|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
78:9-39. Sin dispirits men, and takes away the heart. Forgetfulness of God's works is the cause of disobedience to his laws. This narrative relates a struggle between God's goodness and man's badness. The Lord hears all our murmurings and distrusts, and is much displeased. Those that will not believe the power of God's mercy, shall feel the fire of his indignation. Those cannot be said to trust in God's salvation as their happiness at last, who can not trust his providence in the way to it. To all that by faith and prayer, ask, seek, and knock, these doors of heaven shall at any time be opened; and our distrust of God is a great aggravation of our sins. He expressed his resentment of their provocation; not in denying what they sinfully lusted after, but in granting it to them. Lust is contented with nothing. Those that indulge their lust, will never be estranged from it. Those hearts are hard indeed, that will neither be melted by the mercies of the Lord, nor broken by his judgments. Those that sin still, must expect to be in trouble still. And the reason why we live with so little comfort, and to so little purpose, is, because we do not live by faith. Under these rebukes they professed repentance, but they were not sincere, for they were not constant. In Israel's history we have a picture of our own hearts and lives. God's patience, and warnings, and mercies, imbolden them to harden their hearts against his word. And the history of kingdoms is much the same. Judgments and mercies have been little attended to, until the measure of their sins has been full. And higher advantages have not kept churches from declining from the commandments of God. Even true believers recollect, that for many a year they abused the kindness of Providence. When they come to heaven, how will they admire the Lord's patience and mercy in bringing them to his kingdom!
Verse 25. - Man did eat angels' food; literally, bread of the mighty ones, by which the LXX. and most commentators understand "angels" to be meant. "Angels' food" may mean either the actual food on which angels subsist, or food supplied by the ministration of angels, and derived from their dwelling place. It cannot be laid down dogmatically that angels require no food. He sent them meat to the full (comp. Exodus 16:3, where the Israelites contrast with their wretched life in the wilderness their life in Egypt, where they "did eat bread to the full").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Man did eat angels' food,.... Or, "the bread of the mighty" (d); such as Moses and Elijah ate of; so Arama; but Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it of the clouds, or skies, said to be strong, Job 37:18 in which the manna was prepared, and let down: but rather the words may be read, "every man did eat the bread of the mighty ones"; of princes and nobles, and the great men of the earth; it was royal food, it was princely fare; and, indeed, the common people of Israel ate the same as their princes and nobles did; they all fared alike; but the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, render the word "angels", and so Jarchi interprets it, and who are called mighty angels, and are creatures that excel in strength, 2 Thessalonians 1:7 now the manna may be said to be their food, as it is in the Apocrypha:
"Instead whereof thou feddest thine own people with angels' food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared without their labour, able to content every man's delight, and agreeing to every taste.'' (Wisdom 16:20)
because it might be prepared in the air by the ministry of angels, and given by their disposition, as the law was, Acts 7:53 or because it came down from heaven, where they dwell, and so the Targum,
"the children of men did eat food, which came down from the habitation of angels;''
or because it was most excellent food, as the tongue of angels is the most excellent and eloquent, 1 Corinthians 13:1, or because it was such food, that, if angels ate any, it was fit for them, and not at all unworthy of them. Cocceius thinks, and so Gussetius (e), that by the mighty ones are meant the mighty God, Father, Son, and Spirit, by whom this food was prepared and given; so the word is used in the singular number, of Jehovah, who is called the mighty One of Jacob, Genesis 49:24 and of the Redeemer, Isaiah 49:26,
he sent them meat to the full; which may be understood either of the manna, of which they had great plenty, so that there was no lack for any man, and this continued with them till they came to the land of Canaan; or of the quails, of which in the following verses.
(d) "fortium", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. "magnificorum, potentium", Vatablus. (e) Comment. Ebr. p. 14. Vid. Witsium de Oeconom. Foeder. l. 4. c. 10. sect. 99.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. angels' food—literally, "bread of the mighty" (compare Ps 105:40); so called, as it came from heaven.
meat—literally, "victuals," as for a journey.
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