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Josh, 2. 9.
| Or, repossess.
be amazed; the mighty men of Moab,
them ; by the greatness of thine arm
17 Thou shalt bring them in, and
which thy hands have established.
19 For the horse of Pharaoh went 11 Who is like unto thee, O in with his chariots and with his ! Or, mighty Lord, among the || gods ? who is horsemen into the sea, and the LORD
like thee, glorious in holiness, fear- brought again the waters of the sea
12 Thou stretchedst out thy right went on dry land in the midst of the
13 Thou in thy mercy hast led 20 I And Miriam the prophetess, forth the people which thou hast re- the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in deemed: thou hast guided them in her hand; and all the women went thy strength unto thy holy habita- out after her with timbrels and with tion.
dances. 14 The people shall hear, and 21 And Miriam answered them, that which this name imports ; namely, He hath caused when God should command, is spoken of as already that to be, which He promised should come to pass. completed. Bp. Kidder. Locke. See the notes on chap. vi. 3.
20. - Miriam the prophetess,] So called from having 6. — right hand,] This word is frequently used to the gift of composing hymns in praise of the Divine express the height of power, exerted in the preservation Majesty; or from having received some revelation from of good men, or the destruction of the bad. Bp. Pa- God for the direction of his people. Dr. Wells, Bp. trick. The right hand being the instrument, by which Patrick. a man effects what he has in his power, hence it is at - took a timbrel in her hand;] So the manner tributed to God when his power is celebrated. Bp. was in aftertimes, when they prophesied, 1 m. x. 5, Kidder. See the note on Gen. vi. 6.
6; 2 Kings iii. 15; and when they sang hymns, Psal. 11. — among the gods ?] Among those that are called xxxiii. 2 ; lvii. 7,8; and upon any occasion of great regods in heaven and in earth, 1 Cor. viii. 5. Dr. Wells. joicing, Judg. xi. 34 ; 1 Sam. xviii. 6. Hence we may Or, “the mighty ones," as in the margin. Bps. Patrick learn how ancient musick was in the service of God: and Kidder.
this way of praising Him being practised before the fearful in praises,] Who shouldest be praised institution of the Mosaical Law. Bp. Patrick. The with fear and reverence : who canst never sufficiently timbrel or tabret was a drum, with bells appended to be praised. Bp. Patrick.
it, carried in the hand and beat with the fingers. It is 13. — unto thy holy habitation.] Towards thy holy still used in Syria ; and has of late become popular settlement. Dr. Hales. The country where God Him- among ourselves in the tambourine. Fragments to Calself, speaking after the manner of men, intended to met. have a settlement. Bp. Patrick.
- and with dances.] The Eastern dances are ex14. - Palestina.] The whole of the promised land temporaneous, if I may be indulged in the expression, appears to have been called Palestine at this time ; pro- as well as their songs. The great lady leads the dance, bably from “Palisthan,” signifying "Shepherd land” and is followed by a troop of young girls, who imitate in the Sanscrit language, which is a dialect of the ancient her steps, and, if she sings, make up the chorus. The Syriack. Dr. Hales.
steps are varied according to the pleasure of her who 17.-- mountain of thine inheritance,] Mount Moriah leads, but always in exact time. This may give us a or Sion; where Moses seems to have foreseen, by the different apprehension, from what we should otherwise spirit of prophecy, that God would fix his habitation. form, of the description of Miriam. Harmer. Bp. Patrick. The sanctuary being certainly to be built, 21. - Miriam answered them,] Miriam and the wo
b Deut. 2. 25. Josh. 2. 9.
| That is,
The people want water.
The waters at Marah sweetened. Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath waters of Marah, for they were bitter : triumphed gloriously; the horse and therefore the name of it was called his rider hath he thrown into the sea. || Marah.
22 So Moses brought Israel from 24 And the people murmured bitterness. the Red sea, and they went out into against Moses, saying, What shall we the wilderness of Shur; and they drink? went three days in the wilderness, 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and found no water.
and the Lord shewed him a d tree, d Ecclus. 38. 23 | And when they came to which when he had cast into the waters, Marah, they could not drink of the the waters were made sweet: there
men answered Moses and the people verse by verse: or Irwin found only four springs of water. In another after every verse sung by Moses and the men, Miriam space of 115 miles he found only two springs, at one of and the women interposed nd repeated this verse in which the water was brackish, and at the other unwholethe way of chorus. Bp. Patrick.
