Psalm 68:23
That your foot may be dipped in the blood of your enemies, and the tongue of your dogs in the same.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) That thy foot.—This makes an unnecessary transposition of a very involved sentence. The image is perfectly clear, though the syntax, as often happens in all languages, goes tripping itself up. The conqueror, after wading in the blood of his enemies, is met by the dogs, who lick his gory feet. With a change of one letter we may render, “That thou mayest wash thy foot in blood—yea, the tongue of thy dogs in (the blood of) thine enemies.

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.That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies ... - Margin, "red." A more literal rendering would be, "That thou mayest crush - thy foot in blood - the tongue of thy dogs from the enemies, from him." The idea of "dipping" the foot in blood is not in the passage directly; but the leading thought is that of "crushing" the enemy. It is then "added" that the foot would be in blood. So of the tongue of the dogs. The "meaning" is, that the tongues of dogs would be employed in licking up the blood of the enemies, though that is not "expressed" in so many words. The sense of the whole is, that the foes of the people would be slain. 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).

And as it was at the Red Sea and at Bashan before, so yet again thine enemies shall be slain in such great numbers, that thou mayst wade in their blood, and thy dogs lick it up in the field. That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies,.... This verse is in connection with Psalm 68:21, with Psalm 68:23 being to be read in a parenthesis: the sense is, that the Messiah would so wound the head and hairy scalp of his people's enemies, and there should be such a large effusion of blood, that their feet should be dipped therein, Revelation 14:20; See Gill on Psalm 58:10;

and the tongue of thy dogs in the same; who should lick it up, as the dogs licked the blood of Jezebel, 1 Kings 21:19; and so such a carnage will be made of antichrist and his followers, that the fowls of the heavens will be called upon to eat the flesh of kings, captains, and mighty ones, Revelation 19:17.

That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs {r} in the same.

(r) That is, in the blood of that great slaughter, where dogs will lap blood.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. That thou mayest dip thy foot in blood,

That the tongue of thy dogs may have its portion from (thine) enemies.

This rendering of the R.V. probably gives the right sense, though the Heb. presents some difficulties. For dip should probably be read wash, as in Psalm 58:10, which passage (with the notes) should be compared. The thought of the approaching vengeance upon the enemies of Israel is a prominent one in Isaiah 40-66. See e.g. Isaiah 41:15 f.; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 63:1 ff. The judgement of the oppressor is in fact the necessary condition of the deliverance of the oppressed, indispensable moreover as the vindication of God’s eternal justice.Verse 23. - That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies; i.e. "I will bring them back for thee, my people, to dip your feet in their blood." The same metaphor is used in Isaiah 63:1-3; but it is God himself who, in that passage, has his feet reddened in his enemies' blood, And the tongue of thy dogs in the same. The Authorized Version has omitted one word of the original here. Translate, And that the tongue of thy dogs may have its portion from the same (comp. 2 Kings 9:35; Jeremiah 15:3). This victory of Israel over the kings of the Gentiles gives the poet the joyful assurance that Zion is the inaccessible dwelling-place of Elohim, the God of the heavenly hosts. The mention of Zalmon leads him to mention other mountains. He uses the mountains of Bashan as an emblem of the hostile powers east of Jordan. These stand over against the people of God, as the mighty mountains of Bashan rising in steep, only slightly flattened peaks, to little hill-like Zion. In the land on this side Jordan the limestone and chalk formation with intermingled strata of sandstone predominates; the mountains of Bashan, however, are throughout volcanic, consisting of slag, lava, and more particularly basalt (basanites), which has apparently taken its name from Bashan (Basan).

(Note: This is all the more probable as Semitism has no proper word for basalt; in Syria it is called hag'ar aswad, "black stone.")

As a basalt range the mountains of Bashan are conspicuous among other creations of God, and are therefore called "the mountain of Elohim:" the basalt rises in the form of a cone with the top lopped off, or even towers aloft like so many columns precipitous and rugged to sharp points; hence the mountains of Bashan are called הר גּבננּים, i.e., a mountain range (for הר, as is well known, signifies both the single eminence and the range of summits) of many peaks equals a many-peaked mountain; גּבנן is an adjective like רענן, אמלל. With this boldly formed mass of rock so gloomily majestic, giving the impression of antiquity and of invincibleness, when compared with the ranges on the other side of unstable porous limestone and softer formations, more particularly with Zion, it is an emblem of the world and its powers standing over against the people of God as a threatening and seemingly invincible colossus. The poet asks these mountains of Bashan "why," etc.? רצד is explained from the Arabic rṣd, which, in accordance with its root Arab. rṣ, signifies to cleave firmly to a place (firmiter inhaesit loco), properly used of a beast of prey couching down and lying in wait for prey, of a hunter on the catch, and of an enemy in ambush; hence then: to lie in wait for, lurk, ἐνεδρεύειν, craftily, insidiose (whence râṣid, a lier-in-wait, tarraṣṣud, an ambush), here: to regard enviously, invidiose. In Arabic, just as in this instance, it is construed as a direct transitive with an accusative of the object, whereas the original signification would lead one to look for a dative of the object (רצד ל), which does also really occur in the common Arabic. Olewejored is placed by גבננים, but what follows is not, after all, the answer: "the mountain - Elohim has chosen it as the seat of His throne," but ההר is the object of the interrogative clause: Quare indiviose observatis, montes cacuminosi, hunc montem (δεικτικῶς: that Zion yonder), quem, etc. (an attributive clause after the determinate substantive, as in Psalm 52:9; Psalm 89:50, and many other instances, contrary to the Arabic rule of style). Now for the first time, in Psalm 68:17, follows that which is boastfully and defiantly contrasted with the proud mountains: "Jahve will also dwell for ever;" not only that Elohim has chosen Zion as the seat of His throne, it will also continue to be the seat of His throne, Jahve will continue to dwell [there] for ever. Grace is superior to nature, and the church superior to the world, powerful and majestic as this may seem to be. Zion maintains its honour over against the mountains of Bashan.

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