PSALMS 108      Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


A Song, a Psalm of David.

  1. O god, my heart is prepared; I will sing and utter a psalm, even my glory is prepared.
  2. Awake, O psaltery and harp! I will awake in the morning.
  3. I will praise you, O jehovah, amongst the peoples; and I will sing praises to you amongst the nations.
  4. For great above the heavens is your mercy, and your truth to the skies.
  5. Be you exalted above the heavens, O god, and your glory above all the earth;
  6. That your beloved ones may be delivered; save with your right hand, and answer me.
  7. god has spoken by his holiness, I will exult, I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth.
  8. Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine, Ephraim is the strength of my head, Judah is my lawgiver.
  9. Moab is my washpot, over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.
  10. Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who will lead me into Edom.
  11. Will not you, O god, you that have cast us off, and will not you, O god, go forth with our hosts?
  12. Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.
  13. With god we shall do valiantly, for he will tread down our adversaries.

The Internal Sense

A prayer of the lord to the father to assist and show his power, verses 1 to 5; that they who are about to be of the church may be delivered, verse 6; an answer that the former must be destroyed, verse 7; and an internal and an external church established, verses 8, 9; that the human essence will be made divine, when the hells are subdued, verses 10 to 13.


Verse 2. Awake, O psaltery and harp; I will awake in the morning. Confession and glorification from the good of truth, or from spiritual good, and from the truth of good or from spiritual truth, are expressed in these words, the good of truth is expressed by singing, and making confession amongst the nations, and the truth of good, by playing on instruments amongst the people, for by nations in the Word are meant those who are in good, and by people those who are in truth; the reason why it is so said is because in the Word, where mention is made of good, mention is also made of truth, and this by reason of their marriage. AE 323.

Verse 4. For great above the heavens is your mercy, and your truth to the skies. In these words mercy signifies the Divine good of the Divine love, and truth the Divine truth, and since Divine truth is the light of heaven, as has been just now said, therefore it is said, your truth even to the skies; by skies therefore, in the plural number, is signified Divine light even to the highest heaven, where it is in the highest degree. AE 541.

Verse 7. God has spoken by his holiness, I will exult; I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth. The holy principle of truth is the good which is from truth; that this is the signification of the huts or tents which are called Succoth, is also evident from many passages in the Word. The quality of this state is what is involved in Succoth, namely the quality of the holy state of truth from good at that time, for Succoth signifies tents, and tents the holy principle of truth, as was shown just above. The like also is signified by Succoth in David, "I will divide Sechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth." AC 4392.

Verse 8. Gilead is mine, etc.; see Psalm 60:7. Exposition.

