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Psalms 68:7-8

Context

68:7 O God, when you lead your people into battle, 1 

when you march through the desert, 2  (Selah)

68:8 the earth shakes,

yes, the heavens pour down rain

before God, the God of Sinai, 3 

before God, the God of Israel. 4 

1 tn Heb “when you go out before your people.” The Hebrew idiom “go out before” is used here in a militaristic sense of leading troops into battle (see Judg 4:14; 9:39; 2 Sam 5:24).

2 sn When you march through the desert. Some interpreters think that v. 7 alludes to Israel’s exodus from Egypt and its subsequent travels in the desert. Another option is that v. 7, like v. 8, echoes Judg 5:4, which describes how the God of Sinai marched across the desert regions to do battle with Sisera and his Canaanite army.

3 tn Heb “this one of Sinai.” The phrase is a divine title, perhaps indicating that the Lord rules from Sinai.

4 sn The language of vv. 7-8 is reminiscent of Judg 5:4-5, which tells how the God of Sinai came in the storm and annihilated the Canaanite forces led by Sisera. The presence of allusion does not mean, however, that this is a purely historical reference. The psalmist is describing God’s typical appearance as a warrior in terms of his prior self-revelation as ancient events are reactualized in the psalmist’s experience. (For a similar literary technique, see Hab 3.)



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