Psalm 68:22
The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) I will bring.—The meaning of this verse is very obscure. It is plainly another fragment of some ancient song quoted, we can hardly doubt, with reference to the return from captivity. “Bashan” and the “depths of the sea” (comp. Amos 9:1-10) may, in the quotation, only stand generally for east and west, the sea being here the Mediterranean. But most probably the original verse referred to the passage of the Red Sea and the contest with the king of Bashan.

Psalm 68:22-23. The Lord said — Purposed within himself, and promised by divers of his prophets, though not in the same words which are here used: see 2 Samuel 4:8. I will bring again from Bashan — I will repeat my ancient favours, and give my people, by David, as great deliverances as I formerly gave them when I saved them from the hand of Og, king of Bashan, who came out against them with all his forces, Deuteronomy 3:1; a deliverance often mentioned in succeeding parts of Scripture as one of the most eminent. I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea — I will appear as powerfully for them as I did when I delivered them from the Egyptian army, by giving them a safe passage through the Red sea. That thy foot may be dipped, &c. — The meaning is, that if the enemies of God’s people should continue to invade and harass them by war, they should be entirely cut off by the sword, and their slaughter be so great, as that the victorious army should be forced to trample on their dead and bloody bodies, and the dogs should satiate themselves by lapping up their blood. The words are the description of a complete victory, and of what happens after a bloody engagement.

68:22-28 The victories with which God blessed David over the enemies of Israel, are types of Christ's victory, for himself and for all believers. Those who take him for theirs, may see him acting as their God, as their King, for their good, and in answer to their prayers; especially in and by his word and ordinances. The kingdom of the Messiah shall be submitted to by all the rulers and learned in the world. The people seem to address the king, ver. 28. But the words are applicable to the Redeemer, to his church, and every true believer. We pray, that thou, O God the Son, wilt complete thine undertaking for us, by finishing thy good work in us.The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan - On the situation of Bashan, see the notes at Psalm 68:15. There may be an allusion here to the victory achieved over Og, king of Bashan, in the time of Moses, Numbers 21:33-35. The idea may be that as, at that time, a victory was achieved over a formidable enemy, so in times of similar peril, God would deliver his people, and save them from danger. Or, as Bashan was the remote frontier of the holy land, the meaning may be, that God would bring his people from the remotest borders where they should be scattered. Another meaning is suggested by Professor Alexander, namely, that as the subject referred to in the subsequent verses is the "enemy" of God, the meaning may be that God would bring back his enemies for punishment, even from the remotest borders, when they were endeavoring to escape, and even when they supposed they were safe. The first of these opinions is probably the true one. God would rescue his people, as he had done from the attacks of the mighty king of Bashan; he would deliver them, as he had brought their fathers from the depths of the sea.

I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea - The words "my people" are not in the Hebrew, but they seem to be not improperly supplied by the translators. If so, the allusion is to the interposition of God in conducting his people through the Red Sea Exodus 14:22; and the idea is, that God would at all times interpose in their behalf, and deliver them from similar dangers.

22. Former examples of God's deliverance are generalized: as He has done, so He will do.

from Bashan—the farthest region; and—

depths of the sea—the severest afflictions. Out of all, God will bring them. The figures of Ps 68:23 denote the completeness of the conquest, not implying any savage cruelty (compare 2Ki 9:36; Isa 63:1-6; Jer 15:3).

The Lord said; either within himself, he purposed or he promised; for so he had done by divers of his prophets, though not in the same words which are here used, yet to the same purpose.

I will bring again from Bashan; I will repeat my ancient favours, and give my people as great deliverances as I formerly did, when I saved them from that great giant Og king of Bashan, who came out against them with all his forces, Deu 3:1; whom I delivered into their hand, as it there follows; which deliverance is oft mentioned in succeeding scriptures as one of the most eminent.

From the depths of the sea; from the Egyptians at the Red Sea, and from the Red Sea itself, through which I brought them with honour and safety, when it overwhelmed their enemies.

The Lord said,.... Within himself, in his own heart; he resolved upon it in his mind; or he said it in council and in covenant; he undertook and engaged to do what follows; or he spoke of it in promise and in prophecy, as what would be done;

I will bring again from Bashan; as he delivered his people from Og king of Bashan formerly, Numbers 21:33; so he purposed and promised to ransom them out of the hands of him that was stronger than they; to recover them from the strong man armed, and deliver them from the power of darkness, and translate them into his own kingdom, and save them from all the bulls of Bashan; see Psalm 22:12; to which text Jarchi refers in the exposition of this; though some understand it of the fat and great ones of the earth, of the conversion of kings and princes, Psalm 22:29;

I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea; out of the most wretched and desperate condition, out of the depths of sin and misery; out of an helpless and hopeless state, in which they were through the fall, and their actual transgressions: the allusion is to the bringing of the children of Israel through the Red sea, and out of the depths of it, unto dry land: the Targum interprets the whole of the resurrection of the righteous, whether devoured by wild beasts, or drowned in the sea; see Revelation 20:13; some interpret the passage of the Lord's gathering of his people, in the effectual calling, from the east and from the west; from the east, signified by Bashan; and from the west, by the depths of the sea; see Isaiah 43:5.

