The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The depths have covered them.—Rather, covered them. The first stanza, or strophe, here terminates—the first historical review is completed. In it attention is concentrated on the one great fact of the deliverance by the destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. At the close it is probable that Miriam, with her chorus of women, took up the refrain of Exodus 15:1, and slightly modifying it, sang, as recorded in Exodus 15:21, “Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath glorified himself gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”Exodus 5:10, like lumps of lead.
Exodus 15:5They are extinct - They are destroyed, as the wick of a lamp is quenched suddenly when immersed in water. This is a striking figure, to denote the suddenness with which it was done, and the completeness of their destruction. As a flame is entirely put out when plunged beneath the water, so the whole host of the Egyptians were suddenly and completely destroyed in the Red Sea. The sentiment in this verse is, that God has power over the nations to control them; that it is one of his characteristics to lead on the enemies of his people to destruction; and that they are suddenly destroyed, and their hopes, and joys, and triumphs put out forever. If it was so in regard to the Egyptians, it will be also in regard to all his foes. And if this took place in regard to a nation, it shall also in regard to individual sinners who oppose themselves to God.
How oft is the candle of time wicked put out?
And how oft cometh their destruction upon them?
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.
they sunk into the bottom as a stone; into the bottom of the sea, as a stone thrown into anybody of water sinks and rises not up again; this circumstance is observed by Nehemiah 9:11.
their persecutors thou threwest into the deep, as a stone into the mighty waters; and thus a stone like a millstone being taken by an angel and cast into the sea, is made an emblem of the irrecoverable ruin and destruction of Babylon, or antichrist, Revelation 18:21.The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. The deeps] chiefly a poet. word: Psalm 77:16; Psalm 106:9, Isaiah 63:13 (all with reference to the passage of Red Sea); and elsewhere.
did cover them] The tense used represents the action vividly as it was taking place, something in the manner of the Greek imperfect. Song of Solomon vv6, 7. It cannot be reproduced idiomatically in English. ‘Cover’ is probably meant by the Revisers to be a historical present: but even this is inadequate; and the word is very liable to be misunderstood as an actual present (‘cover them now’).
the depths] Micah 7:19, Psalm 68:22; Psalm 107:24, Nehemiah 9:11 (an allusion to the present passage), al. Properly, perhaps, the gurgling-places (cf. on v. 10). Quite a different word from ‘deeps,’ vv. 5, 8.Verse 5. - The depths have covered them. Rather "covered them." Into the bottom. Literally, "into the abyss." Like a stone. The warriors who fought in chariots commonly wore coats of mail, composed of bronze plates sewn on to a linen base, and overlapping one another. The coats covered the arms to the elbow, and descended nearly to the knee. They must have been exceedingly heavy: and the warrior who wore one must have sunk at once, without a struggle, like a stone or a lump of lead (verse 10).
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