Wolfgang Musculus’s (1497-1563) Christological interpretation of Psalm 114 demonstrates an interesting interpretive strategy. As the psalmist appropriates the exodus as a story of God’s deliverance within his own context, Musculus extends this hermeneutic and adopts the exodus as an illustration of God’s ultimate act of redemption through Christ.

God’s People Always Have an Exit

“When Israel was departing from Egypt.” First, let us be admonished that there is no kind of captivity or slavery so hard and powerful that there is not an exit for the people of God,Let us be admonished that there is no kind of captivity or slavery so hard and powerful that there is not an exit for the people of God. when he has decided to free and lead forth his own people. The power of Egypt could not prohibit Israel from departing free when released from slavery. Next, let us think about how fitting it is that also we ourselves are mindful of our own deliverance by which neither Moses nor Joshua but Christ himself the Son of God as our leader led us forth, not from Egypt, but from the kingdom of Satan, the great force of Satan, the great force of sin, the great force of death, nor any modicum of this perverse and spiteful world: but the power of Christ is greater, who, in his coming, suffered this whole captivity of Satan, of sin, of death, and of the world in which we were detained, and then released the elect into the glory of the kingdom of God. The memory of this exodus deservedly should be stirred up daily in the souls of the redeemed: provided that it is preached through the gospel of God for the sake of our deliverance.

Psalms of David, commenting on Psalm 114:1-8.

Psalms 73-150, ed. Herman J. Selderhuis, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, OT vol. 7, pp. 227-228.

RCS Series: Christology and the Psalms


Martin Luther | All of Scripture in the Psalms

Cardinal Cajetan | Apostles, Psalms, and Literal Exposition

Wolfgang Musculus | Typology and the Psalms

John Calvin | Davidic Typology

Konrad Pellikan | Messianic Expectation and the Psalms

John Downame | Christological Righteousness

Philipp Melanchthon | Christ the Son and Lord of David

Wolfgang Musculus | Christology and Deliverance in the Psalms 

Interview with Herman J. Selderhuis  (April 15)