Exodus 15:8
And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
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Exodus 15:8. With the blast of thy nostrils — Or, of thine anger, as the Hebrew word is often rendered. He means that vehement east wind, (Exodus 15:10, and Exodus 14:21,) which was raised by God’s anger in order to the ruin of his enemies. The floods — Hebrew, the streams, or the flowing waters, whose nature it is to be constantly in motion; stood upright as a heap — This is wonderfully beautiful and majestic, as indeed the whole song is. The inspired writer ennobles the wind by making God himself the principle of it; and animates the waters by making them susceptible of fear. The frighted waters withdrew with impetuosity from their wonted bed, and crowded suddenly one upon another. The depths were congealed — Hardened, stood still as if they had been frozen in the heart, the midst, of the sea. So that here the imagination figures to itself mountains of solid waters in the very centre of the liquid element.

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.The blast of God's nostrils corresponds to the natural agency, the east wind Exodus 14:21, which drove the waters back: on the north the waters rose high, overhanging the sands, but kept back by the strongwind: on the south they laid in massive rollers, kept down by the same agency in the deep bed of the Red Sea.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.

Of thy nostrils; or, of thine anger, to wit. that vehement east wind, Exodus 15:10 14:21, which was raised by thine anger in order to the ruin of thine enemies.

The floods, Heb. the streams, or the flowing waters, whose nature it is to be constantly in motion.

Were congealed, i.e. hardened, stood still, as if they had been frozen, and so they were a wall on both hands, Exodus 14:22.

In the heart of the sea, i.e. the midst; as that word is used, Psalm 18:16 46:2 Ezekiel 28:2.

And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together,.... From the bottom of the sea, and divided and laid on heaps; and this by a strong east wind, called the blast of the nostrils of the Lord, because as easily brought by him as a man's breath or wind is drawn through his nostrils; and thus Christ with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming, will destroy antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

the floods stood upright as an heap; though a fluid body, yet by the power of Christ were raised up and continued upright, firm and consistent; as things dry and solid may be laid and heaped up on one another, and remain firm and stable; and so did the waters of the sea, they stood like a wall, and were as firm as a rock; while the Israelites passed between them, they stood upright, and lift up their hands, as if they blessed them; or blessed God for the deliverance of them, or in admiration of it; see Exodus 14:22,

And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
8. the blast of thy nostrils] Fig. for the wind (v. 10), as Psalm 18:15.

were piled up] The hyperbole, as Exodus 14:22 (the ‘wall’). The Heb. word occurs only here. ‘Heap’ in Ruth 3:7 is cognate.

floods] or streams, lit. the flowing ones. A poet. word; cf. Psalm 78:16; Psalm 78:44, Song of Solomon 4:15, Isaiah 44:3.

an heap] Cf. Joshua 3:13; Joshua 3:16; Psalm 78:13.

congealed] or, solidified (cf. Zephaniah 1:12 RVm.,—the same word).

the heart of the sea] Cf. Psalm 46:2, Ezekiel 27:4.

Verse 8. - With the blast of thy nostril the waters were gathered together. Poetically, Moses describes the east wind which God set in motion as "the blast" or "breath of his nostrils." By means of it, he says, the waters were "gathered together," or "piled up;" then, growing bolder in his imagery, he represents the floods as "standing in a heap" on either side, and the depths as "congealed. No doubt, if these terms are meant to be taken literally, the miracle must have been one in which "the sea" (as Kalisch says) "giving up its nature, formed with its waves a firm wall, and instead of streaming like a fluid, congealed into a hard substance." But the question is, are we justified in taking literally the strong expressions of a highly wrought poetical description? Exodus 15:8Thus had Jehovah annihilated the Egyptians. "And by the breath of Thy nostrils (i.e., the strong east wind sent by God, which is described as the blast of the breath of His nostrils; cf. Psalm 18:16) the waters heaped themselves up (piled themselves up, so that it was possible to go between them like walls); the flowing ones stood like a heap" (נד cumulus; it occurs in Joshua 3:13, Joshua 3:16, and Psalm 33:7; Psalm 78:13, where it is borrowed from this passage. מזלים: the running, flowing ones; a poetic epithet applied to waves, rivers, or brooks, Psalm 78:16, Psalm 78:44; Isaiah 44:3). "The waves congealed in the heart of the sea:" a poetical description of the piling up of the waves like solid masses.
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