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Psalms 68:15 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A high mountain is the mountain of Bashan.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— The hill of God [is as] the hill of Bashan; an high hill [as] the hill of Bashan.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain [of many] peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— The hill of God [is as] the hill of Bashan; a high hill [as] the hill of Bashan.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [As] mount Bashan is the mount of God, a many-peaked mountain, [as] mount Bashan.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— A mighty mountain, is the mountain of Bashan, A mountain of peaks, is the mountain of Bashan!—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A hill of God [is] the hill of Bashan, A hill of heights [is] the hill of Bashan.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The mountain of God is a fat mountain. A curdled mountain, a fat mountain.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— The hil of God is [as] the hill of Bashan, an high hill [as] the hill of Bashan.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— The mountain of God is a rich mountain; a swelling mountain, a rich mountain.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— The hill of Elohim [is as] the hill of Bashan; an high hill [as] the hill of Bashan.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
The hill 2022
{2022} Prime
הַר
har
{har}
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
of lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
אֱלֹהִים
'elohiym
{el-o-heem'}
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
[is as] the hill 2022
{2022} Prime
הַר
har
{har}
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
of Bn בָּשָׁן; 1316
{1316} Prime
בָּשָׁן
Bashan
{baw-shawn'}
Of uncertain derivation; Bashan (often with the article), a region East of the Jordan.
an high 1386
{1386} Prime
גַּבְנֹן
gabnon
{gab-nohn'}
From the same as H1384; a hump or peak of hills.
hill 2022
{2022} Prime
הַר
har
{har}
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
[as] the hill 2022
{2022} Prime
הַר
har
{har}
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
of Bn בָּשָׁן. 1316
{1316} Prime
בָּשָׁן
Bashan
{baw-shawn'}
Of uncertain derivation; Bashan (often with the article), a region East of the Jordan.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 68:15-16

_ _ Mountains are often symbols of nations (Psalms 46:2; Psalms 65:6). That of Bashan, northeast of Palestine, denotes a heathen nation, which is described as a “hill of God,” or a great hill. Such are represented as envious of the hill (Zion) on which God resides;

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 68:15-21

_ _ David, having given God praise for what he had done for Israel in general, as the God of Israel (Psalms 68:8), here comes to give him praise as Zion's God in a special manner; compare Psalms 9:11. Sing praises to the Lord who dwelleth in Zion, for which reason Zion is called the hill of God.

_ _ I. He compares it with the hill of Bashan and other high and fruitful hills, and prefers it before them, Psalms 68:15, Psalms 68:16. It is true, Zion was but little and low in comparison with them, and was not covered over with flocks and herds as they were, yet, upon this account, it has the pre-eminence above them all, that it is the hill of God, the hill which he desires to dwell in, and where he chooses to manifest the tokens of his peculiar presence, Psalms 132:13, Psalms 132:14. Note, It is much more honourable to be holy to God than to be high and great in the world. “Why leap you, you high hills? Why do you insult over poor Zion, and boast of your own height? This is the hill which God has chosen, and therefore though you exceed it in bulk, and be first-rates, yet, because on this the royal flag is hoisted, you must all strike sail to it.” Zion was especially honourable because it was a type of the gospel church, which is therefore called Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22), and this is intimated here, when he said, The Lord will dwell in it for ever, which must have its accomplishment in the gospel Zion. There is no kingdom in the world comparable to the kingdom of the Redeemer, no city comparable to that which is incorporated by the gospel charter, for there God dwells and will dwell for ever.

