Psalm 68

1 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered;
Let them also that hate him flee before him.
2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away:
As wax melteth before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

1 See Psalm xviii. I. R. 279.

See Psalm xviii. 1 E. 326.

1-3. The hells will be subjugated. P. P.

3 The destruction of the wicked is here compared to smoke driven away by the wind, and to wax which melts before the fire, because smoke signifies falsities, and fire evils. E. 539.

4 See Psalm li. 10. T. 252.

See Psalm xl. 17. R. 507.

See Psalm xl. 17. E. 660.

4-6, 32. Those who are in good will acknowledge the Lord, who is Divine truth itself. P. P.

3 But let the righteous be glad; let them exult before
Yea, let them rejoice with gladness.
4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name:
Cast up a highway for him that rideth through the
His name is Jehovah; and exult ye before him.

5 To ride upon the clouds stands for the understanding of the Word as to its interiors, or in its internal sense. That a cloud is the Word in the letter in which is an internal sense may be seen in the Arcana in the preface to Genesis xviii. See Matthew xxiv. 30: Mark xiii. 26: Luke xxi. 27. A. 2761

This also is said of the Lord, the clouds being the literal sense of the Word. A. 6534.

To praise and extol God by His name Jah means by Divine truth. A. 8267.

They who ride in chariots and on horses signify those who understand and are in the doctrine of truth derived from the Word. W. H.

To ride upon the clouds signifies to be in the wisdom of the Word, for a horse signifies the understanding of the Word. R. 24.

The understanding of the Word is meant by a horse. R. 298.

By the cloud of heaven is meant the Word in the natural sense, and by glory the Word in the spiritual sense. T. 776.

Now who cannot see that these things are not to be understood according to the sense of the letter, namely that Jehovah sits on a cloud, that He rides upon the clouds, and that He makes the clouds His chariot. He who thinks spiritually may know that Jehovah is present in His Divine truth, for this proceeds from Him, consequently that this is here understood by clouds. Therefore also it is said that Jehovah makes the clouds His chariot, for by a chariot is signified the doctrine of truth. E. 36.

Since chariots and horses signify doctrine from the Word and the understanding thereof, and since all doctrine of truth and the understanding thereof are out of heaven from the Lord, therefore it is said concerning Him that He rides upon the Word, upon clouds, upon heaven, upon a cherub, also that He causes to ride. E. 355. By him that rideth upon the heavens or upon clouds is here also understood the Lord as to the illustration of the Word. Clouds stand for truths in the ultimates which are illustrated, and this is effected by the influx of light, which is Divine truth from the spiritual world or heaven. E. 594.

5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows,
Is God in his holy habitation.
6 God setteth the solitary in families:
He bringeth out the prisoners into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

6 The fatherless stand for those who like little children are in the good of innocence, but not yet in truth, whose father is said to be the Lord, because He leads them as a father, and this by truth into good, that is into the good of life or wisdom. Widows stand for 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, that is into the truth of intelligence, for by a judge is signified one who leads. 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 a life of good. A. 4844.

That orphans are those who are instructed in the truths of the faith of the church from the Word, and by them are afterwards led to good is evident also from the Lord’s words in John xiv. A. 9199.

By a widow in the Word is meant one who is without protection, for by a widow in the spiritual sense is signified one who is in good and not in truth. For by a man is signified truth, and by his wife good, hence by a widow good without truth is signified. Good without truth is without protection, for truth protects good. R. 764. By widows are also signified such of both sexes as are in good and not in truth, thus such as are without defence against the false and evil, whom however the Lord defends. E. 1121.

6, 7. He will be their protection. P. P.

7 By the bound in these places those are not meant who are bound in the world, but they who are bound by hell, and thus by evils and falsities. R. 99.

7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people,
When thou didst march through the wilderness; [Selah
8 The earth trembled.
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God:
Yon Sinai trembled at the presence of God, the God of
9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain,
Thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was
10 Thy congregation dwelt therein:
Thou, O God, didst prepare of thy goodness for the
11 The Lord giveth the word:
The women that publish the tidings are a great host.
12 Kings of armies flee, they flee;
And she that tarrieth at home divideth the spoil.

8-10. Here Sinai stands for truth which is from good, for such is the signification of the heavens dropping at the presence of God, and of God making to drop the rain of His good will. Mount Sinai has these significations because the law was promulgated by the Lord from thence, and the law is Divine truth from Divine good, and is also truth of faith from good. A. 8753.

8-12. He will regenerate them. P. P.

8, 18. That Mount Sinai stands for 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. Earth and the heavens stand for the external and internal of the church, chariots doctrine. A. 9420.

