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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 66:12

 

 

You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads - Thou hast permitted us to fall under the dominion of our enemies; who have treated us as broken infantry are when the cavalry dashes among their disordered ranks, treading all under the horses' feet.

We went through fire and through water - Through afflictions of the most torturing and overwhelming nature. To represent such, the metaphors of fire and water are often used in Scripture. The old Psalter considers these trials as a proof of the uprightness of those who were tried - We passid thrugh fire and watir: that is, thurgh wa and wele, as a man that leves noght his waye for hete na for kald, for dry na for wette; and thou out lede us fra tribulacyon intill koling (cooling) that is, in till endles riste, that we hope to hafe after this travell.

Wealthy place - Well watered place, to wit, the land of Judea.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-66.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads - This refers evidently to some national subjection or conquest - most probably to their having been subdued by the Babylonians. Professor Alexander renders this, “Thou hast caused men to ride at our head,” as if leading them forth as captives in war. The most probable meaning, however, is that they had been subdued, as if on a field of battle, and as if their conquerors had ridden over them when prostrate on the ground. Compare the notes at Psalm 44:5, and the notes at Isaiah 51:23.

We went through fire and through water - This is designed to represent the nature of their trials. It was as if they had been made to pass through burning flames and raging floods. Compare the notes at Isaiah 43:2. Instead of passing through the seas and rivers when the waters had been turned back, and when a dry and safe path was made for them, as was the ease with their fathers Psalm 66:6, they had been compelled to breast the flood itself; and yet, notwithstanding this, God had brought them into a place of safety. In either way, by parting the floods, or by conducting his people through them, as shall seem best pleasing to him, God can conduct his people safely, and deliver them from danger. The power, the protecting care, the love, and the faithfulness of God are shown with equal clearness whether he divides the flood and causes his people to march through as on dry land, or whether he suffers the flood to rage and heave around them while he conducts his chosen people safely through.

But there broughtest us out into a wealthy place - Margin, moist. Professor Alexander, overfIow, abundance. Vulgate, info a place of refreshment - refrigerium. The Septuagint, εἰς ἀναψυχήν eis anapsuchēn Luther, Thou hast led us forth and quickened us. DeWette, zum Ueberflusse- “to overflowing, or abundance.” The Hebrew word - רויה revâyâh - means properly “abundant drink,” “abundance.” It occurs only here and in Psalm 23:5, where it is rendered “runneth over.” See the notes at that place. The proper idea here is, that he had brought them into a land where there was plenty of water - as emblematic of abundance in general. He had led them to a place where there were ample rivers, springs, and streams, producing fertility and abundance. This would be the language of the people after their return from exile, and when they were permitted again to re-visit their native land - a land always characterized as a land of plenty. See Deuteronomy 8:7; compare Exodus 3:8; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 13:27.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-66.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 66:12

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads.

The rage of oppression

God hath another intent than man hath, even in man’s work. The Chaldeans steal Job’s wealth to enrich themselves; the devil afflicts his body in his hatred to mankind; God suffers all this for the trial of his patience. Man for covetousness, the devil for malice, God for probation of the afflicted’s constancy, and advancing His own glory. Here are cruel Nimrods riding over innocent heads, as they would over fallow lands; and dangerous passages through fire and water; but the storm is soon ended, or rather the passengers are landed: “Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.” There is desolation and consolation in one verse: a deep dejection, as laid under the feet of beasts; a happy deliverance, “brought out into a wealthy place.” In both these strains God hath His stroke; He is a principal in this concert. He is brought in for an actor and for an author; an actor in the persecution, an author in the deliverance. “Thou causest,” etc.; “Thou broughtest,” etc. In the one He is a causing worker, in the other a soleworking cause. In the one He is joined with company, in the other He works alone. He hath a finger in the former, His whole hand in the latter. Hereupon some wicked libertine may offer to rub his filthiness upon God’s purity, and to plead an authentical derivation of all his villainy against the saints from the Lord’s warrant: “He caused it.” We answer, to the justification of truth itself, that God doth ordain and order every persecution that striketh His children, without any allowance to the instrument that gives the blow. God works in the same action with others, not after the same manner. And whom doth the world think to ride over but saints? (Psalms 44:22). Who should be appointed to the slaughter but sheep? The wolf will not prey on the fox, he is too crafty; nor on the elephant, he is too mighty; nor on a dog, he is too equal; but on the silly lamb, that can neither run to escape nor fight to conquer. Those whom nature or art, strength or sleight, have made inexposable to easy ruin, may pass unmolested. The wicked will not grapple upon equal terms; they must have either local or ceremonial advantage. But the godly are weak and poor, and it is not hard to prey upon prostrate fortunes. A low hedge is soon trodden down; and over a wretch dejected on the base earth an insulting enemy may easily stride. But what if they ride over our heads, and wound our flesh, let them not wound our patience (Hebrews 12:1). The agents are men: “Thou hast caused men to ride,” etc. Man is a sociable-living creature, and should converse with man in love and tranquillity. Man should be a supporter of man; is he become an overthrower? He should help and keep him up; doth he ride over him and tread him under foot? O apostasy, not only from religion, but even from humanity! Lions fight not with lions; serpents spend not their venom on serpents; but man is the main suborner of mischief to his own kind. Our comfort is, that though all these, whether persecutors of our faith or oppressors of our life, ride over our particular heads, yet we have all one Head, whom they cannot touch. Indeed, this Head doth not only take their blows as meant at Him, but He even suffers with us (Acts 9:4). Saul strikes on earth; Christ Jesus suffers in heaven. Let but the toe ache, and the head manifests by the countenance a sensible grief. The body of the Church cannot suffer without the sense of our blessed Head. Temptations, persecutions, oppressions, crosses, infamies, bondage, death, are but the way wherein our blessed Saviour went before us; and many saints followed Him. Behold them with the eyes of faith, now mounted above the clouds, trampling all the vanities of this world under their glorified feet; standing on the battlements of heaven, and wafting us to them with the hands of encouragement. They bid us fight, and we shall conquer; suffer, and we shall reign. (T. Adams.)

