What does Psalm 18:15 mean?
ESV: Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
NIV: The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
NASB: Then the channels of water appeared, And the foundations of the world were exposed By Your rebuke, Lord, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
CSB: The depths of the sea became visible, the foundations of the world were exposed, at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
NLT: Then at your command, O Lord, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
KJV: Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
NKJV: Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O Lord, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
Verse Commentary:
In this passage, David has used dramatic metaphors to explain the awesome power of God (Psalm 18:7–14). This is part of David's song of praise, thanking the Lord for victory over David's enemies (2 Samuel 22:1).

The imagery given here implies God's rebuke. His breath can blast the waters of sea apart to the point that the sea floor is exposed. This connects to the description of Israel's miraculous rescue at the Red Sea, where God exposed the land, allowing the people to walk across (Exodus 14:15, 22). That was accomplished, in part, by a blast of wind (Exodus 14:21).

Psalm 29 indicates that God's voice breaks the strong cedars of Lebanon, causes Lebanon to skip like a calf, shakes the wilderness, and strips the forests bare. This description agrees with David's description of the powerful changes to sea and land that occur at the Lord's rebuke and at the blast of His nostrils. Heaven and earth serve God's purposes, and He has complete authority and control over them.

The judgments described in Revelation include those that involve the Lord's use of the sea, rivers, springs, wind, crops, sun, and moon, as the Lord releases His wrath on the wicked (Revelation 6).
Verse Context:
Psalm 18:1–19 expresses David's love for the Lord and his praise to God for delivering him from his enemies. This is very similar—perhaps an updated version—of David's song of praise recorded in 2 Samuel chapter 22. Psalms 3—5 recall David's prayer for deliverance from his foes and his trust in the Lord to deliver him from them. Psalms 48:1; 96:4; 145:3; and 150 also express praise to the Lord. An account of David's deliverance from his enemies is found in 2 Samuel 19—21. Other passages of Scripture that reveal God's deliverance of His people include Exodus 14; Joshua 10; Judges 7; 2 Kings 19:20–37; and Revelation 19:11–21.
Chapter Summary:
In 2 Samuel chapter 22, David expresses praise for all the times in his life where God gave him victory. That prayer or song is copied almost identically here. Psalm 18, itself, might have been adapted for use in public worship. David remembers dire situations where God rescued him. He dramatically recounts how God provided rescue and power. David also credits God with rewarding his obedience by making him a powerful and successful military leader. For these reasons, David commits himself to the praise and worship of the Lord.
Chapter Context:
This psalm is David's prayer to the Lord in which David praises the Lord for making him victorious over his enemies. Second Samuel 5, 8, and 10 are companion chapters, and 2 Samuel 22 provides another version of this psalm. Second Samuel 22:1 tells us David composed Psalm 18 on the day the Lord delivered him from his enemies and Saul. Second Samuel 19 reports David's victorious return to Jerusalem after David vanquished his enemies.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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