Exodus 15:3
The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
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(3) The Lord is a man of war.—The directness and boldness of the anthropomorphism is markedly archaic, and is wisely retained by our translators. How turgid and yet weak are the Samaritan, “mighty in battle,” and the LXX., “crusher of wars,” in comparison!

The Lord is his name.—In the very name, Jehovah, is implied all might, all power, and so necessarily the strength to prevail in battle. The name, meaning “the Existent,” implies that nothing else has any real existence independently of Him; and if no existence, then necessarily no strength.

Exodus 15:3. The Lord is a man of war — Able to deal with all those that strive with their Maker. Houbigant renders the words bellator fortis, Jehovah is a strong warrior, or, mighty in war, a translation countenanced by the Samaritan Hebrew copy, and by the Septuagint, the Chaldee of Onkelos, the Syriac, and the Arabic versions. Jehovah, instead of Lord, should have been retained throughout this song, and especially in the last clause of this verse, Jehovah is his name.

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.A man of war - Compare Psalm 24:8. The name has on this occasion a special fitness: man had no part in the victory; the battle was the Lord's.

The Lord is his name - "Jah is His name." See Exodus 15:2.


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.

A man of war; an eminent warrior; as the phrase is used 1 Samuel 17:33. Thus an eloquent man is called a man of words, Exodus 4:10, and a mighty man, a man of arm, Job 22:8.

The Lord is a man of war,.... A "man", which has respect to the future incarnation of Christ, for as yet he was not really man; though it was purposed, covenanted, agreed to, and prophesied of, that he should, as he after was; not a mere man, as appears by the following clause: "a man of war"; or a warrior; being engaged in war, and inured to it; having to do with very powerful enemies, Satan and his principalities and powers, the world, and the great men of it, antichrist, and all the antichristian states. A warrior well versed in all the arts of war, and abundantly qualified for it, having consummate wisdom, strength, and courage, and thoroughly furnished and accoutred for it; having on the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the garment of vengeance, and cloak of zeal, and a vesture dipped in blood; and with a sword girt on his thigh, or drawn, or coming out of his mouth; and with a bow and arrows, going forth conquering, and to conquer; for he is a victorious one, who has conquered sin, Satan, and the world, and will subdue all others, and make his people more than conquerors, through him. He is not a common man of war or warrior; he is the Captain of the Lord's host, the Leader and Commander of the people, the Generalissimo of the armies in heaven and earth, and is a Prince and King at the head of them:

the Lord is his name; or Jehovah, which proves him to be more than a man; and being so, it is no wonder that he is so mighty, powerful, and victorious.

The LORD is a {c} man of war: the LORD is his {d} name.

(c) In battle he always overcomes.

(d) Always constant in his promises.

3. a man of war] one who understands how to fight, and to vanquish his foes. The same figure, of Jehovah, Isaiah 42:13 (‘a man of wars’), Psalm 24:8 (‘the mighty man [gibbôr] of battle [or of war]’); cf. also ch. Exodus 14:14.

Yahweh is his name] an exultant ejaculation: ‘Yahweh’ is to the poet the great and powerful God, who helps, defends, and delivers His people. Cf. Amos 5:8; Amos 9:6; and ‘Yahweh of hosts is his name,’ Amos 4:13; Amos 5:27, Isaiah 47:4; Isaiah 48:2 al.

Verse 3. - a man of war. A strong anthropomorphism, but one that could scarcely be misunderstood - "a man of war," meaning commonly "a warrior," or "one mighty in battle" (Psalm 24:8). God's might had just been proved, in that he alone had discomfited and destroyed the most potent armed force in the whole world. The Lord is his name. Jehovah - the alone-existing One "truly describes him," before whom all other existence fades and falls into nothingness. On the full meaning of the name, see the comment on Exodus 3:14. Exodus 15:3"Jehovah is a man of war:" one who knows how to make war, and possesses the power to destroy His foes. "Jehovah is His name:" i.e., He has just proved Himself to be the God who rules with unlimited might. For (Exodus 15:4) "Pharaoh's chariots and his might (his military force) He cast into the sea, and the choice (the chosen ones) of his knights (shelishim, see Exodus 14:7) were drowned in the Red Sea."
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