Psalm 18:13
The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
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(13) In the heavens.—The version in Samuel is from the heavens,” which is better. For the thunder as God’s voice see Psalm 29:3, and Note.

Psalm 18:13-14. The Lord also thundered, &c. — The preceding verse mentioned the lightning with its effects; this gives us the report of the thunder, and the increasing storm of hail and fire that attended it. Yea, he sent out his arrows — Namely, lightnings, as it is expressed in the next clause; and scattered them — Namely, mine enemies, which is sufficiently understood from Psalm 18:3; Psalm 18:17, and from the whole context. Thus magnificently does the psalmist describe the discharge of the celestial artillery upon God’s enemies. Terrible was the execution of the divine vengeance upon them, “as when lightnings and thunders, hail-stones and balls of fire, making their way through the dark clouds which contain them, strike terror and dismay into the hearts of men. Such is the voice, and such are the arrows of the Lord Almighty, wherewith he discomfiteth all who oppose the execution of his counsels, and obstruct the salvation of his chosen. Every display and description of this sort, and indeed every thunder-storm which we behold, should remind us of that exhibition of power and vengeance which is hereafter to accompany the general resurrection.” — Horne.18:1-19 The first words, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did. God's manifestation of his presence is very fully described, ver. 7-15. Little appeared of man, but much of God, in these deliverances. It is not possible to apply to the history of the son of Jesse those awful, majestic, and stupendous words which are used through this description of the Divine manifestation. Every part of so solemn a scene of terrors tells us, a greater than David is here. God will not only deliver his people out of their troubles in due time, but he will bear them up under their troubles in the mean time. Can we meditate on ver. 18, without directing one thought to Gethsemane and Calvary? Can we forget that it was in the hour of Christ's deepest calamity, when Judas betrayed, when his friends forsook, when the multitude derided him, and the smiles of his Father's love were withheld, that the powers of darkness prevented him? The sorrows of death surrounded him, in his distress he prayed, Heb 5:7. God made the earth to shake and tremble, and the rocks to cleave, and brought him out, in his resurrection, because he delighted in him and in his undertaking.The Lord also thundered in the heavens - Thunder is often in the Scriptures described as the voice of God. See the magnificent description in Psalm 29:1-11; compare Job 40:9, "Canst thou thunder with a voice like him?" So 1 Samuel 7:10; 1 Samuel 12:18; Psalm 77:18; Job 37:4.

And the Highest gave his voice - God, the most exalted Being in the universe, uttered his voice in the thunder; or, the thunder was his voice.

Hail-stones, and coals of fire - Accompanying the thunder. The repetition seems to be because these were such striking and constant accompaniments of the storm.

13. The storm breaks forth—thunder follows lightning, and hail with repeated lightning, as often seen, like balls or coals of fire, succeed (Ex 9:23). The Lord also thundered, to wit, against my adversaries. Thunder is a sign of God’s anger, 1 Samuel 2:10 7:10.

His voice, i.e. thunder, oft so called. The same thing expressed in other words. The Lord also thundered in the heavens,.... By his apostles and ministers, some of which were Boanergeses, sons of thunder, whose ministry was useful to shake the consciences of men, and bring them to a sense of themselves, Mark 3:17;

and the Highest gave his voice; the same with thunder; for thunder is often called the voice of the Lord, Job 37:5; compare with this Psalm 68:11; the Targum interprets it, "he lifted up his word"; the same effects as before follow,

hail stones and coals of fire; See Gill on Psalm 18:12.

The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave {i} his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

(i) Thunders, lightnings and hail.

13. and the Highest &c.] R.V., and the Most High uttered his voice. The Most High is the title of God as the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. See Psalm 7:17; and Appendix, Note II. Thunder is the voice of God. See Psalm 29:3; Job 37:2-5. The words hailstones and coals of fire have no proper grammatical construction, and are wanting in the LXX and in 2 Sam. They seem to have been added here from Psalm 18:12 by an error of transcription.Verse 13. - The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice. With the lightning came, necessarily, thunder, rolling along the heavens, and seeming like the voice of God (comp. Job 38:4, 5). Hail stones and coals of fire. The phrase is repeated for the sake of emphasis. The hail and the lightning are represented as conjointly the ministers of the Divine vengeance. (Heb.: 18:8-10) As these verses go on to describe, the being heard became manifest in the form of deliverance. All nature stands to man in a sympathetic relationship, sharing his curse and blessing, his destruction and glory, and to God is a (so to speak) synergetic relationship, furnishing the harbingers and instruments of His mighty deeds. Accordingly in this instance Jahve's interposition on behalf of David is accompanied by terrible manifestations in nature. Like the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, Psalm 68; Psalm 77, and the giving of the Law on Sinai, Exodus 19, and like the final appearing of Jahve and of Jesus Christ according to the words of prophet and apostle (Habakkuk 3; 2 Thessalonians 1:7.), the appearing of Jahve for the help of David has also extraordinary natural phenomena in its train. It is true we find no express record of any incident in David's life of the kind recorded in 1 Samuel 7:10, but it must be come real experience which David here idealises (i.e., seizes at its very roots, and generalises and works up into a grand majestic picture of his miraculous deliverance). Amidst earthquake, a black thunderstorm gathers, the charging of which is heralded by the lightning's flash, and its thick clouds descend nearer and nearer to the earth. The aorists in Psalm 18:8 introduce the event, for the introduction of which, from Psalm 18:4 onwards, the way has been prepared and towards which all is directed. The inward excitement of the Judge, who appears to His servant for his deliverance, sets the earth in violent oscillation. The foundations of the mountains (Isaiah 24:18) are that upon which they are supported beneath and within, as it were, the pillars which support the vast mass. געשׁ (rhyming with רעשׁ) is followed by the Hithpa. of the same verb: the first impulse having been given they, viz., the earth and the pillars of the mountains, continue to shake of themselves. These convulsions occur, because "it is kindled with respect to God;" it is unnecessary to supply אפּו, חרה לו is a synonym of חם לו. When God is wrath, according to Old Testament conception, the power of wrath which is present in Him is kindled and blazes up and breaks forth. The panting of rage may accordingly also be called the smoke of the fire of wrath (Psalm 74:1; Psalm 80:5). The smoking is as the breathing out of the fire, and the vehement hot breath which is inhaled and exhaled through the nose of one who is angry (cf. Job 41:12), is like smoke rising from the internal fire of anger. The fire of anger itself "devours out of the mouth," i.e., flames forth out of the mouth, consuming whatever it lays hold of-in men in the form of angry words, with God in the fiery forces of nature, which are of a like kind with, and subservient to, His anger, and more especially in the lightning's flash. It is the lightning chiefly, that is compared here to the blazing up of burning coals. The power of wrath in God, becoming manifest in action, breaks forth into a glow, and before it entirely discharges its fire, it gives warning of action like the lightning's flash heralding the outburst of the storm. Thus enraged and breathing forth His wrath, Jahve bowed the heavens, i.e., caused them to bend towards the earth, and came down, and darkness of clouds (ערפל similar in meaning to ὄρφνη, cf. ἔρεβος) was under His feet: black, low-hanging clouds announced the coming of Him who in His wrath was already on His way downwards towards the earth.
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