|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:7-12 Conversation concerning God's wondrous works is good, and edifies. Jethro not only rejoiced in the honour done to his son-in-law, but in all the goodness done to Israel. Standers-by were more affected with the favours God had showed to Israel, than many were who received them. Jethro gave the glory to Israel's God. Whatever we have the joy of, God must have the praise. They joined in a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Mutual friendship is sanctified by joint worship. It is very good for relations and friends to join in the spiritual sacrifice of prayer and praise, as those that meet in Christ. This was a temperate feast; they did eat bread, manna. Jethro must see and taste that bread from heaven, and though a gentile, is welcome: the gentiles are welcomed to Christ the Bread of life.
Verse 11. - Now know I that the Lord is greater than all gods. It would seem that Jethro, like the generality of the heathen, believed in a plurality of gods, and had hitherto regarded the God of the Israelites as merely one among many equals. Now, he renounces this creed, and emphatically declares his belief that Jehovah is above all other gods, greater, higher, more powerful. Compare the confessions of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:47; Daniel 3:26, 27) and Darius the Mede (Daniel 6:26). For in the thing wherein they dealt wickedly he was above them. There is no "he was above them" in the original, nor is the clause a distinct sentence from the preceding one. It is merely a prolongation of that clause, without any new verb; and should be translated, "Even in the very matter that they (the Egyptians) dealt proudly against them "(the Israelites). The superiority of Jehovah to other gods was shown forth even in the very matter of the proud dealing of the Egyptians, which was brought to shame and triumphed over by the might of Jehovah. The allusion is especially to the passage of the Red Sea.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods,.... He knew the Lord before, and that he was the only true God, and greater than all that were so called; but now he had a fresh instance of it, a clear proof and demonstration of it, and so more plainly and fully knew it, and was assured of it, that he was greater than all the idols of the Gentiles, and particularly than the gods of the Egyptians; since he had saved his people Israel out of their hands, and when they could not protect and defend the Egyptians neither from plagues nor from destruction; nay, could not secure themselves, being all destroyed by the mighty Jehovah, see Exodus 12:12, as also that he is greater than all that are called gods, kings, princes, and civil magistrates, than Pharaoh and all his nobles, generals, and captains, who were destroyed by him: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly, he was above them; the idol gods, the gods of the Egyptians, the evil demons, Satan and his principalities, who influenced them, presuming and boasting by their magicians what they could do; but in those things Jehovah in the wonders he wrought appeared to be above them; they were overcome by him, and obliged to acknowledge the finger of God; and this sense stands best connected with the preceding clause: or else in those things, in which the Egyptians dealt proudly with the Israelites, pursuing after them in the pride and vanity of their minds, and giving out that they should overtake them and divide the spoil, and satisfy their lust upon them, when God blew with his wind upon them, the sea covered them, and they sunk as lead in the mighty waters, see Exodus 15:9, and to the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red sea, the Jews commonly apply this: thus the Targum of Jonathan,"wherein the Egyptians dealt wickedly in judging Israel, by the waters, judgment returned upon them that they might be judged by the waters;''and to the same sense Jarchi: they suppose here was a just retaliation, that as the Egyptians drowned the Hebrew infants in the waters of the Nile, they were in righteous judgment drowned in the Red sea; this is the very thing, or is the same way they in their pride and malice dealt with the people of Israel; God dealt with them, and showed himself to be both "against them" (o), as it may be rendered, and above them.
(o) "contra eos", Pagninus, Montanus; "contra illos", V. L. Tigurine version; so Reinbech "de accent". Heb. p. 314.
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