Exodus 15:17
Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.
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(17) In the mountain of thine inheritance.—Some suppose Mount Moriah to be especially intended; but it is better to understand Canaan generally, which is a country consisting almost entirely of mountains, with only two plains of any extent—those of Sharon and Esdraelon.

The Sanctuary can only mean the place where God was “to put his name.” (See the comment on Exodus 15:13.) This is spoken of as already “made” and “established,” because it was so in the Divine counsels, as Moses very well knew. (See Deuteronomy 12:5; Deuteronomy 12:11; Deuteronomy 12:14; Deuteronomy 14:23-24, &c.)



Exodus 15:17

I. The lesson taught by each present deliverance and kindness is that we shall be brought to His rest at last.

{a} Daily mercies are a pledge and a pattern of His continuous acts. The confidence that we shall be kept is based upon no hard doctrine of final perseverance, but on the assurance that God is always the same, like the sunshine which has poured out for all these millenniums and still rushes on with the same force. Consider-

The inexhaustibleness of the divine resources.

The steadfastness of the divine purposes.

The long-suffering of the divine patience.

{b} Thus daily mercies should lead on our thoughts to heavenly things. They should not prison us in their own sweetness. We should see the great Future shining through them as a transparent, not an opaque medium.

{c} That ultimate future should be the great object of our hope. Surely it is chiefly in order that we may have the light of that great to-morrow brightening and magnifying our dusty to-days, that we are endowed with the faculty of looking forward and ‘calling things that are not as though they were.’ So we should engage and enlarge our minds with it.

II. The form which that ultimate future assumes.

The Israelites thought of Canaan, and in particular of ‘Zion,’ its centre-point.

{a} Perpetual rest. ‘Bring in and plant’-a contrast to the desert nomad life.

{b} Perpetual safety. ‘The sanctuary which Thy hands have established,’ i.e. made firm.

{c} Perpetual dwelling in God. ‘Thy dwelling,’ ‘Thy mountain,’ ‘Thy holy habitation’ {Exodus 15:13}, rather than ‘our land.’ For Israel their communion with Jehovah was perfected on Zion by the Temple and the sacrifices, including the revelation of {priestly} national service.

{d} Perpetual purity. ‘Thy sanctuary.’ ‘Without’ holiness ‘no man shall see the Lord.’

Exodus 15:17. Thou shalt bring them in — If he thus bring them out of Egypt, he will bring them into Canaan; for he has begun, and will he not make an end? Thou wilt plant them in the place made for thee to dwell in — It is good dwelling where God dwells, in his church on earth, and in his church in heaven. In the mountains — The mountainous country of Canaan. The sanctuary which thy hands have established — Will as surely establish as if it were done already.

15:1-21 This song is the most ancient we know of. It is a holy song, to the honour of God, to exalt his name, and celebrate his praise, and his only, not in the least to magnify any man. Holiness to the Lord is in every part of it. It may be considered as typical, and prophetical of the final destruction of the enemies of the church. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. They have work to do, temptations to grapple with, and afflictions to bear, and are weak in themselves; but his grace is their strength. They are often in sorrow, but in him they have comfort; he is their song. Sin, and death, and hell threaten them, but he is, and will be their salvation. The Lord is a God of almighty power, and woe to those that strive with their Maker! He is a God of matchless perfection; he is glorious in holiness; his holiness is his glory. His holiness appears in the hatred of sin, and his wrath against obstinate sinners. It appears in the deliverance of Israel, and his faithfulness to his own promise. He is fearful in praises; that which is matter of praise to the servants of God, is very dreadful to his enemies. He is doing wonders, things out of the common course of nature; wondrous to those in whose favour they are wrought, who are so unworthy, that they had no reason to expect them. There were wonders of power and wonders of grace; in both, God was to be humbly adored.In the mountain of thine inheritance - See Exodus 15:13. CHAPTER 15

Ex 15:1-27. Song of Moses.

1. Then sang Moses and the children of Israel—The scene of this thanksgiving song is supposed to have been at the landing place on the eastern shore of the Red Sea, at Ayoun Musa, "the fountains of Moses." They are situated somewhat farther northward along the shore than the opposite point from which the Israelites set out. But the line of the people would be extended during the passage, and one extremity of it would reach as far north as these fountains, which would supply them with water on landing. The time when it was sung is supposed to have been the morning after the passage. This song is, by some hundred years, the oldest poem in the world. There is a sublimity and beauty in the language that is unexampled. But its unrivalled superiority arises not solely from the splendor of the diction. Its poetical excellencies have often drawn forth the admiration of the best judges, while the character of the event commemorated, and its being prompted by divine inspiration, contribute to give it an interest and sublimity peculiar to itself.

