subject: This obviously deals with David's persecution
from Saul and others and the fact that God delivered him from the situation.
The subject then, is really God's judgment on the enemies which resulted
in David's deliverance.
Verses 1-3 - His devotion and trust in the Lord
Verses 4-5 - David encounters a death crisis
Verse 6 - But he trusts in God for deliverance
Verses 16-19 - David records the Lord's deliverance from
his enemies and from the death crisis.
But in Verses 7-15, we have a record of God's judgment
in a different situation.
Here, the language changes totally. Here there is no mention
Here we must look beyond David's life to find the reference.
Even if we were to symbolize the passage as a whole (and
I see no basis for doing so), it can find no correlation to David's deliverance.
Let me add that there most certainly are pieces of symbolism scattered
throughout the section, but it must be viewed in the context of a "literal"
event at sometime in history.
It seems to be an "illustration" of God's judgment
upon a group of His enemies at some time either in the past or the future.
I can find nothing in the future that would fit the language. Some have
suggested that this section looks to the second coming of Jesus. However,
the language indicates some kind of "flood" judgment, and there will not be
such a situation at the second coming.
It must be a past event and the only one "on the
surface" that it might go back to is the flood. But as I look at the
language, although there is mention of water (and the flood was certainly
in a "wrath" context), the description does not really correlate
with what happened at the flood. But this must await the verse by verse
Now first of all, for the Holy Spirit to use such a format
is not a problem for it has been done many times in the scriptures as God
used his prophets to teach truth. And David did indeed function as a prophet
of God even though he did not have the office of prophet.
So through the Spirit's inspiration, David reviews a past
judgment of God upon his enemies. The occasion, David may very well not
understand. I don't think we can with dogmatism say one way or the other.
But he did recognize it as an illustration of God's deliverance in his
own crisis situation.
Nor is it necessary to be dogmatic as to whether this section refers to the
flood of Genesis 6 or to the judgment on the earth of Genesis 1:2.
1. Then the earth shook and quaked: Actually this begins
with the connective, we (and), and should be rendered as AND. It introduces
a new focus in this case rather than a continuation of the previous subject.
This is based on the content of the section which is clearly of a different
nature than what has gone before.
A. The earth: this is the subject of the section. It focuses
in on a judgment which is upon the physical planet and not on any inhabitants.
B. Shook and quaked: these two words are not intended
to give us two different ideas, but rather to place emphasis on the physical
phenomenon that is taking place. There is nothing significant about these
two words (gAash and rAash); both occur as a qal imperfect and both mean
to shake and quake, although rAash is much more common. The "consecutive"
format is continued, using the imperfect tense with the "waw consecutive"
to indicate PAST action in a narrative format.
2. And the foundations of the mountains: This is clarification
of the extent of this earthquake and disruption of the planet. That is,
it extends to the very foundations of the planet's stability.
3. were trembling: this is a qal imperfect of
means to tremble, be agitated, quiver.
4. and were shaken: This is a repeat of gAash, but this
time as a hithpael imperfect/consecutive. Thus, they WERE CAUSED to shake.
5. Because He was angry: The word, kiy, is the standard
word for explanation. "He" refers to Yahweh as identified not
only previously in verse one, but also within this section, at verses 13
and 15. The word angry, is the verb, chArAh, and speaks of a very intense
BURNING type of anger. Thus, we certainly have an expression of God's justice
in judgment, and that judgment is clearly upon the earth.
There is no mention of any such earthquake activity in
association with the flood.
I don't think too much of the following needs detailed
exegesis. I will let the NASB speak for itself unless clarification is
Verse 8 Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from
His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.
We have FIRE involved with this judgment - or what can
be seen as a very great HEAT. Such heat is of course NEEDED to accomplish
such an intense physical destruction.
There is no mention of such fire and heat at the time
of the flood, although in that we have a very big rain storm, it might
be reasonable to think there would be some attending lightning and thunder.
Verse 9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down With
thick darkness under His feet.
This symbolism tells us that great DARKNESS was involved.
Such darkness would only be an assumption for the flood,
although with all that water coming down, it is again, reasonable to see
that there would be great darkness.
Verse 10 And He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped
upon the wings of the wind.
This seems to suggest that His judgment was executed with
the help of ANGELS.
Verse 11 He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy
around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
Here we see the idea that He used water also. Perhaps
we see the fact that when the HEAT was done, He covered the surface of
the planet with WATER.
Again, a possible reference to the flood, but the rest
of the language does not fit. Furthermore, I suggest that were the flood
in view, then we would certainly also see reference to the destruction
Verses 12-15 seem to BACK UP and go through the process
1. Fire and heat
Verse 12 From the brightness before Him passed His thick
clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire.
Verse 13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the
Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.
There is no mention of hailstones at the flood, and this
time, it is NOT a reasonable assumption to think that hail was involved.
However, at the Genesis 1:2 judgment, we have severe darkness
Water coming down and coming up, which would cause it
to be very cold and eventually freeze totally.
Verse 14 And He sent out His arrows, and scattered them,
And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.
The symbol of the arrows is for emphasis in using lightning.
The phrase, "scattered them," refers to scattering
the arrows - not any inhabitants. Again, any association with lightning
to the flood is simply an assumption.
Verse 15 Then the channels of water appeared, And the
foundations of the world were laid bare At Thy rebuke, O LORD, At the blast
of the breath of Thy nostrils.
Here we have the fact that the surface of the earth was
covered in a blanket of water as the "channels of water" apparently
EMPTIED from below (foundations laid bare) in order to cover the surface.
Again, language that SEEMS to go back to the flood, but
language that does not really FIT that well with the flood.
The water -
The total darkness -
looks to Genesis 1:2, "and the earth became a waste and empty, and
DARKNESS was upon the face of the WATERS.
This equals ICE and would perfectly correspond with the
so-called ICE AGE.
That is why in the next line, we see the Spirit of Elohim
HOVERING over the surface of the waters. This seems to communicate a HEAT-producing
action that is the beginning of bringing the planet back into a habitable
Verse 16 and following now returns to David's personal
experience and applies God's VICTORY over this past enemy, to his own precarious
"He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out
of many waters."