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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 90:2

 

 

Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Before the mountains were brought forth - The mountains and hills appear to have been everlasting; but as they were brought forth out of the womb of eternity, there was a time when they were not: but Thou hast been ab aeternitate a parte ante, ad aeternitatem a parte post; fram the eternity that is past, before time began; to the eternity that is after, when time shall have an end. This is the highest description of the eternity of God to which human language can reach.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-90.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Before the mountains were brought forth - Before the earth brought forth or produced the mountains. In the description of the creation it would be natural to represent the mountains as the first objects that appeared, as emerging from the waters; and, therefore, as the “first” or “most ancient” of created objects. The phrase, therefore, is equivalent to saying, Before the earth was created. The literal meaning of the expression, “were brought forth,” is, in the Hebrew, “were born.” The mountains are mentioned as the most ancient things in creation, in Deuteronomy 33:15. Compare Genesis 49:26; Habakkuk 3:6.

Or ever thou hadst formed - literally, “hadst brought forth.” Compare Job 39:1.

The earth and the world - The word “earth” here is used to denote the world as distinguished either from heaven Genesis 1:1, or from the sea Genesis 1:10. The term “world” in the original is commonly employed to denote the earth considered as “inhabited,” or as capable of being inhabited - a dwelling place for living beings.

Even from everlasting to everlasting - From duration stretching backward without limit to duration stretching forward without limit; that is, from eternal ages to eternal ages; or, forever.

Thou art God - Or, “Thou, O God.” The idea is, that he was always, and ever will be, God: the God; the true God; the only God; the unchangeable God. At any period in the past, during the existence of the earth, or the heavens, or before either was formed, he existed, with all the attributes essential to Deity; at any period in the future - during the existence of the earth and the heavens, or beyond - far as the mind can reach into the future, and even beyond that - he will still exist unchanged, with all the attributes of Deity. The creation of the universe made no change in him; its destruction would not vary the mode of his existence, or make him in any respect a different being. There could not be a more absolute and unambiguous declaration, as there could not be one more sublime, of the eternity of God. The mind cannot take in a grander thought than that there is one eternal and immutable Being.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-90.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 90:2

Even from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God.

The eternity o God

I. In what respects God is eternal.

1. Without beginning.

2. Without end.

3. Without succession or change.

Of a creature it may be said, he was, or he is, or he shall be. As it may be said of the flame of a candle, it is flame, but it is not the same individual flame as was before, nor is it the same that will be presently after; there is a continual dissolution of it into air, and a continual supply for the generation of more; while it continues it may be said there is a flame, yet not entirely one, but in a succession of parts: so of a man it may be said, he is in a succession of parts; but he is not the same that he was, and will not be the same that he is. But God is the same without any succession of parts, and of time; of Him it may be said, He is; He is no more now than He was, and He shall be no more hereafter than He is.

II. God is eternal, and must needs be so.

1. This is evident by the name God gives Himself (Exodus 3:14). The eternity of God is opposed to the volubility of time, which is extended into past, present, and to come. Our time is but a small drop, as sand to all the atoms and small particles of which the world is made; but God is an unbounded sea of Being,--“I am that I am,” i.e. an infinite life.

2. God hath life in Himself (John 5:26). He hath life by His essence, not by participation. He is a sun to give light and life to all creatures, but receives not light, or life from anything, and therefore He hath an unlimited life; not a drop of life, but a fountain; not a spark of a limited life, but a life transcending all bounds. He hath life in Himself; all creatures have their life in Him, and from Him. He that hath life in himself doth necessarily exist, and could never be made to exist, for then he had not life in himself, but in that which made him to exist, and gave him life. What doth necessarily exist, therefore, exists from eternity; what hath being of itself could never be produced in time, could not want being one moment, because it hath being from its essence, without influence of any efficient cause.

3. If God were not eternal, He were not--

III. Eternity is only proper to God, and not communicable (1 Timothy 6:16). All other things receive their being from Him, and can be deprived of their being by Him. All things depend on Him, He of none. All other things are like clothes, which would consume if God preserved them not. Whatsoever is not God, is temporary; whatsoever is eternal, is God.

IV. Uses--

1. Of information.

2. Of comfort.

3. For exhortation.

The eternity of God

I. Explication. Eternity is a duration without bounds or limits; now there are two limits of duration, beginning and ending; that which hath always been, is without beginning; that which always shall be, is without ending. But eternity, absolutely taken, comprehends both these, and signifies an infinite duration, which had no beginning, nor shall have any end: so that when we say God is eternal, we mean that He always was, and shall be for ever; that He had no beginning of life, nor shall have any end of days; but that He is “from everlasting to everlasting.”

II. Proof.

1. From the dictates of natural reason. This attribute of God is of all others least disputed among the philosophers; all agree that God is eternal, and are agreed what eternity is; viz. a boundless duration; and however they did attribute a beginning to their heroes and demons, whence come the genealogies of their gods, yet the Supreme God they looked upon as without beginning; and it is a good evidence that this perfection doth clearly belong to God, that Epicurus, who had the lowest and meanest conceptions of God, yet is forced to attribute this to Him: Tully (do Nat. Deor. lib. I) saith to the Epicureans, “Where, then, is your happy and eternal Being, by which two epithets you express God?” And Lucretius gives this account of the Divine nature, “It is absolutely necessary to the nature of the gods to pass an eternity in profound peace and quiet.”