I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously—Considering the state of servitude in which they had been born and bred, and the rude features of character which their subsequent history often displays, it cannot be supposed that the children of Israel generally were qualified to commit to memory or to appreciate the beauties of this inimitable song. But they might perfectly understand its pervading strain of sentiment; and, with the view of suitably improving the occasion, it was thought necessary that all, old and young, should join their united voices in the rehearsal of its words. As every individual had cause, so every individual gave utterance to his feelings of gratitude.

In the mountain of thine inheritance; either,

1. In the country of Canaan, which is a mountainous country, full of hills and valleys, Deu 11:11; not like Egypt, a plain and low country. Or,

2. In and about the mount of Moriah, where the temple was to be built, which is here put for the whole land, it being the most eminent part of it, round about which the people were planted, and to which they were frequently to resort.

Have established; will certainly build and establish, i.e. cause to be built and established. The past tense for the future, to note the certainty of it, according to the style of the prophets.

Thou shalt bring them in,.... Into the land of Canaan, which is often ascribed to the Lord, as well as his bringing them out of the land of Egypt, see Deuteronomy 8:8,

and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance; in the country which he chose for the inheritance of his people and himself; one part of which was very mountainous, called the hill country of Judea, and especially Jerusalem, round about which mountains were; and particular respect may be had to Mount Moriah and Zion, on which the temple afterwards stood, and which was called the mountain of the Lord's house, and seems to be pointed at in the following account: here Israel is compared to a vine as elsewhere, which the Lord took out of Egypt and planted in the land of Canaan, where it took root and was settled, see Psalm 80:8.

in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in; that is, which he had appointed for his habitation; for as yet neither the tabernacle nor temple were built, in which he afterwards dwelt: in this sense the word "made" is used in Proverbs 16:4.

in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established; that is, which he intended to establish, and would, and did establish; meaning, more especially, the temple, and the holy of holies in it, which he directed Solomon to build, and was a settled dwelling place for him, 1 Kings 8:13, now all this may be considered as typical of the church of Christ, and of his bringing and planting his people there, which is a "mountain", and often signified by Mount Zion; is visible and immovable, the true members of it being interested in the love of God, on the sure foundation of electing grace, secured in the everlasting covenant, and built on the rock Christ Jesus; and is the Lord's "inheritance", chosen by him to be so, given to Christ, and possessed by him as such, and as dear to him, and more so, than a man's inheritance is to him: this is a "place" he has appointed, prepared, and made for himself to dwell in, and is the habitation of Father, Son, and Spirit; and is a "sanctuary" or holy place, consisting of holy persons established in Christ, as particular believers are, and the church in general is; and though now sometimes in an unsettled state as to outward things, yet ere long will be established on the top of the mountains: and hither the Lord brings his purchased people, as sheep into his fold, as children to his house, fitted up for them, as guests to partake of his entertainments; and this is an act of his powerful grace upon them, and of his distinguished goodness to them: and here he also plants them, for the church is a plantation, a garden, an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; and such as are planted here are transplanted out of the world, and are first planted in Christ, and receive the ingrafted word; and though ministers may be instruments in planting, the Lord is the efficient; and those that are planted by him are choice pleasant plants, fruitful ones, and shall never be plucked up: but as this follows the passage of the Lord's people over Jordan into Canaan land, it may rather be considered as an emblem of the heavenly state, and of the Lord's bringing and planting his people there; which, like a mountain, is an immovable and unalterable state, an inheritance incorruptible and eternal, the dwellingplace of Jehovah, a sanctuary or holy place, which his hand prepared from the foundation of the world; and which he has established as everlasting habitations for his people, where he brings their souls at death, and both souls and bodies in the resurrection morn to dwell with him for ever; and which is a paradise, an Eden of pleasure, where he plants them as trees of righteousness, next to Christ the tree of life, and where they are always green, fruitful, flourishing, and shall never be hurt by any scorching heat or blasting wind, or be trodden under foot or plucked up.

Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine {i} inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.

(i) Which was mount Zion, where later the temple was built.

17.Thou didst bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance,

The place which thou hadst made for thee to dwell in, O Yahweh,

The sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.

