|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:15-24 The true believer watches against all occasions of sin. The Divine power will keep him safe, and his faith in that power will keep him easy. He shall want nothing needful for him. Every blessing of salvation is freely bestowed on all that ask with humble, believing prayer; and the believer is safe in time and for ever. Those that walk uprightly shall not only have bread given, and their water sure, but they shall, by faith, see the King of kings in his beauty, the beauty of holiness. The remembrance of the terror they were in, shall add to the pleasure of their deliverance. It is desirable to be quiet in our own houses, but much more so to be quiet in God's house; and in every age Christ will have a seed to serve him. Jerusalem had no large river running by it, but the presence and power of God make up all wants. We have all in God, all we need, or can desire. By faith we take Christ for our Prince and Saviour; he reigns over his redeemed people. All that refuse to have Him to reign over them, make shipwreck of their souls. Sickness is taken away in mercy, when the fruit of it is the taking away of sin. If iniquity be taken away, we have little reason to complain of outward affliction. This last verse leads our thoughts, not only to the most glorious state of the gospel church on earth, but to heaven, where no sickness or trouble can enter. He that blotteth out our transgressions, will heal our souls.
Verse 21. - But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a Place of broad rivers; rather, there in majesty the Lord is ours; [the Lord who is] a Place of broad rivers, etc. Some critics think that "a place of broad rivers" may be exegetical of sham, "there," and so apply it to Jerusalem; but the majority regard the phrase as applied directly to Jehovah. As he is "a Place to hide in" (Psalm 32:7; Psalm 119:114), so he may be "a Place of broad rivers," full, i.e. of refreshment and spiritual blessing. Wherein shall go no galley. The river of God's grace, which "makes glad the city of God, "shall bear no enemy on its surface, allow no invader to cross it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams,.... Egypt had its Nile, and Babylon its Euphrates, but Jerusalem had no such river for its convenience, commerce, and defence; but God promises to be that to his Jerusalem, his church and people, as will answer to, and be "instead" (g) of, a river that has the broadest streams; which is expressive of the abundance of his grace, and the freeness of it, for the supply of his church, as well as of the pleasant situation and safety of it; see Psalm 46:1 where the Lord appears "glorious"; where he displays the glorious perfections of his nature, his power, faithfulness, truth, holiness, love, grace, and mercy; where his glorious Gospel is preached; where he grants his gracious and glorious presence; and where saints come to see his glory, do see it, and speak of it; see 2 Samuel 6:20,
wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ships pass thereby: this advantage literal Jerusalem had, that, though it had no river for its pleasure, profit, and protection, yet no enemy could come up to it in that way; and the Lord, though he is indeed instead of a broad river to his people for their supply and safety, yet such an one as will not admit any enemy, great or small, signified by the "galley with oars", and the "gallant ship", to come near them; and in the New Jerusalem church state, when there will be new heavens and a new earth, there will be no sea, Revelation 21:1 and so no place for ships and galleys. The design of these metaphors is to show that the church of Christ at this time will be safe from all enemies whatsoever, as they must needs be, when the Lord is not only a place of broad rivers, but a wall of fire round about them, and the glory in the midst of them, Zechariah 2:5.
(g) "loco fluviorum", Junius & Tremellius; pro "non in talione, sed saltem ut significat loco ac vice, Deus ecclesiae est pro fluminibus", Gusset. Ebr. Comment, p. 740.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. there—namely, in Jerusalem.
will be … rivers—Jehovah will be as a broad river surrounding our city (compare Isa 19:6; Na 3:8), and this, too, a river of such a kind as no ship of war can pass (compare Isa 26:1). Jerusalem had not the advantage of a river; Jehovah will be as one to it, affording all the advantages, without any of the disadvantages of one.
galley with oars—war vessels of a long shape, and propelled by oars; merchant vessels were broader and carried sail.
gallant—same Hebrew word as for "glorious," previously; "mighty" will suit both places; a ship of war is meant. No "mighty vessel" will dare to pass where the "mighty Lord" stands as our defense.
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