PSALMS 68Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page
To him that presides; a Psalm, a Song of David.
That the hells will be subdued, verses 1, 2; that the good will acknowledge the lord who is Divine Truth itself, verses 3 to 5, 31; that he will be their protector, verses 5, 6; that he will regenerate them, verses 7 to 11; others not so, although they have the Word, verses 12 to 14; of the church from the lord, from whom is the all of doctrine, verses 15 to 17; that he will snatch them from the hands of the internals, verses 18 to 23; celebration of the lord for the same, verses 24 to 29; that the natural man will be subdued, verse 30; celebration of the Divine power of the lord through his union, verses 32 to 35.
Verse 2. As smoke is driven away, drive them away, as wax melts before the, fire, let the wicked perish before god. The destruction of the wicked is compared to smoke, which is driven by the air, and to wax which melts before the fire, because smoke signifies falses, and fire evils. AE 539.
Verse 4. Sing to god, praise his name, extol him that rides on the clouds, by his name jah. Where to ride on the clouds denotes the understanding of the Word as to its interior things, or the internal sense. AC 2701.
Verse 4. By his name jah. The reason why Jah denotes the Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine human [principle] of the lord, is because Jah is from jehovah, and is called Jah, because it is not the esse, but the existere from the esse, for Divine truth is the existere, but the Divine good is the esse, see AC 6880. By Jah is also signified Divine truth in David, Sing to God, praise his name, extol him that rides upon the clouds, by his name Jah, and exult before him," Psalm 68:4, where to praise and extol god by his name Jah denotes by Divine truth: again, "In straitness I called upon Jah, Jah answered me in the breadth; jehovah helped me, my strength and song is Jah: I shall not die but live, and announce the works of Jah; I will enter through the gates of justice, and will confess Jah," Psalm 118:5, 13, 14, 17, 20; in this Psalm Jah denotes the lord as to Divine Truth; in like manner Jah in Hallelu-Jah, Psalm 105:45, 106:1, 48, 111:1, 112:1, 113:1, 9, 115:17, 18, 116:19. AC 8267.
Verse 4. Sing to god, praise his name, etc. By him that rides upon the clouds, is here understood the lord as to illustration; clouds denote truths in the ultimates, which are illustrated, and these are illustrated by the influx of light, which is the Divine truth from the spiritual world, or heaven. So in Nahum, "The way of jehovah is in storms and tempest, and the clouds are the dust of his feet," Nahum 1:3. Truth in the ultimates, which is the truth of the literal sense of the Word, is called the clouds, the dust of the feet of jehovah, because it is the natural, and lowest truth, into which the Divine truth in heaven, which is spiritual, terminates, and upon which it also subsists; inasmuch as Divine truth in ultimates is but little understood, unless it be illustrated from heaven, it is therefore a ground of disputation and controversy, which is understood by the storm and tempest, in which is the way of jehovah; spiritual storm and tempest denoting disputation concerning the genuine sense, which nevertheless the lord illustrates by influx, with those who desire the truth. AC 594.
Verse 5. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widow. The fatherless denote those who as infants are in the good of innocence, but not as yet in the truth, whose father is said to be the lord, because as a Father he leads them, and this by truths into goods, namely into the good of life or wisdom; widows denote those who as adults are in truth, but not yet in good, whose judge is said to be the lord, because he leads them, and this by good into truth, namely into the truth of intelligence; good without truth, which is the fatherless, becomes the good of wisdom by the doctrine of truth; and truth without good, which is the widow, becomes the truth of intelligence by the life of good. AC 4844.
Verses 7, 8, 9. O God, when you went forth before your people, when you did march through the wilderness; the earth trembled, the heavens also dropped at the presence of god, this Sinai before god, the god of Israel; you O god make the rain of benevolences to drop. That hereby is signified a state of good in which the truths of faith were to to be implanted, appears from the signification of the wilderness of Sinai, as denoting a state of good in which the truths of faith are to be implanted; wilderness here denotes the good in which truths have not been yet implanted, and Sinai denotes the truths themselves; for a wilderness has several significations; in general, it signifies what is uninhabited and uncultivated, thus, in a spiritual sense, the good which as yet does not contain truths, for good without truths is what is spiritually uncultivated. As to what concerns the mountain of Sinai, it signifies in the supreme sense the Divine Truth derived from the Divine Good, mountain the Divine Good, and Sinai the Divine Truth; hence it was that the sons of Israel encamped in the wilderness near that mountain, for from it were not only promulgated the Ten Commandments, which are the law in a confined sense, but likewise all the statutes of the church, which were contained in them, because they represented the spiritual and celestial truths and goods of the Lord's kingdom; that the law was thence promulgated is manifest from the following chapter xx. that the statutes of the church were also thence promulgated, is signified by Sinai in David, "O god, when you went forth before your people, when you did march in the wilderness, the earth trembled, the heavens also dropped at the presence of god, this Sinai before god, the god of Israel; you O god, cause to drop the rain of benevolences;" in this passage Sinai denotes the truth which is from good, for these things are signified by the heavens dropping before god, and by god dropping the rain of benevolences. AC 8753.