The Lord said, I will bring again from {q} Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:

(q) As he delivered his Church once from Og of Bashan and other tyrants and from the danger of the Red Sea, so will he still do as often as it is necessary.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. The Lord said] The Psalmist either quotes some ancient promise, like that of Numbers 21:34, or proclaims a fresh message from God with the authority and in the language of a prophet:—The Lord saith. But what is the object of the verb I will bring again? (1) If with A.V. we supply my people, the meaning will be that God will bring the Israelites back to their own land from all the places in which they have been scattered, in order that they may witness a complete and final triumph over their enemies (cp. Micah 4:11-13). This is the interpretation of the Targ., and Delitzsch quotes from the Talmud a touching story which shews that it was current in early times. When, after the destruction of Jerusalem, a number of young and noble captives were being conveyed by ship to Rome, where a fate worse than death awaited them, they all flung themselves from the ship into the sea, trusting to the promise of these words. (2) But the context makes it more natural to supply, as R.V., them, i.e. the enemies spoken of in Psalm 68:21; Psalm 68:23. Though they hide themselves in the rock fastnesses of Bashan, nay in the very depths of the sea, they shall not escape, but be brought back to suffer a righteous vengeance. Cp. Amos 9:2-3, where Jehovah warns the sinful Israelites that no hidingplace will avail to shelter them from judgement. Bashan may be mentioned with allusion to Og, the depths of the sea with allusion to Pharaoh (Exodus 15:4 ff.).

Verse 22. - The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea. Our translators' interpolation of the words, "my people," is unhappy. The psalmist means to represent God as threatening his enemies, not as encouraging his faithful ones. Though his enemies (ver. 21) fly to Bashan and bury themselves in its woods, or though they even hide themselves in the depths of the sea, he will search them out, and "bring them back," that vengeance may be taken on them (see ver. 23). Psalm 68:22Now begins the second circuit of the hymn. Comforted by the majestic picture of the future that he has beheld, the poet returns to the present, in which Israel is still oppressed, but yet not forsaken by God. The translation follows the accentuation, regular and in accordance with the sense, which has been restored by Baer after Heidenheim, viz., אדני has Zarka, and יעמס לנוּ Olewejored preceded by the sub-distinctive Rebia parvum; it is therefore: Benedictus Dominator: quotidie bajulat nobis, - with which the Targum, Rashi, and Kimchi agree.

(Note: According to the customary accentuation the second יום has Mercha or Olewejored, and יעמס־לנוּ, Mugrash. But this Mugrash has the position of the accents of the Silluk-member against it; for although it does exceptionally occur that two conjunctives follow Mugrash (Accentsystem, xvii. 5), yet these cannot in any case be Mahpach sarkatum and Illui.)

עמס, like נשׂא and סבל, unites the significations to lay a burden upon one (Zechariah 12:3; Isaiah 46:1, Isaiah 46:3), and to carry a burden; with על it signifies to lay a burden upon any one, here with ל to take up a burden for any one and to bear it for him. It is the burden or pressure of the hostile world that is meant, which the Lord day by day helps His church to bear, inasmuch as He is mighty by His strength in her who of herself is so feeble. The divine name אל, as being the subject of the sentence, is האל: God is our salvation. The music here again strikes in forte, and the same thought that is emphasized by the music in its turn, is also repeated in Psalm 68:21 with heightened expression: God is to us a God למושׁעות, who grants us help in rich abundance. The pluralet. denotes not so much the many single proofs of help, as the riches of rescuing power and grace. In Psalm 68:21 למּות corresponds to the לנוּ; for it is not to be construed תּוצאות למּות: Jahve's, the Lord, are the outgoings to death (Bttcher), i.e., He can command that one shall not fall a prey to death. תוצאות, the parallel word to מושׁעות, signifies, and it is the most natural meaning, the escapings; יצא, evadere, as in 1 Samuel 14:41; 2 Kings 13:5; Ecclesiastes 7:18. In Jahve's power are means of deliverance for death, i.e., even for those who are already abandoned to death. With אך a joyously assuring inference is drawn from that which God is to Israel. The parallelism of the correctly divided verse shows that ראשׁ here, as in Psalm 110:6, signifies caput in the literal sense, and not in the sense of princeps. The hair-covered scalp is mentioned as a token of arrogant strength, and unhumbled and impenitent pride, as in Deuteronomy 32:42, and as the Attic koma'n directly signifies to strut along, give one's self airs. The genitival construction is the same as in Isaiah 28:1, Isaiah 32:13. The form of expression refers back to Numbers 24:17, and so to speak inflects this primary passage very similarly to Jeremiah 48:45. If קדקד שׂער be an object, then ראשׁ ought also to be a second object (that of the member of the body); the order of the words does not in itself forbid this (cf. Psalm 3:8 with Deuteronomy 33:11), but would require a different arrangement in order to avoid ambiguities.

