|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-9 The people were in tears. But it was rather the cry of their trouble, and of their sin, than of their prayer. Let us be thankful for the mercy of water, that we may not be taught to value it by feeling the want of it. See what dependence husbandmen have upon the Divine providence. They cannot plough nor sow in hope, unless God water their furrows. The case even of the wild beasts was very pitiable. The people are not forward to pray, but the prophet prays for them. Sin is humbly confessed. Our sins not only accuse us, but answer against us. Our best pleas in prayer are those fetched from the glory of God's own name. We should dread God's departure, more than the removal of our creature-comforts. He has given Israel his word to hope in. It becomes us in prayer to show ourselves more concerned for God's glory than for our own comfort. And if we now return to the Lord, he will save us to the glory of his grace.
Verse 5. - Even the animals starve. Yea, the hind also. The hind, contrary to that intense natural affection for which she was famous among the ancients, abandons her young.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yea, the hind also calved in the field,.... Or brought forth her young in the field; of which see Job 39:1, and which they sometimes did through fear, particularly when frightened with thunder and lightning; and which are common in a time of heat and drought, which is the case here; see Psalm 29:9 of these sort of creatures there were great plenty in Judea and the parts adjacent. Aelianus (z) says, the harts in Syria are bred on the highest mountains, Amanus, Lebanon, and Carmel; which were mountains on the borders of the land of Canaan; and the flesh of these was much used for food by the Jews; see Deuteronomy 12:15,
and forsook it; which, as it is a loving creature to its mate, so very careful of its young, and provident for it, and nourishes it, as Pliny (a) observes. The reason of such uncommon usage follows:
because there was no grass; for the hind to feed upon, and so had no milk to suckle its young with; and therefore left it to seek for grass elsewhere, that it might have food for itself, and milk for its young.
(z) De Anima. l. 5. c. 56. (a) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 32.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. The brute creation is reduced to the utmost extremity for the want of food. The "hind," famed for her affection to her young, abandons them.
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