|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-16 The prophet shows the glory of Israel's God, and exposes the folly of idolaters. Charms and other attempts to obtain supernatural help, or to pry into futurity, are copied from the wicked customs of the heathen. Let us stand in awe, and not dare provoke God, by giving that glory to another which is due to him alone. He is ready to forgive, and save all who repent and believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Faith learns these blessed truths from the word of God; but all knowledge not from that source, leads to doctrines of vanity.
Verse 16. - The portion of Jacob; i.e. Jehovah. The phrase appears to have been coined at a lower level of religion, when every nation was supposed to have its own patron deity; just as the prophet says, ironically, to the fetish-worshippers of Israel, "Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion" (Isaiah 57:5), and Moses, in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 4:19), speaks of the host of heaven as having been "divided [i.e. assigned] unto all nations under the whole heaven." But, of course, the phrase is susceptible of a high, spiritual application (comp. Psalm 16:5; Psalm 142:5). God's people are, by their very conception, an ἐκλογὴ, chosen out by God, and choosing him, and not the world, for their portion. "Making the best of both worlds" is an object implicitly condemned by this consecrated phrase. The former of all things. How much more forcible is the original phrase: "... of the whole," i.e. the universe! "To form" is a phrase constantly used of God in the second part of Isaiah. The rod of his inheritance. "Rod" should rather be tribe. The twelve tribes had an inner unity, as contrasted with other peoples; comp. Psalm 74:2 and Isaiah 63:17 ("tribes").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The portion of Jacob is not like them,.... Like those idols, vain, and the work of errors, or shall perish; even the true God, who is the portion of his people, of Jacob, whom he has chosen and redeemed; who call themselves by the name of Jacob, and are Israelites indeed, and plain hearted ones; and who have seen the insufficiency of all other portions, and the excellency of this; for there is none like it, none so large, so rich, so satisfying, and so durable; for God is the portion of his, in all the perfections of his nature, which all, some way or other, are for their good and advantage; and in all his persons, and under every character; even all he has is theirs, now and hereafter:
for he is the former of all things: which idols are not, being the maker of creatures themselves; wherefore the Creator must be a better portion than they; and as he has all things at his dispose, he bestows them on his people, and they cannot want:
and Israel is the rod of his inheritance; chosen and possessed by him, and dear unto him; and wonderful this is, that on the one side he should be the portion of his people; and, on the other, that they should be his portion and his inheritance, when so few in number, and despised by and among men, and but sinful dust and ashes; and especially when what follows is considered:
the Lord of hosts is his name: his title is the Lord of armies, above and below; he rules both in heaven and in earth, and has the inhabitants of both worlds, angels and men, at his command; and yet he chooses a handful of people to be his possession and inheritance.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. portion—from a Hebrew root, "to divide." God is the all-sufficient Good of His people (Nu 18:20; Ps 16:5; 73:26; La 3:24).
not like them—not like the idols, a vain object of trust (De 32:31).
former of all things—the Fashioner (as a potter, Isa 64:8) of the universe.
rod of his inheritance—The portion marked off as His inheritance by the measuring rod (Eze 48:21). As He is their portion, so are they His portion (De 32:9). A reciprocal tie (compare Jer 51:19; Ps 74:2, Margin). Others make "rod" refer to the tribal rod or scepter.
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