New English Translation
6 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]
7 O God, when you lead your people into battle,[d]
when you march through the wastelands,[e] (Selah)
8 the earth shakes.
Yes, the heavens pour down rain
before God, the God of Sinai,[f]
before God, the God of Israel.[g]
- Psalm 68:6 tn Heb “God causes the solitary ones to dwell in a house.” The participle suggests this is what God typically does.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Psalm 68:8 tn Heb “this one of Sinai.” The phrase is a divine title, perhaps indicating that the Lord rules from Sinai.
- 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 The presence of allusion does not mean, however, that this is a purely historical reference.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.)