The preceding psalm was a prayer for success; this is a thanksgiving after victory. Possibly, as many think, the two refer to the same event, and are by the same author. The composition is also similar, since here also the arrangement is for a part song. The people—probably a chorus of maidens (see Note to Psalm 21:3), or of Levites—meet the returning hero, with their shouts of praise to Jehovah (Psalm 21:1-7). The monarch himself is then addressed, perhaps by the leader of the procession (Psalm 21:8-12), and the whole concourse again unite in a burst of praise to God at the end. The rhythm is weak and ill-sustained.
With thy countenance.—Rather, In thy presence. (Comp. Psalm 16:11.)
In the time of thine anger.—Literally, of thy face, i.e., by thy very appearance. The dread majesty of God’s face is often thus spoken of (Psalm 34:16; Leviticus 20:6). Here the same awful power of withering the wicked with a glance is ascribed to the representative of Jehovah. (Comp. Proverbs 16:14-15; Proverbs 19:12.) But, as if startled by the boldness of his own figure, the poet instantly refers to Jehovah.
In his wrath.—Literally, in his nostril, in direct parallelism with “face” in last clause.
So will we sing and praise.—Better, We will both with song and lyre celebrate Thy power.