Mountain Psalm (Bible)

What Does Water Symbolize in the Old Testament Bible?


The psalmists used imagery found in the books of Genesis and Exodus to provide hope for their audience. In the books of Genesis and Exodus mountains were symbols that God was sovereign and that God had not forgotten his people.
The psalmists used mountains to symbolize the sovereignty of their God. Examples of this include:

1. On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
the Lord loves the gates of Zion
 more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Psalm 87:1

2. Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Psalm 90:2

3. O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Psalm 95:1

4. The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation
Psalm 18:46


The psalmists also used mountains to symbolize the belief that God was with the people. These passages gave the people hope to hold onto in times of trouble. Examples of this include:

1. From the end of the earth I call to you,
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I;
Psalm 61:2

2. He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress;
I shall never be shaken.
Psalm 62:2

3. Be to me a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Psalm 71:3

4. I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

5. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2

The symbolism found in the Genesis, Exodus, and the Psalms appeared in the Christian hymn Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me. Much of the symbolism in this hymn mirrors the imagery used by the psalmists. The hymn opens and closes with the words, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.”

Mountains as symbols of the sacred inspired the psalmists and Augustus M. Toplady (the lyricist of Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me). The use of mountains to symbolize the sacred remind audiences that God is sovereign and is always with the people.

Note: all scripture text is from the New Revised Standard Version