“If you have been foolish,
Put your hand on your mouth.
If you have been devising evil,
Put your hand on your mouth.
Pressing milk produces curds.
Pressing the nose produces blood.
Pressing anger produces strife.”
This numerical interlude ends with a warning about being foolish without self discipline. If you tried to exalt yourself, put a hand to your mouth to stop talking. If you have been devising evil, put a hand to your mouth so that evil does not come out of your mouth. Pressing or suppressing things may have evil consequences. If you press milk you end up with curds. If you press your nose, it will bleed. If you press your anger, it will produce strife.
“Like somebody who takes a passing dog by the ears.
Is one who meddles in the quarrel of another.
Like a maniac
Who shoots deadly firebrands,
Who shoot arrows,
Is one who deceives a neighbor.
‘I am only joking!’”
If you meddle in someone else’s quarrels that is like picking up a passing dog by its ears. This could get you into a lot of trouble. Do not deceive you neighbor, and then tell him that you were only joking. You are then like a maniac who shoots deadly fires of arrows in all directions. Keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble.
“He bowed the heavens.
He came down.
Thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub.
He flew in the air.
He came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him.
His canopy was thick clouds
Dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
There broke through his clouds
Hailstones and coals of fire.
Yahweh also thundered in the heavens.
The Most High uttered his voice.
He sent out his arrows.
He scattered them.
He flashed forth lightning.
He routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen.
The foundations of the world were laid bare.
At your rebuke!
At the blast of the breath of your nostrils!”
This psalm talks about Yahweh and his control of the heavens just like in 2 Samuel, chapter 22. Yahweh came out of the clouds with darkness beneath him. He came down from heaven riding in the sky on an angelic cherub on the wings of the wind. He, of course, was the source of the thunder and the lightning. His voice was like thunder as he sent lightening to chase his enemies. The seas shook and the foundations of earth trembled from the blast of breath from his nose. Yahweh had laid the foundations of the earth at the bottom of the sea. His nose had a big effect as a blast of his breath came upon the earth. Yahweh was directly interfering with the earth to help David through the use of thunder and lightning.
“Then the earth reeled.
The earth rocked.
The foundations also of the mountains trembled.
The foundations quaked.
Because Yahweh was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils.
Devouring fire came from his mouth.
Glowing coals flamed forth from him.”
Just like in 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh’s reaction was formidable. God was angry. The earth rocked and rolled. The foundations of the mountains and not the heavens as in 2 Samuel, trembled and quaked. Smoke and fire came from his mouth and nose. Yahweh’s face, nose, and mouth become important for expressing the feelings of the divine spiritual God. Just as in 2 Samuel, flames rose up all around with glowing coals.