Psalm 65:7
Which stills the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
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(7) Tumult.—Here we see the literal passing into the figurative. From the raging seas the poet’s thought goes to the anarchies arising from the wild passions of men, for which in all literature the ocean has furnished metaphors. (Comp. Isaiah 17:12.) In a well-known passage, the Latin poet Virgil reverses the simile, likening the sudden calm which succeeds the storm that wrecked Æneas to the effect produced by a leader of men in a seditious city. (Virgil, Æn. i. 148.)

65:6-13 That Almighty strength which sets fast the mountains, upholds the believer. That word which stills the stormy ocean, and speaks it into a calm, can silence our enemies. How contrary soever light and darkness are to each other, it is hard to say which is most welcome. Does the watchman wait for the morning? so does the labourer earnestly desire the shades of evening. Some understand it of the morning and evening sacrifices. We are to look upon daily worship, both alone and with our families, to be the most needful of our daily occupations, the most delightful of our daily comforts. How much the fruitfulness of this lower part of the creation depends upon the influence of the upper, is easy to observe; every good and perfect gift is from above. He who enriches the earth, which is filled with man's sins, by his abundant and varied bounty, can neither want power nor will to feed the souls of his people. Temporal mercies to us unworthy creatures, shadow forth more important blessings. The rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring forth of the influences of the Holy Spirit, that river of God, full of the waters of life and salvation, render the hard, barren, worthless hearts of sinners fruitful in every good work, and change the face of nations more than the sun and rain change the face of nature. Wherever the Lord passes, by his preached gospel, attended by his Holy Spirit, his paths drop fatness, and numbers are taught to rejoice in and praise him. They will descend upon the pastures of the wilderness, all the earth shall hear and embrace the gospel, and bring forth abundantly the fruits of righteousness which are, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father. Manifold and marvellous, O Lord, are thy works, whether of nature or of grace; surely in loving-kindness hast thou made them all.Which stilleth the noise of the seas - He calms the seas when they have been agitated by the storm. He causes the mighty waves to settle down, and the whole surface of the ocean becomes calm and smooth. The storm subsides at his command, and the sea is still. It was the manifestation of this power which demonstrated so clearly the divinity of the Lord Jesus, when he said to the troubled waves, "Peace, be still, and the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39. Compare Psalm 107:29.

The noise of their waves - The loud roar of the waters, so that they are still.

And the tumult of the people - The raging; the fury; the excitement of assembled multitudes, resembling the raging waves of the ocean. This comparison is very common. See Isaiah 17:12-13. Compare the notes at Revelation 19:6. This is perhaps a more striking and wonderful exhibition of the power of God than that of calming down the waves of the ocean. In the one case, it is the exertion of mere power on nature, acting through its established laws, and where there is no resistance of will; in the other, it is power exerted over the will; power over agents conscious that they are free, and where the worst passions meet and mingle and rage.

Psalm 65:7And create evil - The parallelism here shows that this is not to be understood in the sense of all evil, but of that which is the opposite of peace and prosperity. That is, God directs judgments, disappointments, trials, and calamities; he has power to suffer the mad passions of people to rage, and to afflict nations with war; he presides over adverse as well as prosperous events. The passage does not prove that God is the author of moral evil, or sin, and such a sentiment is abhorrent to the general strain of the Bible, and to all just views of the character of a holy God.

6-13. God's great power and goodness are the grounds of this confidence. These are illustrated in His control of the mightiest agencies of nature and nations affecting men with awe and dread (Ps 26:7; 98:1, &c.), and in His fertilizing showers, causing the earth to produce abundantly for man and beast. The noise of their waves, when the sea is tempestuous, and threatens to swallow up ships and men that are in it, or to overflow the earth. And the tumult of the people; and as he stills the natural, so also he quiets the metaphorical seas, tumultuous and unruly people; for multitudes of people are oft called seas in prophetical writings, as Isaiah 17:12,13 Jer 51:42 Revelation 17:15. Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves,.... By a word speaking; as our Lord did when here on earth, and which was a proof and evidence of his eternal power and Godhead. These figurative expressions are interpreted by the next clause;

and the tumult of the people: of wicked men, who foam and rage against the people of God, and are like a troubled sea that cannot rest; but God can say to these proud waters, which threaten to go over their souls, Peace, be still; he can stop their opposition, quell their insurrections, restrain their wrath, and make them peaceable and quiet; wherefore the saints have no reason to be afraid of them, Psalm 46:2.

