Psalm 29:10
The LORD sits on the flood; yes, the LORD sits King for ever.
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(10) The Lord sitteth.—Better, Jehovah was throned upon the flood, and Jehovah will be throned a king for ever. The word translated “flood” is exclusively, except in this place, applied to the Deluge (Genesis 6, 7). Hence we must suppose that the poet was recalled to the thought of the great Flood by the torrents of rain now falling. Jehovah sat then upon the waters as their King, and so He will for ever be throned on high above the storms of earth. Or, perhaps, the Deluge may have passed into a proverbial term for any great rain.

Psalm 29:10. The Lord sitteth upon the flood — He moderates and rules the most abundant and violent effusions of waters which are sometimes poured from the clouds, and fall upon the earth, where they cause inundations which would do much mischief if God did not prevent it. And this may be mentioned as another reason why God’s people praised and worshipped him in his temple; because, as he sendeth terrible tempests, thunders, lightnings, and floods, so he restrains and overrules them. But most interpreters refer this to Noah’s flood, to which the word מבול, mabbul, here used, is elsewhere appropriated. And so the words may be rendered, The Lord sat upon the deluge; namely, in Noah’s time, when, it is probable, those vehement and unceasing rains were accompanied with terrible thunders. Bishop Hare thus paraphrases the verse, “This is the same God who, in Noah’s flood, sat as judge, and sent that destruction upon the earth.” And so the psalmist, having spoken of the manifestation of God’s power in storms and tempests in general, takes an occasion to go back to that ancient and most dreadful example of that kind, in which the divine power was most eminently seen. And, having mentioned that instance, he adds, that as God had showed himself to be the King and the Judge of the world at that time, so he doth still sit, and will sit as King for ever, sending such tempests as it pleases him to send. And therefore his people have great reason to worship and serve him.29:1-11 Exhortation to give glory to God. - The mighty and honourable of the earth are especially bound to honour and worship him; but, alas, few attempt to worship him in the beauty of holiness. When we come before him as the Redeemer of sinners, in repentance faith, and love, he will accept our defective services, pardon the sin that cleaves to them, and approve of that measure of holiness which the Holy Spirit enables us to exercise. We have here the nature of religious worship; it is giving to the Lord the glory due to his name. We must be holy in all our religious services, devoted to God, and to his will and glory. There is a beauty in holiness, and that puts beauty upon all acts of worship. The psalmist here sets forth God's dominion in the kingdom of nature. In the thunder, and lightning, and storm, we may see and hear his glory. Let our hearts be thereby filled with great, and high, and honourable thoughts of God, in the holy adoring of whom, the power of godliness so much consists. O Lord our God, thou art very great! The power of the lightning equals the terror of the thunder. The fear caused by these effects of the Divine power, should remind us of the mighty power of God, of man's weakness, and of the defenceless and desperate condition of the wicked in the day of judgment. But the effects of the Divine word upon the souls of men, under the power of the Holy Spirit, are far greater than those of thunder storms in the nature world. Thereby the stoutest are made to tremble, the proudest are cast down, the secrets of the heart are brought to light, sinners are converted, the savage, sensual, and unclean, become harmless, gentle, and pure. If we have heard God's voice, and have fled for refuge to the hope set before us, let us remember that children need not fear their Father's voice, when he speaks in anger to his enemies. While those tremble who are without shelter, let those who abide in his appointed refuge bless him for their security, looking forward to the day of judgment without dismay, safe as Noah in the ark.The Lord sitteth upon the flood - God is enthroned upon the flood, or presides over it. The obvious meaning is, that God is enthroned upon the storm, or presides over that which produces such consternation. It is not undirected; it is not the result of chance or fate; it is not produced by mere physical laws; it is not without restraint - without a ruler - for Yahweh presides over all, and all this may be regarded as his throne. Compare the notes at Psalm 18:7-11. See also Psalm 97:2. The word used here is commonly applied to the deluge in the time of Noah, but there would be an obvious unfitness in supposing here that the mind of the psalmist referred to that, or that the course of thought would be directed to that, and it is most natural, therefore, to suppose that the reference is to the floods above - the vast reservoirs of waters in the clouds, pouring down, amidst the fury of the tempest, floods of rain upon the earth.