That Mount Sinai denotes the law or Divine Truth, proceeding from the Divine Good of the lord, thus the Word, and in the supreme sense the lord, is manifest from David, "The earth trembled, the heavens also dropped before god, this Sinai before god, the god of Israel; the chariots of god are two myriads, thousands of thousands; the lord is amongst them, in Sinai in the holy place." That earth and the heavens denote the external and internal of the church, see AC 1733, and that chariot denotes doctrine, see AC 2760; hence the chariots of god denote doctrinals or Truths Divine such as is in the heavens; hence it is evident that by this Sinai before god, the god of Israel, and by Sinai in the sanctuary, is signified the law or Divine Truth proceeding from the Divine Good of the lord. AC 9420.
Verses 9, 11. You, O god, make the rain of benevolences to drop, by which you did confirm your inheritance when it was weary; your congregation has dwelt therein. Where manifestly congregation denotes the people who receive the influx of Divine Truth from the lord, for it is the inheritance of god by which is signified the church; it is called your congregation shall dwell in it; by the rain of benevolences is signified the influx of Divine Truth from the Divine clemency. AE 650.
Verse 13, Though you have lain amongst the hearth-stones, the wings of a dove, covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. The wings of a dove are the truths of faith; that a dove denotes faith, see AC 870, which are said to be covered with silver, because silver is truth derived from good. AC 8764.
What is signified by the above words, can only be known from the internal sense; to lie amongst the hearth-stones signifies to live in the statutes; the wings of a dove covered with silver signify spiritual truths; feathers of yellow gold signify spiritual good from which those truths are derived; shaddai signifies a state of temptations; kings in her signify truths in that state, and after it. The reason why the wings of a dove covered with silver signify spiritual truths is because wing signifies what is spiritual, a dove truth from good, and silver truth itself; the reason why feathers covered with yellow gold signify spiritual good from which these truths are derived, is because a feather signifies spiritual good from which are truths, and the similitude of the yellowness of gold; the reason why when schaddai expands, signifies a state of temptations is because god schaddai signifies temptations, and consolations after them, and whereas truths from good are implanted in man by temptations, therefore it is said, kings shall be in her, for by kings are signified truths derived from good. AE 283.
Verses 15, 16. The mountain of god is the mountain of Bashan, a mountain of hills is the mountain of Bashan; why leap you, you mountains? you hills of the mountain, which god desires to dwell in? jehovah shall dwell in it for ever. By the mountain of Bashan is signified voluntary good, such as has place with those who are in the externals of the church, for Bashan is a country beyond Jordan, which was given as an inheritance to the half tribe of Manassah, and by Manassah is signified the voluntary good of the external or natural man, this voluntary good is the same thing with the good of love in the external man; for all good of love is of the will, and all truths thence are of the understanding; wherefore by Ephraim his brother is signified the intellectual truth of that good: since by the mountain of Bashan that good is signified therefore by the hills of that mountain are signified good things in act; hence it is evident what is signified by the mountain of god the mountain of Bashan, a mountain of hills the mountain of Bashan, why leap you, you mountains, you hills of the mountain; since the lord dwells with man in his voluntary good, whence come good things in act, therefore it is said, God desires to dwell in it, jehovah also shall dwell there for ever. AE 405.
Verse 17. The chariots of god are twenty thousands, thousands of thousands. The chariots of god denote those things which are of the Word, and of the doctrine thence derived; myriads of thousands denote the infinite things which are therein, as in John, "I saw and heard the voice of many angels about the throne, their number was myriads of myriads, and chiliads of chiliads," Apoc 5:11, denoting that they were innumerable. AC 3186.
Verse 18. You have ascended on high, you have led captivity captive. This is said of the lord, and by leading captivity captive, is signified to deliver them from the false principles which had led them captive. AE 811.
Verse 21. god shall bruise the head of his enemies, the hairy scalp of such as go on still in their trespasses. In this and other passages, by shaving the head, polling the beard, and inducing baldness, is signified to deprive a man of all truth and good, since he who is deprived of ultimates is deprived also of things prior, for prior things exist and subsist in ultimates. AE 66.
Verses 24, 25. They have seen your goings O god, the goings of my god, my king, in the sanctuary; the singers went before, the players on instruments after, in the midst of virgins playing with timbrels. These things are said of the lord, who is there my god, and my king; and his coming is meant by his goings in the sanctuary; by the singers going before, the players on instruments, are signified all who are of his spiritual and celestial kingdom; by the virgins singing, they who are of his spiritual kingdom, by the players on instruments, they who are of his celestial kingdom, who are called virgins from the affection of truth and of good, and are said to sing, and play on instruments, from their gladness and joy of heart. AE 863.
