Psalm 68:24
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—

King James Bible
They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

American Standard Version
They have seen thy goings, O God, Even the goings of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They have seen thy goings, O God, the goings of my God: of my king who is in his sanctuary.

English Revised Version
They have seen thy goings, O God, even the goings of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.

Webster's Bible Translation
They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

Psalm 68:24 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Psalm 68:18 now describes the kind of God, so to speak, who sits enthroned on Zion. The war-chariots of the heavenly hosts are here collectively called רכב, as in 2 Kings 6:17. רבּתים (with Dech, not Olewejored) is a dual from רבּות; and this is either an abstract noun equivalent to רבּוּת (from which comes the apocopated רבּו equals רבּוּ), a myriad, consequently רבּתים, two myriads, or a contracted plural out of רבּאחת, Ezra 2:69, therefore the dual of a plural (like הומותים, לוּהותים): an indefinite plurality of myriads, and this again doubled (Hofmann). With this sense, in comparison with which the other is poor and meagre, also harmonies the expression אלפי שׂנאן, thousands of repetition (ἅπαξ λεγομ equals שׂנין), i.e., thousands and again thousands, numberless, incalculable thousands; cf. the other and synonymous expression in Daniel 7:10.

(Note: Tradition (Targum, Saadia, and Abulwald) takes שׂנאן forthwith as a synonym of מלאך, an angel. So also the lxx (Jerome): χιλιάδες εὐθηνούντων (שׁנאן equals שׁאנן), and Symmachus, χιλιάδες ὴχούντων (from שׁאה?). The stem-word is, however, שׁנה, just as שׁנים, Arabic thinân, ithnân, is also formed from a singular that is to be assumed, viz., שׁן, Arab. ṯinun (iṯnun), and this from שׁנה, Arab. ṯnâ (cf. בּן from בּנה, Arab. banâ).)

It is intended to give a conception of the "hosts" which Elohim is to set in array against the "kings of hosts," i.e., the martial power of the kingdom of the world, for the protection and for the triumph of His own people. Chariots of fire and horses of fire appear in 2 Kings 2:11; 2 Kings 6:17 as God's retinue; in Daniel 7:10 it is angelic forces that thus make themselves visible. They surround Him on both sides in many myriads, in countless thousands. אדני בם (with Beth raphatum),

(Note: This is one of the three passages (the others being Isaiah 34:11; Ezekiel 23:42; cf. Ew. 93, b) in which the dageshing of the opening mute of the following word is given up after a soft final consonant, when the words are connected by a conjunctive accent or Makkeph.))

the Lord is among them (cf. Isaiah 45:14), i.e., they are round about Him, He has them with Him (Jeremiah 41:15), and is present with them. It now becomes clear why Sinai is mentioned, viz., because at the giving of the Law Jahve revealed Himself on Sinai surrounded by "ten thousands of saints" (Deuteronomy 33:2.). But in what sense is it mentioned? Zion, the poet means, presents to the spiritual eye now a spectacle such as Sinai presented in the earlier times, although even Sinai does not belong to the giants among the mountains:

(Note: Cf. the epigram in Sadi's Garden of Roses, "Of all mountains Sinai is the smallest, and yet the greatest in rank and worth in the estimation of God," etc. On the words סיני בקדשׁ which follow we may to a certain extent compare the name of honour given to it in Arabic, ṭûr m‛ana, "Sinai of Pensiveness" (Pertsch, Die persischen Handschriften der Gothaer Bibliothek, 1859, S. 24).)

God halts there with His angel host as a protection and pledge of victory to His people. The conjectures בא מסיני and בם מסיני (Hitzig) are of no use to us. We must either render it: Sinai is in the sanctuary, i.e., as it were transferred into the sanctuary of Zion; or: a Sinai is it in holiness, i.e., it presents a spectacle such as Sinai presented when God by His appearing surrounded it with holiness. The use of the expression בּקּדשׂ in Psalm 68:25, Psalm 77:14; Exodus 15:11, decides in favour of the latter rendering.