The Lord sitteth King for ever - This is an appropriate close of the entire description; this is a thought which tends to make the mind calm and confiding when the winds howl and the thunder rolls; this accords with the leading purpose of the psalm - the call upon the sons of the mighty Psalm 29:1 to ascribe strength and glory to God. From all the terrors of the storm; from all that is fearful, on the waters, in the forests, on the hills, when it would seem as if everything would be swept away - the mind turns calmly to the thought that God is enthroned upon the clouds; that He presides over all that produces this widespread alarm and commotion, and that He will reign forever and ever.

10, 11. Over this terrible raging of the elements God is enthroned, directing and restraining by sovereign power; and hence the comfort of His people. "This awful God is ours, our Father and our Love." He moderateth and ruleth (which is oft signified by sitting, this being the posture of a judge, or ruler; of which see Psalm 9:7-9 47:8 Joel 3:12) the most abundant and violent inundations of waters, which sometimes fall from the clouds upon the earth; where they would do much mischief if God did not prevent it. And these are here fitly mentioned, as being many times the companions of great thunders. And this may be alleged as another reason why God’s people did praise and worship him in his temple, because as he sendeth terrible tempests, and thunders, and floods, so he also restrains and overrules them. But most interpreters refer this to Noah’s flood, to whom the word here used is elsewhere appropriated. And so the words may be rendered, The Lord did sit upon, or at, the flood in Noah’s time, when it is probable those vehement rains were accompanied with terrible thunders. And so having spoken of the manifestation of God’s power in storms and tempests in general, he takes an occasion to run back to that ancient and most dreadful example of that kind, in which the Divine power was most eminently seen. And having mentioned that instance, he adds, that as God showed himself to be the King and the Judge of the world at that time, so he doth still sit, and will sit, as

King for ever, sending such tempests when it pleaseth him. And therefore his people have great reason to worship and serve him. The Lord sitteth upon the flood,.... Noah's flood; which is always designed by the word here used, the Lord sat and judged the old world for its wickedness, and brought a flood upon them, and destroyed them; and then he abated it, sent a wind to assuage the waters, stopped up the windows of heaven, and the fountains of the great deep, and restrained rain from heaven; and he now sits upon the confidence of waters in the heavens, at the time of a thunder storm, which threatens with an overflowing flood; and he remembers his covenant, and restrains them from destroying the earth any more: and he sits upon the floods of ungodly men, and stops their rage and fury, and suffers them not to proceed to overwhelm his people and interest; and so the floods of afflictions of every kind, and the floods of Satan's temptations, and of errors and heresies, are at his control, and he permits them to go so far, and no farther;

yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever: he is King of the whole world, over angels and men, and even the kings of the earth; and he is also King of saints, in whose hearts he reigns by his Spirit and grace; and the Gospel dispensation is more eminently his kingdom, in which his spiritual government is most visible; and this will more appear in the latter day glory, when the Lord shall be King over all the earth; and after which the Lord Christ will reign with his saints here a thousand years, and then with them to all eternity, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

The LORD sitteth upon the {k} flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.

(k) To moderate the rage of the tempests and waters that they not destroy all.

10. The Lord sat as king at the Flood;

yea, the Lord sitteth as king for ever (R.V.).

According to the A.V. the flood appears to mean the deluge of rain which falls in the storm. But the word mabbûl is found nowhere else but in Genesis 6-11, and is best explained by its use there. The storm reminds the poet of the great typical example of judgement and mercy, in which Jehovah’s judicial sovereignty was exhibited.

Literally we may render, sat for the Flood; took His seat on His throne in order to execute that memorable judgement (Psalm 9:7).

