Psalm 29:6
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
(6) Those trees that are not snapped off, bending to the storm, and swaying in the wind, seem to bound like wild buffaloes. (Comp. Psalm 114:4.)

Sirion, according to Deuteronomy 3:9 (which see), was the Sidonian name of Hermon. Here the whole of the range of Anti-Libanus.

Unicorn.—See Psalm 22:21, Note.

There is some ambiguity about the suffix, them. It may relate to the mountains instead of the cedars, and some commentators divide the clauses thus: “He maketh them skip; like a calf Lebanon, and Sirion like a young buffalo.” It is not, however, necessary to suppose, with some, that an earthquake accompanies the storm; the apparent movement of the hills beingintroduced to heighten the effect of the violence of the tempest.

29:1-11 Exhortation to give glory to God. - The mighty and honourable of the earth are especially bound to honour and worship him; but, alas, few attempt to worship him in the beauty of holiness. When we come before him as the Redeemer of sinners, in repentance faith, and love, he will accept our defective services, pardon the sin that cleaves to them, and approve of that measure of holiness which the Holy Spirit enables us to exercise. We have here the nature of religious worship; it is giving to the Lord the glory due to his name. We must be holy in all our religious services, devoted to God, and to his will and glory. There is a beauty in holiness, and that puts beauty upon all acts of worship. The psalmist here sets forth God's dominion in the kingdom of nature. In the thunder, and lightning, and storm, we may see and hear his glory. Let our hearts be thereby filled with great, and high, and honourable thoughts of God, in the holy adoring of whom, the power of godliness so much consists. O Lord our God, thou art very great! The power of the lightning equals the terror of the thunder. The fear caused by these effects of the Divine power, should remind us of the mighty power of God, of man's weakness, and of the defenceless and desperate condition of the wicked in the day of judgment. But the effects of the Divine word upon the souls of men, under the power of the Holy Spirit, are far greater than those of thunder storms in the nature world. Thereby the stoutest are made to tremble, the proudest are cast down, the secrets of the heart are brought to light, sinners are converted, the savage, sensual, and unclean, become harmless, gentle, and pure. If we have heard God's voice, and have fled for refuge to the hope set before us, let us remember that children need not fear their Father's voice, when he speaks in anger to his enemies. While those tremble who are without shelter, let those who abide in his appointed refuge bless him for their security, looking forward to the day of judgment without dismay, safe as Noah in the ark.He maketh them also to skip like a calf - That is, the cedars of Lebanon. Compare Psalm 114:4, "The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs." Psalm 68:16, "why leap ye, ye high hills?" The meaning is plain. The lightning tore off the large branches, and uprooted the loftiest trees, so that they seemed to play and dance like calves in their gambols. Nothing could be more strikingly descriptive of "power."

Lebanon and Sirion - Sirion was the name by which Mount Hermon was known among the Sidonians: Deuteronomy 3:9, "Which Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion." It is a part of the great range of Anti-libanus.

Like a young unicorn - On the meaning of the word used here, see the notes at Psalm 22:21. The illustration would be the same if any young wild animal were referred to.

5, 6. The tall and large cedars, especially of Lebanon, are shivered, utterly broken. The waving of the mountain forests before the wind is expressed by the figure of skipping or leaping. He maketh them; the cedars last mentioned; which being broken by the thunder, the parts of them are suddenly and violently hurled about hither and thither.

Sirion; a high mountain beyond Jordan joining to Lebanon; of which see Deu 3:9 4:48. Lebanon and Sirion are here understood, either,

1. Properly; and so they are said to skip or leap, both here and Psalm 114:4, by a poetical hyperbole, very usual both in Scripture and other authors; which is so known, that it is needless to give any instances of it. Or,

2. Metonymically for the trees or people of them, as the wilderness, Psalm 29:8, may seem to be taken; and as the earth, by the same figure, is frequently put for the people which dwell in it.

Unicorn, Heb. reem; of which see See Poole "Numbers 23:22 Psalm 22:21".

He maketh them also to skip like a calf,.... That is, the cedars, the branches being broken off, or they torn up by the roots, and tossed about by the wind; which motion is compared to that of a calf that leaps and skips about;

Lebanon and Sirion, like a young unicorn; that is, these mountains move and skip about through the force of thunder, and the violence of an earthquake attending it; so historians report that mountains have moved from place to place, and they have met and dashed against one another (d). Sirion was a mountain in Judea near to Lebanon, and is the same with Hermon; which was called by the Sidonians Sirion, and by the Amorites Shenir, Deuteronomy 3:9. This may regard the inward motions of the mind, produced by the Gospel of Christ under a divine influence; see Isaiah 35:6.