We went through fire and through water; but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

The victory of patience

First, “We went.” They went, so conveniently as they might, and so conscionably as they durst, from the hands of their persecutors, Secondly, the hard exigents they were driven to, when to pass through fire and water was but a less evil compared with that they eschewed.

1. From the former, observe, That it may be lawful in time of persecution to fly. This was granted, yea, in some respects, enjoined by Christ. But must be warily understood; and the rule, in a word, may be this: When our suffering may stand the Church of God in better stead than our flying, we must then lose our lives, to save God’s honour and our own souls. So that suffering for Jesus is a thing to which He promised an ample reward.

2. Prayer. This was the apostles’ refuge in the time of affliction (Acts 2:24). Bernard, in a fiction, doth excellently express this necessity, enforce this duty. Whilst these two opposites, Fear and Hope, stand debating, the Christian soldier resolves to appeal to the direction of sacred Wisdom, who was chief councillor to the captain of the castle, Justice. Hear Wisdom speak: Dost thou know, saith she, that the God whom we serve is able to deliver us? Is he not the Lord of Hosts, even the Lord mighty in battle? We will despatch a messenger to Him with information of our necessity. Fear replies, What messenger? Darkness is on the face of the world; our walls are begirt with an armed troop, which are not only strong as lions, but also watchful as dragons. What messenger can either escape through such a host, or find the way into so remote a country? Wisdom calls for Hope, and chargeth her with all speed to despatch away her old messenger. Hope calls to Prayer, and says, Lo here a messenger speedy, ready, trusty, knowing the way. Ready, you cannot sooner call her than she comes; speedy, she flies faster than eagles, as fast as angels; trusty, what embassage soever you put in her tongue she delivers with faithful secrecy. She knows the way to the court of Mercy, and she will never faint till she come to the chamber of the royal presence. Prayer hath her message, away she flies, borne on the sure and swift wings of faith and zeal; Wisdom having given her a charge, and Hope a blessing. She knocks at the gate, Christ hears her knock, opens the gate, and promiseth her infallible comfort and redress. Back returns Prayer, laden with the news of consolation. She hath a promise, and she delivers it into the hand of Faith: that were our enemies more innumerable than the locusts in Egypt, and more strong than the giants, the sons of Anak, yet Power and Mercy shall fight for us, and we shall be delivered. Pass we, then, through fire and water, through all dangers and difficulties, yet we have a messenger, holy, happy, accessible, acceptable to God, that never comes back without comfort--Prayer. (T. Adams.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 66:12". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-66.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads,.... Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of the kings and nations of the world ruling over Israel; and may very well design the Heathen powers and antichristian states tyrannizing over Christian people. The word in the original text is singular, "a man"F3אנוש "hominem", Pagninus, Montanus. , a frail mortal man; and may be understood of the man of sin and son of perdition; who rides upon the heads of men, exalts himself above all that is called God, and has exercised dominion over the saints in a most lawless and tyrannical manner. Vitringa, on Isaiah 43:2 interprets it of Antiochus Epiphanes, who was a type of antichrist, and supposes the following clause to refer to the persecution of the church in his time. The Targum renders it, "a lord of rebuke"; that is, either one worthy of rebuke, as antichrist is; or one that gives rebukes, delivers out anathemas and excommunications, as he does: though some translate the words of the Targum, "lords of usury", or "usurers"; a title not unfit for the creatures of antichrist;

we went through fire and through water; through afflictions, compared to fire and water; through fiery trials and overwhelming providences, though not destroyed by them, because the Lord was with them; see Isaiah 43:2; therefore they are said to go through them, not to abide in them; nor to sink under them, and perish by them: they went cheerfully through them for Christ's sake, even the greatest hardships and difficulties, which this phrase may be expressive of. It may have a particular reference to the sufferings of the saints in Gospel times; to the burning of the martyrs with fire and faggot, who, like Elijah, went up to heaven in a fiery chariot; and to the flood of waters cast out after the woman, the church, by the dragon; see Revelation 1:15;