some. Harmer. We may probably fix the Marah of Sing ye to the Lord,] Or rather, “Let us sing Scripture at Corondel: there is a small rill of water, unto the Lord, &c.” thus repeating the burden of which, unless it be diluted by the dews and rains, still Moses's thanksgiving, according to the reading of the continues to be brackish. Dr. Shaw. ancient versions, in the first person plural, “ Let us &c.” 24. -- the people murmured against Moses,] It is the which is most suitable to the occasion. Dr. Hales. If hard condition of authority, that when the people fare gratitude is due from man to man, how much more well, they applaud themselves; when ill, they repine from man to his Maker! If gratitude, when exerted against their governours. Who can hope to be free, if towards one another, naturally produces a very pleasing Moses escape not? Never any prince so merited of a sensation in the mind of a grateful man; it exalts the people. He exposed himself to the assaults of Phasoul into rapture, when it is employed on this great raoh's tyranny: he brought them from a bondage worse object of gratitude, on this beneficent Being, who has than death : his rod divided the sea, and gave life to given us every thing we already possess, and from whom them, death to their pursuers. Who would not have we expect every thing we yet hope for. Most of the thought these men so indebted to Moses, that no dearth works of the pagan poets were either direct hymns to could have opened their mouths, or raised their hands their deities, or tended indirectly to the celebration of against him ? Yet now the first occasion of want makes their respective attributes and perfections, though with them rebel. No benefit can stop the mouth of ima mixture of much impertinence and absurdity. The patience: if our present desire be not gratified, former Jews, who before the time of Christianity were the only favours are either forgotten or despised. But no marvel people who had the knowledge of the true God, have if we deal so with men, when God receives the same set the Christian world an example how they ought to measure from us. One year of famine, one summer of employ this Divine talent of which I am speaking. As pestilence, one month of unseasonable weather, makes that nation produced men of great genius, without con us overlook all the blessings of God, and murmur more sidering them as inspired writers, they have transmitted at the sense of our evil, than praise Him for our varieties to us many hymns and Divine odes, which excel those of good. He makes an ill use of God's mercies, who that are delivered down to us by the ancient Greeks hath not learned to be content with his corrections. and Romans in the poetry, as much as in the subject to Bp. Hall. which it was consecrated. Addison.
25. And he cried unto the Lord ;] Moses took that 22. — wilderness of Shur;] Or of Etham, Numb. course which the Israelites should have done, and did xxxiii. 8. Shur was a part of Etham. Bp. Patrick. not. They cried not more frequently to him, than he
The great sandy desert of Shur, which divides Egypt to God. He knew to whom to look for redress of all from Palestine, stretching from the Mediterranean sea complaints : even to Him, who alone can give us comfort to the head of the Red sea, at both sides of the latter in affliction, who alone can make the bitter waters sweet. assumes the name of “ Etham.” Thus the third station Bp. Hall. of the Israelites is called “ Etham, in the edge of the and the Lord shewed him a tree,] It is a question, wilderness," Exod. xiii. 20. And after passing the whether these bitter waters were sweetened by the miRed sea, they entered “the wilderness of Shur,” Exod. raculous power of God, or by the natural property of XV. 22.
But near their landing-place on the eastern the tree to which God directed Moses. Most probably coast, Niebuhr marks a mountain to the north-east, it is to be attributed to the former. Stackhouse. Niecalled “ Etti,” evidently from “ Etham.”
buhr, when upon the spot, where this miracle was perThis mountain forms the southern termination of the formed, inquired after wood capable of producing such great ridge of mountains, now called “ Jebel Te,” which an effect; but could gain no information of any. The runs in a north-easterly direction, stretching along the water of these parts continues so bad to this day, and eastern coast of the Dead sea, or Asphaltick lake, to- is so much in want of improvement, that had the diswards the head of the Elanitick, or eastern gulph of the covery of a wood, possessing such a corrective quality, Red sea : forming the western boundary of Arabia Pe- been communicated to Moses, it could hardly have been trea, and called in Scripture indiscriminately mount lost. Calmet's Dictionary. The Arabs call a shrub or “ Hor," and mount “ Seir,” because it was conquered tree, not unlike our hawthorn, either in form or flower, from the original inhabitants, “ the Horites," Gen. xiv. by the name of “ El-vah.” It was with this wood, they 6; by Esau and his family, Gen. xxxvi. 20, 21; whose say, Moses sweetened the waters of Marah. Bruce. eldest son was “ Seir.” Dr. Hales.
