|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:10-20 We have here the removes of the children of Israel, till they came to the plains of Moab, from whence they passed over Jordan into Canaan. The end of their pilgrimage was near. They set forward. It were well if we did thus; and the nearer we come to heaven, were so much the more active and abundant in the work of the Lord. The wonderful success God granted to his people, is here spoken of, and, among the rest, their actions on the river Arnon, at Vaheb in Suphah, and other places on that river. In every stage of our lives, nay, in every step, we should notice what God has wrought for us; what he did at such a time, and what in such a place, ought to be distinctly remembered. God blessed his people with a supply of water. When we come to heaven, we shall remove to the well of life, the fountain of living waters. They received it with joy and thankfulness, which made the mercy doubly sweet. With joy must we draw water out of the wells of salvation, Isa 12:3. As the brazen serpent was a figure of Christ, who is lifted up for our cure, so is this well a figure of the Spirit, who is poured forth for our comfort, and from whom flow to us rivers of living waters, Joh 7:38,39. Does this well spring up in our souls? If so, we should take the comfort to ourselves, and give the glory to God. God promised to give water, but they must open the ground. God's favours must be expected in the use of such means as are within our power, but still the power is only of God.
Verse 17. - Then Israel sang this song. This song of the well may be taken from the same collection of odes, but more probably is quoted from memory. It is remarkable for the spirit of joyousness which breathes in it, so different from the complaining, desponding tone of the past.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Israel sang this song,.... Being affected with the free favour and good will of God towards them:
spring up, O well; for the springing up of which they prayed in faith, believing in the promise of God, that it would spring up; and so encouraged one another not only to believe it, but even to sing on account of it before it actually did:
sing ye unto it; or on account of it praise the Lord for it; or "answer to it" (m), it being their manner to sing their songs by responses, or alternately.
(m) "respondete ei", Montanus; "alternis canite ei", Tigurine version, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17, 18. Then Israel sang—This beautiful little song was in accordance with the wants and feelings of travelling caravans in the East, where water is an occasion both of prayer and thanksgiving. From the princes using their official rods only, and not spades, it seems probable that this well was concealed by the brushwood or the sand, as is the case with many wells in Idumea still. The discovery of it was seasonable, and owing to the special interposition of God.
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