Psalm 68:18

Hebrew Bible

16 Why do you look with envy, O mountains with many peaks, at the mountain where God has decided to live? Indeed the Lord will live there permanently. 17 God has countless chariots; they number in the thousands. The Lord comes from Sinai in holy splendor. 18 You ascend on high; you have taken many captives. You receive tribute from men, including even sinful rebels. Indeed, the Lord God lives there. 19 The Lord deserves praise. Day after day he carries our burden, the God who delivers us. (Selah)

Ephesians 4:8

New Testament

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men.” 9 Now what is the meaning of “he ascended,” except that he also descended to the lower regions, namely, the earth? 10 He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things. 11 And he himself gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

 Notes and References

"... Several interpretive difficulties populate Ephesians 4:8-10. Paul opens by quoting Psalm 68, a psalm that celebrates the victory of God as the divine warrior. Paul envisions the triumphant Christ ascending his throne, leading a parade of conquered enemies. This is a poetic vision of Christ leading the vanquished powers, putting them display as defeated enemies. One of the problems here, however, is that Paul seems to change the quote from Psalm 68:18. The psalm notes chat God "receives" gifts from people during his victory procession, but Paul quotes the psalm differently: "he gave gifts to his people" (Eph 4:8). Did Faul quote the psalm wrongly? Does he feel some sort of freedom to Change the words of Scripture to fit his situation? Not at all. Paul is not merely quoting one verse but the entire narrative movement of the psalm. He pictures Christ as the triumphant warrior who goes out to conquer and then returns in glory, ascends to his temple and takes his seat of authority ..."

Gombis, Timothy G. The Drama of Ephesians: Participating in the Triumph of God (pp. 139-140) IVP Academic, 2010

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