but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place; the Targum is, into largeness; or into a large place; see Psalm 18:19. This may intend either the state of the church upon the Reformation, or rather as it will be in the latter day glory; when there will be a large spread of the Gospel, and of the interest of Christ, everywhere; when the church will be enlarged with converts, and the members of it with the gifts and graces of the Spirit; and which will be a state of great liberty and freedom in the worship of God, both inward and outward. The Septuagint version renders it, "into refreshment": so the Tigurine version, and Piscator; as those times will be times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, which will be everywhere among his people, in his word and ordinances, and to a great degree; see Acts 3:19. The Arabic version, "unto rest"; from adversity, from persecution; for, after this state takes place, there will be no more persecution; no more fines, imprisonment, racks, and torturing deaths, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel. The word used signifies a well watered placeF4לרויה "ad irrignam", Pagninus, Montanus. or land; such as was the land of Canaan, Deuteronomy 8:7; and such will be the state of the church in the latter day: the Spirit will be poured down like floods of water upon the dry ground; the doctrines of the Gospel will drop as the rain, and as showers upon the grass: the ordinances of it will be as green pastures beside the still waters; and every believer will be as a watered garden, whose springs fail not; it will be a time of great plenty and prosperity in spiritual things. Ainsworth renders it, "to an abundant place"; so Gejerus: a place abounding with all good things: a "wealthy" one, as we translate it. And even in a literal sense this will be the wealthy time of the church; when kings shall come into it, and bring their riches and honour there, and use them for the good of it, Isaiah 49:23; and then also will the saints be enriched with every gift, and be rich in grace and in all good works.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-66.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

men to ride over our heads — made us to pass.

through fire, etc. — figures describing prostration and critical dangers (compare Isaiah 43:2; Ezekiel 36:12).

wealthy — literally, “overflowing,” or, “irrigated,” and hence fertile.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-66.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

To ride — To use us like slaves.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-66.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 66:12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy [place].

Ver. 12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads] Subjected us to the villanies and outrages of the basest persons, who have used us more like beasts than men.

We went through fire and through water] That is, through variety of sharpest afflictions, noted out by this proverbial passage; fire and water are merciless elements, Aelius Pertinax fortunae pila pervulgate dicebatur, quod variis casibus exercitus fuit. It is the true Christian’s comfort that nothing befalleth him but by a sweet providence; and that God goeth along with him into both fire and water, Isaiah 43:2, to see that he take no hurt by either.

But thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place] Heb. moist, that is, into the air, saith Aben Ezra, opposed to fire and water, where we might draw breath, and live comfortably. In locum irriguum, in refrigerium. It is but winking, said that martyr at the stake, and we shall be in heaven immediately. The Arabic hath it, Eduxisti nos ad requiem. Confer Acts 3:19.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-66.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Men; weak, and mortal, and miserable men, as the word signifies, no better nor stronger than we, if thou hadst not given them power over us.

To ride over our heads; to ride upon our shoulders. By thy permission they have used us like slaves, yea, like beasts, to carry their persons or burdens. Compare Isaiah 51:23.

Through fire and through water, i.e. through various and dangerous trials and calamities. See Psalms 32:6 69:2 Ezekiel 15:7 30:8.

Into a wealthy place, Heb. into a moist or well-watered place; such as Canaan was, both in a proper sense and figuratively, as being replenished with Divine graces and blessings.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-66.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads—Rabbi Schwarz, of Jerusalem, thinks (Palest., p. 422) this an allusion to the method of transporting travellers over the wadies in the rainy seasons, when the streams overflow their banks. “When they begin to grow a little shallow, and the travellers are tired of waiting, a set of tall and strongly built Bedouins make their appearance, and, as it is their business to transport men and baggage across the stream, they undress themselves completely, take the travellerwho embraces their head quite firmlyon their shoulders, and wade through, whilst the water often stands up to their breast, and place their burden safely on the other shore.” The service is alluded to as quite servile and humiliating.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-66.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

hast caused = didst cause.

men. Hebrew. "enosh. App-14.

our heads = us. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part).

heads. So some codices, with three early printed editions, Septuagint, and Vulgate; other codices read "head".

wealthy place. Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulg, read "freedom". Compare Psalms 18:19.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-66.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) Ride over our heads.—For the figure comp. Isaiah 51:23.

We went through fire and water.—A figure of extreme danger. (Comp. Isaiah 43:2.)

A wealthy place.—The LXX. and Vulg., “to refreshment,” which is certainly more in keeping with the figures employed, and may perhaps be got out of the root-idea of the word, “overflow.” But a slight change gives the frequent figure “a broad place.”


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-66.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
caused
129:1-3; Isaiah 51:23
through
Isaiah 43:1,2; Acts 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:3,4
but thou
33:19; 40:2,3; Job 36:16; Luke 16:25; James 5:11; Revelation 7:14-17
wealthy
Heb. moist.
107:35-37; Isaiah 35:6,7

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 66:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-66.html.

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