(d) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 83. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 9. c. 11.

He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and {d} Sirion like a young unicorn.

(d) Called also Hermon.

6. them] Not the cedars, but the mountains generally, to be understood from Lebanon and Sirion in the next line. Cp. Psalm 114:4; Psalm 114:6; Psalm 18:7 ff.

Sirion] The old Sidonian name for Hermon (Deuteronomy 3:9), derived probably from the glistening of the snow on its summit. Lebanon and Sirion are specified as the noblest mountains of Palestine, and also as forming the northern boundary of the land.

unicorn] R.V. wild ox. See note on Psalm 22:21.

Verse 6. - He maketh them also to skip like a calf (comp. Psalm 18:7). As the thunder crashes and rolls and reverberates among the mountains, it seems as though the mountains themselves shook, and were moved from their places. This is expressed with extreme vividness, though no doubt with truly Oriental hyperbole, in the present passage. Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn; rather, like a young wild ox. Lebanon and Sirion, or Hermon (Deuteronomy 3:9), are the two principal mountains of Palestine, Hermon being visible throughout almost the whole extent of the Holy Land, and Lebanon enjoying a commanding position beyond Galilee to the north. The storm which shook these lofty mountain-tracts would indeed be a manifestation of power, Psalm 29:6Now follows the description of the revelation of God's power, which is the ground of the summons, and is to be the subject-matter of their praise. The All-glorious One makes Himself heard in the language (Revelation 10:3.) of the thunder, and reveals Himself in the storm. There are fifteen lines, which naturally arrange themselves into three five-line strophes. The chief matter with the poet, however, is the sevenfold קול ה. Although קול is sometimes used almost as an ejaculatory "Hark!" (Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 52:8), this must not, with Ewald (286, f), be applied to the קול ה of the Psalm before us, the theme of which is the voice of God, who announced Himself from heaven - a voice which moves the world. The dull sounding קול serves not merely to denote the thunder of the storm, but even the thunder of the earthquake, the roar of the tempest, and in general, every low, dull, rumbling sound, by which God makes Himself audible to the world, and more especially from the wrathful side of His doxa. The waters in Psalm 29:3 are not the lower waters. Then the question arises what are they? Were the waters of the Mediterranean intended, they would be more definitely denoted in such a vivid description. It is, however, far more appropriate to the commencement of this description to understand them to mean the mass of water gathered together in the thick, black storm-clouds (vid., Psalm 18:12; Jeremiah 10:13). The rumbling

(Note: The simple rendering of קול by "voice" has been retained in the text of the Psalm, as in the Authorised Version. The word, however, which Dr. Delitzsch uses is Gedrhn, the best English equivalent of which is a "rumbling." - Tr.)

of Jahve is, as the poet himself explains in Psalm 29:3, the thunder produced on high by the אל הכּבוד (cf. מלך הכבוד, Psalm 24:7.), which rolls over the sea of waters floating above the earth in the sky. Psalm 29:4 and Psalm 29:4, just like Psalm 29:3 and Psalm 29:3, are independent substantival clauses. The rumbling of Jahve is, issues forth, or passes by; ב with the abstract article as in Psalm 77:14; Proverbs 24:5 (cf. Proverbs 8:8; Luke 4:32, ἐν ἰσχύΐ Revelation 18:2), is the ב of the distinctive attribute. In Psalm 29:3 the first peals of thunder are heard; in Psalm 29:4 the storm is coming nearer, and the peals become stronger, and now it bursts forth with its full violence: Psalm 29:5 describes this in a general form, and Psalm 29:5 expresses by the fut. consec., as it were inferentially, that which is at present taking place: amidst the rolling of the thunder the descending lightning flashes rive the cedars of Lebanon (as is well-known, the lightning takes the outermost points). The suffix in Psalm 29:6 does not refer proleptically to the mountains mentioned afterwards, but naturally to the cedars (Hengst., Hupf., Hitz.), which bend down before the storm and quickly rise up again. The skipping of Lebanon and Sirion, however, is not to be referred to the fact, that their wooded summits bend down and rise again, but, according to Psalm 114:4, to their being shaken by the crash of the thunder-a feature in the picture which certainly does not rest upon what is actually true in nature, but figuratively describes the apparent quaking of the earth during a heavy thunderstorm. שריון, according to Deuteronomy 3:9, is the Sidonian name of Hermon, and therefore side by side with Lebanon it represents Anti-Lebanon. The word, according to the Masora, has ש sinistrum, and consequently is isriyown, wherefore Hitzig correctly derives it from Arab. srâ, fut. i., to gleam, sparkle, cf. the passage from an Arab poet at Psalm 133:3. The lightning makes these mountains bound (Luther, lecken, i.e., according to his explanation: to spring, skip) like young antelopes. ראם,

