Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to you, you heard them from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviors, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Their enemies who vexed them.—The phraseology in this and the following verse shows that the Book of Judges is carefully remembered in the prayer.Nehemiah 9:27. When they cried unto thee, &c. — The whole book of Judges verities this, that God delivered them for their sins unto the Moabites, the Canaanites, and divers other enemies, who grievously domineered over them; but when they cried to God for help, he was so gracious as to send such men as Barak, Gideon, and others, to be their saviours, that is, deliverers, from tyranny.Judges 3:15 etc.
and didst divide them into corners—that is, into tribes. The propriety of the expression arose from the various districts touching at points or angles on each other.
the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon—Heshbon being the capital city, the passage should run thus: "the land of Sihon or the land of the king of Heshbon."
and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee; as they usually did, Judges 3:9,
thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hands of their enemies; such were judges, Othniel, Ehud, Barak, Gideon, &c. and this was, done for them, not on account of their merits, but the abundant unmerited mercy of the Lord towards them.Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. enemies … vexed] R.V. adversaries … distressed. The English version cannot reproduce the alliteration of the Hebrew, where ‘adversaries,’ ‘distressed’ and ‘trouble’ have a common root.
thou heardest them] R.V. omit them. So in Nehemiah 9:28. Cf. ‘Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place,’ 1 Kings 8:30.
saviours] LXX. σωτηρίας. Vulg. ‘salvatores.’ By this title the judges are spoken of in Jdg 2:16; Jdg 3:9; Jdg 3:15. Cf. 2 Kings 13:5, ‘And the Lord gave Israel a saviour.’
27, 28. The Period of the Judges
This is narrated without any attempt at detailed treatment.Verse 27. - Thou gavest them saviours. e.g. Othniel and Ehud (who are called "saviours," Judges 3:9, 15), Shamgar, Gideon, Jephthah, Samson, Saul, David, etc. The writer seems to have the history of "Judges" especially in his mind (see the next verse). Nehemiah 9:19 Yet Thou, in Thy manifold mercies, didst not forsake them in the wilderness; the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day to lead them, and the pillar of fire by night to show them light in the way wherein they should go. Nehemiah 9:20 Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst: Nehemiah 9:21 And forty years didst Thou sustain them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not." כּי אף, also (even this) equals yea even. On the worship of the golden calf, see Exodus 24:4. The words "they did (wrought) great provocations" involve a condemnation of the worship of the molten calf; nevertheless God did not withdraw His gracious presence, but continued to lead them by the pillar of cloud and fire. The passage Numbers 14:14, according to which the pillar of cloud and fire guided the march of the people through the wilderness after the departure from Sinai, i.e., after their transgression in the matter of the calf, is here alluded to. הענן עמּוּד is rhetorically enhanced by את: and with respect to the cloudy pillar, it departed not; so, too, in the second clause, האשׁ את־עמּוּד; comp. Ewald, 277, d. The words, Nehemiah 9:20, "Thou gavest Thy good Spirit," etc., refer to the occurrence, Numbers 11:17, Numbers 11:25, where God endowed the seventy elders with the spirit of prophecy for the confirmation of Moses' authority. The definition "good Spirit" recalls Psalm 143:10. The sending of manna is first mentioned Numbers 11:6-9, comp. Joshua 5:12; the giving of water, Numbers 20:2-8. - In Nehemiah 9:21, all that the Lord did for Israel is summed up in the assertion of Deuteronomy 2:7; Deuteronomy 8:4, חסרוּ לא; see the explanation of these passages.
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