And refused to obey, neither were mindful of your wonders that you did among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsook them not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In their rebellion.—Rather, appointed a captain to return to their bondage in Egypt. This is the reading of some MSS., followed by the Septuagint, and is in harmony with Numbers 14:4, though there the appointment is only proposed.Refused to obey; persisted in their disobedience after many admonitions, and invitations to repentance.
Appointed a captain, i.e. designed, purposed, and resolved to do so, Numbers 14:4, and therefore they are said to do so, as Abraham is said to have offered up Isaac, Hebrews 11:17, because he intended and attempted to do it.
neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; in delivering them at the Red sea, in raining manna about them, and giving them water out of the rock:
but hardened their necks; see the preceding verse:
and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage; they not only proposed it, but determined upon it, which is reckoned the same as if they had done it, see Numbers 14:4,
but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; as he had proclaimed his name before Moses, and as the whole of his conduct towards the people of Israel abundantly shewed, see Exodus 34:6And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. in their rebellion appointed a captain, &c.] Based on Numbers 14:4, and perhaps representing a tradition that the words ‘And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt’ were partially carried into effect.
The R.V. marg. runs, ‘The Sept. has, And appointed a captain to return to their bondage in Egypt.’ See Numbers 14:4. The Sept. (ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ) read b’mizraim for b’miryam. Another proposed rendering instead of ‘appointed a captain’ is ‘turned their attention,’ or ‘directed their thoughts,’ literally ‘set their head.’
a God ready to pardon] R.V. marg. ‘Heb. a God of forgivenesses’. The word for ‘forgivenesses’ is found only in Daniel 9:9; Psalm 130:4.
merciful] R.V. full of compassion.
and of great kindness] R.V. plenteous in mercy.
For these descriptive epithets of Divine mercy cf. Nehemiah 9:31; Exodus 33:19; Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 103:8; Psalm 111:4; Psalm 145:8; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:3.
forsookest them not] Cf. Nehemiah 9:31; Ezra 9:9.Verse 17. - In their rebellion. Several MSS. have b'Mitzraim for b'Miryam, which would give the sense "appointed a captain to return to their bondage in Egypt." So the Septuagint. Appointed a captain. The reference is to Numbers 14:4, where we are told that the Israelites "said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt." The Levites speak as if the appointment had been made, perhaps regarding the intention as morally equivalent to the act. A God ready to pardon. Literally, "a God of pardons." The word used is a rare one, occurring only in Daniel 9:9 and Psalm 130:4, besides the present passage. Gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. This is quoted from Joel 2:13, which is perhaps a conscious reproduction of Jonah 4:2.
"And Thou sawest the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red Sea: Nehemiah 9:10 And showedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and all his servants, and on all the people of his land, because Thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them, and madest Thyself a name, as this day. Nehemiah 9:11 And Thou dividedst the sea before them, and they went through the midst of the sea on dry land; and their persecutors Thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters." In Nehemiah 9:9 are comprised two subjects, which are carried out in Nehemiah 9:10, Nehemiah 9:11 : (1) the affliction of the Israelites in Egypt, which God saw (comp. Exodus 3:7), and out of which He delivered them by the signs and wonders He showed upon Pharaoh (Nehemiah 9:10); (2) the crying for help at the Red Sea, when the Israelites perceived Pharaoh with his horsemen and chariots in pursuit (Exodus 14:10), and the help which God gave them by dividing the sea, etc. (Nehemiah 9:11). The words in Nehemiah 9:10 are supported by Deuteronomy 6:22, on the ground of the historical narrative, Exodus 7-10. The expression עליהם הזידוּ כּי is formed according to עליהם זדוּ אשׁר, Exodus 18:11. על הזיד occurs Exodus 21:14 in a general sense. On וגו שׁם לך ותּעשׂ comp. Jeremiah 32:20; Isaiah 58:12, Isaiah 58:14; 1 Chronicles 17:22. A name as this day - in that the miracles which God then did are still praised, and He continues still to manifest His almighty power. The words of Nehemiah 9:11 are supported by Exodus 14:21-22, Exodus 14:28, and Exodus 15:19. אבן כּמו בּמצולות are from Exodus 15:5; עזּים בּמים from Exodus 15 and Isaiah 43:16.
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