(Note: On Arab. r'm vid., Seetzen's Reisen iii. 339 and also iv. 496.)

like βούβαλος, βούβαλις, is a generic name of the antelope, and of the buffalo that roams in herds through the forests beyond the Jordan even at the present day; for there are antelopes that resemble the buffalo and also (except in the formation of the head and the cloven hoofs) those that resemble the horse, the lxx renders: ὡς υἱὸς μονοκερώτων. Does this mean the unicorn Germ. one-horn depicted on Persian and African monuments? Is this unicorn distinct from the one horned antelope? Neither an unicorn nor an one horned antelope have been seen to the present day by any traveller. Both animals, and consequently also their relation to one another, are up to the present time still undefinable from a scientific point of view.

(Note: By ראם Ludolf in opposition to Bochart understands the rhinoceros; but this animal, belonging to the swine tribe, is certainly not meant, or even merely associated with it. Moreover, the rhinoceros Germ. nose-horn is called in Egypt charnin (from Arab. chrn equals qrn), but the unicorn, charnit. "In the year 1862 the French archaeologist, M. Waddington, was with me in Damascus when an antiquary brought me an ancient vessel on which a number of animals were engraved, their names being written on their bellies. Among the well known animals there was also an unicorn, exactly like a zebra or a horse, but with a long horn standing out upon its forehead; on its body was the word Arab. chrnı̂t. M. Waddington wished to have the vessel and I gave it up to him; and he took it with him to Paris. We talked a good deal about this unicorn, and felt obliged to come to the conclusion that the form of the fabulous animal might have become known to the Arabs at the time of the crusades, when the English coat of arms came to Syria." - Wetzstein.)

Each peal of thunder is immediately followed by a flash of lightning; Jahve's thunder cleaveth flames of fire, i.e., forms (as it were λατομεῖ) the fire-matter of the storm-clouds into cloven flames of fire, into lightnings that pass swiftly along; in connection with which it must be remembered that קול ה denotes not merely the thunder as a phenomenon, but at the same time it denotes the omnipotence of God expressing itself therein. The brevity and threefold division of Psalm 29:7 depicts the incessant, zigzag, quivering movement of the lightning (tela trisulca, ignes trisulci, in Ovid). From the northern mountains the storm sweeps on towards the south of Palestine into the Arabian desert, viz., as we are told in Psalm 29:8 (cf. Psalm 29:5, according to the schema of "parallelism by reservation"), the wilderness region of Kadesh (Kadesh Barnea), which, however we may define its position, must certainly have lain near the steep western slope of the mountains of Edom toward the Arabah. Jahve's thunder, viz., the thunderstorm, puts this desert in a state of whirl, inasmuch as it drives the sand (חול) before it in whirlwinds; and among the mountains it, viz., the strong lightning and thundering, makes the hinds to writhe, inasmuch as from fright they bring forth prematurely. both the Hiph. יהיל and the Pil. יחולל are used with a causative meaning (root חו, חי, to move in a circle, to encircle). The poet continues with ויּחשׂף, since he makes one effect of the storm to develope from another, merging as it were out of its chrysalis state. יערות is a poetical plural form; and חשׂף describes the effect of the storm which "shells" the woods, inasmuch as it beats down the branches of the trees, both the tops and the foliage. While Jahve thus reveals Himself from heaven upon the earth in all His irresistible power, בּהיכלו, in His heavenly palace (Psalm 11:4; Psalm 18:7), כּלּו (note how בהיכלו resolves this כלו out of itself), i.e., each of the beings therein, says: כבוד. That which the poet, in Psalm 29:1, has called upon them to do, now takes place. Jahve receives back His glory, which is immanent in the universe, in the thousand-voiced echo of adoration.

Psalm 29:6 Interlinear
Psalm 29:6 Parallel Texts

Psalm 29:6 NIV
Psalm 29:6 NLT
Psalm 29:6 ESV
Psalm 29:6 NASB
Psalm 29:6 KJV

Psalm 29:6 Bible Apps
Psalm 29:6 Parallel
Psalm 29:6 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 29:6 Chinese Bible
Psalm 29:6 French Bible
Psalm 29:6 German Bible

Bible Hub

Psalm 29:5
Top of Page
Top of Page