2. From Scripture and Divine revelation. St. Peter’s conversion of the words, “One day is as a thousand years,” etc., only signifies this, that the longest duration of time is so inconsiderable to God, that it is as the shortest; that is, bears no proportion to the eternity of God. But directly, the Scripture frequently mentions this attribute (Genesis 21:33; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15); and this, as it is attributed to Him in respect of His being, so in respect of all His other perfections (Psalms 103:17; Romans 1:20; 1 Timothy 1:17; Galatians 1:5).

III. Doctrinal corollaries.

1. From the eternity of God, we may infer, that He is of Himself. That which always is can have nothing before it to be a cause of its being.

2. We may infer the necessity of His being. It is necessary everything should be, when it is; now, that which is always is absolutely necessary, because always so.

3. The immutability of the Divine nature; for being always, He is necessarily; and being necessarily, He cannot but be what He is; a change of His being is as impossible as a cessation.

IV. Practical inferences. The consideration of God’s eternity may serve--

1. For the support of our faith. There are two attributes which are the proper objects of our faith and confidence--God’s goodness, and His power; both these are eternal.

2. For the encouragement of our obedience. We serve the God who can give us an everlasting reward.

3. For the terror of wicked men. (J. Tillotson.)

The eternity of God

“Time and space are not God; but creations of God: with Him it is universal here; so it is an everlasting how.” (T. Carlyle.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 90:2". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-90.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Before the mountains were brought forth,.... Or "were born"F2ילדו "nascerentur", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Michaelis; so Ainsworth; "geniti essent", Piscator, Gejerus. , and came forth out of the womb and bowels of the earth, and were made to rise and stand up at the command of God, as they did when he first created the earth; and are mentioned not only because of their firmness and stability, but their antiquity: hence we read of the ancient mountains and everlasting hills, Genesis 49:26, for they were before the flood, and as soon as the earth was; or otherwise the eternity of God would not be so fully expressed by this phrase as it is here, and elsewhere the eternity of Christ, Proverbs 8:25, or "ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world"; the whole terraqueous globe, and all the inhabitants of it; so the Targum; or "before the earth brought forth; or thou causedst it to bring forth"F3ותחולל ארץ "antequam parturiret terra", Syr. "aut peperisses terram", Piscator, Amama. its herbs, plants, and trees, as on the third day:

even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God; and so are his love, grace, and mercy towards his people, and his covenant with them; and this is as true of Jehovah the Son as of the Father, whose eternity is described in the same manner as his; see Proverbs 8:22, and may be concluded from his name, the everlasting Father; from his having the same nature and perfections with his Father; from his concern in eternal election, in the everlasting covenant of grace, and in the creation of all things; and his being the eternal and unchangeable I AM, yesterday, today, and for ever, is matter of comfort to his people.


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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 90:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-90.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Before the c mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God.

(c) You have chosen us to be your people before the foundations of the world were laid.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-90.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

brought forth [and] formed — both express the idea of production by birth.


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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 90:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-90.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou — Thou hadst thy power, and all thy perfections, from all eternity.


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 90:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-90.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2Before the mountains were brought forth. Moses designs to set forth some high and hidden mystery, and yet he seems to speak feebly, and, as it were, in a puerile manner. For who does not know that God existed before the world? This we grant is a truth which all men admit; but we will scarcely find one in a hundred who is thoroughly persuaded that God remains unchangeably the same. God is here contrasted with created beings, who, as all know, are subject to continual changes, so that there is nothing stable under heaven. As, in a particular manner, nothing is fuller of vicissitude than human life, that men may not judge of the nature of God by their own fluctuating condition, he is here placed in a state of settled and undisturbed tranquillity. Thus the everlastingness of which Moses speaks is to be referred not only to the essence of God, but also to his providence, by which he governs the world. Although he subjects the world to many alterations, he remains unmoved; and that not only in regard to himself, but also in regard to the faithful, who find from experience, that instead of being wavering, he is steadfast in his power, truth, righteousness, and goodness, even as he has been from the beginning. This eternal and unchangeable steadfastness of God could not be perceived prior to the creation of the world, since there were as yet no eyes to be witnesses of it. But it may be gathered a posteriori; for while all things are subject to revolution and incessant vicissitude, his nature continues always the same. There may be also here a contrast between him and all the false gods of the heathen, who have, by little and little, crept into the world in such vast numbers, through the error and folly of men. But I have already shown the object which Moses has in view, which is, that we mistake if we measure God by our own understanding; and that we must mount above the earth, yea, even above heaven itself, whenever we think upon him.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-90.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God.

