Psalm 93:3
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.
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(3) Waves.—Better, for the parallelism, roaring: but literally, breaking of the waves on the shore.

Floods, here poetically for the sea, as in Psalm 24:2.

Lift up.—The repetition of the verb the third time in a different tense adds to the force. In LXX. and Vulgate this clause is “from the voices of many waters.”

93:1-5 The majesty, power, and holiness of Christ's kingdom. - The Lord might have displayed only his justice, holiness, and awful power, in his dealings with fallen men; but he has been pleased to display the riches of his mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. In this great work, the Father has given all power to his Son, the Lord from heaven, who has made atonement for our sins. He not only can pardon, but deliver and protect all who trust in him. His word is past, and all the saints may rely upon it. Whatever was foretold concerning the kingdom of the Messiah, must be fulfilled in due time. All his people ought to be very strictly pure. God's church is his house; it is a holy house, cleansed from sin, and employed in his service. Where there is purity, there shall be peace. Let all carefully look if this kingdom is set up in their hearts.The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice - The word here rendered "floods," means properly rivers, and then it may be applied to any waters. The word voice here refers to the noise of raging waters when they are agitated by the winds, or when they dash on the shore. See the notes at Psalm 42:7.

The floods lift up their waves - As if they would sweep everything away. The allusion here is to some calamity or danger which might, in its strength and violence, be compared with the wild and raging waves of the ocean. Or if it refers literally to the ocean in a storm, then the psalm may have been the reflections of the author as he stood on the shore of the sea, and saw the waves beat and dash against the shore. To one thus looking upon the billows as they roll in toward the shore, it seems as if they were angry; as if they intended to sweep everything away; as if the rocks of the shore could not resist them. Yet they have their bounds. They spend their strength; they break, and retire as if to recover their force, and then they renew their attack with the same result. But their power is limited. The rocky shore is unmoved. The earth abides. God is over all. His throne is unshaken. No violence of the elements can affect that; and, under his dominion, all is secure.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord;

The floods have lifted up their waves.

A similar description is given of the fall of Babylon in Jeremiah 50:32; Jeremiah 51:8; and John has copied this description in the account of the overthrow of the mystical Babylon Revelation 18:1-2. Babylon was distinguished for its pride, arrogance, and haughtiness. It became, therefore, the emblem of all that is haughty, and as such is used by John in the Apocalypse; and as such it was a most striking emblem of the pride, arrogance, haughtiness, and oppression which have always been evinced by Papal Rome.

And all the graven images - Babylon was celebrated for its idolatry, and perhaps was the place where the worship of idols commenced. The principal god worshipped there was Belus, or Bel (see the note at Isaiah 46:1).

Are broken ... - That is, shall be destroyed; or, in spite of its idols, the whole city would be ruined.

2-4. His underived power exceeds the most sublime exhibitions of the most powerful objects in nature (Ps 89:9). The floods; the enemies of thy kingdom, who are oft compared to floods for their numbers, force, rage, &c. See Isaiah 8:7,8 17:12,13 Jer 46:7,8. They have both by their words and actions made opposition against it.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice,.... The Targum adds,

"in a song,''

taking the words in a good sense; and so some of the ancients, as Jerome particularly, understood them of the apostles and their ministrations; who lifted up their voice like a trumpet, which went into all the world, and unto the ends of the earth; and who came with the fulness of the gifts and graces of the Spirit; and were attended with a force and power which bore down all before them: but rather by "the floods" are meant the enemies of Christ, his kingdom, and interest; and by their "lifting up their voice", the opposition made by them thereunto; see Isaiah 8:7, this was fulfilled in the Jews and Gentiles, who raged, like foaming waves of the sea, against Christ, and lifted up their voices to have him crucified; in the Roman emperors, and in the ten persecutions under them; in those floods of errors and heresies, which the dragon has cast out of his mouth to devour the church of Christ, against which the Spirit of the Lord has lifted up a standard in all ages; in the antichristian kingdoms, compared to many waters, on which the whore of Rome is said to sit, Revelation 17:1 and especially in antichrist himself, who has opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, his tabernacle, and they that dwell therein; and will be further fulfilled in the last persecution and slaying of the witnesses, and in the Gog and Magog army, which shall encompass the beloved city and camp of the saints. Kimchi interprets it of Gog and Magog, and of the kings that shall be gathered together to fight against Jerusalem:

the floods lift up their waves; with great strength, making a great noise, and threatening with ruin and destruction, as before.

{c} The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

(c) God's power appears in ruling the furious waters.

3. The floods] Lit. the rivers, rising up and threatening to inundate the land and sweep everything before them, are emblems of the great world-powers threatening to overspread the world. Thus Assyria is compared by Isaiah to the Euphrates, ‘the River’ par excellence (Isaiah 8:7-8); Egypt by Jeremiah to the Nile (Jeremiah 46:7-8). Similarly the sea with its mighty breakers thundering against the shore as though it would engulf the solid land is an emblem of the heathen world menacing the kingdom of God, but all in vain. For the sea as an emblem of hostile powers cp. Psalm 46:3; Psalm 89:9; Isaiah 17:12-13.

their waves] A word occurring here only, probably meaning collision, clash, din.

