The Meaning of Psalms 68:17 Explained

Psalms 68:17

KJV: The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

YLT: The chariots of God are myriads, thousands of changes, The Lord is among them, in Sinai, in the sanctuary.

Darby: The chariots of God are twenty thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them: it is a Sinai in holiness.

ASV: The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them, as in'sinai, in the sanctuary.

What does Psalms 68:17 Mean?

Study Notes

Angel, Summary: Angel, "messenger," is used of God, of men, and of an order of created spiritual beings whose chief attributes are strength and wisdom. 2 Samuel 14:20 ; Psalms 103:20 ; Psalms 104:4 . In the O.T. the expression "the angel of the Lord" (sometimes "of God") usually implies the presence of Deity in angelic form.; Genesis 16:1-13 ; Genesis 21:17-19 ; Genesis 22:11-16 ; Genesis 31:11-13 ; Exodus 3:2-4 ; Judges 2:1 ; Judges 6:12-16 ; Judges 13:3-22 (See Scofield " Malachi 3:1 ") . The word "angel" is used of men in; Luke 7:24 ; James 2:25 ; Revelation 1:20 ; Revelation 2:1 ; Revelation 2:8 ; Revelation 2:12 ; Revelation 2:18 ; Revelation 3:1 ; Revelation 3:7 ; Revelation 3:14 In Revelation 8:3-5 . Christ is evidently meant. Sometimes angel is used of the spirit of man.; Matthew 18:10 ; Acts 12:15 . Though angels are spirits; Psalms 104:4 ; Hebrews 1:14 power is given them to become visible in the semblance of human form. Genesis 19:1 cf; Genesis 19:5 ; Exodus 3:2 ; Numbers 22:22-31 ; Judges 2:1 ; Judges 6:11 ; Judges 6:22 ; Judges 13:3 ; Judges 13:6 ; 1 Chronicles 21:16 ; 1 Chronicles 21:20 ; Matthew 1:20 ; Luke 1:26 ; John 20:12 ; Acts 7:30 ; Acts 12:7 ; Acts 12:8 etc.). The word is always used in the masculine gender, though sex, in the human sense, is never ascribed to angels.; Matthew 22:30 ; Mark 12:25 . They are exceedingly numerous.; Matthew 26:53 ; Hebrews 12:22 ; Revelation 5:11 ; Psalms 68:17 . The power is inconceivable. 2 Kings 19:35 . Their place is about the throne of God.; Revelation 5:11 ; Revelation 7:11 . Their relation to the believer is that of "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation," and this ministry has reference largely to the physical safety and well-being of believers.; 1 Kings 19:5 ; Psalms 34:7 ; Psalms 91:11 ; Daniel 6:22 ; Matthew 2:13 ; Matthew 2:19 ; Matthew 4:11 ; Luke 22:43 ; Acts 5:19 ; Acts 12:7-10 . From; Hebrews 1:14 ; Matthew 18:10 ; Psalms 91:11 it would seem that this care for the heirs of salvation begins in infancy and continues through life. The angels observe us; 1 Corinthians 4:9 ; Ephesians 3:10 ; Ecclesiastes 5:6 a fact which should influence conduct. They receive departing saints. Luke 16:22 . Man is made "a little lower than the angels," and in incarnation Christ took "for a little "time" this lower place.; Psalms 8:4 ; Psalms 8:5 ; Hebrews 2:6 ; Hebrews 2:9 that He might lift the believer into His own sphere above angels. Hebrews 2:9 ; Hebrews 2:10 . The angels are to accompany Christ in His second advent. Matthew 25:31 . To them will be committed the preparation of the judgment of the nations. Matthew 13:30 ; Matthew 13:39 ; Matthew 13:41 ; Matthew 13:42 . See Scofield " Matthew 25:32 ". The kingdom-age is not to be subject to angels, but to Christ and those for whom He was made a little lower than the angels. Hebrews 2:5 An archangel, Michael, is mentioned as having a particular relation to Israel and to the resurrections.; Daniel 10:13 ; Daniel 10:21 ; Daniel 12:1 ; Daniel 12:2 ; Judges 1:9 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 . The only other angel whose name is revealed Gabriel, was employed in the most distinguished services.; Daniel 8:16 ; Daniel 9:21 ; Luke 1:19 ; Luke 1:26 .
Fallen angels. Two classes of these are mentioned:
(1) "The angels which kept not their first estate place, but left their own habitation," are "chained under darkness," awaiting judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 ; Judges 1:6 ; 1 Corinthians 6:3 ; John 5:22 .
(See Scofield " Genesis 6:4 ")
(2) The angels who have Satan Genesis 3:1 as leader.
(See Scofield " Revelation 20:10 ") .
The origin of these is nowhere explicitly revealed. They may be identical with the demons.
(See Scofield " Matthew 7:22 ") . For Satan and his angels everlasting fire is prepared. Matthew 25:41 ; Revelation 20:10 .

