Psalm 66:5
Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 66:5-6. Come and see the works of God, &c. — Inquire after and consider seriously what works of stupendous power God has shown in the earth, in regard to the human race, and on their account. He turned the sea, &c. — He opened a passage for our fathers through the sea, so that they walked as on dry land, Exodus 14:16; and also led them dry-shod through the river Jordan, when it was so full of water that it overflowed its banks. There did we rejoice in him — That is, our nation, or our ancestors, in whose loins we then were, and the benefit of which ancient deliverance we at this day enjoy. The whole people of Israel are here, and in many other parts of Scripture, considered as one body, continued through all succeeding generations, united in the bonds of the same covenant and worship, and in the possession of the same promises, privileges, and blessings, and influenced by one and the same spirit. Hence several and contrary things may reasonably be ascribed to them, in regard of their several ages; and what was done in one age may be imputed to another, by virtue of their close conjunction with the same body.66:1-7 The holy church throughout all the world lifts up her voice, to laud that Name which is above every name, to make the praise of Jesus glorious, both by word and deed; that others may be led to glorify him also. But nothing can bring men to do this aright, unless his effectual grace create their hearts anew unto holiness; and in the redemption by the death of Christ, and the glorious deliverances it effects, are more wondrous works than Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage.Come and see the works of God - See the notes at Psalm 46:8, where substantially the same expression occurs. The idea is, "Come and see what God has done and is doing; come and learn from this what he is; and let your hearts in view of all this, be excited to gratitude and praise." The particular reference here is to what God had done in delivering his people from their former bondage in Egypt Psalm 66:6; but there is, connected with this, the idea that he actually rules among the nations, and that in his providence he has shown his power to govern and sbdue them.

He is terrible in his doing - That is, His acts are suited to inspire awe and veneration. See the notes at Psalm 66:3.

5, 6. The terrible works illustrated in Israel's history (Ex 14:21). By this example let rebels be admonished.5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

6 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

Psalm 66:5

"Come and see the works of God." Such glorious events, as the cleaving of the Bed Sea and the overthrow of Pharaoh, are standing wonders, and throughout all time a voice sounds forth concerning them - "Come and see." Even till the close of all things, the marvellous works of God at the Red Sea will be the subject of meditation and praise; for, standing on the sea of glass mingled with fire, the triumphal armies of heaven sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. It has always been the favourite subject of the inspired bards, and their choice was most natural. "He is terrible in his doing toward the children of men." For the defence of his church and the overthrow of her foes he deals terrific blows, and strikes the mighty with fear. O thou enemy, wherefore dost thou vaunt thyself? Speak no more so exceeding proudly, but remember the plagues which bowed the will of Pharaoh, the drowning of Egypt's chariots in the Red Sea, the overthrow of Og and Sihon, the scattering of the Canaanites before the tribes. This same God still liveth, and is to be worshipped with trembling reverence.

Psalm 66:6

"He turned the sea into dry land." It was no slight miracle to divide a pathway through such a sea, and to make it fit for the traffic of a whole nation. He who did this can do anything, and must be God, the worthy object of adoration. The Christian's inference is that no obstacle in his journey heavenward need hinder him, for the sea could not hinder Israel, and even death itself shall be as life; the sea shall be dry land when God's presence is felt. "They went through the flood on foot." Through the river the tribes passed dry-shod, Jordan was afraid because of them.

"What ail'd thee, O thou mighty sea?

Why roll'd thy waves in dread?

What bade thy tide, O Jordan, flee

And bare its deepest bed?

O earth, before the Lord, the God

Of Jacob, tremble still;

Who makes the waste a water'd sod,

continued...

See the works of God; consider them wisely and seriously, for God’s glory, and for your own good.

