Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
What should I learn from this chapter?
- The Bulls of Bashan
- The meaning of “Rain” as teacher, faithful teacher, and the Messiah
- Characteristics of “Gold”
- The prophecy of verse 18
- The Eastern Gate
- Depth means Death
- The highest of heavens
- Comments on symbolism of the crucifixion
- Comments on the coming Millennium
The Glory of God in His Goodness to Israel
Comments: Psalm 68 has many references to Jesus’ second advent when He will rule from Jerusalem.
The timeline for the future is: The time of iron and clay (Nebuchadnezzar’s statue), the Rapture of believers, the seven year tribulation where God focuses once again on the Jews which is the seventieth week of Daniel, The return of Jesus (His 2nd advent) with His believers, and then His kingdom on earth where He rules from Jerusalem.
Psalm 68:1 Let God (‘ĕlōhîm) arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.
Psalm 68:2 As smoke is driven away,
So drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God (‘ĕlōhîm).
Psalm 68:3 But let the righteous be glad;
Let them rejoice before God (‘ĕlōhîm);
Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.
Psalm 68:4 Sing to God (‘ĕlōhîm), sing praises to His name;
Extol (Praise) Him who rides on the clouds,
By His name Yah (Lit. Lord, a shortened Heb. Form),
And rejoice before Him.
- Clouds: h6160 ʿărāḇâ deserts; heavens
Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God (‘ĕlōhîm) in His holy habitation.
- Note: God’s holy habitation is the highest of heavens.
Psalm 68:6 God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
Psalm 68:7 O God (‘ĕlōhîm), when You went out before Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness, Selah
Psalm 68:8 The earth shook;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God (‘ĕlōhîm);
- NOTE: Rain means “teacher” and faithful rain means “teacher of righteousness”: the Messiah.
|Jeremiah 5:24 They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”|
|Psalm 72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, Like showers that water the earth.|
|Isaiah 45:8 “Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the Lord, have created it.|
|Hosea 6:3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.|
|Zechariah 10:1 Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain.|
|Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.|
|Joel 2:23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain h4175 môrê (teacher, early rain), faithfully (or: the Teacher of Righteousness) , And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first. |
The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
Let my teaching drop as the rain h4306 māṭār (from H4305: things which God rains down from heaven,
My speech distill as the dew,
As raindrops on the tender herb,
And as showers on the grass (people).
- Rain is prophetic for the coming of Christ, the former and latter rain is either Jesus’ first and second coming, or the rapture and the return.
- Furthermore; the rain is associated with the harvest (Jeremiah 5:24). Scripture uses harvests as an analogy of resurrections.
Psalm 68:8 Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God (‘ĕlōhîm), the God (‘ĕlōhîm) of Israel.
Psalm 68:9 You, O God (‘ĕlōhîm) , sent a plentiful rain,
Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance,
When it was weary.
- Note: God sent His Son, Jesus (the rain from heaven) which, by his death, confirmed an inheritance, his harvest of believers.
Psalm 68:10 Your congregation dwelt in it;
You, O God (‘ĕlōhîm), provided from Your goodness for the poor.
Psalm 68:11 The Lord (‘ăḏōnāy) gave the word;
Great was the company (host)of those who proclaimed it:
Psalm 68:12 “Kings of armies flee, they flee,
And she who remains at home divides the spoil (plunder).
Psalm 68:13 Though you lie down among the sheepfolds (Or: saddlebags),
You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver,
- NOTE: A dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 68:13 And her feathers with yellow gold.”
- NOTE: Gold is like God, it does not rust, corrode, or decay. It is valuable, it glitters, it is pure, it lasts forever. It comes from outer space. The items in the temple were made of silver and gold.
Psalm 68:14 When the Almighty (šaday / Shaddai) scattered kings in it,
It was white as snow in Zalmon.
Psalm 68:15 A mountain of God (‘ĕlōhîm) is the mountain of Bashan;
A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
Psalm 68:16 Why do you (Lit. stare) fume (glare) with envy, you mountains of many peaks?
- NOTE: A mountain is symbolic of a kingdom.
Psalm 68:16 This is the mountain which God (‘ĕlōhîm) desires to dwell in;
- NOTE: Christ’s kingdom on earth during the millennium will be on Mount Zion.
Psalm 68:16 Yes, the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ) will dwell in it forever.
Psalm 68:17 The chariots of God (‘ĕlōhîm) are twenty thousand,
Even thousands of thousands;
The Lord (‘ăḏōnāy) is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place.
- Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
- ‘ăḏōnāy is used in the place of Yᵊhōvâ because the sacredness of the name of God.
- ăḏōnāy, adonai, Yᵊhōvâ , Jehovah, and YHWH are all the same names, used interchangeably.
Psalm 68:18 You have ascended on high,
You have led captivity captive;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the Lord God (yâ ‘ĕlōhîm) might dwell there.
- NOTE: Ascended on high: When Jesus ascended after His resurrection to sit at the right hand of the Father.
- When He ascended He took believers with Him out of Hades (Sheol, the place of the dead aka paradise), where the dead believers were held captive in death. By redeeming them from this captivity, He took captivity itself captive.
- Daniel 7:13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds (those released from captivity of death) of heaven! He (Jesus) came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.
Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord (‘ăḏōnāy),
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God (‘ēl) of our salvation (yᵊšûʿâ) ! Selah
- NOTE: Salvation is “Yeshua”, the Hebrew word for Jesus.
Psalm 68:20 Our God (‘ēl) is the God (‘ēl) of salvation (môšāʿâ);
And to God (‘yᵊhōvâ) the Lord (‘ăḏōnāy) belong escapes from death.
- NOTE: The root meaning of môšāʿâ for Salvation is yāša, Deliverance
- The escape from death can be taken many ways:
- An escape from the enemy who wants to kill
- The resurrection
- The rapture from the earth
Psalm 68:21 But God (‘ĕlōhîm) will wound the head of His enemies,
The hairy scalp of the one who still goes on in his trespasses (sins).
- NOTE: One of the definitions of demons is “hairy”.
Psalm 68:22 The Lord (‘ăḏōnāy) said, “I will bring back from Bashan,
- NOTE: Bashan is located in the Transjordan. Biblically, it was the place of “Og, king of Bashan”, one of the giants. He was conquered by the Israelites when they were entering the Promised Land. Nu. 21:33
- Bashan means fertility due to its lush pastures.
- NOTE: Psalm 22:12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
- Jesus was surrounded by the “Bulls of Bashan” during His crucifixion. Bulls signify strength and Bashan signifies giants. Jesus, as a man, was overwhelmed at the cross by the strength of the Romans and the Jews, albeit, He went to the cross willingly.
Psalm 68:22 I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
- The sea is symbolic of “a sea of people”.
- A nation is a sea of people and the depths of the sea can mean death.
Psalm 68:23 That your foot may crush them in blood, (Or: That you may dip your foot in their blood.) And the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from your enemies.”
Psalm 68:24 They have seen Your procession (Literally, goings), O God (‘ĕlōhîm),
The procession of my God (‘ēl), my King, into the sanctuary.
- When Jesus returns to set up his kingdom on earth by the pattern of the Jewish Feast of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, He will enter into the city through the Eastern Gate, He will enter the Holy of Holies as High Priest, and offer Himself as Ruler since He, Himself was the sacrifice for the nation.
- Ezekiel 43:4 And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east.
- “Closed by the Muslims in 810 AD, reopened in 1102 AD by the Crusaders, it was walled up by Saladin after regaining Jerusalem in 1187 AD. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilt it together with the city walls, but walled it up in 1541 AD, and it stayed that way.
- Suleiman may have taken this decision purely for defensive reasons, but in Jewish tradition this is the gate through which the Anointed One (Messiah) will enter Jerusalem.
- It’s the sealing of Jerusalem’s Eastern Gate that has caused many students of prophecy to sit up and take notice. The book of Ezekiel contains several references to a gate that faces east. In Ezekiel 10:18–19, the prophet sees the glory of the Lord leave the temple through “the entrance of the east gate of the Lord’s house”; the glory then moves east of the city to the Mount of Olives (Ezekiel 11:23). Later, Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord return to the temple via “the gate facing east” (Ezekiel 43:1–5).Then, in Ezekiel 44:1–2, we read of the gate being closed: “The man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. The Lord said to me, ‘This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it.’” Finally, in Ezekiel 46:12 we read that there is one person, a “prince,” who may enter via the eastern gate: “When the prince provides a freewill offering to the LORD . . . the gate facing east is to be opened for him. . . . Then he shall go out, and after he has gone out, the gate will be shut
Psalm 68:25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after;
Among them were the maidens playing timbrels.
Psalm 68:26 Bless God (‘ĕlōhîm) in the congregations,
The Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), from the fountain of Israel.
Psalm 68:27 There is little Benjamin, their leader,
The princes of Judah and their company (throng),
The princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali.
Psalm 68:28 Your God (‘ĕlōhîm) has commanded (Command, O God) your strength;
Strengthen, O God (‘ĕlōhîm), what You have done for us.
Psalm 68:29 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem,
Kings will bring presents to You.
- This verse alludes to perhaps a reference to Jesus’ kingdom on earth during the 1,000 year millennium after Jesus’ second advent yet to happen in the future.
- 1 Chronicles 16:29 Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
- Jeremiah 2:3 Israel was holiness to the Lord, The firstfruits of His increase. All that devour him will offend; Disaster will come upon them,” says the Lord.’ ”
- Zechariah 14:20 In that day “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
- Zechariah 14:21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
Psalm 68:30 Rebuke the beasts of the reeds,
The herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples,
Till everyone submits himself with pieces of silver.
Scatter (bāzar) the peoples who delight in war.
Prophetic of Jesus’ crucifixion:
- Reeds: Literally “spearmen”, those who pierce.
- Silver: The price of a servant, just as Jesus was a servant. If a bull (Jewish Leader) gores (pierces) a servant he must pay 30 pieces of silver. Exodus 21:32.
- Bulls: Strong Leaders.
- The prophecy of Jesus:
- Psalm 22:12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. 13 They gape at Me with their mouths (Lit. have opened their mouths at Me), Like a raging and roaring lion.
- Hebrew for scatter (is bāzar) the root word for dung/feces which is eliminated from the body then left scattered in the field. It means to “scatter”. Skat/Scat is the dung of animals.
- Field is symbolic of the world and worldliness.
Psalm 68:31 Envoys will come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God (‘ĕlōhîm).
- Again, A referral to Jesus’ kingdom on earth during the 1,000 yr millennium after Jesus’ second advent yet to happen in the future.
Psalm 68:32 Sing to God (‘ĕlōhîm), you kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord (‘ăḏōnāy), Selah
Psalm 68:33 To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
- NOTE: The heaven of heavens is the highest heaven.
- Deuteronomy 10:14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it.
- Job 22:12 “Is not God in the height of heaven? And see the highest stars, how lofty they are!
- Luke 19:38 Saying: “‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
- CONCLUSION: The highest of heavens is reserved for the place where God has dwelt from the time of creation and before, from time immemorial.
Psalm 68:34 Ascribe strength to God (‘ĕlōhîm);
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
Psalm 68:35 O God (‘ĕlōhîm), You are more awesome than Your holy places.
- Where or what are God’s holy places?
- One answer would be the Holy of Holies in God’s temple in Jerusalem.