In Psalm 68:23 the poet hears a divine utterance, or records one that he has heard: "From Bashan will I bring back, I will bring back from the eddies of the sea (from צוּל equals צלל, to whiz, rattle; to whirl, eddy), i.e., the depths or abysses of the sea." Whom? When after the destruction of Jerusalem a ship set sail for Rome with a freight of distinguished and well-formed captives before whom was the disgrace of prostitution, they all threw themselves into the sea, comforting themselves with this passage of Scripture (Gittin 57b, cf. Echa Rabbathi 66a). They therefore took Psalm 68:23 to be a promise which has Israel as its object;

(Note: So also the Targum, which understands the promise to refer to the restoration of the righteous who have been eaten by wild beasts and drowned in the sea (Midrash: מבשׁן equals מבין שׁני אריות); cf. also the things related from the time of the Khaliphs in Jost's Geschichte des Judenthums, ii. 399, and Grtz' Gesch. der Juden, v. 347.)

but the clause expressing a purpose, Psalm 68:24, and the paraphrase in Amos 9:2., show that the foes of Israel are conceived of as its object. Even if these have hidden themselves in the most out-of-the-way places, God will fetch them back and make His own people the executioners of His justice upon them. The expectation is that the flight of the defeated foes will take a southernly direction, and that they will hide themselves in the primeval forests of Bashan, and still farther southward in the depths of the sea, i.e., of the Dead Sea (ים as in Isaiah 16:8; 2 Chronicles 20:2). Opposite to the hiding in the forests of the mountainous Bashan stands the hiding in the abyss of the sea, as the extreme of remoteness, that which is in itself impossible being assumed as possible. The first member of the clause expressing the purpose, Psalm 68:24, becomes more easy and pleasing if we read תּרחץ (lxx, Syriac, and Vulgate, ut intingatur), according to Psalm 58:11. So far as the letters are concerned, the conjecture תּחמץ (from which תמחץ, according to Chajug', is transposed), after Isaiah 63:1, is still more natural (Hitzig): that thy foot may redden itself in blood. This is certainly somewhat tame, and moreover מדּם would be better suited to this rendering than בּדם. As the text now stands, תּמחץ

(Note: The Gaja of the first closed syllable warns one to make a proper pause upon it, in order that the guttural of the second, so apt to be slurred over, may be distinctly pronounced; cf. תּבחר, Psalm 65:5; הרחיק, Psalm 103:12. So also with the sibilants at the beginning of the second syllable, e.g., תּדשׁא, Genesis 1:11, in accordance with which, in Genesis 14:1; Genesis 53:2, we must write השׁתיתו והתעיבו.)

is equivalent to תּמחצם (them, viz., the enemies), and רגלך בּדם is an adverbial clause (setting or plunging thy foot in blood). It is, however, also possible that מחץ is used like Arab. machaḍa (vehementer commovere): ut concutias s. agites pedem tuam in sanguine. Can it now be that in Psalm 68:24 from among the number of the enemies of the one who goes about glorying in his sins, the רשׁע κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν (cf. Isaiah 11:4; Habakkuk 3:13, and other passages), is brought prominently forward by מנּהוּ? Hardly so; the absence of תּלק (lambat) cannot be tolerated, cf. 1 Kings 21:19; 1 Kings 22:38. It is more natural, with Simonis, to refer מנּהוּ back to לשׁון (a word which is usually fem., but sometimes perhaps is masc., Psalm 22:16; Proverbs 26:28); and, since side by side with ממּנוּ only מנהוּ occurs anywhere else (Ew. 263, b), to take it in the signification pars ejus (מן from מנן equals מגה, after the form גּז, חן, קץ, of the same meaning as מגה, מנת, Psalm 63:11), in favour of which Hupfeld also decides.

