As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Smoke.—The figure of the vanishing smoke has occurred before (see Psalm 37:20); for that of the melting wax see Psalm 97:5. Both figures are too obvious to need reference to the cloud and fire of the ancient encampment.
So drive them away - With the same ease with which smoke is driven by the slightest breeze, so do the enemies of God disappear before his power. Compare the notes at Psalm 1:4.
As wax melteth before the fire - Compare Psalm 22:14. The meaning here is plain. As wax is melted down by fire - losing all its hardness, its firmness, its power of resistance, so must the most mighty armies melt away before God.
Ps 68:1-35. This is a Psalm-song (see on Ps 30:1, title), perhaps suggested by David's victories, which secured his throne and gave rest to the nation. In general terms, the judgment of God on the wicked, and the equity and goodness of His government to the pious, are celebrated. The sentiment is illustrated by examples of God's dealings, cited from the Jewish history and related in highly poetical terms. Hence the writer intimates an expectation of equal and even greater triumphs and summons all nations to unite in praises of the God of Israel. The Psalm is evidently typical of the relation which God, in the person of His Son, sustains to the Church (compare Ps 68:18).
1-3. Compare Nu 10:35; Ps 1:4; 22:14, on the figures here used.
before him—as in Ps 68:2, from His presence, as dreaded; but in Ps 68:3, in His presence, as under His protection (Ps 61:7).As smoke is driven away; as smoke at first mounts high and fills a great space of air, but speedily vanisheth into air, or is dispersed with the wind. Revelation 9:2; and the manner of their destruction; which is as easily brought about as smoke is driven by the wind, and is as irretrievable, like smoke that vanisheth into air (o); see Psalm 37:20;
as wax melteth before fire; whereby its consistency, form, and strength, are lost. Respect may be had, both in this and the foregoing metaphor, to the fire of, divine wrath, and the smoke of eternal torments; since it follows:
so let the wicked perish at the presence of God; the appearance of Christ, either in his awful dispensation against the Jews, or in the last judgment; when the wicked shall not be able to stand before his face, but shall call to the rocks and mountains to hide them from him; and when they shall be bid to depart from him, and shall be punished with everlasting destruction in soul and body, from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. The verbs should be rendered as in Psalm 68:1 by futures: As smoke … so shalt thou drive them away: as wax … so shall the wicked perish at the presence of God. The smoke scattered by the wind is an apt emblem for total disappearance (Psalm 37:20; Hosea 13:3); the wax melted by the fire for unresisting impotence (Psalm 97:5; Micah 1:4). “At the blast of the breath of Jehovah” the wicked vanish, leaving no trace behind; the consuming fire of His wrath they are powerless to withstand.Verse 2. - As smoke is driven away, so drive them away. As clouds of smoke are dispersed and driven away by the wind, and totally disappear, so let God, whenever his enemies congregate, scatter and disperse them, and reduce them to nothingness. As wax melteth before the firs, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. As smoke vanishes, so wax entirely melts away and disappears before a hot fire (comp. Psalm 22:14; Psalm 97:5). Psalm 72:12., Isaiah 11:3. מישׁר in an ethical sense for מישׁרים, as in Psalm 45:7; Isaiah 11:4; Malachi 2:6. הנחה as in Psalm 31:4 of gracious guidance (otherwise than in Job 12:23).
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