Context Summary

Psalms 68:12-25 - Their Mighty Deliverer
The processional march still continues. Presently Mount Zion comes in sight, and the neighboring hills are depicted as eying it enviously for its selection in preference to themselves. In Psalms 68:17-18 the glad throng begins to climb the sacred slopes of Zion, amid still more triumphant strains; and in Psalms 68:19, etc., the gates of the sanctuary stand wide open to welcome the festal crowds.
How great the contrast between the blackened appearance of a smoky caldron, and the lustrous sheen of a bird's pinions as they flash in the sunlight! Psalms 68:13. Yet that is the contrast between what we were, and what we now are. Zalmon, Psalms 68:14 -perhaps a reference to the wooded hill near Shechem, mentioned in Judges 9:48. The hostile kings were scattered as snowflakes are driven before the wind and melt in the sun. The hill Bashan, Psalms 68:15, is a snow-clad summit, but Zion is greater, since God is there. In the triumphant words of Psalms 68:18, the singer quotes Judges 5:12, and they are applied in Ephesians 4:8 to our Lord's ascension. Note the r.v. rendering of Psalms 68:19 -that the Lord daily beareth our burdens. Singers, minstrels, and girls with timbrels, Psalms 68:25 -all have a share in the Church's joy. [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalms 68

1  A prayer at the removing of the ark
4  An exhortation to praise God for his mercies
7  for his care of the church
19  for his great works

What do the individual words in Psalms 68:17 mean?

The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand [Even] thousands of thousands the Lord [is] among them [as in] Sinai in the Holy [Place]
רֶ֤כֶב אֱלֹהִ֗ים רִבֹּתַ֣יִם אַלְפֵ֣י שִׁנְאָ֑ן אֲדֹנָ֥י בָ֝֗ם סִינַ֥י בַּקֹּֽדֶשׁ

רֶ֤כֶב  The  chariots 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: רֶכֶב  
Sense: a team, chariot, chariotry, mill-stone, riders.
אֱלֹהִ֗ים  of  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
רִבֹּתַ֣יִם  [are]  twenty  thousand 
Parse: Number, fd
Root: רִבֹּוא  
Sense: ten thousand, myriad.
אַלְפֵ֣י  [Even]  thousands 
Parse: Number, masculine plural construct
Root: אֶלֶף 
Sense: a thousand.
שִׁנְאָ֑ן  of  thousands 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: שִׁנְאָן  
Sense: repetition.
אֲדֹנָ֥י  the  Lord  [is] 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֲדֹנָי  
Sense: my lord, lord.
בָ֝֗ם  among  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
סִינַ֥י  [as  in]  Sinai 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: סִינַי  
Sense: the mountain where Moses received the Law from Jehovah; located at the southern end of the Sinai peninsula between the horns of the Red Sea; exact site unknown.
בַּקֹּֽדֶשׁ  in  the  Holy  [Place] 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: קֹדֶשׁ  
Sense: apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness.