Psalm 105:13
When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
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105:8-23 Let us remember the Redeemer's marvellous works, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. Though true Christians are few number, strangers and pilgrims upon earth, yet a far better inheritance than Canaan is made sure to them by the covenant of God; and if we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit, none can do us any harm. Afflictions are among our mercies. They prove our faith and love, they humble our pride, they wean us from the world, and quicken our prayers. Bread is the staff which supports life; when that staff is broken, the body fails and sinks to the earth. The word of God is the staff of spiritual life, the food and support of the soul: the sorest judgment is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Such a famine was sore in all lands when Christ appeared in the flesh; whose coming, and the blessed effect of it, are shadowed forth in the history of Joseph. At the appointed time Christ was exalted as Mediator; all the treasures of grace and salvation are at his disposal, perishing sinners come to him, and are relieved by him.When they went from one nation to another ... - Wandered about, as if they had no home and no fixed habitation. See Genesis 12:6, Genesis 12:9-10; Genesis 13:1; Genesis 20:1; Genesis 26:1, Genesis 26:17, Genesis 26:22-23. 13. from one nation to another—and so from danger to danger; now in Egypt, now in the wilderness, and lastly in Canaan. Though a few strangers, wandering among various nations, God protected them. Both in Canaan, where there were seven nations, Deu 7:1, and in Egypt, &c.

When they went from one nation to another,.... From Chaldea to Mesopotamia; from thence to Canaan, and then into Egypt; and after that to Canaan again: which was the tour that Abraham took; and when in Canaan, and travelling from place to place there, might be said to go from nation to nation, since there were seven nations in that country.

From one kingdom to another people; from the kingdom of Palestine or Canaan to Egypt, which was a strange people; and of another language, as appears by the use of an interpreter between them, Genesis 42:23. So Isaac, Jacob, and his posterity, journeyed from one of these kingdoms to the other. Thus the children of God are pilgrims and strangers in this world; they are unsettled in it; they are travelling through it, and a troublesome journey they have of it; they are bound to another country, to which they belong; and their hearts are there beforehand; and they look upon this world as a strange place, and at best but as an inn; where they tarry but for a time, till they get to their own country, the better and heavenly one.

When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
13. When they went &c.] And (when) they went &c. The A.V. treats this verse as (virtually) the protasis to Psalm 105:14 : the R.V. places a semicolon at the end of Psalm 105:12, and a full stop at the end of Psalm 105:13, and treats Psalm 105:13 as the continuation of Psalm 105:12. Either construction is grammatically possible, but that of the A.V. is preferable. Psalm 105:12 emphasises the conditions under which the promise was given, and concludes the first division of the Psalms Vv13-15 describe the migrations of the patriarchs among the different nations of Canaan, the Egyptians, and the Philistines, as recorded in the Book of Genesis. In all their wanderings Jehovah guarded them from harm, reproving even kings such as Pharaoh (Genesis 12:10 ff.) and Abimelech (Genesis 20, 26) on their account.

13–24. Jehovah’s providential guidance of the patriarchs in their migrations.

Verse 13. - When they went from one nation to another. Abraham "went from" Ur of the Chaldees to Haran of the Syrians, from Haran to Canaan, from Canaan to Philistia, and once as far as Egypt. Isaac and Jacob were also wanderers, though not to the same extent. From one kingdom to another people. Chaldea, Philistia, and Egypt were "kingdoms;" the Syrians and Canaanites, "peoples." Psalm 105:13The poet now celebrates the divine preservation which had sway over the small beginnings of Israel, when it made the patriarchs proof against harm on their wanderings. "Men of number" are such as can be easily counted, vid., the confessions in Genesis 34:30; Deuteronomy 26:5; ויּתהלּכוּ places the claim upon the hospitality at one time of this people and at another time of that people in the connection with it of cause and effect. כּמעט, as a small number, only such a small number, signifies, as being virtually an adjective: inconsiderable, insignificant, worthless (Proverbs 10:20). בּהּ refers to Canaan. In Psalm 105:13 the way in which the words גּוי and עם alternate is instructive: the former signifies the nation, bound together by a common origin, language, country, and descent; the latter the people, bound together by unity of government.

(Note: For this reason a king says עמּי, not גּויי; and גּוי only occurs twice with a suffix, which refers to Jahve (Psalm 106:5; Zephaniah 2:9); for this reason גּוי, frequently side by side with עם, is the nobler word, e.g., in Deuteronomy 32:21; Jeremiah 2:11; for this reason עם is frequently added to גּוי as a dignitative predicate, Exodus 33:13; Deuteronomy 4:6; and for this reason גּוים and עם ה are used antithetically.)

The apodosis does not begin until Psalm 105:14. It is different in connection with בּהיותכם in the text of the chronicler, and in this passage in the Psalter of the Syriac version, according to which Psalm 105:12 ought to be jointed to the preceding group. The variation ומממלכה instead of מממלכה is of no consequence; but לאישׁ (to any one whomsoever) instead of אדם, in connection with הניח, restores the current mode of expression (Ecclesiastes 5:11; 2 Samuel 16:11; Hosea 4:17) instead of one which is without support elsewhere, but which follows the model of נתן, נטשׁ, Genesis 31:28 (cf. supra p. 171); whilst on the other hand ובנביאי instead of ולנביאי substitutes an expression that cannot be supported for the current one (Genesis 19:9; Ruth 1:21). In Psalm 105:14 the poet has the three histories of the preservation of the wives of the patriarchs in his mind, viz., of Sarah in Egypt (Genesis 12), and of Sarah and of Rebekah both in Philistia (Psalm 20:1-9, Psalm 26:1-12, cf. especially Psalm 26:11). In the second instance God declares the patriarch to be a "prophet" (Psalm 20:7). The one mention has reference to this and the other to Genesis 17, where Abram is set apart to be the father of peoples and kings, and Sarai to be a princess. They are called משׁיהים (a passive form) as eing God-chosen princes, and נביאים (an intensive active form, from נבא, root נב, to divulge), not as being inspired ones (Hupfeld), but as being God's spokesmen (cf. Exodus 7:1. with Exodus 4:15.), therefore as being the recipients and mediators of a divine revelation.

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