Verses 25 to 32. The singers went before, the players on instruments after, in the midst of virgins playing with timbrels: bless you god in the congregations, the lord from the fountain of Israel; there is little Benjamin their ruler, the princes of Judah their council, the princes of Zebulon, the princes of Naphtali, your god has commanded your strength; put on strength O god; this you have done for us; from your temple at Jerusalem, kings shall give a present to you, rebuke the wild beast of the reed, the multitude of the mighty amongst the calves of the people; him that treads down pieces of silver, that scatters the people, that delights in wars; the fat shall come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to god. The subject here treated of in the spiritual sense is concerning the lord's advent, and concerning the glorification of his human [principle], also concerning the subjugation of the hells, and salvation thence; the celebration of the lord on account of his advent is described in these words, they have seen your goings, O god, the goings of my god, of my king in the sanctuary, the singers went before in the midst of dancing virgins; bless you god in the congregations, the lord from the fountain of Israel; his innocence, from which he operated and performed all things, is signified by little Benjamin their ruler; Divine Truth from Divine Good is signified by the princes of Judah their council; the glorification, or the uniting of the divine and human [principles] by his own proper power, by the princes of Zebulon and the princes of Naphtali ; that hence the human [principle] of the lord had Divine power; by god commanded your strength, put on strength O god, this you have done fur us from your temple at Jerusalem; by temple is there meant the divine human [principle] of the lord, and by Jerusalem the church; the subjugation of the hells is signified by rebuke the wild beast of the reed, the congregation of the mighty, amongst the calves of the people, him that treads down pieces of silver; that scatters the people that desires wars; the wild beast of the reed and the congregation of the mighty, is the scientific principle of the natural man perverting the truths and goods of the church; the calves of the people are the goods of the church, the pieces of silver are the truths of the church, he has dispersed the people, he desires wars, signifies to pervert and reason against those things; by the subjugation of the hells is meant the subjugation of the natural man, for in that man are evils from hell, which are the delights of the love of self and of the world, and the scientifics confirming them; which delights, when they are regarded as an end and have dominion, are against the goods and truths of the church; that the natural man, when he is subjugated, ministers suitable scientifics and the knowledges of truth and of good, is signified by the fat shall come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to God, Egypt is the natural man as to scientifics, and Ethiopia is the natural man as to the knowledges of good and of truth. AE 439.
Verse 30. Rebuke the wild beast of the reed, the multitude of the mighty, amongst the calves of the people, him that treads down pieces of silver, that scatters the people, that desires wars. The subject here treated of is concerning the arrogance of those who from scientifics are willing to enter into the mysteries of faith, and not to acknowledge any thing but what themselves hatch thence; inasmuch as these see nothing from the light of heaven which is from the lord, but from the lumen of nature which is from selfhood, they seize upon shadows instead of light, upon fallacies instead of realities, and, in general, upon what is false instead of truth; these, inasmuch as they think insanely because from lowest principles, are called the wild beast of the reed, and because they reason sharply, they are called the congregation of the mighty, and because they dissipate the truths as yet remaining as scattered amongst the goods of those who are in the truths of the church, it is said of them that they tread down pieces of silver amongst the calves of the people, and further, that they disperse the people, that is, the church itself with its truths; the lust of assaulting and destroying those truths is meant by desiring wars. AC 9391.
The subject here treated of is concerning the lord's kingdom; that caution is necessary to guard against the false scientific principle, that is, against the scientific principle falsely applied by the natural man separate from the spiritual, which is meant by rebuke the wild beast of the reed; inasmuch as those scientifics, being derived from the fallacies of the senses have strong power of persuasion, they are called the congregation of the mighty; the calves of the people are the goods of the church which are in the natural man; the fragments of silver are the truths of the church; to tread, upon and to disperse is to destroy and dissipate, as is done by those who are natural and sensual, and think naturally and sensually, and not at the same time spiritually, thus who think from the natural and sensual man separate from the spiritual; this man is meant by the wild beast of the reed; to desire wars signifies reasonings against truths; the fat from Egypt and Ethiopia, are those who are in the science of spiritual things, and who are in the knowledges of truth and of good, who are about to come to the lord's kingdom, because they are in light from the spiritual man. AE 627.
Verse 31. Fat ones shall come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands to god, etc. By the fat ones out of Egypt are signified the gentiles or nations, who are in the affection of knowing truths, and by Ethiopia are signified those who imbibe them from the delight of the natural man; the signification of Ethiopia may appear from other passages in the Word where Ethiopia is mentioned, as in Gen 2:13; Eph 3:5, 9, 10; the reception by the nations of the goods and truths of heaven and the church from the lord, is signified by "Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praises to the lord." AE 654.
It is impossible for a devout Christian to read the foregoing Psalm with serious attention, and not be forcibly struck with the conviction, that a spiritual sense is contained under the letter, which is necessary to impart to the letter an edifying meaning, or indeed any meaning at all. Let the reader then deeply ponder on the spiritual sense here detected by the enlightened Scribe of the New Jerusalem, and he will see abundant cause to be thankful, not only that the word of god is distinguished by this remarkable criterion of its Divine origin, but also that it has been reserved for the happiness of the present generation, to see a full demonstration of this edifying and blessed truth.PSALMS 68 Other translations - previous - next - meaning - Psalms - BM Home - Full Page