9 The Lord is called the God of Israel. L. 39.

That the Lord is called the God of Israel is evident. T. 93-

9, 36. See Psalm xli. 14. A. 7091.

10 Rain signifies the Divine truth from heaven. R. 496.

In these passages also rain does not signify rain, but the influx of Divine truth with man from which he has spiritual life. E. 644.

13 When ye lie among the sheepfolds,
It is as the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And her pinions with yellow gold.

14 When the Almighty scattered kings therein,
it was as when it snoweth in Zalmon.

10, 11. Here the wild animal stands for affection for good, for it is to dwell in God’s inheritance. A. 246.

See Psalm 1. 10, 11. R. 567.

Here also by wild beasts or animals are signified those who are in the affections of truth and good, or, in the abstract, those affections themselves, for by the showers of benevolence which God is said” to have sent is signified the Divine truth from the Divine good. By the weary inheritance which He is said to have confirmed is signified the church which is in Divine truth as to doctrine and as to life. The inheritance signifies the church, called weary or labouring from an earnest desire to do good. By the wild beasts which have dwelt in the inheritance of the church are signified the affections of truth and good. E. 385.

Here beast is manifestly put for the people who receive the influx of Divine truth from the Lord, for the heritage of God, whereby is signified the church, is called thy beast, thy congregation shall dwell therein. By rain of benevolences is signified the influx of Divine truth from the Divine clemency. E. 650.

See Psalm 1. 10, 11. Coro. 3.

11 Here by wild animal, because he shall dwell in the inheritance of God no other is meant than the regenerated man. What is living in this man is meant. A. 908.

13-15. It will not be so with the rest although they have the Word. P. P.

14 The wings of a dove are the truths of faith. They are said to be covered with silver, because silver is truth from good. A. 8764.

14, 15. To lie among the orders — between the ranks — signifies to live in or according to the statutes. The wings of a dove covered with silver spiritual truths. Her feathers with yellow gold spiritual good from which those truths are derived. Shaddai a state of temptations. Kings were in it — truths in that state and after it. E. 283.

15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan;
A high mountain is the mountain of Bashan.
16 Why look ye askance, ye high mountains,
At the mountain which God hath desired for his abode ?
Yea, Jehovah will dwell in it for ever.

16, 17. Here mountains stand for celestial love and hills for spiritual love. A. 6435.

Mountains signify heaven where the good of celestial love prevails. A. 10438.

See Psalm xxxvi. 7. R. 336.

By the mountain of Bashan is signified good in the will, such as exists with those who are in the externals of the church, for Bashan was a region beyond Jordan which was given as an inheritance to half the tribe of Manasseh — see Joshua xiii. 29-32 — and by Manasseh is signified the voluntary good of the external or natural man. The joy arising from the good of love is understood by leaping and skipping. The Lord in man dwells in the good of his will, whence are derived goods in active exercise. Therefore it is said “this is the mountain which God desireth to dwell in, yea, Jehovah will dwell in it for ever.” E. 405.

16-18. Respecting the church from the Lord from whom is everything of doctrine. P. P.

17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands
upon thousands:
The Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the sanctuary.
18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led away
Thou hast received gifts among men,
Yea, among the rebellious also, that Jehovah God
might dwell with them.

18 By a thousand is not signified a thousand, but much without any definite number. It is similar with a hundred and with ten, for lesser numbers signify the like with greater which result from multiplications by them. A. 8715.

Myriads and thousands stand for innumerable. A. 2575.

The chariots of God stand for those things which are of the Word and of doctrine thence derived. Ten thousand of thousands stand for the infinite things which are therein. A. 3186.

Horses and chariots are the intellectuals and doctrinals of good and truth. A. 5321.

By a number in the spiritual sense is meant that which has relation to quality. A myriad is predicated of truths, and a thousand of goods, because a myriad is the greater number, and a thousand less, and truths are manifold, but goods simple. R. 287.

That a chariot signifies doctrine is evident. R. 437.

By the chariots of God are here signified truths of doctrine, and by angels the goods thereof, wherefore myriads are predicated of the former, and thousands of the latter. Since the Lord is called Lord from good and Sinai signifies heaven where and whence is Divine truth, therefore it is said the Lord is among them, as in Sinai in the holy place. The holy place means heaven and the church where is Divine truth. E. 336.

19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily beareth our burden,
Even the God who is our salvation. [Selah
20 God is unto us a God of deliverances;
And unto Jehovah the Lord belongeth escape from death.