The hand of faith never knocked at heaven in vain : 23. — called Marah.] Afterwards so called from the no sooner hath Moses shewed his grievance, than God bitterness or brackishness of its waters. Bp. Patrick. shews him the remedy: yet an unlikely one, that it Most travellers attest, that there are several fountains of might be miraculous. He that made the waters, could bitter water not far from the Red sea. Stackhouse. In have given them any savour: the same hand that created a space of 315 miles over part of this wilderness, Mr. them, might have immediately changed them. But
wilt do that which is right A from Elim, and all the congre
e Numb. 33. 9.
The twelve wells at Elim.
CHAP. XV, XVI. The Israelites murmur against Moses. he made for them a statute and an bread from heaven. 11 Quails are sent, 14 ordinance, and there he proved them,
and manna. 16 The ordering of manna. 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently
25 It was not to be found on the sabbath.
32 An omer of it is preserved.
their departing out of the land of
3 And the children of Israel said i The Israelites come to Sin. 2 They murmur unto them, Would to God we had
for want of bread. 4 God promiseth them died by the hand of the Lord in the Almighty power still works by means: and the glory of Under the shade of these trees is the Hummum Mousa, Omnipotency is manifested by the improbability of the the Bath of Moses, which the inhabitants of Tor have means which He employs. Elisha with salt, Moses in extraordinary esteem and veneration; acquainting us with wood, shall sweeten the bitter waters. Let no man that it was here that Moses himself and his particular despise the means, when He knows the Author. Bp. household encamped. Dr. Shaw. Hall.
- palm trees :] The palm, says Plutarch, loves - there he made for them a statute &c.] This water ; and Pliny says, it loves to drink through the seems to signify, that for their better government God whole year. The son of Sirach says, “I was exalted now gave them a few rules to be observed for the pre- like a palm tree in Engaddi,” Ecclus. xxiv. 14, which sent, till He should more fully declare his will at mount was a very watery spot, and therefore fit for gardens. Sinai ; and “proved them,” or began to make trial of Script. illust. their obedience, whether they would observe these laws or not. Bp. Patrick.
Chap. XVI. ver. 1. — on the fifteenth day &c.] Just The
passage should rather be translated, “he made a month from their first setting out from Rameses. It for him a statute and an ordinance ;” which agrees also seems, therefore, they stayed some time at Elim, where with the 26th verse, " If thou wilt diligently hearken was plenty of water and shade. Bp. Patrick. &c.” We meet in the Scriptures with many instances 2. — whole congregation] Including the elders with of God's appointing persons, who applied to Him for the rest; at chap. xv. 24, "the people” only are menfavours, to do some act as a proof of their submission tioned. Bp. Patrick. Had we been left ignorant of and obedience. Jacob was ordered to use peeled rods, the corruption of human nature, the conduct of the Gen. xxx ; Naaman to wash in the river Jordan, 2 Kings Israelites, during the long course of their history, would v. And in Exod. xvi, the Israelites were proved in this have been inexplicable, if not incredible. Bp. Tomline. manner : they were ordered to gather of the manna a The other meeting was of some few malcontents, certain rate every day, that God might “prove them, perhaps those strangers, who sought their own prowhether they would walk in his law or no." Thus tection under the wing of Israel ; this was of the whole was Moses here proved; he was ordered to put a bough troop. Not that none were free: Caleb, Joshua, Moses, into the water; a thing in itself insignificant; but by Aaron, Miriam, were not yet tainted. Usually God doing it he testified his readiness to observe any in- measures the state of any church or country by the junction, which God should think fit to give him. most; the greater part carries both the name and the Shuckford.
Sins are so much greater, as they are more 27.- they came to Elim,] In remarking the several universal ; so far is evil from being extenuated by the stations of the Israelites from the Red sea to mount multitude of the guilty, that nothing can more aggraSinai, we must observe that Moses does not set down vate. With men, commonness may plead for favour; every place where they encamped, as in Numb. xxxiii, with God, it pleads for judgment. The leprosy of the but only those where something remarkable occurred. whole body is more loathsome than that of a part. Bp. Elim, where they now encamped, was esteemed a plea- Hall. sant and fruitful place, at least in comparison of the 3, Would to God we had died by the hand of the desert and barren parts about it. Dr. Wells, Stack- Lord] And by whose hand would they die, if they pehouse. Trees in the desert are a very extraordinary rished by famine? God carried them forth; God resight: we met with only five as we passed through it, strained his creatures from them; and while they are in seven days and a half; these were situated near ready to die thus, they cry, "O that we had died by the wells. Plaisted's Journey to Aleppo.