_ _ II. He compares it with Mount Sinai, of which he had spoken (Psalms 68:8), and shows that it has the Shechinah or divine presence in it as really, though not as sensibly, as Sinai itself had, Psalms 68:17. Angels are the chariots of God, his chariots of war, which he make use of against his enemies, his chariots of conveyance, which he sends for his friends, as he did for Elijah (and Lazarus is said to be carried by the angels), his chariots of state, in the midst of which he shows his glory and power. They are vastly numerous: Twenty thousands, even thousands multiplied. There is an innumerable company of angels in the heavenly Jerusalem, Hebrews 12:22. The enemies David fought with had chariots (2 Samuel 8:4), but what were they, for number or strength, to the chariots of God? While David had these on his side he needed not to fear those that trusted in chariots and horses, Psalms 20:7. God appeared on Mount Sinai, attended with myriads of angels, by whose dispensation the law was given, Acts 7:53. He comes with ten thousands of saints, Deuteronomy 33:2. And still in Zion God manifests his glory, and is really present, with a numerous retinue of his heavenly hosts, signified by the cherubim between which God is said to dwell. So that, as some read the last words of the verse, Sinai is in the sanctuary; that is, the sanctuary was to Israel instead of Mount Sinai, whence they received divine oracles. Our Lord Jesus has these chariots at command. When the first-begotten was brought into the world it was with this charge, Let all the angels of God worship him (Hebrews 1:6); they attended him upon all occasions, and he is now among them, angels, principalities, and powers, being made subject to him, 1 Peter 3:22. And it is intimated in the New Testament that the angels are present in the solemn religious assemblies of Christians, 1 Corinthians 11:10. Let the woman have a veil on her head because of the angels; and see Ephesians 3:10.

_ _ III. The glory of Mount Zion was the King whom God set on that holy hill (Psalms 2:6), who came to the daughter of Zion, Matthew 21:5. Of his ascension the psalmist here speaks, and to it his language is expressly applied (Ephesians 4:8): Thou hast ascended on high (Psalms 68:18); compare Psalms 47:5, Psalms 47:6. Christ's ascending on high is here spoken of as a thing past, so sure was it; and spoken of to his honour, so great was it. It may include his whole exalted state, but points especially at his ascension into heaven to the right hand of the Father, which was as much our advantage as his advancement. For, 1. He then triumphed over the gates of hell. He led captivity captive; that is, he led his captives in triumph, as great conquerors used to do, making a show of them openly, Colossians 2:15. He led those captive who had led us captive, and who, if he had not interposed, would have held us captive for ever. Nay, he led captivity itself captive, having quite broken the power of sin and Satan. As he was the death of death, so he was the captivity of captivity, Hosea 13:14. This intimates the complete victory which Jesus Christ obtained over our spiritual enemies; it was such that through him we also are more than conquerors, that is, triumphers, Romans 8:37. 2. He then opened the gates of heaven to all believers: Thou hast received gifts for men. He gave gifts to men, so the apostle reads it, Ephesians 4:8. For he received that he might give; on his head the anointing of the Spirit was poured, that from him it might descend to the skirts of his garments. And he gave what he had received; having received power to give eternal life, he bestows it upon as many as were given him, John 17:2. Thou hast received gifts for men, not for angels; fallen angels were not to be made saints, nor standing angels made gospel ministers, Hebrews 2:5. Not for Jews only, but for all men; whoever will may reap the benefit of these gifts. The apostle tells us what these gifts were (Ephesians 4:11), prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers, the institution of a gospel ministry and the qualification of men for it, both which are to be valued as the gifts of heaven and the fruits of Christ's ascension. Thou hast received gifts in man (so the margin), that is, in the human nature which Christ was pleased to clothe himself with, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God. In him, as Mediator, all fulness dwells, that from his fulness we might receive. To magnify the kindness and love of Christ to us in receiving these gifts for us, the psalmist observes, (1.) The forfeiture we had made of them. He received them for the rebellious also, for those that had been rebellious; so all the children of men had been in their fallen state. Perhaps it is especially meant of the Gentiles, that had been enemies in their minds by wicked works, Colossians 1:21. For them these gifts are received, to them they are given, that they might lay down their arms, that their enmity might be slain, and that they might return to their allegiance. This magnifies the grace of Christ exceedingly that through him rebels are, upon their submission, not only pardoned, but preferred. They have commissions given them under Christ, which some say, in our law, amounts to the reversing of an attainder. Christ came to a rebellious world, not to condemn it, but that through him it might be saved. (2.) The favour designed us in them: He received gifts for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them, that he might set up a church in a rebellious world, in which he would dwell by his word and ordinances, as of old in the sanctuary, that he might set up his throne, and Christ might dwell in the hearts of particular persons that had been rebellious. The gracious intention of Christ's undertaking was to rear up the tabernacle of God among men, that he might dwell with them and they might themselves be living temples to his praise, Ezekiel 37:27.

