Psalm 68:26
Bless you God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Bless ye.—Apparently these words are part of the processional hymn. But in Judges 5:9 a similar outburst of praise appears to come from the poet.

From the fountain of Israel.—A comparison with Isaiah 48:1; Isaiah 51:1, certainly allows us to understand this in the congregations sprung from the head waters (as we say) of the races, i.e., the patriarchal ancestors. At the same time if there were any mode of taking the words literally instead of figuratively it would be preferable.

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.Bless ye God in the congregations - In the assemblages of the people; not only as individuals, but in solemn precessions; in triumphal marches; when the people are assembled together. In this public manner acknowledge God as the true God, and render him praise.

Even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel - Margin, "Ye that are of;" that is, "of the fountain of Israel." The margin has undoubtedly expressed the correct idea. The appeal is to the Hebrew people represented as descending from a common stock or ancestor - Jacob or Israel - as a stream or river flows from a fountain. Compare the notes at Isaiah 48:1; see also Isaiah 51:1; Deuteronomy 33:28. All the descendants of Jacob or Israel are thus called on to unite in solemnly praising the Lord their God.

26. from—or literally, "of"

the fountain of Israel—that is, lineal descendants of Jacob, are invited to unite in the doxology. Then by one of the nearest tribes, one of the most eminent, and two of the most remote, are represented the whole nation of Israel, passing forward (Nu 7:1-89).

Or, as it is rendered in our margin, and by many others, ye that are of or from the fountain of Israel, or Jacob, i.e. all ye people of Israel, who are called the

fountain of Jacob, Deu 33:28, and said to come forth out of the waters of Judah, Isaiah 48:1, and consequently of Jacob or Israel. See also Proverbs 5:18 Isaiah 51:1. And this sense seems to be confirmed by the following verse, wherein this fountain is distributed into its several streams, the tribes of Israel. But these words may be and are by some joined with the former, either thus, Bless—the Lord for the fountain of Israel, i.e. for that fountain which God hath opened to Israel for the purging away of sin and uncleanness, as it is expressed Zechariah 13:1, even the blood and Spirit of Christ. and all those spiritual blessings which God confers upon his people in his sanctuary, and by his ordinances; which are oft compared to waters, as Isaiah 12:3 Ezekiel 47:1; and to a fountain or well, as Joel 3:18 John 4:14. See also Proverbs 14:27 Jeremiah 2:13. Or thus, Bless—the Lord who is of the fountain of Israel, i.e. who though he be the most high God, yet according to the flesh is descended from Israel, as is noted, Romans 9:5. But the first sense seems most natural and easy. Bless ye God in the congregations,.... This was what they said as they sung and played; they called upon the churches, and the members of them, and upon one another, to bless the Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh; not by invoking or bestowing a blessing on him, which cannot be, and of which he has no need; but by proclaiming him to be God over all, blessed for evermore, as he is in himself; and the perfections of his nature, by attributing all the blessings of nature, grace, and glory to him, in whom they are, and from whom they come; and by exercising faith upon him for them particularly, and for pardon, righteousness, supplies of grace, and everlasting salvation; and by giving him the glory of all, and ascribing blessing and honour to him on account of them; which should be done openly and publicly, in the several particular congregated churches of Christ; and this shows the psalm still refers to Gospel times, in which only such churches are;

even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel; or, "the Lord, who is of the fountain of Israel" (w); that is, whose natural descent is from Israel, or Jacob, as Christ's was, according to the flesh, Romans 9:5; though some take this to be a description of the posterity of Jacob, those that go out from the fountain of Israel, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi; see Isaiah 48:1; so the Tigurine version, and others; who are called upon to bless the Lord: but then it must be understood not of the carnal Israelites, they rejected the Messiah, Jesus, and called him accursed; but the spiritual seed of Jacob, whether Jews or Gentiles; Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile. The Targum, and so Jarchi, interpret it of the seed of Israel; compare with this Luke 1:41; the words may be read, "for", or "because of the fountain of Israel" (x): God, who is the fountain of living wafers; Christ, whose blood is the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness; the Spirit, who, in the operations of his grace, is a well or fountain of living water, springing up unto eternal life; and all spiritual blessings, and the abundance of them, which the spiritual Israel of God enjoy, may be designed by this phrase; and so be considered as the reason why God the Lord is to be blessed. Some understand it of the Scriptures, from whence all divine knowledge, blessing, and praise are derived; and others of the heart, and the abundance of it, from whence, and not with the lips only, men should bless and praise the Lord.

(w) "qui est ex fonte Israelis", i.e. "natus ex semine Israelis", Tillius & Vitringa apud Michael (x) "Ob vel propter fontem lsrael", Gejerus.

Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain {u} of Israel.

(u) Who come of the patriarch Jacob.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. This verse is best regarded as a part of the processional hymn. Cp. Jdg 5:2; Jdg 5:9.

from the fountain of Israel] Kay and Cheyne compare Psalm 118:26, Psalm 135:21, and suppose that ‘the fountain of Israel’ is the Temple. But it is better to render with R.V., and A.V. marg., (ye that are) of the fountain of Israel; the patriarch being regarded as the fountain-head from which the nation is derived. Cp. Isaiah 48:1, “O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah”; Psalm 51:1-2; and Deuteronomy 33:28. The address reminds them of the privileges of their ancestry. It is however possible that the preposition from is an accidental repetition of the initial letter of the word for ‘fountain,’ and should be omitted. ‘The fountain of Israel’ will then be the Lord Himself, the source of His people’s life. Cp. Jeremiah 2:13; Jeremiah 17:13; Psalm 36:9. The P.B.V. (Great Bible, not Coverdale) Give thanks, O Israel, unto God the Lord in the congregations, from the ground of the heart appears to be due to a misunderstanding of Münster’s In congregalionibus benedicite deo atque domino ex origine (cordis) Israel, Israel being wrongly taken as a vocative.Verse 26. - Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. This is probably the refrain of the hymn sung (comp. Exodus 15:21; 2 Chronicles 5:13; Ezra 3:11). By "the fountain of Israel" is no doubt meant the sanctuary on Mount Zion - "the ever-living fountain of praise" (Kay). Now 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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