hand of the Lord !" It is the folly of men, that in im- twelve wells] I saw no more than nine of the mediate judgments they can see God's hand, not in twelve wells that are mentioned by Moses; the other those, whose second causes are sensible; whereas God three being filled up by those drifts of sand which are holds himself equally interested in all, challenging that common in Arabia. Yet this loss is amply made up by there is no evil in the city, but from Him. See Amos the great increase of the palm trees; the seventy having iii. 6. It is but one hand, and many instruments, that propagated themselves into more than two thousand. God strikes us with. It is our want of faith, that in
+ Heb. the portion of a day in his
bread from heaven. land of Egypt, when we sat by the 8 And Moses said, This shall be, flesh pots, and when we did eat bread when the LORD shall give you in the to the full; for ye have brought us evening flesh to eat, and in the forth into this wilderness, to kill this morning bread to the full; for that whole assembly with hunger. the Lord heareth your murmurings
4 9 Then said the LORD unto which ye murmur against him: and
the LORD: for he hath heard your
looked toward the wilderness, and,
12 Í have heard the murmurings 7 And in the morning, then ye of the children of Israel : speak unto shall see the glory of the Lord; for them, saying, At even ye shall eat that he heareth' your murmurings flesh, and in the morning ye shall be against the Lord: and what are we, filled with bread; and ye shall know that ye murmur against us?
that I am the LORD your
visible means we see" not “Him that is invisible.” vidence, and each day renew the acts of our faith and Bp. Hall.
thankfulness. Bp. Hall. when we sat by the flesh pots, &c.] It is not pro that I may prove them,] Try whether they will bable that they had plenty of food and “bread to the be obedient to my commands, when I let them want full,” when they were slaves, and under cruel hardships ; nothing to support and encourage them in my service. but they untruly magnify their former condition, that Not as if God was ignorant, but that He might make it they might represent the present to be more miserable appear plainly to themselves and others what they were. than it really was. Bp. Patrick.
Bp. Patrick. 4. — I will rain bread from heaven &c.] The Scrip 7.- what are we,] We, Moses and Aaron, are ture gives to manna the name of “angels food," and merely his instruments and agents; and therefore your “bread from heaven;" whether it would insinuate to murmurings against us are in effect against Him. Dr. us, that the angels sent and prepared this food, or that Wells. angels themselves, if they had need of food, could 8.-- your murmurings are not against us,] Not only not have any more agreeable than manna, Ps. lxxviii. against us, which would have been a smaller offence, 25; John vi. 31. At this very day manna falls in but against the Lord. It is the manner of the Scripseveral places : in Arabia, in Poland, in Calabria, in ture phrase to express by a negative that which is of mount Libanus, and elsewhere. The most common inferiour moment and consideration, Matt. ix. 13; xii. 7; and the most famous is that of Arabia, which is a kind 1 Sam. viï. 7; John xii. 44. Bp. Kidder. of condensed honey, found in the summer time on the Temporal blessings are no certain signs of God's leaves of trees, on herbs, on the rocks, or the sand of favour. He grants the manna and the quails to the Arabia Petrea. It is of the same figure as Moses de Israelites, in answer, not to their prayers, but to their scribes. Several modern writers think, that the manna murmurings. 'Tis true, they stood in need of daily of the Israelites was like that now found in Arabia ; and food, but they wanted faith and patience more. This that the miracle did not consist in producing a new righteousness they neither hungered nor thirsted after. substance, but in the exact and constant manner in Wherefore though God sent them meat enough for which it was dispensed by Providence, and in the quan- their bodies, yet, as the Psalmist speaks, “He sent tity of it that fell daily, for so long a time. It certainly leanness withal into their souls :” that is, He withheld had miraculous qualities not found in common manna, his grace, because not asked for, nor desired. Thus and which probably subsisted only while the Israelites worldly-minded men have often their wish granted, but were fed with it. Calmet.
not " for their wealth.” What they count their blessa certain rate every day,] This bread was given ing is often their curse, and a real misfortune. But if to them day by day, to signify to them and to us our seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousdependence upon
“ Give usness,
as our Lord advises us to do, Matt. vi. 33, or this day our daily bread.” Bp. Wilson.
make wisdom our choice, as Solomon did, all other neHe that gave an omer to each, could have given an cessaries shall be added unto us. But if we give the ephah ; as easily could He have rained down enough for preference to worldly things, the things of heaven and a month, or a year, at once, as for a day. God delights real goods shall be taken away, how foolish then is to have us live in a continual dependence upon his pro- such a choice ! how unprofitable the gain! Wogan,
b Numb. 11. 31.
this ! or, It is a portion,
Quails and manna are sent.
