|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:10-16 When the gospel should be publicly preached, the Gentiles would seek Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and find rest of soul. When God's time is come for the deliverance of his people, mountains of opposition shall become plains before him. God can soon turn gloomy days into glorious ones. And while we expect the Lord to gather his ancient people, and bring them home to his church, also to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, when all will be united in holy love, let us tread the highway of holiness he has made for his redeemed. Let us wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, looking to him to prepare our way through death, that river which separates this world from the eternal world.
Verse 15. - The Lord shall utterly destroy; rather, shall lay under a curse (Aquila, ἀναθεματίσει). The tongue of the Egyptian sea. Either the Gulf of Suez or that of Akabah. God shall do away with those obstacles which keep the nations apart and prevent ready intercourse. Both gulfs are thought to have extended anciently considerably further inland than they do at present. With his mighty wind; rather, with the might of his breath (in fortitudine spiritus sui, Vulgate). Shall he shake his hand. A gesture of menace (comp. Isaiah 10:32). Over the river. "The river" (hun-unbar) is, as usually, the Euphrates, the great river of Western Asia. And smite it in the seven streams; rather, and smite it into seven streams; i.e. divide its waters among seven channels, so that it may be readily forded, and cease to be a barrier. Dry-shod; literally, in their shoes; i.e. without taking them off;
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea,.... Which Kimchi and Abarbinel interpret of the Egyptian river Sichor, or the Nile; others of a bay of the Egyptian sea, so called because in the form of a tongue; the destroying of it designs the drying of it up, so that people might pass over it dry shod; the allusion is to the drying up of the Red Sea, when the Israelites came out of Egypt, and passed through it, as on dry land; and it intends the destruction of Egypt itself, not literally by the Romans, in the times of Augustus Caesar, as Jerom thinks, who interprets the "strong wind", in the following clause, of them; but figuratively, the destruction of Rome, which is spiritually called Egypt, Revelation 11:8 and the utter destruction of it, by an anathema, and with a curse, from the Lord himself; as the word here used signifies; and which will take place upon the battle at Armageddon, Revelation 16:16 which has its name from the word in the text:
and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river; in allusion to Moses's stretching out his hand over the Red sea, and the Lord's causing it to go back with a strong east wind, Exodus 14:21. Some understand this of the river Nile as before, and that because of what follows; but Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of the river Euphrates, which is commonly understood in Scripture when "the river", without any explication, is made mention of; and so the Targum,
"and the Lord shall dry up the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and shall lift up the stroke of his strength upon Euphrates, by the word of his prophets;''
and this designs the destruction of the Turks, or the Ottoman empire, which is signified by the drying up of the river Euphrates, Revelation 16:12 where it is thought by some there is an allusion to the words here:
and shall smite it in the seven streams; which have made some think the river Nile is meant, because that had its seven streams, or gates, as Juvenal calls (o) them, or mouths, by which the sea issued into it; which are called (p) the Canopic or Heracleotic, the Bolbitine or Bolbitic, the Sebennitic, the Phatnitic, the Mendesian, the Tanitic or Saitic, and the Pelusian or Bubastic, from the cities Canopus and Heracleum, Bolbitine, Sebennytus, Phatnus, Mendes, Tanis or Sais, Pelusium, and Bubastus, built on the shore of these entrances; but it may be observed, that the river Euphrates was drained by seven ditches or rivulets by Cyrus, when Babylon was taken, by which means his soldiers entered the city dry shod, to which the allusion may be here; and it may denote the entire destruction of the Turkish empire, in all its branches; for "seven", as Kimchi observes, may signify a multitude, even the many kingdoms, people, and nations, under that jurisdiction:
and make men go over dryshod; or "with shoes", with them on, there being no need to pluck them off, the river and its streams being dried up; by the "men" are, meant the "kings of the east", of which See Gill on Revelation 16:12 all these phrases denote the removal of all impediments out of the way of God's people in those parts, in coming over to the Christian religion, and their embracing and professing that.
(o) Satyr. 13. (p) Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. There shall be a second exodus, destined to eclipse even the former one from Egypt in its wonders. So the prophecies elsewhere (Ps 68:22; Ex 14:22; Zec 10:11). The same deliverance furnishes the imagery by which the return from Babylon is described (Isa 48:20, 21).
destroy—literally, "devote," or "doom," that is, dry up; for what God dooms, perishes (Ps 106:9 Na 1:4).
tongue—the Bubastic branch of the Nile [Vitringa]; but as the Nile was not the obstruction to the exodus, it is rather the west tongue or Heroöpolite fork of the Red Sea.
with … mighty wind—such as the "strong east wind" (Ex 14:21), by which God made a way for Israel through the Red Sea. The Hebrew for "mighty" means terrible. Maurer translates, "With the terror of His anger"; that is, His terrible anger.
in the seven streams—rather, "shall smite it (divide it by smiting) into seven (many) streams, so as to be easily crossed" [Lowth]. So Cyrus divided the river Gyndes, which retarded his march against Babylon, into three hundred sixty streams, so that even a woman could cross it [Herodotus, 1.189]. "The river" is the Euphrates, the obstruction to Israel's return "from Assyria" (Isa 11:16), a type of all future impediments to the restoration of the Jews.
dry shod—Hebrew, "in shoes." Even in sandals they should be able to pass over the once mighty river without being wet (Re 16:12).
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