|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
78:40-55. Let not those that receive mercy from God, be thereby made bold to sin, for the mercies they receive will hasten its punishment; yet let not those who are under Divine rebukes for sin, be discouraged from repentance. The Holy One of Israel will do what is most for his own glory, and what is most for their good. Their forgetting former favours, led them to limit God for the future. God made his own people to go forth like sheep; and guided them in the wilderness, as a shepherd his flock, with all care and tenderness. Thus the true Joshua, even Jesus, brings his church out of the wilderness; but no earthly Canaan, no worldly advantages, should make us forget that the church is in the wilderness while in this world, and that there remaineth a far more glorious rest for the people of God.
Verse 51. - And smote all the firstborn in Egypt (see Exodus 12:29). The chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham; or, "the beginning (literally, firstfruits) of their strength" (comp. Genesis 49:3). "The tabernacles of Ham" is a periphrasis for "Egypt" - the Egyptians, according to the author of Genesis (Genesis 10:6), being descendants of Ham (comp. Psalm 105:23, 27; 6:22). There are no sufficient grounds for connecting the name of Ham either with the Egyptian Kem, Kemi - the native name for the country - or with Khem, one of the principal Egyptian goes. The literation is, no doubt, close in the latter case; but etymologists lay it down that close approximations are especially deceptive.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And smote all the firstborn in Egypt,.... From the prince to the peasant; and not only the firstborn of men, but of beasts also, Exodus 12:29,
the chief of their strength; or first of it, as the firstborn is called, Genesis 49:3,
in the tabernacles of Ham; in the several cities, towns, villages, and houses of the Egyptians, the descendants of cursed Ham; for Mizraim, from whom the Egyptians have their name, and from whence they sprung, was a son of Ham's, Genesis 10:6. Perhaps No Ammon may be particularly meant, Nahum 3:8, the same with Memphis, and which signifies the mansion or palace of Ammon, that is, Ham; and so Chemmis, another city in Egypt, signifies the same (n); of which see Psalm 105:23 this was the tenth and last plague: according to Suidas (o), the plagues of Egypt continued forty days.
(n) Dickinson Delph. Phoeniciz. cap. 4. (o) In voce
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
51. chief of their strength—literally, "first-fruits," or, "first-born" (Ge 49:3; De 21:17).
Ham—one of whose sons gave name (Mizraim, Hebrew) to Egypt.
Psalm 78:51 Parallel Commentaries
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