With Psalm 68:19 the Psalm changes to prayer. According to Psalm 7:8; Psalm 47:6, למּרום appears to be the height of heaven; but since in Psalm 68:16-18 Zion is spoken of as Jahve's inaccessible dwelling-place, the connection points to מרום ציּון, Jeremiah 31:12, cf. Ezekiel 17:23; Ezekiel 20:40. Moreover the preterites, which under other circumstances we should be obliged to take as prophetic, thus find their most natural explanation as a retrospective glance at David's storming of "the stronghold of Zion" (2 Samuel 5:6-10) as the deed of Jahve Himself. But we should exceed the bounds of legitimate historical interpretation by referring לקחתּ מתּנות בּאדם to the Nethı̂nim, Ezra 8:20 (cf. Numbers 17:6), those bondmen of the sanctuary after the manner of the Gibeonites, Joshua 9:23. The Beth of באדם is not Beth substantiae: gifts consisting of men, so that these themselves are the thing given (J. D. Michaelis, Ewald), but the expression signifies inter homines, as in Psalm 78:60; 2 Samuel 23:3; Jeremiah 32:20. עלית למּרום mentions the ascending of the triumphant One; שׁבית שּׁבי (cf. Judges 5:12), the subjugation of the enemy; לקחתּ וגו, the receiving of the gifts betokening homage and allegiance (Deuteronomy 28:38, and frequently), which have been presented to Him since He has taken possession of Zion - there He sits enthroned henceforth over men, and receives gifts like to the tribute which the vanquished bring to the victor. These He has received among men, and even (ואף, atque etiam, as in Leviticus 26:29-32) among the rebellious ones. Or does a new independent clause perhaps begin with ואף סוררים? This point will be decided by the interpretation of the words that follow. Side by side with an infinitive with ל expressing a purpose, the one following noun (here a twofold name) has the assumption against it of being the subject. Is יה אלהים then consequently the object, or is it an apostrophe? If it be taken as the language of address, then the definition of the purpose, לשׁכן, ought, as not being suited to what immediately precedes, to refer back to עלית; but this word is too far off. Thus, therefore, the construction of יה אלהים with לשכן, as its object, is apparently intended (Ewald, Hupfeld): and even the rebellious are to dwell (Ges. 132, rem. 1) with Jāh Elohim descend and dwell; the Syriac version: and even the rebellious will ("not" is probably to be crossed out) dwell before God (יעמדון קדם אלהא); and Jerome: insuper et non credentes inhabitare Dominum Deum. Thus Theodoret also understands the versions of the lxx and of Aquila: "Thou hast not regarded their former disobedience, but notwithstanding their rebellion hast Thou continually been gracious to them ἕως αὐτοὺς oikeetee'rion oikei'on ape'feenas." The expression, however, sounds too grand to have "the rebellious ones" as its subject, and more particularly in view of Psalm 68:7. Hence we take ואף סוררים with בּאדם: and even among rebellious ones (hast Thou received gifts), or: and even rebellious ones (give Thee); and לשׁכן as a clause denoting the purpose, followed by the subject (as e.g., in 2 Samuel 19:20): in order that Jāh Elohim may dwell, i.e., continue to dwell (as in Psalm 68:17, cf. Isaiah 57:15).

The first half of the Psalm ends here. With the words Jāh Elohim the Psalm has reached a summit upon which it takes its rest. God has broken forth on behalf of His people against their enemies, and He now triumphs over and on behalf of men. The circumstance of Elohim arising is the raise of the final glory, and His becoming manifest as Jāh Elohim is its zenith. Paul (Ephesians 4:8) gathers up the meaning of Psalm 68:19, without following the lxx, in the following manner: ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αιχμαλωσίαν καὶ ἔδωκε δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. Might he perhaps have had the Targum, with which the Syriac version agrees, in his mind at the time: יחבתּא להון מתנן לבני נשׂא? He interprets in the light and in the sense of the history that realizes it. For the ascension of Elohim in its historical fulfilment is none other than the ascension of Christ. This latter was, however, as the Psalm describes it, a triumphal procession (Colossians 2:15); and what the Victor has gained over the powers of darkness and of death, He has gained not for His own aggrandisement, but for the interests of men. It is מתּנות בּאדם, gifts which He now distributes among men, and which benefit even the erring ones. So the apostle takes the words, inasmuch as he changes ἔλαβες into ἔδωκε. The gifts are the charismata which come down from the Exalted One upon His church.

(Note: In this respect Psalm 68 is the most appropriate Psalm for the Dominica Pentecostes, just as it is also, in the Jewish ritual, the Psalm of the second Shabuoth day.)

It is a distribution of gifts, a dispensing of blessing, which stands related to His victory as its primary cause; for as Victor He is also the possessor of blessing, His gifts are as it were the spoils of the victory He has gained over sin, death, and Satan.

(Note: Just so Hlemann in the second division of his Bibelstudien (1861); whereas to Hormann (Schriftbeweis, ii. 482ff.) the New Testament application of the citation from the Psalm is differently brought about, because he refers neither ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν nor κατέβη εἰς τὰ κατώτερα μέρη τῆς γῆς to the descent of the Lord into Hades.)

The apostle is the more warranted in this interpretation, since Elohim in what follows is celebrated as the Lord who also brings out of death. This praise in the historical fulfilment applies to Him, who, as Theodoret observes on Psalm 68:21, has opened up the prison-house of death, which for us had no exit, and burst the brazen doors, and broken asunder the iron bolts,

(Note: Just so that portion of the Gospel of Nicodemus that treats of Christ's descent into Hades; vis. Tischendorf, Evangelia Apocryph. (1853), p. 307.)


Psalm 68:24 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Psalm 24:7-10 Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be you lift up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in...

Psalm 47:5-7 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet...

2 Samuel 6:12-17 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD has blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertains to him, because of the ark of God...

1 Chronicles 13:8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries...

1 Chronicles 15:16-24 And David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brothers to be the singers with instruments of music...

Cross References
Psalm 63:2
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

Psalm 77:13
Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?

Isaiah 38:20
The LORD will save me, and we will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the LORD.

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