Psalm 74:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.

King James Bible
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

American Standard Version
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: Thou brakest the heads of the sea-monsters in the waters.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou by thy strength didst make the sea firm: thou didst crush the heads of the dragons in the waters.

English Revised Version
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou didst break the heads of the dragons in the waters.

Psalm 74:13 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The poet now more minutely describes how the enemy has gone on. Since קדשׁ in Psalm 74:3 is the Temple, מועדיך in Psalm 74:4 ought likewise to mean the Temple with reference to the several courts; but the plural would here (cf. Psalm 74:8) be misleading, and is, too, only a various reading. Baer has rightly decided in favour of מועדך;

(Note: The reading מעודיך is received, e.g., by Elias Hutter and Nissel; the Targum translates it, Kimchi follows it in his interpretation, and Abraham of Zante follows it in his paraphrase; it is tolerably widely known, but, according to the lxx and Syriac versions and MSS, it is to be rejected.)

מועד, as in Lamentations 2:6., is the instituted (Numbers 17:1-13 :19 [4]) place of God's intercourse with His congregation (cf. Arab. mı̂‛âd, a rendezvous). What Jeremiah says in Lamentations 2:7 (cf. שׁאג, Jeremiah 2:15) is here more briefly expressed. By אותתם (Psalm 74:4) we must not understand military insignia; the scene of the Temple and the supplanting of the Israelitish national insignia to be found there, by the substitution of other insignia, requires that the word should have the religious reference in which it is used of circumcision and of the Sabbath (Exodus 31:13); such heathen אתות, which were thrust upon the Temple and the congregation of Jahve as henceforth the lawful ones, were those which are set forth in 1 Macc. 1:45-49, and more particularly the so-called abomination of desolation mentioned in v. 54 of the same chapter. With יוּדע (Psalm 74:5) the terrible scene which was at that time taking place before their eyes (Psalm 79:10) is introduced. כּמביא is the subject; it became visible, tangible, noticeable, i.e., it looked, and one experienced it, as if a man caused the axe to enter into the thicket of the wood, i.e., struck into or at it right and left. The plural קדּמּות forces itself into the simile because it is the many heathen warriors who are, as in Jeremiah 46:22., likened to these hewers of wood. Norzi calls the Kametz of בסבך־עץ Kametz chatuph; the combining form would then be a contraction of סבך (Ewald, Olshausen), for the long ā of סבך does not admit of any contraction. According to another view it is to be read bi-sbāch-etz, as in Esther 4:8 kethāb-hadāth with counter-tone Metheg beside the long vowel, as e.g., עץ־הגּן, Genesis 2:16). The poet follows the work of destruction up to the destroying stroke, which is introduced by the ועת (perhaps ועת, Ker ועתּה), which arrests one's attention. In Psalm 74:5 the usual, unbroken quiet is depicted, as is the heavy Cyclopean labour in the Virgilian illi inter sese, etc.; in jahalomûn, Psalm 74:6 (now and then pointed jahlomûn), we hear the stroke of the uplifted axes, which break in pieces the costly carved work of the Temple. The suffix of פּתּוּחיה (the carved works thereof) refers, according to the sense, to מועדך. The lxx, favouring the Maccabaean interpretation, renders: ἐξέκοψαν τάς θύρας αὐτῆς (פּתחיה). This shattering of the panelling is followed in Psalm 74:7 by the burning, first of all, as we may suppose, of this panelling itself so far as it consists of wood. The guaranteed reading here is מקדשׁך, not מקדשׁיך. שׁלּח בּאשׁ signifies to set on fire, immittere igni, differing from שׁלּח אשׁ בּ, to set fire to, immittere ignem. On לארץ חלּלוּ, cf. Lamentations 2:2; Jeremiah 19:13. Hitzig, following the lxx, Targum, and Jerome, derives the exclamation of the enemies נינם from נין: their whole generation (viz., we will root out)! But נין is posterity, descendants; why therefore only the young and not the aged? And why is it an expression of the object and not rather of the action, the object of which would be self-evident? נינם is fut. Kal of ינה, here equals Hiph. הונה, to force, oppress, tyrannize over, and like אנס, to compel by violence, in later Hebrew. נינם (from יינה, like ייפה) is changed in pause into נינם; cf. the future forms in Numbers 21:30; Exodus 34:19, and also in Psalm 118:10-12. Now, after mention has been made of the burning of the Temple framework, מועדי־אל cannot denote the place of the divine manifestation after its divisions (Hengstenberg), still less the festive assemblies (Bttcher), which the enemy could only have burnt up by setting fire to the Temple over their heads, and כל does not at all suit this. The expression apparently has reference to synagogues (and this ought not to be disputed), as Aquila and Symmachus render the word. For there is no room for thinking of the separate services conducted by the prophets in the northern kingdom (2 Kings 4:23), because this kingdom no longer existed at the time this Psalm was written; nor of the בּמות, the burning down of which no pious Israelite would have bewailed; nor of the sacred places memorable from the early history of Israel, which are nowhere called מועדים, and after the founding of the central sanctuary appear only as the seats of false religious rites. The expression points (like בּית ועד, Sota ix. 15) to places of assembly for religious purposes, to houses for prayer and teaching, that is to say, to synagogues - a weighty instance in favour of the Maccabaean origin of the Psalm.

Psalm 74:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

divide. Heb. break

Psalm 66:6 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

Psalm 78:13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

Psalm 106:8,9 Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known...

Psalm 136:13-18 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endures for ever...

Exodus 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night...

Nehemiah 9:11 And you did divide the sea before them, so that they went through the middle of the sea on the dry land...

Isaiah 11:15,16 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river...

brakest

Exodus 14:28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them...

Isaiah 51:9,10 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old...

Ezekiel 29:3 Speak, and say, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt...

dragons. or, whales

Ezekiel 32:2 Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him, You are like a young lion of the nations...

Cross References
Exodus 14:21
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

Psalm 78:13
He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap.

Psalm 148:7
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,

Isaiah 51:9
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon?

Jeremiah 51:34
"Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me; he has crushed me; he has made me an empty vessel; he has swallowed me like a monster; he has filled his stomach with my delicacies; he has rinsed me out.

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