Ver. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth] And they were made at the creation, not cast up by the flood, as some have held. Moses first celebrateth God’s eternity, and then setteth forth man’s mortality; that the one being set over against the other, as Solomon speaketh in another case, Ecclesiastes 7:14, God may be glorified, and man comforted, which is the main end of the Holy Scriptures, Romans 15:4, and far beyond those consolatiunculae Philosophicae.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-90.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The mountains; which he mentions as the most fixed and stable part of the earth. Or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, i.e. from eternity; which is frequently described in this manner, as Proverbs 8:25,26 Joh 17:24 Ephesians 1:4, because there was nothing before the creation of the world but eternity. And thus the words here following do explain it. And this eternity of God is here mentioned, partly that men by the contemplation thereof might be wrought to a deeper sense of their own frailty and nothingness, which is the foundation of humility and of all true piety, and to a greater reverence and admiration of the Divine Majesty; and partly for the comfort of God’s people, who notwithstanding all their present miseries have a sure and everlasting refuge and portion. Thou art God; or, thou art the strong God. Thou hast thy power and all thy perfections, not by degrees, as men have theirs, but from all eternity. Or, thou art or wast, O God.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-90.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. Mountains were brought forth—Or, born. A poetic figure in beautiful harmony with the teachings of geological science. The earth and the [terraqueous] world—The dry land and the globe, for ארצ, (erets,) must here be understood of dry land as distinguished from the ocean. The fundamental passage is Genesis 1:10. The description forms an ascending climax as to the age of the oldest things known mountains, dry land, world, or globe. Having reached the date of creation, all beyond is “from eternity to eternity.”

Thou art God—Thou alone art God, the Being of absolute power, as the name אל, el, denotes. On the absolute power and eternity of this Being hangs the existence of frail man.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-90.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 90:2. Before the mountains — The most fixed and stable parts of the earth; were brought forth — That is, arose out of the waters; or ever thou hadst formed the earth, &c. — That is, from eternity, which is frequently described in this manner; even from everlasting thou art God — Thou hadst thy power and thy perfections from all eternity. And this eternity of God is here mentioned for two reasons: 1st, That men, by the contemplation thereof, might be brought to a deeper sense of their own frailty, which is the foundation of humility and of all true piety; and to a greater reverence for, and admiration of, the Divine Majesty. And, 2d, For the comfort of God’s people, who, notwithstanding all their present miseries, have a sure and everlasting refuge and portion in him.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-90.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Or. = Ere. Positive, not comparative. Anglo-Saxon aer, from which we have our modern "ere"; found formerly as "er", "ear", and "yer". In Authorized Version, 1611, Numbers 11:33 read "yer it was chewed".

the world = the habitable world. Hebrew. tebel.

art: or wast.

GOD. Hebrew El. App-4.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-90.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting thou (art) God. As man's weakness is connected with his mortality, so God's omnipotence follows necessarily from His eternity. "The mountains," by their majestic height and unshaken stability, give the impression of antiquity and unchangeableness. Compare Genesis 49:26, "the everlasting hills;" Deuteronomy 33:15; Habakkuk 3:6. "The earth" is this globe below, in contrast to the heavens above. "The world" [ teebeel (Hebrew #8398)] is the habitable earth, the fruit-bearing earth, as contrasted with the sea (Psalms 24:1, note). The earth was created on the second day; the habitable earth or 'dry land' [the prose Hebrew term, yabaashaah (Hebrew #3004)] on the third day (Genesis 1:6-13; Psalms 104:5-9). God was not merely before the mountains, the earth, and the world, but He was their Creator. His eternity implies His omnipotent Creatorship; because the things which came into being after Him could not originate themselves. So in Isaiah 44:6, from the eternity of Yahweh, His being the only God is deduced, "I am the First, and I am the Last, and beside me there is no God."

Thou (art) God - rather, 'thou (art) O God.' The context require us to understand that what is predicated of God is, that He is "from everlasting to everlasting," whence follows His omnipotence; in contrast to man's mortality, whence follows his weakness.


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

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-90.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Before the mountains.—Render either,

“Before the mountains were born,

Or ever the earth and world were brought forth,”

in synonymous parallelism, or, better, in progressive,

“Before the mountains were born,

Or ever the earth and world brought forth”—

i.e., before vegetation or life appeared. (Comp. Job 15:7.) “Mountains” are a frequent symbol of antiquity, as well as of enduring strength. (See Genesis 49:26; Proverbs 8:25.) The expression, “earth and the world,” may be taken as meaning the earth, as distinguished from either heaven or the sea, and the habitable globe (LXX., οἰκουμένη). (Comp. Proverbs 8:31.)

From everlasting to everlasting—i.e., from an indefinite past to an indefinite future (literally, from hidden time to hidden).


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

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-90.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Before
Job 38:4-6,28,29; Proverbs 8:25,26
or ever
33:9; 146:6; Genesis 1:1
even from
93:2; 102:24-27; 103:17; Isaiah 44:6; 57:15; Micah 5:2; Habakkuk 1:12; 1 Timothy 6:15,16; Hebrews 1:10-12; 13:8; Revelation 1:8
thou
Isaiah 45:22

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 90:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-90.html.

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