Psalm 124:4
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
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(4) Waters.—The sudden transition in the imagery from the earthquake to the flood is characteristic of Hebrew poetry. (For the flood, see Psalm 18:4; Psalm 18:16; Psalm 69:14; Psalm 144:7.)

Stream.—The torrent swollen with the winter rain. (Comp. Isaiah 8:7-8.)

124:1-5 God suffers the enemies of his people sometimes to prevail very far against them, that his power may be seen the more in their deliverance. Happy the people whose God is Jehovah, a God all-sufficient. Besides applying this to any particular deliverance wrought in our days and the ancient times, we should have in our thoughts the great work of redemption by Jesus Christ, by which believers were rescued from Satan.Then the waters had overwhelmed us - Our destruction would have been as if the waves of the ocean had overwhelmed us.

The stream had gone over our soul - The torrent would have swept us away. Compare Psalm 18:4, Psalm 18:16.

4, 5. (Compare Ps 18:4, 16). No text from Poole on this verse. Then the waters had overwhelmed us,.... People, comparable to waters for their multitude, Strength, force, and impetuosity; which bear down all before them, and against which there is no standing; which, like the waters of the flood, overflow and destroy all they pass over. These are the floods of ungodly men, which are very destructive and terrible; see Revelation 17:15; together with all those reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, which come along with them; which the presence of God only can bear up his people under, and carry them through, Sol 8:7;

the stream had gone over our soul; and so deprived them of life; the whole force of the enemy; which, like a stream, flows in with great strength and rapidity, when a breach is made and spreads itself, Arama interprets it of the stream of the Egyptians, and restrains it to them, their armies and forces; but it rather designs others, and the enemies of God's people in general, which threaten their ruin, even their very souls and lives: it may be applied to the stream of corruptions, the flood of temptation and flow of persecutions, such as the flood the dragon cast out of his mouth after the woman; which, were it not for divine grace and assistance, would destroy the saints, who have no might against this great force, 2 Chronicles 20:12.

Then the {c} waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

(c) He uses proper similitudes to express the great danger that the Church was in, and out of which God miraculously delivered them.

4. For the figure cp. Psalm 18:16; Psalm 69:1-2; Psalm 69:15; Isaiah 8:7-8; Lamentations 3:54.

the stream] The torrent, suddenly swollen by a storm. Cp. Jdg 5:21.

had gone over our soul] Overwhelmed us and put an end to our existence.Verse 4. - Then the waters had overwhelmed us. A sudden and startling change of metaphor. In the quick transition of Oriental thought, the fire becomes a flood - an irresistible torrent-stream, carrying all before it (comp. Psalm 18:4; Psalm 144:7). The stream had gone over our soul; i.e. "had mounted up over our heads, and stifled our breath of life." The destinies of all men, and in particular of the church, are in the hand of the King who sits enthroned in the unapproachable glory of the heavens and rules over all things, and of the Judge who decides all things. Up to Him the poet raises his eyes, and to Him the church, together with which he may call Him "Jahve our God," just as the eyes of servants are directed towards the hand of their lord, the eyes of a maid towards the hand of her mistress; for this hand regulates the whole house, and they wait upon their winks and signs with most eager attention. Those of Israel are Jahve's servants, Israel the church is Jahve's maid. In His hand lies its future. At length He will take compassion on His own. Therefore its longing gaze goes forth towards Him, without being wearied, until He shall graciously turn its distress. With reference to the i of היּשׁבי, vid., on Psalm 113:1-9, Psalm 114:1-8. אדוניהם is their common lord; for since in the antitype the sovereign Lord is meant, it will be conceived of as plur. excellentiae, just as in general it occurs only rarely (Genesis 19:2, Genesis 19:18; Jeremiah 27:4) as an actual plural.
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