Psalm 68:13

Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

Though ye have lain among the pots,.... Kimchi takes these words to be the words of the women, or of the psalmist addressing the Israelites going out to war; that though they should lie in a low, dark, and disagreeable place, in the camp, in the open field, exposed to wind and weather; yet they should be fair and beautiful, and be loaded with gold and silver, the spoil of the enemy. But Fortunatus Scacchus {z} refers them, much better, to the encampment of the Israelites in their tents, and to the disposition and order of their army going to battle: the body of the army in the middle, and the two wings, right and left, on each side; whose glittering armour of gold and brass, the rays of the sun striking on them, are fitly resembled by the colours on the wings and back of a dove. Another learned writer {a} thinks they are an address to the wings of the dove; that is, to the dove itself, meaning the Holy Spirit, expostulating with him how long he would dwell within the limits and borders of the land of Canaan; which was not long after the ascension of Christ, for soon was the gift of the Holy Ghost poured down upon the Gentiles, But rather they are an address to the people of Israel; intimating, that though they had been in adversity, and their lives had been made bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; and had lain among the brick kilns and furnaces when in Egypt; and in the times of the Judges had suffered much from their neighbours, by whom they were frequently carried captive; and had been in affliction in the times of Saul; yet now in prosperous circumstances in the times of David, who had conquered their enemies, and enlarged their dominions, and restored peace; and especially would be more so in the days of Solomon, when they enjoyed great plenty and prosperity, and silver was made to be as the stones of the street. Though it is best of all to apply the words to the church and people of God in Gospel times; and they may describe their state and condition by nature and by grace, in adversity and in prosperity: the former in this clause, in which there is an allusion to scullions, or such as lie among coppers and furnaces, and are black and sooty; and so it describes the Lord's people before conversion, who are black with original sin and actual transgressions; who being transgressors from the womb, and as long as they live and walk in sin, and have their conversation with the men of the world, may be said to lie among the pots: and this may also be expressive of the church of Christ being in adversity, and black with the sun of persecution smiting her; and she might be said to lie among the pots while the ten Heathen persecutions lasted, and also in the reign of antichrist; during which time the church is in the wilderness, and the witnesses prophesy in sackcloth;

yet shall they be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold: alluding to the white silver colour of some doves. Such were the white doves Charon of Lampsacum speaks of {b}, seen about Athos, which were like the white crow Ovid calls {c} the silver fowl with snowy wings: and also it may be to the time when they become of a golden colour, at which time they are fit for sacrifice, as the Jews {d} observe; or to the different appearances of them, according as the rays of light and of the sun differently fall upon them. So the philosopher {e} observes, that the necks of doves appear of a golden colour by the refraction of light. And this describes the saints and people of God as they are by grace. They are comparable to the dove on many accounts: like doves of the valleys, everyone of them mourn for their iniquities; like the trembling and fearful dove, tremble at the apprehensions of divine wrath, and judgment to come under first convictions; and are fearful of their enemies, and of their own state; are humble, modest, and meek; think the worst of themselves, and the best of others; flee to Christ for refuge, and to ordinances for refreshment; are chaste and affectionate to Christ, and harmless and inoffensive in their lives and conversations, Ezekiel 7:16. Being "as the wings of a dove covered with silver" may denote the purity of doctrine held by them; the words of the Lord being as silver purified seven times, Psalms 12:6; and the preciousness and sincerity of their faith, by which they mount up with wings as eagles; and the holiness of their conversation, being as becomes the Gospel of Christ: and being as the "feathers" of a dove covered "with yellow gold" may denote their being adorned with the graces of the Spirit, as faith, hope, and love; which are more precious than gold that perisheth, and are called chains of gold, Song of Solomon 1:10; see 1 Peter 1:7; or their being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, signified by gold of Ophir, and clothing of wrought gold, Psalms 45:9; or their being enriched with the unsearchable, solid, substantial, and durable riches of Christ, Revelation 3:18. And both may describe also the prosperous estates of the church, either in the first ages of Christianity, when she was clothed with the sun, and had a crown of twelve stars on her head, Revelation 12:1; or in the latter day, when her light will be come, and the glory of the Lord will rise upon her; when her stones will be laid with fair colours, and her foundations with sapphires; when she shall, have the glory of God upon her, and be as a bride adorned for her husband,

Isaiah 60:1.

{z} Elaeochrism. Sacr. l. 3. c. 24.
{a} Gusset. Comment. Heb. p. 884.
{b} Apud Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 1. c. 15.
{c} Metamorph. l. 2. Fab. 7.
{d} Maimon. Issure Mizbeach, c. 3. s. 2.
{e} Aristotel. de Color. c. 3. Vid. Lucret. l. 2. v. 800.