10, 11. Conclusion. The storm passes, but HE whose glory it declares is the Eternal King, the Judge of the world, the Guardian of His people. Awful as is His power, they need not fear. To them it speaks of peace.Verse 10. - The Lord sitteth upon the flood. Most moderns translate, "The Lord sat (as King) at the Flood," and understand by "the Flood" the great Noachian Deluge (Rosenmuller, Hengstenberg, Kay, Revised Version). Some, however, regard this as a forced and unnatural interpretation (Bishop Horsley, ' Four Friends,' 'Speaker's Commentary'), and think the flood accompanying the storm just described (vers. S - 9), or floods and inundations generally, to be meant. It is difficult to decide between the two interpretations. Yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. As God has sat as King in the past, whether at the great Deluge or at any other flood or floods, so will he ever "sit as King" in the future. Now follows the description of the revelation of God's power, which is the ground of the summons, and is to be the subject-matter of their praise. The All-glorious One makes Himself heard in the language (Revelation 10:3.) of the thunder, and reveals Himself in the storm. There are fifteen lines, which naturally arrange themselves into three five-line strophes. The chief matter with the poet, however, is the sevenfold קול ה. Although קול is sometimes used almost as an ejaculatory "Hark!" (Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 52:8), this must not, with Ewald (286, f), be applied to the קול ה of the Psalm before us, the theme of which is the voice of God, who announced Himself from heaven - a voice which moves the world. The dull sounding קול serves not merely to denote the thunder of the storm, but even the thunder of the earthquake, the roar of the tempest, and in general, every low, dull, rumbling sound, by which God makes Himself audible to the world, and more especially from the wrathful side of His doxa. The waters in Psalm 29:3 are not the lower waters. Then the question arises what are they? Were the waters of the Mediterranean intended, they would be more definitely denoted in such a vivid description. It is, however, far more appropriate to the commencement of this description to understand them to mean the mass of water gathered together in the thick, black storm-clouds (vid., Psalm 18:12; Jeremiah 10:13). The rumbling

(Note: The simple rendering of קול by "voice" has been retained in the text of the Psalm, as in the Authorised Version. The word, however, which Dr. Delitzsch uses is Gedrhn, the best English equivalent of which is a "rumbling." - Tr.)

of Jahve is, as the poet himself explains in Psalm 29:3, the thunder produced on high by the אל הכּבוד (cf. מלך הכבוד, Psalm 24:7.), which rolls over the sea of waters floating above the earth in the sky. Psalm 29:4 and Psalm 29:4, just like Psalm 29:3 and Psalm 29:3, are independent substantival clauses. The rumbling of Jahve is, issues forth, or passes by; ב with the abstract article as in Psalm 77:14; Proverbs 24:5 (cf. Proverbs 8:8; Luke 4:32, ἐν ἰσχύΐ Revelation 18:2), is the ב of the distinctive attribute. In Psalm 29:3 the first peals of thunder are heard; in Psalm 29:4 the storm is coming nearer, and the peals become stronger, and now it bursts forth with its full violence: Psalm 29:5 describes this in a general form, and Psalm 29:5 expresses by the fut. consec., as it were inferentially, that which is at present taking place: amidst the rolling of the thunder the descending lightning flashes rive the cedars of Lebanon (as is well-known, the lightning takes the outermost points). The suffix in Psalm 29:6 does not refer proleptically to the mountains mentioned afterwards, but naturally to the cedars (Hengst., Hupf., Hitz.), which bend down before the storm and quickly rise up again. The skipping of Lebanon and Sirion, however, is not to be referred to the fact, that their wooded summits bend down and rise again, but, according to Psalm 114:4, to their being shaken by the crash of the thunder-a feature in the picture which certainly does not rest upon what is actually true in nature, but figuratively describes the apparent quaking of the earth during a heavy thunderstorm. שריון, according to Deuteronomy 3:9, is the Sidonian name of Hermon, and therefore side by side with Lebanon it represents Anti-Lebanon. The word, according to the Masora, has ש sinistrum, and consequently is isriyown, wherefore Hitzig correctly derives it from Arab. srâ, fut. i., to gleam, sparkle, cf. the passage from an Arab poet at Psalm 133:3. The lightning makes these mountains bound (Luther, lecken, i.e., according to his explanation: to spring, skip) like young antelopes. ראם,