3, 4. The powers of earth menace Jehovah’s sovereignty in vain.

Verse 3. - The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice. By "the floods" seem to be meant the world powers, God's enemies; perhaps especially Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon. Invading hosts are constantly compared to "floods" or "rivers" in Scripture (see Isaiah 8:7, 8; Isaiah 28:2; Isaiah 17:12, 13; Isaiah 59:19; Jeremiah 46:8, etc.). The floods lift up their waves; or, "their din," "their roaring" (comp. Psalm 65:7, "Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people"). Psalm 93:3All the raging of the world, therefore, will not be able to hinder the progress of the kingdom of God and its final breaking through to the glory of victory. The sea with its mighty mass of waters, with the constant unrest of its waves, with its ceaseless pressing against the solid land and foaming against the rocks, is an emblem of the Gentile world alienated from and at enmity with God; and the rivers (floods) are emblems of worldly kingdoms, as the Nile of the Egyptian (Jeremiah 44:7.), the Euphrates of the Assyrian (Isaiah 8:7.), or more exactly, the Tigris, swift as an arrow, of the Assyrian, and the tortuous Euphrates of the Babylonian empire (Isaiah 27:1). These rivers, as the poet says whilst he raises a plaintive but comforted look upwards to Jahve, have lifted up, have lifted up their murmur, the rivers lift up their roaring. The thought is unfolded in a so-called "parallelism with reservation." The perfects affirm what has taken place, the future that which even now as yet is taking place. The ἅπαξ λεγ. דּכי signifies a striking against (collisio), and a noise, a din. One now in Psalm 93:4 looks for the thought that Jahve is exalted above this roaring of the waves. מן will therefore be the min of comparison, not of the cause: "by reason of the roar of great waters are the breakers of the sea glorious" (Starck, Geier), - which, to say nothing more, is a tautological sentence. But if מן is comparative, then it is impossible to get on with the accentuation of אדירים, whether it be with Mercha (Ben-Asher) or Dechמ (Ben-Naphtali). For to render: More than the roar of great waters are the breakers of the sea glorious (Mendelssohn), is impracticable, since מים רבים are nothing less than ים (Isaiah 17:12.), and we are prohibited from taking אדירים משׁברי־ים as a parenthesis (Kצster), by the fact that it is just this clause that is exceeded by אדיר במרום ה. Consequently אדירים has to be looked upon as a second attributive to מים brought in afterwards, and משׁבּרי־ים (the waves of the sea breaking upon the rocks, or even only breaking upon one another) as a more minute designation of these great and magnificent waters (אדירים, according to Exodus 15:10),

(Note: A Talmudic enigmatical utterance of R. Azaria runs: באדירים יבא אדיר ויפרע לאדירים מאדירים, Let the glorious One (Jahve, Psalm 93:4, cf. Isaiah 10:34; Isaiah 33:21) come and maintain the right of the glorious ones (Israel, Psalm 16:3) against the glorious ones (the Egyptians, Exodus 15:10 according to the construction of the Talmud) in the glorious ones (the waves of the sea, Psalm 93:4).)),

and it should have been accented: מים רבים אדירים משברי ים מקלות. Jahve's celestial majesty towers far above all the noisy majesties here below, whose waves, though lashed never so high, can still never reach His throne. He is King of His people, Lord of His church, which preserves His revelation and worships in His temple. This revelation, by virtue of His unapproachable, all-overpowering kingship, is inviolable; His testimonies, which minister to the establishment of His kingdom and promise its future manifestation in glory, are λόγοι πιστοί καὶ ἀληθινοί, Revelation 19:9; Revelation 22:6. And holiness becometh His temple (נאוה־קדשׁ, 3rd praet. Pilel, or according to the better attested reading of Heidenheim and Baer, נאוה;

(Note: The Masora on Psalm 147 reckons four נאוה, one ונאוה, and one נאוה eno d, and therefore our נאוה is one of the יז מלין דמפקין אלף וכל חד לית מפיק (cf. Frensdorf's Ochla we-Ochla, p. 123), i.e., one of the seventeen words whose Aleph is audible, whilst it is otherwise always quiescent; e.g., כּמוצאת, otherwise מוצאת.)

therefore the feminine of the adjective with a more loosened syllable next to the tone, like יחשׁב־לּי in Psalm 40:18), that is to say, it is inviolable (sacrosanct), and when it is profaned, shall ever be vindicated again in its holiness. This clause, formulated after the manner of a prayer, is at the same time a petition that Jahve in all time to come would be pleased to thoroughly secure the place where His honour dwells here below against profanation.

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