|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 8. - How pathetic a supplication! Jehovah will surely not be as a stranger in the land - the strangers, or" sojourners," like the μέτοικοι, enjoyed no civic rights, and consequently had no interest in the highest concerns of the state, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside - or perhaps, pitcketh his tent; for the traveler in Palestine doubtless carried his tent with him then as now - to tarry for a night. With the latter figure compare the beautiful comparison of the hope of the ungodly to "the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day" (Wisd. 5:14).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O the hope of Israel,.... The author, object, ground, and foundation of hope of all good things, both here and hereafter; in whom Israel had been used to hope in times past, and had great encouragement so to do, Psalm 130:7 or, "the expectation of Israel" (f); whom they looked for to come:
the Saviour thereof in time of trouble; the Saviour of all men in a way of providence, but especially of the true Israel of God, of them that believe; who, though they have their times of trouble and affliction, by reason of sin, Satan, and wicked men, and other things, yet the Lord saves and delivers them out of them all in due time:
why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land; or, a "sojourner" (g); who abides but for a while; and it not being his native place, is not so solicitous for the welfare of it. Jerome interprets this of Christ when here on earth, who was as a stranger, and unknown by men; see Psalm 69:9 and the other characters;
of the hope of Israel, and the Saviour, well agree with him, 1 Timothy 1:1.
and as a wayfaring man; or "traveller" (h):
that turnest aside to tarry for a night? that turns into an inn to lodge there for a night, and that only; and so is unconcerned what becomes of it, or the people in it; he is only there for a night, and is gone in the morning. Thus the prophet represents the Lord by these metaphors, as if he was, or at least seemed, careless of his people; and therefore expostulates with him upon it, as the disciples with our Lord, Mark 4:38.
(f) "expectatio Israel", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius. (g) "quasi colonus", Grotius; "advena", Gataker. (h) "tanquam viator", Pagninus, Montanus, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. The reference is, not to the faith of Israel which had almost ceased, but to the promise and everlasting covenant of God. None but the true Israel make God their "hope." (Jer 17:13).
turneth aside to tarry—The traveller cares little for the land he tarries but a night in; but Thou hast promised to dwell always in the midst of Thy people (2Ch 33:7, 8). Maurer translates, "spreadeth," namely, his tent.
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