|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
147:12-20 The church, like Jerusalem of old, built up and preserved by the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, is exhorted to praise him for all the benefits and blessings vouchsafed to her; and these are represented by his favours in the course of nature. The thawing word may represent the gospel of Christ, and the thawing wind the Spirit of Christ; for the Spirit is compared to the wind, Joh 3:8. Converting grace softens the heart that was hard frozen, and melts it into tears of repentance, and makes good reflections to flow, which before were chilled and stopped up. The change which the thaw makes is very evident, yet how it is done no one can say. Such is the change wrought in the conversion of a soul, when God's word and Spirit are sent to melt it and restore it to itself.
Verse 17. - He casteth forth his ice like morsels; or, "like crumbs;" i.e. in profusion, as men feed birds. The "ice" intended would seem to be that of hailstones. Who can stand before his cold? Though the thermometer rarely shows more than six or seven degrees of frost in Palestine, yet the Oriental is as much chilled by such a temperature as the Englishman by one twenty degrees lower. He shivers in his light attire, and is very reluctant to leave the shelter of his house or tent.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He casteth forth his ice like morsels,.... Divided like morsels, as the Targum; cut into pieces, like morsels of bread. This seems to have respect to hail stones, which sometimes fall like pieces of ice, and are very prejudicial to the fruits of the earth: this was one of the ten plagues of Egypt; and whereby also many of the Canaanites were destroyed in the times of Joshua, Exodus 9:23; and there is an exceeding great storm of hail yet to come, very dreadful; see Revelation 16:21. This is expressive of the wrath, vengeance, and judgments of God upon men, by which he is known in various perfections of his nature; as his power, justice, and holiness, for which he is celebrated, Isaiah 30:30;
who can stand before his cold? which he has purposed and promised shall be; for he has said, that "cold and heat shall not cease, as long as the earth remains"; and which he appoints and orders to be, for "by the breath of God frost is given", Genesis 8:22; and this is sometimes and in some places so very vehement, that it is intolerable; men are obliged to keep within doors, to make them fires, and put on more clothes; and the "hands" of every man are sealed up from business; even "the beasts go into their dens, and remain in their places", or get what shelter they can; see Job 37:7. And if there is no standing before his cold, who can stand before the heat of his anger, or his furious wrath and indignation, when it is poured out like fire? see Psalm 76:7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. morsels—used as to food (Ge 18:5), perhaps here denotes hail.
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