(Note: On Arab. r'm vid., Seetzen's Reisen iii. 339 and also iv. 496.)

like βούβαλος, βούβαλις, is a generic name of the antelope, and of the buffalo that roams in herds through the forests beyond the Jordan even at the present day; for there are antelopes that resemble the buffalo and also (except in the formation of the head and the cloven hoofs) those that resemble the horse, the lxx renders: ὡς υἱὸς μονοκερώτων. Does this mean the unicorn Germ. one-horn depicted on Persian and African monuments? Is this unicorn distinct from the one horned antelope? Neither an unicorn nor an one horned antelope have been seen to the present day by any traveller. Both animals, and consequently also their relation to one another, are up to the present time still undefinable from a scientific point of view.

(Note: By ראם Ludolf in opposition to Bochart understands the rhinoceros; but this animal, belonging to the swine tribe, is certainly not meant, or even merely associated with it. Moreover, the rhinoceros Germ. nose-horn is called in Egypt charnin (from Arab. chrn equals qrn), but the unicorn, charnit. "In the year 1862 the French archaeologist, M. Waddington, was with me in Damascus when an antiquary brought me an ancient vessel on which a number of animals were engraved, their names being written on their bellies. Among the well known animals there was also an unicorn, exactly like a zebra or a horse, but with a long horn standing out upon its forehead; on its body was the word Arab. chrnı̂t. M. Waddington wished to have the vessel and I gave it up to him; and he took it with him to Paris. We talked a good deal about this unicorn, and felt obliged to come to the conclusion that the form of the fabulous animal might have become known to the Arabs at the time of the crusades, when the English coat of arms came to Syria." - Wetzstein.)

Each peal of thunder is immediately followed by a flash of lightning; Jahve's thunder cleaveth flames of fire, i.e., forms (as it were λατομεῖ) the fire-matter of the storm-clouds into cloven flames of fire, into lightnings that pass swiftly along; in connection with which it must be remembered that קול ה denotes not merely the thunder as a phenomenon, but at the same time it denotes the omnipotence of God expressing itself therein. The brevity and threefold division of Psalm 29:7 depicts the incessant, zigzag, quivering movement of the lightning (tela trisulca, ignes trisulci, in Ovid). From the northern mountains the storm sweeps on towards the south of Palestine into the Arabian desert, viz., as we are told in Psalm 29:8 (cf. Psalm 29:5, according to the schema of "parallelism by reservation"), the wilderness region of Kadesh (Kadesh Barnea), which, however we may define its position, must certainly have lain near the steep western slope of the mountains of Edom toward the Arabah. Jahve's thunder, viz., the thunderstorm, puts this desert in a state of whirl, inasmuch as it drives the sand (חול) before it in whirlwinds; and among the mountains it, viz., the strong lightning and thundering, makes the hinds to writhe, inasmuch as from fright they bring forth prematurely. both the Hiph. יהיל and the Pil. יחולל are used with a causative meaning (root חו, חי, to move in a circle, to encircle). The poet continues with ויּחשׂף, since he makes one effect of the storm to develope from another, merging as it were out of its chrysalis state. יערות is a poetical plural form; and חשׂף describes the effect of the storm which "shells" the woods, inasmuch as it beats down the branches of the trees, both the tops and the foliage. While Jahve thus reveals Himself from heaven upon the earth in all His irresistible power, בּהיכלו, in His heavenly palace (Psalm 11:4; Psalm 18:7), כּלּו (note how בהיכלו resolves this כלו out of itself), i.e., each of the beings therein, says: כבוד. That which the poet, in Psalm 29:1, has called upon them to do, now takes place. Jahve receives back His glory, which is immanent in the universe, in the thousand-voiced echo of adoration.

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