|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
81:1-7 All the worship we can render to the Lord is beneath his excellences, and our obligations to him, especially in our redemption from sin and wrath. What God had done on Israel's behalf, was kept in remembrance by public solemnities. To make a deliverance appear more gracious, more glorious, it is good to observe all that makes the trouble we are delivered from appear more grievous. We ought never to forget the base and ruinous drudgery to which Satan, our oppressor, brought us. But when, in distress of conscience, we are led to cry for deliverance, the Lord answers our prayers, and sets us at liberty. Convictions of sin, and trials by affliction, prove his regard to his people. If the Jews, on their solemn feast-days, were thus to call to mind their redemption out of Egypt, much more ought we, on the Christian sabbath, to call to mind a more glorious redemption, wrought out for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, from worse bondage.
Verses 6-16. - The "discourse" is now given. It commences somewhat abruptly, and is, perhaps, itself a fragment, the beginning of which is lost. God reminds Israel of his past favours (vers. 6, 7), exhorts them to faithfulness (vers. 8, 9), promises them blessings (ver. 10), complains of their waywardness (vers. 11, 12), and finally makes a last appeal to them to turn to him, and recover his protection, before it is too late (vers. 13-16). Verse 6. - I removed his shoulder from the burden. In Egypt, burdens were borne upon the shoulder, either simply held upon it with both hands, or distributed between the two shoulders by means of a yoke (see Rawlinson's 'Herodotus,' vol. 2. p. 214). His hands were delivered from the pots; rather, from the basket; i.e. the basket in which the clay was carried before it was made into bricks.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I removed his shoulder from the burden,.... These are the words of God, declaring how he had delivered the Israelites from the oppression and cruelty of the Egyptians; who made their lives bitter in hard bondage, and obliged them to carry heavy loads of bricks upon their shoulders:
his hands were delivered from the pots, or "baskets" (c); into which the bricks were put when made, and carried on their shoulders; or from making of pots, as Kimchi, who thinks the Israelites were employed in making pots of clay as well as bricks; see Psalm 68:13, the Targum is,
"his hands withdrew themselves from casting clay into the pots:''
the whole is typical of the saints' deliverance by Christ from the bondage of sin, Satan, and the law.
(c) "a sporta, a cophino", Gejerus, Amama, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. God's language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.
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