You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; you have scattered your enemies with your strong arm.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Rahab.—See Note, Psalm 87:4. The mention of the sea has carried the poet’s thoughts to the Red Sea and the deliverance from Egypt, which is represented as some huge monster conquered and crushed.Psalm 87:4. The reference is to the exodus of the Hebrew people, when he destroyed the power of Egypt.
As one that is slain - Slain on the field of battle; as a man pierced through with a sword or spear.
Thou hast scattered thine enemies - At the time referred to, in Egypt; and at other times, when the enemies of God and of his people had been discomfited.
With thy strong arm - Margin, as in Hebrew, the arm of thy strength. That is, by his power - the arm being the symbol of power. See the notes at Psalm 77:15. Compare Deuteronomy 5:15; Deuteronomy 7:8, Deuteronomy 7:19, et al.
And the same feelings were evinced by Hezekiah, the pious king of Israel:
For Sheol cannot praise thee;
Death cannot celebrate thee;
They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day;Rahab; Egypt, as Psalm 87:4. As one that is slain; thou didst wound them not slightly, but unto death. See Exodus 14:15. Psalm 87:4 or the Egyptians, and particularly Pharaoh their king; so the Targum explains it,
"Rahab or the proud one, this is Pharaoh the wicked;''
who and his people were broken to pieces by the plagues that were brought upon them, especially when all their firstborn were slain; and he and his host were broke in pieces at the Red sea, and were seen by the Israelites on the shore, all dead men; and this was done as easily by the Lord, as one slain with the sword, as a dead carcass which has no life, power, and strength to defend itself, may be trampled upon, crushed, bruised, and broken to pieces, by a living man. All this may be an emblem of the Lord's breaking in pieces the proud and insolent one Satan, as Rahab signifies; of his breaking his head, destroying his works, and spoiling his principalities and powers; and indeed of his destruction of every proud and haughty sinner, that says, Pharaoh like, who is the Lord, that I should obey him? and of every vain boaster, and self-righteous person, that trusts in his own righteousness, and will not submit to the righteousness of Christ; and particularly of mystical Egypt, the proud beast of Rome, antichrist, who sits in the temple of God as if he was God, showing himself to be so, blaspheming God, his name, his tabernacle, and his saints; who will be broken to shivers as a potter's vessel, when the vials of God's wrath are poured out, and at and by the coming of Christ:
thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm; as the Egyptians were in the Red sea, by the waves of it, and cast upon the shore by them; and as the Amorites were by Moses, and the Canaanites by Joshua; which instances may be here referred unto; see Numbers 10:35 these are further proofs of the power and strength of the Lord, Job 40:9.Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 10. - Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces; or, "thou didst break" once upon a time, i.e. at the Exodus. (For the designation of Egypt under the term "Rahab," i.e. "arrogant," see Job 9:13; Job 26:12; Psalm 87:4; Isaiah 51:9.) As one that is slain; i.e. completely, utterly. Thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm (see Exodus 14:27-31; Exodus 15:6). Isaiah 55:3.
(Note: The Vulgate renders: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo. The second Sunday after Easter takes its name from this rendering.)
God's faithful love towards the house of David, a love faithful to His promises, will he sing without ceasing, and make it known with his mouth, i.e., audibly and publicly (cf. Job 19:16), to the distant posterity. Instead of חסדי, we find here, and also in Lamentations 3:22, חסדי with a not merely slightly closed syllable. The Lamed of לדר ודר is, according to Psalm 103:7; Psalm 145:12, the datival Lamed. With כּי־אמרתּי (lxx, Jerome, contrary to Psalm 89:3, ὅτι εἶπας) the poet bases his resolve upon his conviction. נבנה means not so much to be upheld in building, as to be in the course of continuous building (e.g., Job 22:23; Malachi 3:15, of an increasingly prosperous condition). Loving-kindness is for ever (accusative of duration) in the course of continuous building, viz., upon the unshakeable foundation of the promise of grace, inasmuch as it is fulfilled in accordance therewith. It is a building with a most solid foundation, which will not only not fall into ruins, but, adding one stone of fulfilment upon another, will rise ever higher and higher. שׁמים then stands first as casus absol., and בּהם is, as in Psalm 19:5, a pronoun having a backward reference to it. In the heavens, which are exalted above the rise and fall of things here below, God establishes His faithfulness, so that it stands fast as the sun above the earth, although the condition of things here below seems sometimes to contradict it (cf. Psalm 119:89). Now follow in Psalm 89:4-5 the direct words of God, the sum of the promises given to David and to his seed in 2 Samuel 7, at which the poet arrives more naturally in Psalm 89:20. Here they are strikingly devoid of connection. It is the special substance of the promises that is associated in thought with the "loving-kindness" and "truth" of Psalm 89:3, which is expanded as it were appositionally therein. Hence also אכין and תּכין, וּבניתי and יבּנה correspond to one another. David's seed, by virtue of divine faithfulness, has an eternally sure existence; Jahve builds up David's throne "into generation and generation," inasmuch as He causes it to rise ever fresh and vigorous, never as that which is growing old and feeble.
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