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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
IntraText - Text
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1 When Israel came forth from Egypt, the house
of Jacob from an alien people,
Judah became God's holy place, Israel, God's
2 The sea beheld and fled; the Jordan turned
The mountains skipped like rams; the hills,
like lambs of the flock.
Why was it, sea, that you fled? Jordan, that
you turned back?
You mountains, that you skipped like rams? You
hills, like lambs of the flock?
Tremble, earth, before the Lord, before the God
3 Who turned rock into pools of water, stone
into flowing springs.
1 [Psalm 114] A hymn celebrating
Israel's escape from Egypt, journey through the wilderness, and entry into the
promised land, and the miracles of nature that bore witness to God's presence
in their midst. In the perspective of the psalm, the people proceed directly
from Egypt into the promised land (⇒ Psalm 114:1-2).
Sea and Jordan, which stood like soldiers barring the people from their land,
flee before the mighty God as the earth recoils from the battle
(⇒ Psalm 114:3-4). The poet taunts the natural
elements as one taunts defeated enemies (⇒ Psalm
2 [3-4] Pairs of cosmic elements such
as sea and rivers, mountains and hills, are sometimes mentioned in creation
accounts. Personified here as warriors, the pairs tremble in fear before the Divine
Warrior. The quaking also recalls the divine appearance in the storm at Sinai
(⇒ Exodus 19:16-19) and elsewhere
(⇒ Judges 5:4-5; ⇒ Psalm
3  The miracles of giving drink to
the people in the arid desert. Cf ⇒ Exodus 17:1-7;
⇒ Isaiah 41:17-18.
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