Verse 8. Ephraim is the strength of my head. Many parts of the prophetical writings, where the church is treated of, treat also of the understanding of the Word, and it is taught that the church cannot exist but where there is a just understanding of the Word, and that the state and nature of the church is always to be determined by the manner in which the Word is understood by those who belong to the church. The prophets, in many parts of their writings, describe the Israelitish and Jewish church as totally destroyed and annihilated, in consequence of falsifying the meaning or understanding of the Word; for the destruction of the church proceeds from no other source than this. The understanding of the Word, both true and false, is described in the prophetic writings, particularly in the prophet Hosea, by Ephraim; for the understanding of the Word in the church is signified in the Word by Ephraim, inasmuch as the understanding of the Word constitutes the church, therefore Ephraim is called "A dear son, and a pleasant child," Jerem 31:20; "The firstborn," Jerem 31:9; "The strength of the head of jehovah," Psalm 60:7, 108:8; "A mighty man," Zech 10:7; "He that fills the bow," Zech 9:13; and the children of Ephraim are called "Armed and shooters with the bow," Psalm 78:9; for by a bow is signified doctrine derived from the Word, combating with falses. For the same reason also, "Israel set his right hand upon Ephraim, and blessed him," Gen 48:14; and he was also accepted in lieu of Reuben, Gen 48:5: and for the same reason, Ephraim, with his brother Manasseh, under the name of their father Joseph, was exalted by Moses, in his blessing of the children of Israel, above all the rest, Deut 33:13 to 17. But the state and nature of the church, when the understanding of the Word is destroyed, is also described in the writings of the prophets by Ephraim, particularly in Hosea, as in these passages: "Israel and Ephraim shall fall in their iniquity; Ephraim shall be desolate; Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgement; I will be to Ephraim as a lion; I, even I, will tear and go away, I will take away, and none shall rescue him," Hos 5:5, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14; "O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away," Hosea 6:4; "They shall not dwell in the land of jehovah, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and shall eat unclean things in Assyria," Hosea 9:3; the land of jehovah is the church; Egypt is the scientific principle of the natural man; Assyria is reasoning founded on it; therefore it is said, that Ephraim shall return into Egypt, and shall eat unclean things in Assyria. "Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind; he daily increases lies and desolations; he makes a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried into Egypt," Hosea 12:1; to feed on wind, to follow after the east wind, to increase lies and desolations, is to falsify truths, and so to destroy the church. The same is also signified by the whoredom of Ephraim, for whoredom signifies the falsification of the understanding of the Word, that is, of its genuine truth; as in these passages: "Eor now, O Ephraim, you commit-test whoredom, and Israel is defiled," Hosea 5:3; "I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel; Ephraim has committed whoredom there, and Israel is defiled," Hosea 6:10; Israel means the church itself, and Ephraim the understanding of the Word, which determines the state and quality of the church; wherefore it is said, Ephraim commits whoredom, and Israel is defiled. But as the church amongst the children of Israel and Judah was totally destroyed by falsifications of the Word, therefore it is thus said of Ephraim, "I will give you up, Ephraim, I will deliver you up, Israel, I will make you as Admah, I will set you as Zeboim," Hosea 11:8. Now since the prophet Hosea, from the first chapter to the last, treats of the falsification of the Word, and of the consequent destruction of the church, and because the falsification of the Word is there signified by whoredom, therefore he was commanded, for the purpose of representing that state of the church, "to take to himself a wife of whoredoms, and children of whoredoms," Hos 1:1; and again, "to take to himself an adulteress," Hos 3:1. We have quoted these passages, for the sake of showing and proving from the Word, that the quality of the church is always determined by its understanding of the Word; and that it is excellent and precious, if its understanding be grounded on the genuine truths of the Word, but that it is ruined, yea, filthy, if it be grounded on truths falsified. For a further confirmation, that by Ephraim is signified the understanding of the Word, and in a contrary sense the falsification of it, and that thence proceeds the destruction of the church, the other places which treat of Ephraim may be referred to; as in Hosea 4:17, 18, 7:1, 11, 8:9, 11, 9:11, 12, 13, 16, 10:11, 11:3, 12:1, 8, 14, 13:1, 12; Isaiah 17:3, 28:1; Jeremiah 4:15, 31:6, 18, 1. 19; Ezekiel 37:16, 48:5; Obadiah 1:19; Zechariah 9:10. D. S. S. 79.

Verse 8. Judah in my lawgiver. That hereby are signified the truths which are from the celestial kingdom in inferior principles, appears from the signification of lawgiver, and from the signification of feet, as denoting natural principles, thus inferior principles, for natural things are beneath, and celestial things are above; it is said, a lawgiver from beneath the feet, that the spiritual of the celestial principle may be signified or truth which is from good; therefore also it is said, from between the feet, that the truth which is from good may be signified. AC 6372.

Verse 9. Moab is my washpot. The subject treated of in this Psalm is concerning Moab, and by him concerning those who suffer themselves to be tempted by false principles, where washpot denotes good defiled by false principles. AC 2468.

Verse 9. Over Philistia will I triumph. The reason why Philistia, which also was a continent of the land of Canaan, even to Tyre and Sidon, signified the interior truths of faith was because the ancient representative church had been there also, as is evident from the remains of divine worship amongst them. AC 9340.

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