Psalm 68:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.

King James Bible
Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

Darby Bible Translation
Sing unto God, sing forth his name; cast up a way for him that rideth in the deserts: his name is Jah; and rejoice before him.

World English Bible
Sing to God! Sing praises to his name! Extol him who rides on the clouds: to Yah, his name! Rejoice before him!

Young's Literal Translation
Sing ye to God -- praise His name, Raise up a highway for Him who is riding in deserts, In Jah is His name, and exult before Him.

Psalm 68:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Sing unto God, sing praises to his name - That is, to him; the name being often put for the person himself. The repetition denotes intensity of desire; a wish that God might be praised with the highest praises.

Extol him - The word here rendered "extol" - סלל sâlal - means to lift up, to raise, to raise up, as into a heap or mound; and especially to cast up and prepare a way, or to make a way level before an army by casting up earth; that is, to prepare a way for an army. See the notes at Isaiah 40:3. Compare also Isaiah 57:14; Isaiah 62:10; Job 19:12; Job 30:12, Proverbs 15:19 (margin); Jeremiah 18:15. This is evidently the idea here. It is not to "extol" God in the sense of praising him; it is to prepare the way before him, as of one marching at the head of his armies, or as a leader of his hosts. The allusion is to God as passing before his people in the march to the promised land; and the call is to make ready the way before him - that is, to remove all obstructions out of his path and to make the road smooth and level.

That rideth - Rather," that marcheth." There is, indeed, the idea of riding, yet it is not that of "riding upon the heavens," which is the meaning, but of riding at the head of his hosts on their march.

Upon the heavens - The word used here - ערבה ‛ărābâh - never means either heaven, or the clouds. It properly denotes an arid tract, a sterile region, a desert; and then, a plain. It is rendered desert in Isaiah 35:1, Isaiah 35:6; Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 41:19; Isaiah 51:3; Jeremiah 2:6; Jeremiah 17:6; Jeremiah 50:12; Ezekiel 47:8; and should have been so rendered here. So it is translated by DeWette, Prof. Alexander, and others. The Septuagint renders it, "Make way for him who is riding westward." So the Latin Vulgate. The Chaldee renders it, "Extol him who is seated upon the throne of his glory in the north heaven." The reference, doubtless, is to the passage through the desert over which the Hebrews wandered for forty years. The Hebrew word which is employed here is still applied by the Arabs to that region. The idea is that of Yahweh marching over those deserts at the head of his armies, and the call is to prepare a way for him on his march, compare Psalm 68:7-8.

By his name JAH - This refers to his riding or marching at the head of his forces through the desert, in the character described by that name - or, as יה Yâhh; that is, יהוה Yahweh. Yah (Jah) is an abbreviation of the word Yahweh (Jehovah), which was assumed by God as His special name, Exodus 6:3. The word Yahweh is usually rendered, in our version, Lord, printed in small capitals to denote that the original is יהוה Yahweh; the word itself is retained, however, in Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2 (see the notes); and Isaiah 26:4. The word "Jah" occurs in this place only, in our English translation. It is found in combination, or in certain formulas - as in the phrase Hallelujah, Psalm 104:35; Psalm 105:45; Psalm 106:1. The meaning here is, that God went thus before His people in the character of the true God, or as Yahweh.

And rejoice before him - Or, in His presence. Let there be joy when He thus manifests Himself as the true God. The presence of God is suited to give joy to all the worlds that He has made, or wherever He manifests Himself to His creatures.

Psalm 68:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Gifts Received for the Rebellious
Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. W hen Joseph exchanged a prison for the chief honour and government of Egypt, the advantage of his exaltation was felt by those who little deserved it (Genesis 45:4, 5) . His brethren hated him, and had conspired to kill him. And though he was preserved from death, they were permitted to sell him for a bond-servant. He owed his servitude,
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

That it is Profitable to Communicate Often
The Voice of the Disciple Behold I come unto Thee, O Lord, that I may be blessed through Thy gift, and be made joyful in Thy holy feast which Thou, O God, of Thy goodness hast prepared for the poor.(1) Behold in Thee is all that I can and ought to desire, Thou art my salvation and redemption, my hope and strength, my honour and glory. Therefore rejoice the soul of Thy servant this day, for unto Thee, O Lord Jesus, do I lift up my soul.(2) I long now to receive Thee devoutly and reverently, I desire
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Exile --Continued.
There are many echoes of this period of Engedi in the Psalms. Perhaps the most distinctly audible of these are to be found in the seventh psalm, which is all but universally recognised as David's, even Ewald concurring in the general consent. It is an irregular ode--for such is the meaning of Shiggaion in the title, and by its broken rhythms and abrupt transitions testifies to the emotion of its author. The occasion of it is said to be "the words of Cush the Benjamite." As this is a peculiar name
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David

Book iii. The Ascent: from the River Jordan to the Mount of Transfiguration.
{hebrew} In every passage of Scripture where thou findest the Majesty of God, thou also findest close by His Condescension (Humility). So it is written down in the Law [Deut. x. 17, followed by verse 18], repeated in the Prophets [Is. lvii. 15], and reiterated in the Hagiographa [Ps. lxviii. 4, followed by verse 5].' - Megill 31 a.
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Cross References
Exodus 6:3
and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them.

Deuteronomy 33:26
"There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty.

Psalm 18:10
He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.

Psalm 47:6
Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises.

Psalm 66:2
Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious.

Psalm 68:33
To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.

Psalm 83:18
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.

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