The ordering of manna. 13 And it came to pass, that at kened not unto Moses; but some of even the quails came up, and covered them left of it until the morning, and the camp: and in the morning the it bred worms, and stank: and Moses dew lay round about the host. was wroth with them.
14 And when the dew that lay 21 And they gathered it every
was gone up, behold, upon the face morning, every man according to his Wisd. 16. 20. of the wilderness there lay a small eating: and when the sun waxed hot,
round thing, as small as the hoar frost it melted.
22 9 And it came to pass, that on
rael saw it, they said one to another, much bread, two omers for one man : ! Or, What is || It is manna : for they wist not what and all the rulers of the congregation
And Moses said unto them, came and told Moses. d John 6. 31. a This is the bread which the Lord 23 And he said unto them, This 1 Cor. 10. 3. hath given you to eat.
is that which the Lord hath said, 16 ? This is the thing which the To morrow is the rest of the holy Lord hath commanded, Gather of it sabbath unto the LORD : bake that
every man according to his eating, which ye will bake to day, and seethe + Heb. by the an omer + for every man, according to that ye will seethe; and that which Hobsband the number of your + persons; take remaineth over lay up for you to be
ye every man for them which are in kept until the morning:
24 And they laid it up till the
much had nothing over, and he that Lord: to day ye shall not find it in
on the seventh day, which is the
27 | And it came to pass,
that 20 Notwithstanding they hear- there went out some of the people on 13. - quails] God gave quails to his people twice : as being sent from God. Others maintain that the Heonce, on this occasion, a short time after they had brews well knew what manna was, and said one to passed the Red sea ; and a second time, at the encamp- another, “This is manna. Bp. Patrick, Calmet. ment called Kibroth-hattaavah, or the graves of lust, 16. - an omer] Something less than half a peck of Numb. xi. 31-34; Ps. cv. 40. Both of these hap- our measure. pened in the spring, when the quails pass from Asia into
the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord:] To Europe. Then they are found in great quantities on keep up the memory of his being the Creator of the the coasts of the Red sea and the Mediterranean. God world, and to engage mankind solemnly to acknowledge by a wind drove them within and about the camp of and worship Him as such, God, having on the seventh Israel; and in this the miracle consists, that they were day “rested” or ceased from the work of creation, brought so seasonably to the place, and in so great blessed that day and hallowed it. Accordingly “the numbers, as to suffice two or three millions of persons sabbath" continued to be observed so long as any sense longer than a month. Some persons think locusts to of true religion remained on the earth. But as wickedhave been here intended; but the other sense is that of ness increased in the world, and the true worship of the Oriental interpreters in general, of the Greek trans- God was corrupted by an almost universal idolatry, so lators, and of Josephus. Calmet. See note on Numb. the solemn day of his worship was neglected likewise. xi. 32. The quail of the desert, according to Hassel. And though it may have been revived after the flood, quist, very much resembles the red partridge, but is and continued in some part of Abraham's family, yet not larger than the turtledove. The Arabs bring many in their Egyptian slavery the observation of it appears thousands of them to sell at Jerusalem about Whitsun- to have been interrupted. On the present occasion God tide. Dr. Hales.
renewed the commandment to the Israelites; designing 14. small as the hoar frost] Like a drop of dew this particular day to be kept by them, in memory of frozen on the ground, very small, and at the same time their final deliverance out of Egyptian slavery, and of white in colour. Bp. Patrick.
their being miraculously fed with manna in the wilder15. - It is manna :) The meaning of this word is ness. For which reason he required them to observe uncertain. A great number of ancient and modern ex a strict “rest” on that day; that they might keep up positors understand the Hebrew word to signify “What the memory of their hard labours in Egypt, where they is this?” to which the following words, “they wist not were not suffered to rest on the sabbath day; and be what it was," seem to refer the meaning. Others think the more engaged to serve God, who had so wonderfully it may be better expounded, “ It is a gift or portion," delivered them from that wretched state. Abp. Wake. VOL. I.