19 By captivity spiritual captivity is meant, which is to be seduced and so led away from truths and goods, and to be led on into falsities and evils. The same is also signified by the bound. R. 59 1 –

Treating also of the Lord. By leading captivity captive is signified to liberate from falses those who were thereby held captive. E. 811.

19-24. He snatched them out of the hand of the infernals. P. P.

20, 27. See Psalm xxviii. 6. R. 289.

20, 36. See Psalm xxviii. 6. A. 1096.

See Psalm xxviii. 6. R. 289.

21 But God will smite through the head of his enemies,
The hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his
22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan,
I will bring them again from the depths of the sea;

22 By the head is meant the whole man. A. 10011.

In the opposite sense insanity and folly are signified by the head. R. 538.

By cutting off the hair of the head, shaving the beard and inducing baldness is signified to deprive of all good and truth, since he who is deprived of the ultimates is also deprived of things prior, for prior things exist and subsist in ultimates. E. 66.

By the head in the Word are signified intelligence and wisdom, and in the opposite sense science and thence infatuated thought. E. 577.

23 That thou mayest crush them, dipping thy foot in
That the tongue of thy dogs may have its portion from
thine enemies.

24 hey have seen thy goings, O God,
Even the goings of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.

24 See Psalm lix. 7, 15. A. 7784.

25 See Psalm xx. 10. R. 664.

25 The singers went before, the minstrels followed after,
In the midst of the damsels playing with timbrels.
26 Bless ye God in the congregations,
Even the Lord, ye that are of the fountain of Israel.
27 There is little Benjamin their ruler,
The princes of Judah and their council,
The princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

25, 26. The damsels playing the timbrels also stand for affections for truth, the term virgin being used in distinction from damsel to express innocence. A. 3081.

A virgin signifies the good of the celestial church, but a maiden the truth of good, which is the spiritual church. The expressions in these verses are all used of the truths of good, which are of the spiritual church. A. 6742. Praising with the timbrel stands for glorifying from the enjoyment of affection for the good of faith, praising with the harp for the pleasantness of affection for the truth of faith. A. 8337.

See Psalm xlv. 10-16. R. 620.

These things are said concerning the Lord, who is here meant by my God and my King. His advent is understood by His steps in the sanctuary. By the singers, the players on instruments and on timbrels are signified all who are of His spiritual and celestial kingdom. By the singing virgins those who are of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, by players those who are of His celestial kingdom, who are called virgins from the affection of truth and good. Singing, playing on instruments, and on timbrels are predicated of their gladness and joy of heart, for by pulsatory and wind instruments is described the joy of those who are of the celestial kingdom, by singing the gladness of those who are of the spiritual kingdom. E. 863.

25-27. See Psalm xlvii. 2, 6-9. E. 326.

Here to bless God in the congregations, even the Lord from the fountain of Israel signifies to glorify the Lord from spiritual truths, which are truths from good. By congregations in the Word are signified the same as by people, those who are in spiritual truths, and in the abstract those truths themselves. By the fountain of Israel good, since thereby is salvation. E. 340.

25-30. Song in praise of the Lord on this account. P. P.

25-32. The subjects treated of in these passages in the spiritual sense are the advent of the Lord, the glorification of His Human, the subjugation of the hells, and salvation as the necessary consequence of these. Verses 25-27 mean the celebration of the Lord on account of His advent. The innocence of the Lord by virtue of which He operated and performed all things is signified by, there is little Benjamin with their ruler. The princes of Judah and their council signify the glorification of the Lord, or the complete union of the Divine and Human. By His own proper power is signified by the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.

25-36. The sanctuary here stands for the heaven where the truth of faith is, therefore it is said God and not Jehovah, as also King, because God is said where truth, and Jehovah where good is the subject. A. 8330.

27 It is here plain that to bless the Lord is to sing to Him,
to proclaim the good tidings of His salvation, to preach
His wisdom and power, and thus to confess and acknowledge
the Lord from the heart. A. 1422.

See Psalm xxxvi. 9, 10. R. 384.

By a fountain is understood the Word, and by fountains Divine truths thence. E. 483.

27, 28. Neither Benjamin, nor the princes of Judah, of Zebulun and of Naphtali are understood, but the things belonging to the church signified by those tribes. By little Benjamin is here signified the innocence of the natural man, which innocence is the conjunction of good and truth therein. E. 449.

28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength:
Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for
29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem
Kings shall bring presents unto thee.
30 Rebuke the wild beast of the reeds,
The multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the
Trampling under foot the pieces of silver:
He hath scattered the peoples that delight in war.