Which stilleth the {f} noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.

(f) He shows that there is no part or creature in the world which is not governed by God's power and providence.

7. Who stilleth the roaring of the seas,

The roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples.

He controls alike the turbulent elements of nature (Jeremiah 5:22), and the tumultuous hosts of the nations which they symbolise. Cp. Psalm 46:2 f, 6; Isaiah 17:12-14.Verse 7. - Which stllleth the noise of the seas. The power of God, as set forth in his control of the sea, is a favourite topic with the sacred writers (see Job 38:8; Proverbs 8:29; Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 51:10; Jeremiah 5:22, etc.). Being so entirely beyond his own control, it seems to man one of the greatest of marvels that there should be any force capable of subduing and taming it, Hence the admiration excited by our Lord's miracle (Matthew 8:26, 27). The noise of their waves (comp. Isaiah 17:12). And the tumult of the people. This clause may seem a little out of place in a passage which treats of God's power over nature. But, after all, humanity is a constituent part of nature. The praise of God on account of the mercy with which He rules out of Zion. The lxx renders σοὶ πρέπει ὕμνος, but דּומיּה, tibi par est, h. e. convenit laus (Ewald), is not a usage of the language (cf. Psalm 33:1; Jeremiah 10:7). דּמיּה signifies, according to Psalm 22:3, silence, and as an ethical notion, resignation, Psalm 62:2. According to the position of the words it looks like the subject, and תּהלּה like the predicate. The accents at least (Illuj, Shalsheleth) assume the relationship of the one word to the other to be that of predicate and subject; consequently it is not: To Thee belongeth resignation, praise (Hengstenberg), but: To Thee is resignation praise, i.e., resignation is (given or presented) to Thee as praise. Hitzig obtains the same meaning by an alteration of the text: לך דמיה תהלּל; but opposed to this is the fact that הלּל ל is not found anywhere in the Psalter, but only in the writings of the chronicler. And since it is clear that the words לך תהלה belong together (Psalm 40:4), the poet had no need to fear any ambiguity when he inserted dmyh between them as that which is given to God as praise in Zion. What is intended is that submission or resignation to God which gives up its cause to God and allows Him to act on its behalf, renouncing all impatient meddling and interference (Exodus 14:14). The second member of the sentence affirms that this praise of pious resignation does not remain unanswered. Just as God in Zion is praised by prayer which resigns our own will silently to His, so also to Him are vows paid when He fulfils such prayer. That the answers to prayer are evidently thought of in connection with this, we see from Psalm 65:3, where God is addressed as the "Hearer or Answerer of prayer." To Him as being the Hearer and Answerer of prayer all flesh comes, and in fact, as עדיך implies (cf. Isaiah 45:24), without finding help anywhere else, it clear a way for itself until it gets to Him; i.e., men, absolutely dependent, impotent in themselves and helpless, both collectively and individually (those only excepted who are determined to perish or despair), flee to Him as their final refuge and help. Before all else it is the prayer for the forgiveness of sin which He graciously answers. The perfect in Psalm 65:4 is followed by the future in Psalm 65:4. The former, in accordance with the sense, forms a hypothetical protasis: granted that the instances of faults have been too powerful for me, i.e., (cf. Genesis 4:13) an intolerable burden to me, our transgressions are expiated by Thee (who alone canst and also art willing to do it). דּברי is not less significant than in Psalm 35:20; Psalm 105:27; Psalm 145:5, cf. 1 Samuel 10:2; 2 Samuel 11:18.: it separates the general fact into its separate instances and circumstances. How blessed therefore is the lot of that man whom (supply אשׁר) God chooses and brings near, i.e., removes into His vicinity, that he may inhabit His courts (future with the force of a clause expressing a purpose, as e.g., in Job 30:28, which see), i.e., that there, where He sits enthroned and reveals Himself, he may have his true home and be as if at home (vid., Psalm 15:1)! The congregation gathered around Zion is esteemed worthy of this distinction among the nations of the earth; it therefore encourages itself in the blessed consciousness of this its privilege flowing from free grace (בחר), to enjoy in full draughts (שּבע with בּ as in Psalm 103:5) the abundant goodness or blessing (טוּב) of God's house, of the holy (ἅγιον) of His temple, i.e., of His holy temple (קדשׁ as in Psalm 46:5, cf. Isaiah 57:15). For for all that God's grace offers us we can give Him no better thanks than to hunger and thirst after it, and satisfy our poor soul therewith.
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