Which by his strength sets fast the mountains; being girded with power:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Girded.—We see the Divine Architect of the world, girt for his labours in the Oriental fashion (see Note, Psalm 18:32), setting the mountains firm on their bases (comp. Psalm 75:3), the poet evidently thinking at the same time how empires, as well as mountains, owe their stability to God.Psalm 65:6-7. Which setteth fast the mountains — That they are not overthrown by floods, or earthquakes, or other natural causes; which stability they have only from God’s preserving providence, which alone sustains all persons and things; being girded with power — Being able to do it, and that with infinite ease, having only to speak and it is done. Which stillest the noise of the sea — When it is very tempestuous, and threatens to swallow up ships and men that are in it, or to overflow the earth. And the tumults of the people — As he stills the natural, so he also quiets the metaphorical seas, tumultuous and unruly mobs and insurrections of people, often represented under this emblem in the prophetical writings.Settest fast the mountains; that they are not overthrown by floods, or winds, or earthquakes, or other natural or violent causes; which stability they have only from God’s providence, which sustains all persons and all things.
Being girded with power; this our God being able to do it, and that with one single word.
"who preparest food for the wild goats of the mountains;''
others interpret them of kingdoms and communities, comparable to mountains, Jeremiah 51:25; but these are not set fast, they are not firm and stable, but in a course of time are removed, and give way to others; rather the church of God is meant; see Isaiah 2:2; where the same phrase is used as here; and "mountains" may signify particular churches, or indeed particular believers; for all that trust in the Lord are like to mountains, Psalm 125:1; and these are set fast in the everlasting love of God, by which their mountain is made to stand strong; in eternal election, which is the foundation of God that stands sure; in the covenant of grace, which is more immovable than hills and mountains; and on Christ the Rock, against whom the gates of hell can never prevail; and who are so established, settled, and kept by the power of God, that they cannot be removed by the most boisterous storms and winds of the world's persecutions, Satan's temptations, or their own sins and corruptions;
being girded with power: not the mountains, but God himself; whose power, like himself, is infinite, and appears in the works of his hands, of nature, providence, and grace: the allusion is to a mighty man girded for battle; or for the performance of great undertakings.Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. setteth fast the mountains] The mountains poetically represent the strongest and most solid parts of the earth (Psalm 18:7; Psalm 46:2 f). These He has created and sustains. Comp. the appeals of Amos to the phenomena of nature as the evidence of God’s power, Amos 4:13; Amos 5:8; Amos 9:5-6.
being girded with power] Girding himself with might. Cp. Psalm 93:1.Verses 6-8. - God having been praised for his moral qualities, is now further eulogized in respect of his doings in nature. The mountains set forth his majesty and permanence (ver. 6); the seas and waves, his power to control and subdue (ver. 7); the outgoings of the morning and evening - sunrise and sunset - his gracious loving kindness (ver. 8). Verse 6. - Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains (comp. Psalm 36:6; Psalm 95:4; Amos 4:13). The mountains are an emblem of God's strength and firmness and fixedness. They stand up in still and silent majesty; they seem as if they could never be moved. He who created them must be girded with power (camp. Psalm 93:1). Jeremiah 17:9.). And He will just as suddenly surprise the enemies of His anointed with their death-blow, as they had plotted it for him. The futt. consec. that follow represent that which is future, with all the certainty of an historical fact as a retribution springing from the malicious craftiness of the enemies. According to the accentuation, Psalm 64:8 is to be rendered: "then will Elohim shoot them, a sudden arrow become their wounds." Thus at length Hupfeld renders it; but how extremely puzzling is the meaning hidden behind this sentence! The Targum and the Jewish expositors have construed it differently: "Then will Elohim shoot them with arrows suddenly;" in this case, however, because Psalm 64:8 then becomes too blunt and bald, פּתאם has to be repeated in thought with this member of the verse, and this is in itself an objection to it. We interpunctuate with Ewald and Hitzig thus: then does Elohim shoot them with an arrow, suddenly arise (become a reality) their wounds (cf. Micah 7:4), namely, of those who had on their part aimed the murderous weapon against the upright for a sudden and sure shot. Psalm 64:9 is still more difficult. Kimchi's interpretation, which accords with the accents: et corruere facient eam super se, linguam suam, is intolerable; the proleptic suffix, having reference to לשׁונם (Exodus 3:6; Job 33:20), ought to have been feminine (vid., on Psalm 22:16), and "to make their own tongue fall upon themselves" is an odd fancy. The objective suffix will therefore refer per enallagen to the enemy. But not thus (as Hitzig, who now seeks to get out of the difficulty by an alteration of the text, formerly rendered it): "and they cause those to fall whom they have slandered [lit. upon whom their tongue came]." This form of retribution does not accord with the context; and moreover the gravely earnest עלימו, like the הוּ-, refers more probably to the enemies than to the objects of their hostility. The interpretation of Ewald and Hengstenberg is better: "and one overthrows him, inasmuch as their tongue, i.e., the sin of their tongue with which they sought to destroy others, comes upon themselves." The subject to ויּכשׁילהוּ, as in Psalm 63:11; Job 4:19; Job 7:3; Luke 12:20, is the powers which are at the service of God, and which are not mentioned at all; and the thought עלימו לשׁונם (a circumstantial clause) is like Psalm 140:10, where in a similar connection the very same singularly rugged lapidary, or terse, style is found. In Psalm 64:9 we must proceed on the assumption that ראה ב in such a connection signifies the gratification of looking upon those who are justly punished and rendered harmless. But he who tarries to look upon such a scene is certainly not the person to flee from it; התנודד does not here mean "to betake one's self to flight" (Ewald, Hitzig), but to shake one's self, as in Jeremiah 48:27, viz., to shake the head (Psalm 44:15; Jeremiah 18:16) - the recognised (vid., Psalm 22:8) gesture of malignant, mocking astonishment. The approbation is awarded, according to Psalm 64:10, to God, the just One. And with the joy at His righteous interposition, - viz. of Him who has been called upon to interpose, - is combined a fear of the like punishment. The divine act of judicial retribution now set forth becomes a blessing to mankind. From mouth to mouth it is passed on, and becomes an admonitory nota bene. To the righteous in particular it becomes a consolatory and joyous strengthening of his faith. The judgment of Jahve is the redemption of the righteous. Thus, then, does he rejoice in his God, who by thus judging and redeeming makes history into the history of redemption, and hide himself the more confidingly in Him; and all the upright boast themselves, viz., in God, who looks into the heart and practically acknowledges them whose heart is directed unswervingly towards Him, and conformed entirely to Him. In place of the futt. consec., which have a prophetic reference, simple futt. come in here, and between these a perf. consec. as expressive of that which will then happen when that which is prophetically certain has taken place.
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