Verses 29 and 30 mean that hence Divine power belongs to the Lord’s Human. The temple signifies the Divine Human of the Lord, and Jerusalem the church for which He did this. The company of spearmen and the multitude of bulls stand for the scientifics of the natural man perverting the goods and truths of the church, calves of the peoples the goods of the church, the pieces of silver the truths of the church, the people who delight in war, those who pervert and reason against the truths of the church. By the subjugation of the hells is understood the subjugation of the natural man. E. 439.

29, 30. Let the causes be investigated whence it is that strength is in ultimates, otherwise it has not power over the natural man where all evil is. Ath., Page 46.

31 Princes shall come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia shall haste to stretch out her hands unto God.
32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth;
O sing praises unto the Lord; [Selah]

31 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 anything but what they themselves hatch thence. Since these see nothing from the light of heaven, which is from the Lord, but from the lumen of nature, which is from the proprium, they seize upon shadows instead of light, upon fallacies instead of realities, and in general upon the false instead of truth. They think insanely, because from lowest principles and are called the wild beasts of the reed. Because they reason sharply they are called the congregation of the strong. Because they dissipate the truths as yet remaining as scattered among the goods of those who are in the truths of the church, it is said that they tread under foot the fragments of silver among 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. A. 9391.

A calf stands for external or natural good. When there is no good of innocence and charity, as with those who are in externals without an internal, then by a calf is signified natural and sensual delight, which is the delight of pleasures, of lusts, and of the loves of self and of the world. A. 10407.

By calves are here understood the affections for knowing falsities. R. 242.

Since the natural man separated from the spiritual is carried away into falsities of every kind and thereby becomes hurtful, therefore Egypt is said to be a ” wild beast of reeds.” E. 388.

By the wild beast of the reed is signified the affection or cupidity of the false originating from scientifics of the sensual man, which are fallacies. ‘ E. 654.

The church at its end is in falses and evils thence derived, and yet all power appertains to truths from good. Falses have power against those who are in falses from evil. It is from this circumstance also that they who are in falses are called in the Word powerful, mighty, robust, strong, heroes, rulers, terrible, formidable, and vastators. E. 783-

The natural man will be subdued. P. P.

31, 32. The subject here treated of is concerning the kingdom of the Lord, that heed should be taken of the false scientific, that is of the scientific falsely applied from the natural man separate from the spiritual is understood by rebuke the wild beast of the reed, since those scientifics being derived from the fallacies of the senses, strongly persuade is meant by the congregation of the strong. The calves of the people stand for the goods of the church in the natural man, the plates of silver the truths of the church, to tread upon and disperse means to destroy and dissipate, which is done by those who are natural and sensual, and who 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 understood by the wild beast of the reed. E. 627.

32 Egypt here stands for external knowledges and Cush for internal. A. 1164.

See Psalm xvii. 10. R. 782.

See Psalm xvii. 10. E. 11 59.

32, 33. Egypt signifies the natural man as to affection for truth, and thence knowledge and intelligence. R. 503.
By the fat ones out of Egypt are signified the gentiles or nations who are in the affection of knowing truths, and by Cush those who imbibe them from the delight of the natural man. E. 654.

33 To him that rideth upon the heaven of heavens, which are of old;
Lo, he uttereth his voice, a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe ye strength unto God:
His excellency is over Israel,
And his strength is in the skies.
35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places:
The God of Israel, he giveth strength and power unto his people.
Blessed be God.

33, 34. The heavens of heavens which are of old stand for the wisdom of the Most Ancient Church, a voice for revelation as well as for an internal dictate. A. 219.

See Psalm xxix. 3. A. 9926.
See Psalm lxviii. 5. W. H.
See Psalm xxix. 3-9. R. 37.

The Divine truth is here signified by the voice of Jehovah. E. 261.

33-36. Song in praise of the Divine power of the Lord — acquired by Him — through union — with the Father. P. P.

34, A voice stands for Divine truth, thus for the Word, and for annunciation from it. A. 6971.

See Psalm xxxiii. 6. A. 9408.

A horse signifies the understanding of the Word.
R. 208.

See Psalm lxviii. §. E. 355.

35 The light of a cloud signifies the Divine truth of the Word, and strength the Divine power therein. R. 24.

See Psalm lxviii. 5. T. 776.
See Psalm lxviii. 5. E. 36.

In this passage the same thing is signified by clouds, as by the waters above the firmament — Genesis i. 7 — and by the waters above the heavens — Psalm cxlviii. 4, for clouds are composed of water, and water signifies Divine truth. E. 594.

36 The Divine truth proceeding from the Lord is called the spirit of truth, heaven is called the habitation of holiness, and the church is called the sanctuary. E. 204.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)