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God settles in their own homes those who have been deserted;[a]
he frees prisoners and grants them prosperity.[b]
But sinful rebels live in the desert.[c]
O God, when you lead your people into battle,[d]
when you march through the wastelands,[e] (Selah)
the earth shakes.
Yes, the heavens pour down rain
before God, the God of Sinai,[f]
before God, the God of Israel.[g]

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 68:6 tn Heb “God causes the solitary ones to dwell in a house.” The participle suggests this is what God typically does.
  2. Psalm 68:6 tn Heb “he brings out prisoners into prosperity.” Another option is to translate, “he brings out prisoners with singing” (cf. NIV). The participle suggests this is what God typically does.
  3. Psalm 68:6 tn Or “in a parched [land].”sn God delivers the downtrodden and oppressed, but sinful rebels who oppose his reign are treated appropriately.
  4. Psalm 68:7 tn Heb “when you go out before your people.” The Hebrew idiom “go out before” is used here in a militaristic sense of leading troops into battle (see Judg 4:14; 9:39; 2 Sam 5:24).
  5. Psalm 68:7 sn When you march through the wastelands. Some interpreters think that v. 7 alludes to Israel’s exodus from Egypt and its subsequent travels in the wilderness. Another option is that v. 7, like v. 8, echoes Judg 5:4, which describes how the God of Sinai marched across the plains of Edom to do battle with Sisera and his Canaanite army.
  6. Psalm 68:8 tn Heb “this one of Sinai.” The phrase is a divine title, perhaps indicating that the Lord rules from Sinai.
  7. Psalm 68:8 sn The language of vv. 7-8 is reminiscent of Judg 5:4-5, which tells how the God of Sinai came in the storm and annihilated the Canaanite forces led by Sisera. The presence of allusion does not mean, however, that this is a purely historical reference. The psalmist is describing God’s typical appearance as a warrior in terms of his prior self-revelation as ancient events are reactualized in the psalmist’s experience. (For a similar literary technique, see Hab 3.)

God sets the lonely(A) in families,[a](B)
    he leads out the prisoners(C) with singing;
    but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.(D)

When you, God, went out(E) before your people,
    when you marched through the wilderness,[b](F)
the earth shook,(G) the heavens poured down rain,(H)
    before God, the One of Sinai,(I)
    before God, the God of Israel.(J)

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 68:6 Or the desolate in a homeland
  2. Psalm 68:7 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 19 and 32.

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