Numbers 10:35

Hebrew Bible

33 So they traveled from the mountain of the Lord three days’ journey; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord was traveling before them during the three days’ journey, to find a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the Lord was over them by day, when they traveled from the camp. 35 And when the ark traveled, Moses would say, “Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered, and may those who hate you flee before you! 36 And when it came to rest he would say, “Return, O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel!”

Psalm 68:1

Hebrew Bible

1 For the music director, by David, a psalm, a song. God springs into action. His enemies scatter; his adversaries run from him. 2 As smoke is driven away by the wind, so you drive them away. As wax melts before fire, so the wicked are destroyed before God. 3 But the godly are happy; they rejoice before God and are overcome with joy. 4 Sing to God! Sing praises to his name. Exalt the one who rides on the clouds. For the Lord is his name. Rejoice before him. 5 He is a father to the fatherless and an advocate for widows. God rules from his holy dwelling place.

 Notes and References

"... Other imprecations appeal to the language and imagery of Israel’s battle march toward Canaan, especially the Mosaic prayer of Numbers 10:35. As Israel journeyed toward the promised land, the ark of the covenant would go before them, and Moses would pray, “Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” Like a king leading his army to battle, God led Israel against her enemies, preserving the kingdom community with whom he dwelt and driving away the unholy nations with his holy presence. Psalms 3:7; 7:6; 9:19; 10:12; 17:13 replicate the precise introductory phrase from Numbers 10:35 when they petition, “Arise, O Lord”, echoing the Mosaic invocation and framing their requested judgments as a continuation of God’s campaign to scatter the enemy with his royal presence and preserve the community over and with whom he reigns (compare Psalm 74:22; 82:8. The allusion is even more direct in Psalm 68:1: “God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him!” In each of these psalms, the imprecator calls upon God as the warrior-king who defended his tabernacle-camp with his holy presence on the way to the land ..."

Laurence, Trevor Cursing with God: The Imprecatory Psalms and the Ethics of Christian Prayer (pp. 186-187) Baylor University Press, 2022

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