The final goal of Israel’s triumphant progress through the nations (vv. 14–16): viz. its settlement in Canaan, with Jehovah’s sanctuary established in its midst.

plant them] fix them in firmly: the figure, as 2 Samuel 7:10, Amos 9:15, Psalm 44:2, and elsewhere.

the mountain of thine inheritance] i.e. Canaan, called a ‘mountain’ on account of the mountainous character of many of its most important parts (Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim, for instance). Cf. Deuteronomy 3:25, Isaiah 11:9, Psalm 78:54 b (with allusion to this passage).

of thine inheritance] in so far as it was His possession: cf. Jer Exo 2:7, Psalm 79:1; and (of the people) 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 26:19, 2 Samuel 14:16; 2 Samuel 20:19; 2 Samuel 21:3.

a place … for thee to dwell in] These words, exactly as 1 Kings 8:13 (‘I have surely built thee an house of habitation, a place for thee to dwell in for ever’), in the poetical fragment (vv. 12, 13), excerpted, it is almost certain (see Skinner’s note on the passage in the Century Bible, or Barnes’ in the Cambridge Bible), from the ancient ‘Book of Jashar’ (hence also the expression, ‘place of thy (or his) dwelling,’ in 1 Kings 8:39; 1 Kings 8:43; 1 Kings 8:49, Psalm 33:14). Di. thinks that the reference is to the sanctuary of Shiloh (which must have been a substantial building, 1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:3; 1 Samuel 3:15): others think that the terms used point rather to the Temple on Zion (with ‘established,’ in the next line, cf. Psalm 48:8; Psalm 87:5). Of course, the entire people was not ‘planted’ at either of these places: but the poet, as he goes on, narrows his outlook, and fixes his thoughts on Jehovah’s earthly dwelling, the religious centre of the nation.

Verse 17. Thou shalt bring them in - i.e., give them possession of the laud. And plant them - i.e., fix them firmly in it - enable them to take root there. The mountain of thine inheritance. The land of Canaan, which is almost wholly mountainous, and which God had given as an inheritance to his people (Genesis 15:7; Hebrews 11:8). The sanctuary. See the comment on verse 13. Which thy hands have established. Moses sees in idea the sanctuary already set up, and God dwelling in it; and emphasises his conviction by using the past tense. Exodus 15:17"Thou wilt bring and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, the place which Thou hast made for Thy dwelling-place, Jehovah, for the sanctuary, Lord, which Thy hands prepared." On the dagesh dirim. in מקּדשׁ, see Exodus 2:3. The futures are not to be taken as expressive of wishes, but as simple predictions, and are not to be twisted into preterites, as they have been by Knobel. The "mountain of Jehovah's inheritance" was not the hill country of Canaan (Deuteronomy 3:25), but the mountain which Jehovah had prepared for a sanctuary (Psalm 78:54), and chosen as a dwelling-place through the sacrifice of Isaac. The planting of Israel upon this mountain does not signify the introduction of the Israelites into the promised land, but the planting of the people of God in the house of the Lord (Psalm 92:14), in the future sanctuary, where Jehovah would perfect His fellowship with His people, and where the people would show themselves by their sacrifices to be the "people of possession," and would serve Him for ever as their King. This was the goal, to which the redemption from Egypt pointed, and to which the prophetic foresight of Moses raised both himself and his people in this song, as he beholds in spirit and ardently desires the kingdom of Jehovah in its ultimate completion.

(Note: Auberlen's remarks in the Jahrb.f. d. Theol. iii. p. 793, are quite to the point: "In spirit Moses already saw the people brought to Canaan, which Jehovah had described, in the promise given to the fathers and repeated to him, as His own dwelling-place where He would abide in the midst of His people in holy separation from the nations of the world. When the first stage had been so gloriously finished, he could already see the termination of the journey."..."The nation was so entirely devoted to Jehovah, that its own dwelling-place fell into the shade beside that of its God, and assumed the appearance of a sojourning around the sanctuary of Jehovah, for God went up before the people in the pillar of cloud and fire. The fact that a mountain is mentioned in Exodus 15:17 as the dwelling-place of Jehovah is no proof of a vaticinium post eventum, but is a true prophecy, having its natural side, however, in the fact that mountains were generally the sites chosen for divine worship and for temples; a fact with which Moses was already acquainted (Genesis 22:2; Exodus 3:1, Exodus 3:12; compare such passages as Numbers 22:41; Numbers 33:52; Micah 4:1-2). In the actual fulfilment its was Mount Zion upon which Jehovah was enthroned as King in the midst of his People.)

The song closes in Exodus 15:18 with an inspiring prospect of the time, when "Jehovah will be King (of His people) for ever and ever;" and in Exodus 15:19, it is dovetailed into the historical narrative by the repetition of the fact to which it owed its origin, and by the explanatory "for," which points back to the opening verse.

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