|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 8. - With the blast of thy nostril the waters were gathered together. Poetically, Moses describes the east wind which God set in motion as "the blast" or "breath of his nostrils." By means of it, he says, the waters were "gathered together," or "piled up;" then, growing bolder in his imagery, he represents the floods as "standing in a heap" on either side, and the depths as "congealed. No doubt, if these terms are meant to be taken literally, the miracle must have been one in which "the sea" (as Kalisch says) "giving up its nature, formed with its waves a firm wall, and instead of streaming like a fluid, congealed into a hard substance." But the question is, are we justified in taking literally the strong expressions of a highly wrought poetical description?
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And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together,.... From the bottom of the sea, and divided and laid on heaps; and this by a strong east wind, called the blast of the nostrils of the Lord, because as easily brought by him as a man's breath or wind is drawn through his nostrils; and thus Christ with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming, will destroy antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
the floods stood upright as an heap; though a fluid body, yet by the power of Christ were raised up and continued upright, firm and consistent; as things dry and solid may be laid and heaped up on one another, and remain firm and stable; and so did the waters of the sea, they stood like a wall, and were as firm as a rock; while the Israelites passed between them, they stood upright, and lift up their hands, as if they blessed them; or blessed God for the deliverance of them, or in admiration of it; see Exodus 14:22,
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