_ _ IV. The glory of Zion's King is that he is a Saviour and benefactor to all his willing people and a consuming fire to all those that persist in rebellion against him, Psalms 68:19-21. We have here good and evil, life and death, the blessing and the curse, set before us, like that (Mark 16:16), He that believes shall be saved; he that believes not shall be damned.

_ _ 1. Those that take God for their God, and so give up themselves to him to be his people, shall be loaded with his benefits, and to them he will be a God of salvation. If in sincerity we avouch God to be our God, and seek to him as such, (1.) He will continually do us good and furnish us with occasion for praise. Having mentioned the gifts Christ received for us (Psalms 68:18), fitly does he subjoin, in the next words, Blessed be the Lord; for it is owing to the mediation of Christ that we live, and live comfortably, and are daily loaded with benefits. So many, so weighty, are the gifts of God's bounty to us that he may be truly said to load us with them; he pours out blessings till there is no room to receive them, Malachi 3:10. So constant are they, and so unwearied is he in doing us good, that he daily loads us with them, according as the necessity of every day requires. (2.) He will at length be unto us the God of salvation, of everlasting salvation, the salvation of God, which he will show to those that order their conversation aright (Psalms 50:23), the salvation of the soul. He that daily loads us with benefits will not put us off with present things for a portion, but will be the God of our salvation; and what he gives us now he gives as the God of salvation, pursuant to the great design of our salvation. He is our God, and therefore he will be the God of eternal salvation to us; for that only will answer the vast extent of his covenant-relation to us as our God. But has he power to complete this salvation? Yes, certainly; for unto God the Lord belong the issues from death. The keys of hell and death are put into the hand of the Lord Jesus, Revelation 1:18. He, having made an escape from death himself in his resurrection, has both authority and power to rescue those that are his from the dominion of death, by altering the property of it to them when they die and giving them a complete victory over it when they shall rise again; for the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. And to those that shall thus for ever escape death, and shall find such an outlet from it as not to be hurt of the second death, to them surely deliverances from temporal death are mercies indeed and come from God as the God of their salvation. 2 Corinthians 1:10.

_ _ 2. Those that persist in their enmity to him will certainly be ruined (Psalms 68:21): God shall wound the head of his enemies, — of Satan the old serpent (of whom it was by the first promise foretold that the seed of the woman should break his head, Genesis 3:15), — of all the powers of the nations, whether Jews or Gentiles, that oppose him and his kingdom among men (Psalms 110:6, He shall wound the heads over many countries), — of all those, whoever they are, that will not have him to reign over them, for those he accounts his enemies, and they shall be brought forth and slain before him, Luke 19:27. He will wound the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses. Note, Those who go on still in their trespasses, and hate to be reformed, God looks upon as his enemies and will treat them accordingly. In calling the head the hairy scalp perhaps there is an allusion to Absalom, whose bushy hair was his halter. Or it denotes either the most fierce and barbarous of his enemies, who let their hair grow, to make themselves look the more frightful, or the most fine and delicate of his enemies, who are nice about their hair: neither the one nor the other can secure themselves from the fatal wounds which divine justice will give to the heads of those that go on in their sins.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 68:15

The hill — Zion, the seat of God's ark. High hill — Which is not to be understood of external height, but of its spiritual height, or exaltation, in regard of the glorious privileges of God's presence, and worship.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 68:15

(m) The hill of God [is as] the hill of Bashan; an high hill [as] the hill of Bashan.

(m) Zion the Church of God exceeds all worldly things, not in pomp and outward show, but by the inward grace of God, which remains because of his dwelling there.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
of God:

Psalms 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psalms 78:68-69 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. ... And he built his sanctuary like high [palaces], like the earth which he hath established for ever.
Psalms 87:1-2 [[A Psalm [or] Song for the sons of Korah.]] His foundation [is] in the holy mountains. ... The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Isaiah 2:2-3 And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. ... And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

of Bashan:

Deuteronomy 3:10 All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
Micah 7:14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily [in] the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed [in] Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.
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Dt 3:10. Ps 2:6; 78:68; 87:1. Is 2:2. Mi 7:14.

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