World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Tremble at the Presence of the Lord
1When Israel went out from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
2Judah became his sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
3The sea looked and fled;
Jordan turned back.
4The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
5What ails you, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
6O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?
7Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.
Ps 114:1-8. The writer briefly and beautifully celebrates God's former care of His people, to whose benefit nature was miraculously made to contribute.
1-4. of strange language—(compare Ps 81:5).
4. skipped … rams—(Ps 29:6), describes the waving of mountain forests, poetically representing the motion of the mountains. The poetical description of the effect of God's presence on the sea and Jordan alludes to the history (Ex 14:21; Jos 3:14-17). Judah is put as a parallel to Israel, because of the destined, as well as real, prominence of that tribe.
5-8. The questions place the implied answers in a more striking form.
7. at the presence of—literally, "from before," as if affrighted by the wonderful display of God's power. Well may such a God be trusted, and great should be His praise.