on Psalms 66 :12
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads - Thou hast permitted us to fall under the dominion of our enemies; who have treated us as broken infantry are when the cavalry dashes among their disordered ranks, treading all under the horses' feet.
We went through fire and through water - Through afflictions of the most torturing and overwhelming nature. To represent such, the metaphors of fire and water are often used in Scripture. The old Psalter considers these trials as a proof of the uprightness of those who were tried - We passid thrugh fire and watir: that is, thurgh wa and wele, as a man that leves noght his waye for hete na for kald, for dry na for wette; and thou out lede us fra tribulacyon intill koling (cooling) that is, in till endles riste, that we hope to hafe after this travell.
Wealthy place - Well watered place, to wit, the land of Judea.
on Psalms 66 :12
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads - This refers evidently to some national subjection or conquest - most probably to their having been subdued by the Babylonians. Professor Alexander renders this, "Thou hast caused men to ride at our head," as if leading them forth as captives in war. The most probable meaning, however, is that they had been subdued, as if on a field of battle, and as if their conquerors had ridden over them when prostrate on the ground. Compare the notes at Psalm 44:5, and the notes at Isaiah 51:23.
We went through fire and through water - This is designed to represent the nature of their trials. It was as if they had been made to pass through burning flames and raging floods. Compare the notes at Isaiah 43:2. Instead of passing through the seas and rivers when the waters had been turned back, and when a dry and safe path was made for them, as was the ease with their fathers Psalm 66:6, they had been compelled to breast the flood itself; and yet, notwithstanding this, God had brought them into a place of safety. In either way, by parting the floods, or by conducting his people through them, as shall seem best pleasing to him, God can conduct his people safely, and deliver them from danger. The power, the protecting care, the love, and the faithfulness of God are shown with equal clearness whether he divides the flood and causes his people to march through as on dry land, or whether he suffers the flood to rage and heave around them while he conducts his chosen people safely through.
But there broughtest us out into a wealthy place - Margin, moist. Professor Alexander, overfIow, abundance. Vulgate, info a place of refreshment - refrigerium. The Septuagint, εἰς ἀναψυχήν eis anapsuchēn. Luther, Thou hast led us forth and quickened us. DeWette, zum Ueberflusse - "to overflowing, or abundance." The Hebrew word - רויה revâyâh - means properly "abundant drink," "abundance." It occurs only here and in Psalm 23:5, where it is rendered "runneth over." See the notes at that place. The proper idea here is, that he had brought them into a land where there was plenty of water - as emblematic of abundance in general. He had led them to a place where there were ample rivers, springs, and streams, producing fertility and abundance. This would be the language of the people after their return from exile, and when they were permitted again to re-visit their native land - a land always characterized as a land of plenty. See Deuteronomy 8:7; compare Exodus 3:8; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 13:27.
on Psalms 66 :12
66:12 To ride - To use us like slaves.