English Basic Explanation - Chapter 68
Chapter 68 features a lengthy, poetic description of God's triumph over Israel's enemies, who are described as "melting like wax" (verse 3) from God's overpowering might. The miraculous victories over the hostile nations results in the world's recognition of God, to the point where, by the end of the Psalm, all peoples come to bring offerings and pay homage to the Almighty, and to sing his praises (see verses 30, 32-33).
David here makes no clear reference to any particular battle, and for the most part the commentators explain that he speaks generally of God's triumph over the enemies of Am Yisrael. The Radak, however, claims that David refers specifically to the fall of the Assyrian army during the time of King Hizkiyahu. We read in the Book of Melachim II (chapters 18-19) of the attack on Jerusalem led by the Assyrian Empire, which had previous exiled the Northern Kingdom of Israel. God miraculously rescued the besieged city by visiting a plague upon the Assyrian battalion which killed all its soldiers. According to the Radak, David speaks here prophetically of this miracle and the widespread prominence that it brought to God and to Hizkiyahu and his kingdom.
This chapter features as well a number of references to Mount Sinai and the giving of the Torah. In verse 16, for example, David declares that "the mountain of God" resembles "the mountain of Bashan." The Bashan region (the area of what is today the Golan Heights) is part of the territory that Benei Yisrael seized in battle shortly before they crossed the Jordan River into Israel (Bamidbar 21:33-35), which was particularly lush and fertile (see Bamidbar 32:1). Mesudat David thus explains this verse to mean that just as the Bashan region provides abundant pasture and produce, so does Mount Sinai serve as a source of sustenance for Am Yisrael. It is through the merit of the Torah that they earn God's assistance and protection from those who seek to destroy them, and in this sense Mount Sinai very closely resembles the Bashan. The references to Mount Sinai thus indicate the close connection between the observance of the Torah and the triumph over our foes described in this chapter, reminding us that it is through our devotion to Torah that we are able to survive and overcome our enemies.