3. The floods have lifted up, O Jehovah! the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods shall lift up their waves. 4. The waves fd5 of the sea are terrible, by reason of the noise of great waters, Jehovah is terrible above. 5. Thy testimonies are singularly true: holiness is the glory of thy house, O Jehovah! for length of days. fd6
3. The floods have lifted up, O Jehovah! Various meanings have been attached to this verse. Some think there is an allusion to the violent assaults made upon the Church by her enemies, and the goodness of God seen in restraining them. fd7 Others are of opinion that the words should be taken literally, and not figuratively, in this sense — Though the noise of many waters be terrible, and the waves of the sea more fearful still, God is more terrible than all. I would not be inclined to insist too nicely upon any comparison that may have been intended. I have no doubt the Psalmist sets forth the power of God by adducing one brief illustration out of many which might have been given, fd8 Intimating that we need not go farther for a striking instance of Divine power — one that may impress us with an idea of his tremendous majesty — than to the floods of waters, and agitations of the ocean; as in <192904>Psalm 29:4, the mighty voice of God is said to be in the thunder. God manifests his power in the sound of the floods, and in the tempestuous waves of the sea, in a way calculated to excite our reverential awe. Should it be thought that there is a comparison intended, then the latter clause of the verse must be understood as added, with this meaning, That all the terror of the objects mentioned is as nothing when we come to consider the majesty of God himself, such as he is in heaven. There is still another sense which may be extracted from the words, That though the world may to appearance be shaken with violent commotions, this argues no defect in the government of God, since he can control them at once by his dreadful power.
5. Thy testimonies fd9 are singularly true. As yet the Psalmist has insisted upon the excellency of God in the work of creation, and the providential government of the world. Now he speaks of his distinguishing goodness to his chosen people, in making known to them the doctrine which bringeth salvation. He begins by commending the absolute trust-worthiness and truthfulness of the law of God. This being a treasure which was not extended to all nations promiscuously, he adds immediately that the house of God would be adorned with a glory which should last for ever. The Divine goodness is displayed in every part of the world, but the Psalmist justly considers it as of all others the most inestimable blessing, that God should have deposited in his Church the covenant of eternal life, and made his glory principally to shine out of it. Some translate the Hebrew word hwan, naävah, desirable, fd10as if the Psalmist had said that the adorning of the temple was precious; but the grammatical construction will not admit of this. By length of days is meant perpetual succession, fd11and to this we find Isaiah referring in striking terms, that the Divine truth might be preserved in faithful custody through successive ages.
“Behold, I have put my word in thy mouth, in the mouth of thy seed, and of thy seed’s seed,” (Psalms 59:21)
The Psalmist implores Divine assistance against wicked and violent men, who persecuted the upright in a cruel and tyrannical manner. It is evident that he refers to domestic foes, whose unrighteous domination was as vexatious and oppressive to the Lord’s people, as all the injuries received from the Gentile nations without.