|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
63:7-14 The latter part of this chapter, and the whole of the next, seem to express the prayers of the Jews on their conversation. They acknowledge God's great mercies and favours to their nation. They confess their wickedness and hardness of heart; they entreat his forgiveness, and deplore the miserable condition under which they have so long suffered. The only-begotten Son of the Father became the Angel or Messenger of his love; thus he redeemed and bare them with tenderness. Yet they murmured, and resisted his Holy Spirit, despising and persecuting his prophets, rejecting and crucifying the promised Messiah. All our comforts and hopes spring from the loving-kindness of the Lord, and all our miseries and fears from our sins. But he is the Saviour, and when sinners seek after him, who in other ages glorified himself by saving and feeding his purchased flock, and leading them safely through dangers, and has given his Holy Spirit to prosper the labours of his ministers, there is good ground to hope they are discovering the way of peace.
Verse 14. - As a beast goeth down into the valley. Bishop Lowth's version seems the best," As the herd descendeth to the valley." Israel's passage through the Sinaitic peninsula into Canaan is compared to the movement of a herd of cattle from its summer pastures in the mountains to the valley at their base, where for a time it rests. So God gave his people, after their many trials, "rest" in Canaan (Hebrews 3:11-18). So didst thou lead thy people. "So" refers, not to the last simile only, but to the entire description contained in vers. 11-14. To make thyself a glorious name (comp. ver. 12, and see also Ezekiel 36:21-23; Malachi 1:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As a beast goeth down into the valley,.... Softly and gently, especially when laden; which may have some respect to the descent of the Israelites into the sea, into which they entered without any fear and dread, and without any hurry and precipitation, though Pharaoh's host was behind them; or rather, "as a beast goes along a valley", or "plain" (c); with ease, and without any interruption, so passed the Israelites through the sea. Thus the Targum renders it,
"as a beast goes, or is led, in a plain;''
so the word is used in Isaiah 38:8, and elsewhere:
the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest; or gently led him, that is, Israel; he walked on through the sea, with as much facility, and as little danger, as a beast walks on in a valley, or a horse in a plain. Some understand this of leading Israel through the wilderness, where often resting places were found for them, and at last they were brought to the land of rest, Canaan, and settled there:
so didst thou lead thy people; both through the sea, and through the wilderness, in a like easy, safe, and gentle manner:
to make thyself a glorious name; among the nations of the world, as he did by this amazing appearance of his for Israel; and it is hoped by those, whose words these are, he would do the like again, and get himself immortal glory.
(c) "sicut jumentum quod in campo, vel valle, vel planitie, graditur", Gataker.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. As a beast … rest—image from a herd led "down" from the hills to a fertile and well-watered "valley" (Ps 23:2); so God's Spirit "caused Israel to rest" in the promised land after their weary wanderings.
to make … name—(So Isa 63:12; 2Sa 7:23).
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