Toward the children of men; to all his enemies; whom he calls the children of men, partly in way of contempt, to show how unable they are either to avoid or resist the great God; and partly in opposition to his own people, who are frequently called the children of God. Come and see the works of God,.... Of the Messiah, God manifest in the flesh; those divine works which he did when here on earth; his miraculous works, which were proofs of his deity and Messiahship; his preaching the Gospel, in so divine a manner as never man did; his works of obedience to the law, which were pure and perfect; the everlasting righteousness he wrought out for the justification of his people; and the great work of redemption and salvation finished by him, which none but God could ever have effected. This is an invitation to the inhabitants of all lands, where the Gospel should come with power, to take notice of and consider these works of Christ, and the glory of his might, wisdom, and grace in them, in order to engage them to sing his praise;

he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men; in his vengeance on the Jews, for disbelieving and rejecting him; in destroying antichrist, and pouring out the vials of his wrath on the antichristian states; and in the everlasting damnation of the wicked. So that as his other works in the former clause design these of grace, this doing of his respects his work, his strange work of judgment on his enemies; on account of which he is terrible to them, and reverenced by his people.

{c} Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the {d} children of men.

(c) He refers to the slothful dullness of man, who is cold in the consideration of God's works.

(d) His providence is wonderful in maintaining their estate.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Come and see the works of God] Cp. Psalm 46:8, the only other place where the word for works is found.

he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men] The preposition toward implies supremacy over mankind. All men must fear Him (Psalm 64:9); but it depends on themselves whether they will reverence Him as their God, or must dread Him as an enemy.

5–7. The nations are invited to contemplate God’s mighty works for His people in the past, and to learn that the sovereignty to which they bear witness is eternal and universal.Verse 5. - Come and see the works of God. Contemplate, i.e., the terrible "works of God," spoken of in ver. 3. See how, to save his people, he has to smite their enemies. Truly, on such occasions, he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men (compare the next verse for an example). The praise of God on account of the present year's rich blessing, which He has bestowed upon the land of His people. In Psalm 65:10, Psalm 65:11 God is thanked for having sent down the rain required for the ploughing (vid., Commentary on Isaiah, ii. 522) and for the increase of the seed sown, so that, as vv. 12-14 affirm, there is the prospect of a rich harvest. The harvest itself, as follows from v. 14b, is not yet housed. The whole of Psalm 65:10, Psalm 65:11 is a retrospect; in vv. 12-14 the whole is a description of the blessing standing before their eyes, which God has put upon the year now drawing to a close. Certainly, if the forms רוּה and נחת were supplicatory imperatives, then the prayer for the early or seed-time rain would attach itself to the retrospect in Psalm 65:11, and the standpoint would be not about the time of the Passover and Pentecost, both festivals belonging to the beginning of the harvest, but about the time of the feast of Tabernacles, the festival of thanksgiving for the harvest, and vv. 12-14 would be a glance into the future (Hitzig). But there is nothing to indicate that in Psalm 65:11 the retrospect changes into a looking forward. The poet goes on with the same theme, and also arranges the words accordingly, for which reason רוּה and נחת are not to be understood in any other way. שׁקק beside העשׁיר (to enrich) signifies to cause to run over, overflow, i.e., to put anything in a state of plenty or abundance, from שׁוּק (Hiph. Joel 2:24, to yield in abundance), Arab, sâq, to push, impel, to cause to go on in succession and to follow in succession. רבּת (for which we find רבּה in Psalm 62:3) is an adverb, copiously, richly (Psalm 120:6; Psalm 123:4; Psalm 129:1), like מאת, a hundred times (Ecclesiastes 8:12). תּעשׁרנּה is Hiph. with the middle syllable shortened, Ges. 53, 3, rem. 4. The fountain (פּלג) of God is the name given here to His inexhaustible stores of blessing, and more particularly the fulness of the waters of the heavens from which He showers down fertilizing rain. כּן, "thus thoroughly," forms an alliteration with הכין, to prepare, and thereby receives a peculiar twofold colouring. The meaning is: God, by raising and tending, prepared the produce of the field which the inhabitants of the land needed; for He thus thoroughly prepared the land in conformity with the fulness of His fountain, viz., by copiously watering (רוּה infin. absol. instead of רוּה, as in 1 Samuel 3:12; 2 Chronicles 24:10; Exodus 22:22; Jeremiah 14:19; Hosea 6:9) the furrows of the land and pressing down, i.e., softening by means of rain, its ridges (גּדוּדה, defective plural, as e.g., in Ruth 2:13), which the ploughshare has made. תּלם (related by root with Arab. tll, tell, a hill, prop. that which is thrown out to a place, that which is thrown up, a mound) signifies a furrow as being formed by casting up or (if from Arab. ṯlm, ébrécher, to make a fracture, rent, or notch in anything) by tearing into, breaking up the ground; גּדוּד (related by root with uchdûd and chaṭṭ, the usual Arabic words for a furrow

