Psalm 124:3
Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
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(3) Then.—Critics are at issue both as to the form and meaning of the word—whether it is an archaism or an aramaism, expressing time or logical sequence.

Swallowed . . . quick (alive).—No doubt an allusion to the fall of Korah (Numbers 16:32-33), where the same verb and adjective occur together. (See also Psalm 55:15.)

Psalm 124:3-6. They had swallowed us up quick — They had speedily and utterly destroyed us, as Korah and his company were, Numbers 16. The proud waters had gone over, &c. — Our enemies, compared to proud waters for their great multitude, swelling rage, and mighty force. The Lord hath not given us a prey to their teeth — A metaphor taken from wild beasts, which tear and devour their prey with their teeth. It is here intimated that the enemies of God’s people have no power whatever against them, but what is given them from above. God, however, sometimes suffers them to prevail very far against them, that his own power may appear the more illustrious in their deliverance.124:1-5 God suffers the enemies of his people sometimes to prevail very far against them, that his power may be seen the more in their deliverance. Happy the people whose God is Jehovah, a God all-sufficient. Besides applying this to any particular deliverance wrought in our days and the ancient times, we should have in our thoughts the great work of redemption by Jesus Christ, by which believers were rescued from Satan.Then they had swallowed us up quick - There was no other help, and ruin - utter ruin - would have soon come upon us. The word quick here means alive; and the idea is derived from persons swallowed up in an earthquake, or by the opening of the earth, as in the case of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Numbers 16:32-33. Compare Psalm 106:17. The meaning here is, that they would have been destroyed as if they were swallowed up by the opening of the earth; that is, there would have been complete destruction.

When their wrath was kindled against us - Hebrew, In the kindling of their wrath against us. Wrath is often represented in the Scriptures as burning or heated - as that which consumes all before it.

3. Then—that is, the time of our danger.

quick—literally, "living" (Nu 16:32, 33), description of ferocity.

They had swallowed us up quick; they had speedily and utterly destroyed us, as Korah, &c. were, Numbers 16. Then they had swallowed us up quick,.... Or "alive"; as the earth swallowed up Korah and his company; or as the fish swallowed up Jonah; or rather as ravenous beasts swallow their prey; to which the allusion is. The people of God are comparable to sheep and lambs, and such like innocent creatures: and the wicked to lions, tigers, wolves, bears, and such like beasts of prey that devour living creatures;

when their wrath was kindled against us; which is cruel and outrageous; there is no standing against it, nor before it; it is like a fierce flame of fire that burns furiously, and there is no stopping it; none but God can restrain it.

Then they had swallowed us up {b} quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

(b) So unable were we to resist.

3. Then had they swallowed us up alive, as the earth swallowed Korah (Numbers 16:30); or as Sheol devours its victims (Proverbs 1:12), or a monster its prey (Jeremiah 51:34). Cp. Psalm 55:15; Lamentations 2:16.

when their wrath &c.] Cp. Nehemiah 4:1 : Sanballat “was wroth and exceedingly vexed,” Psalm 4:7 “they were exceedingly wroth.”Verse 3. - Then they had swallowed us up quick; or, "alive." A common expression for sudden and complete destruction (comp. Psalm 56:2; Psalm 57:3; Proverbs 1:12; Lamentations 2:2, 5, 8, etc.). When their wrath was kindled against us; or, "blazed out against us." The comparison of anger to fire is an almost universal commonplace. The destinies of all men, and in particular of the church, are in the hand of the King who sits enthroned in the unapproachable glory of the heavens and rules over all things, and of the Judge who decides all things. Up to Him the poet raises his eyes, and to Him the church, together with which he may call Him "Jahve our God," just as the eyes of servants are directed towards the hand of their lord, the eyes of a maid towards the hand of her mistress; for this hand regulates the whole house, and they wait upon their winks and signs with most eager attention. Those of Israel are Jahve's servants, Israel the church is Jahve's maid. In His hand lies its future. At length He will take compassion on His own. Therefore its longing gaze goes forth towards Him, without being wearied, until He shall graciously turn its distress. With reference to the i of היּשׁבי, vid., on Psalm 113:1-9, Psalm 114:1-8. אדוניהם is their common lord; for since in the antitype the sovereign Lord is meant, it will be conceived of as plur. excellentiae, just as in general it occurs only rarely (Genesis 19:2, Genesis 19:18; Jeremiah 27:4) as an actual plural.
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