What is now described in Psalm 68:25-28, is not the rejoicing over a victory gained in the immediate past, nor the rejoicing over the earlier deliverance at the Red Sea, but Israel's joyful celebration when it shall have experienced the avenging and redemptive work of its God and King. According to Psalm 77:14; Habakkuk 3:6, הליכות appears to be God's march against the enemy; but what follows shows that the pompa magnifica of God is intended, after He has overcome the enemy. Israel's festival of victory is looked upon as a triumphal procession of God Himself, the King, who governs in holiness, and has now subjugated and humbled the unholy world; בּקּדשׁ as in Psalm 68:18. The rendering "in the sanctuary' is very natural in this passage, but Exodus 15:11; Psalm 77:14, are against it. The subject of ראוּ is all the world, more especially those of the heathen who have escaped the slaughter. The perfect signifies: they have seen, just as קדּמוּ, they have occupied the front position. Singers head the procession, after them (אחר,

(Note: This אחר, according to B. Nedarim 37b, is a so-called עטור סופרים (ablatio scribarum), the sopherim (sofrim) who watched over the faithful preservation of the text having removed the reading ואחר, so natural according to the sense, here as in Genesis 18:5; Genesis 24:55; Numbers 31:2, and marked it as not genuine.)

an adverb as in Genesis 22:13; Exodus 5:1) players upon citherns and harps (נגנים, participle to נגּן), and on either side virgins with timbrels (Spanish adufe); תּופפות, apocopated part. Poel with the retension of ē (cf. שׁוקקה, Psalm 107:9), from תּפף, to strike the תּף (Arab. duff). It is a retrospective reference to the song at the Sea, now again come into life, which Miriam and the women of Israel sang amidst the music of timbrels. The deliverance which is now being celebrated is the counterpart of the deliverance out of Egypt. Songs resound as in Psalm 68:27, "in gatherings of the congregation (and, so to speak, in full choirs) praise ye Elohim." מקהלות (מקהלים, Psalm 26:12) is the plural to קהל (Psalm 22:23), which forms none of its own (cf. post-biblical קהלּות from קהלּה). Psalm 68:27 is abridged from ברכו אדני אשׁר אתם ממקור ישראל, praise ye the Lord, ye who have Israel for your fountainhead. אדני, in accordance with the sense, has Mugrash. Israel is here the name of the patriarch, from whom as from its fountainhead the nation has spread itself abroad; cf. Isaiah 48:1; Isaiah 51:1, and as to the syntax ממּך, those who descend from thee, Isaiah 58:12. In the festive assembly all the tribes of Israel are represented by their princes. Two each from the southern and northern tribes are mentioned. Out of Benjamin was Israel's first king, the first royal victor over the Gentiles; and in Benjamin, according to the promise (Deuteronomy 33:12) and according to the accounts of the boundaries (Joshua 18:16., Joshua 15:7.), lay the sanctuary of Israel. Thus, therefore, the tribe which, according both to order of birth (Genesis 43:29.) and also extent of jurisdiction and numbers (1 Samuel 9:21), was "little," was honoured beyond the others.

(Note: Tertullian calls the Apostle Paul, with reference to his name and his Benjamitish origin, parvus Benjamin, just as Augustine calls the poetess of the Magnificat, nostra tympanistria.)

Judah, however, came to the throne in the person of David, and became for ever the royal tribe. Zebulun and Naphtali are the tribes highly praised in Deborah's song of victory (Judges 5:18, cf. Psalm 4:6) on account of their patriotic bravery. רדם, giving no sense when taken from the well-known verb רדם, falls back upon רדה, and is consequently equivalent to רדם (cf. Lamentations 1:13), subduing or ruling them; according to the sense, equivalent to רדה בם (1 Kings 5:30; 1 Kings 9:23; 2 Chronicles 8:10), like המּצלם, not "their leader up," but ὁ ἀναγαγὼν αὐτοὺς, Isaiah 63:11, not equals רדיהם (like עשׂיהם, ראיהם), which would signify their subduer or their subduers. The verb רדה, elsewhere to subjugate, oppress, hold down by force, Ezekiel 34:4; Leviticus 25:53, is here used of the peaceful occupation of the leader who maintains the order of a stately and gorgeous procession. For the reference to the enemies, "their subduer," is without any coherence. But to render the parallel word רגמתם "their (the enemies') stoning" (Hengstenberg, Vaihinger, and others, according to Bttcher's "Proben"), is, to say nothing more, devoid of taste; moreover רגם does not mean to throw stones with a sling, but to stone as a judicial procedure. If we assign to the verb רגם the primary signification congerere, accumulare, after Arab. rajama VIII, and rakama, then רגמתם signifies their closely compacted band, as Jewish expositors have explained it (קהלם או קבוצם). Even if we connect רגם with רקם, variegare, or compare the proper name regem equals Arab. rajm, socius (Bttcher), we arrive at much the same meaning. Hupfeld's conjecture רגשׁתם is consequently unnecessary.

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