(Note: Frst erroneously explains תּלם as a bed or strip of ground between two deep furrows, in distinction from מענה or מענית (vid., on Psalm 129:3), a furrow. Beds such as we have in our potato fields are unknown to Syrian agriculture. There is a mode which may be approximately compared with it called ketif (כּתף), another far wider called meskeba (משׂכּבה). The Arabic tilm (תּלם, Hebrew תּלם equals talm), according to the Kams (as actually in Magrebinish Arabic) talam (תּלם), corresponds exact to our furrow, i.e., (as the Turkish Kams explains) a ditch-like fissure which the iron of the plough cuts into the field. Neshwn (i. 491) says: "The verb talam, fut. jatlum and jatlim, signifies in Jemen and in the Ghr (the land on the shore of the Red Sea) the crevices (Arab. 'l-šuqûq) which the ploughman forms, and tilm, collective plural tilâm, is, in the countries mentioned, a furrow of the corn-field. Some persons pronounce the word even thilm, collective plural thilâm." Thus it is at the present day universally in Ḥaurân; in Edre‛ât I heard the water-furrow of a corn-field called thilm el-kanâh (Arab. ṯlm 'l-qnât). But this pronunciation with Arab. ṯ is certainly not the original one, but has arisen through a substitution of the cognate and more familiar verbal stem Arab. ṯlm, cf. šrm, to slit (shurêm, a harelip). In other parts of Syria and Palestine, also where the distinction between the sounds Arab. t and ṯ is carefully observed, I have only heard the pronunciation tilm. - Wetzstein.))

as being formed by cutting into the ground.

In Psalm 65:12 the year in itself appears as a year of divine goodness (טובה, bonitas), and the prospective blessing of harvest as the crown which is set upon it. For Thou hast crowned "the year of Thy goodness" and "with Thy goodness" are different assertions, with which also different (although kindred as to substance) ideas are associated. The futures after עטרתּ depict its results as they now lie out to view. The chariot-tracks (vid., Deuteronomy 33:26) drop with exuberant fruitfulness, even the meadows of the uncultivated and, without rain, unproductive pasture land (Job 38:26.). The hills are personified in Psalm 65:13 in the manner of which Isaiah in particular is so fond (e.g., Psalm 44:23; Psalm 49:13), and which we find in the Psalms of his type (Psalm 96:11., Psalm 98:7., cf. Psalm 89:13). Their fresh, verdant appearance is compared to a festive garment, with which those which previously looked bare and dreary gird themselves; and the corn to a mantle in which the valleys completely envelope themselves (עטף with the accusative, like Arab. t‛ṭṭf with b of the garment: to throw it around one, to put it on one's self). The closing words, locking themselves as it were with the beginning of the Psalm together, speak of joyous shouting and singing that continues into the present time. The meadows and valleys (Bttcher) are not the subject, of which it cannot be said that they sing; nor can the same be said of the rustling of the waving corn-fields (Kimchi). The expression requires men to be the subject, and refers to men in the widest and most general sense. Everywhere there is shouting coming up from the very depths of the breast (Hithpal.), everywhere songs of joy; for this is denoted by שׁיר in distinction from קנן.

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