1. When Israel went out from Egypt, and the house of Jacob from a barbarous people; 12. Judah was for his 2 holiness, Israel for his dominions. 3. The sea saw, and fled: 3 Jordan was turned backward. 4. The mountains leaped like rams, and the hills as the lambs of the flock.
1 The word
2 "There is a peculiar beauty in the conduct of this psalm, in that the author utterly conceals the presence of God in the beginning of it, and rather lets a possessive pronoun (i.e. His) go without a substantive, than he will so much as mention any thing of Divinity there; because, if God had appeared before, there could be no wonder why the mountains should leap, and the sea retire; therefore, that this convulsion of nature may be brought in with due surprise, his name is not mentioned till afterwards, and then, with a very agreeable turn of thought, God is introduced at once with all majesty." -- Spectator, volume 6, No. 461. If, however, the last two words of the preceding psalm,
3 In the Hebrew there is no pronoun after saw; nor is any inserted in the Septuagint and Arabic versions, or in the Chaldee. In our English Bible, it is inserted, and him in the Syriac version; but the sentence is certainly much more sublime without any such supplement.
4 "Judah represents here the whole people of Israel, as Joseph does, in Psalm 81:6. The reason assigned by Kimchi for this use of
5 God's holiness being often taken for the keeping his promise sacred or inviolate, as in Psalm 102:9, when, reference being made to the immutability of his covenant, it is added, "holy [as in another respect, reverend] is his name;" some, as Hammond and Cresswell, suppose that the meaning here is, that God's dealings towards Judah -- the people of the Jews, were a demonstration of his faithfulness in performing his promise made to Abraham long before.
6 Hammond reads, "And Israel his power," by which he understands that Israel was an instance of his power; that God, in his acting for Israel, declared his omnipotence most signally.
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