|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 26. - He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. Here, again, tradition seems to speak. The narrative in the Pentateuch has only, "There went forth a wind from the Lord" (Numbers 11:81).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens,.... In the airy heaven: or "he caused it to go" (f); to go forth out of its place, out of the repositories and treasures of it, from whence he brings the wind, Psalm 130:7 the winds are under the power and government of God, they are his servants that obey him; he says to one, Go, and it goes; and to another, Come, and it comes; stormy wind fulfils his word of command, and obeys its Creator:
and by his power he brought in the south wind; into the heavens, into the air, as before, and with it he brought the quails; and which made his power to appear the greater, since they do not fly with the south wind, which is too moist and heavy for them, as naturalists observe (g); it looks as if first one wind blew, and then another was used for the bringing of them from the place where they were; perhaps about the Red sea, where they are said to have been in great numbers; and that the east wind brought them to a certain point, and then the south wind blew to bring them into the camp of Israel, where, by the moistness of it, they fell; hence fowlers, as the above naturalists relate, observe the south wind, in order to take them; though it may be that only one wind is intended, namely, the southeast wind; and so Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, understand it.
(f) "fecit proficisci", Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus. (g) Aristot. de Hist. Animal. l. 8. c. 12. Plin. Hist. l. 10. c. 23.
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