|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-21 This song is the most ancient we know of. It is a holy song, to the honour of God, to exalt his name, and celebrate his praise, and his only, not in the least to magnify any man. Holiness to the Lord is in every part of it. It may be considered as typical, and prophetical of the final destruction of the enemies of the church. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. They have work to do, temptations to grapple with, and afflictions to bear, and are weak in themselves; but his grace is their strength. They are often in sorrow, but in him they have comfort; he is their song. Sin, and death, and hell threaten them, but he is, and will be their salvation. The Lord is a God of almighty power, and woe to those that strive with their Maker! He is a God of matchless perfection; he is glorious in holiness; his holiness is his glory. His holiness appears in the hatred of sin, and his wrath against obstinate sinners. It appears in the deliverance of Israel, and his faithfulness to his own promise. He is fearful in praises; that which is matter of praise to the servants of God, is very dreadful to his enemies. He is doing wonders, things out of the common course of nature; wondrous to those in whose favour they are wrought, who are so unworthy, that they had no reason to expect them. There were wonders of power and wonders of grace; in both, God was to be humbly adored.
Verse 15. - The Dukes of Edom. Compare Genesis 36:15. By the time that the Israelitesapproached the borders of Edom, the dukes had given place to kings (Numbers 20:14), and everything like abject fear of Israel had passed sway. The Edomites "came out against Moses with much people and with a strong hand," and refused to allow the Israelites passage through their borders (ib, vers. 20, 21). The mighty men of Moab. The alarm of the Moabites was indicated by Balak's efforts to induce Balaam to curse the Israelites (Numbers 22-24.). By their "mighty men" some understood men of unusual strength and stature (Cook); but the expression, which is very frequent both in the prophetical and the historical books, seems to be a mere periphrasis for "warriors." All the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. This prophecy received a remarkable accomplishment when "it came to pass that all the kings of the Cannanites heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, and their heart melted, neither was their spirit in them any more" (Joshua 5:1).
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Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed, Of which there were many, see Genesis 36:15 the land being first governed by dukes, as perhaps it was at this time, though in some few years after it had a king, Numbers 20:14 now these, when they heard of the wonderful things that were done for Israel in Egypt, at the Red sea, and in the wilderness, were astonished and surprised, and filled with fear and dread, see Deuteronomy 2:4,
the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them: as did on Balak the king of Moab, and his people, Numbers 22:2, where may be observed a literal accomplishment of this prophecy:
all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away; as their hearts did, through fear, when they heard what God did for Israel against the Egyptians and the Amorites, and understood that they were upon the march to their land to invade it and dispossess them of it: see the fulfilment of this prediction in Joshua 2:9 thus when Babylon shall be destroyed, as Pharaoh and his host were, and the people of God saved out of the midst of her, as Israel was, the kings of the earth will stand afar off for fear of her torment, and bewail and lament for her, Revelation 18:9.
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