fire for special missions (cf. Psalm 148:8), or (cf. Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, i. 325f.) that He gives wind and fire to His angels for the purpose of His operations in the world which are effected through their agency, as the materials of their outward manifestation, and as it were of their self-embodiment,

(Note: It is a Talmudic view that God really makes the angels out of fire, B. Chagiga, 14a (cf. Koran, xxxviii. 77): Day by day are the angels of the service created out of the stream of fire (נהר דינור), and sing their song of praise and perish.)

as then in Psalm 18:11 wind and cherub are both to be associated together in thought as the vehicle of the divine activity in the world, and in Psalm 35:5 the angel of Jahve represents the energy of the wind.

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