Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 105:23-24. Israel also — Jacob in person, with his children; came into Egypt — Where he and all his were very comfortably and honourably provided for many years. Thus the New Testament church has a place provided for her, even in the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time, Revelation 12:14. Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham — Ham was the father of Mizraim, or the Egyptians, Genesis 10:6. And he, God, increased the people greatly — According to the promise made to Abraham, that his seed should be as the sand of the sea for multitude; and made them stronger than their enemies — More and mightier, according to Pharaoh’s confession, Exodus 1:9, than the Egyptians, who, of friends, were now become their enemies.Psalm 105:10.
And Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham - Not as a permanent abode, but as a temporary arrangement, until the time should come for the people to be removed to the land of promise. See Genesis 46:6. The more literal rendering would be, "Jacob was a stranger - a foreigner - in the land of Ham." On the meaning of the word "Ham," see the notes at Psalm 78:51.
land of Ham—or, Egypt (Ps 78:51).Israel; Jacob in his person, and with his children. Of Ham, i.e. Egypt, so called here, also Psalm 78:5 106:22; from that cursed Ham, Genesis 9:22, who was the father of Mizraim, or the Egyptians, Genesis 10:6. And the psalmist seems to call it by this name, to intimate that they were the people of God’s curse, and thereby to caution the Israelites against returning to that land, which they were particularly forbidden to do, Deu 17:16.
And Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham: the same with Egypt; Mizraim, from whence Egypt has its name, being the son of Ham, Genesis 10:6. Hence Egypt is called by Plutarch (k) Chemia; and Diodorus Siculus (l) speaks of a city in Thebais, or Upper Egypt, which was called by the inhabitants Chemmis, interpreted by them the city of Pan; and Plutarch (m) mentions a place called Chennis, inhabited by Pans and Satyrs. The same is mentioned by Herodotus (n), which he calls a large city of the Thebaic nome; a city of the same name is observed by Heliodorus (o); and both Herodotus (p) and Mela (q) speak of an island called Chemmis, which the Egyptians represent as floating. In all which there are plain traces of the name of Ham, the same with Jupiter Ammon; or Amun, as Plutarch; worshipped in Egypt; and from whom all Africa was sometimes called Ammonia (r), the country of Ammon or Ham. And Herodotus (s) speaks of a people called Ammonii, about ten days' journey from Thebes in Upper Egypt; who, according to him (t), had their name from Jupiter Ammon, or Ham. And Pliny (u) makes mention of the oracle of Hammon, as twelve days' journey from Memphis, and of the Hammoniac nome; and the Egyptian priests are called Ammmonean (w). Here Jacob was a sojourner, as all the Lord's people are in this world; they are sojourners, as all their fathers were; and their time here is a time of sojourning, 1 Chronicles 29:15. They are not natives of the place where they are; they are indeed so by their first birth, but not by their new birth; being born from above, they belong to another place, are citizens of another city; their house, estate, and inheritance, are in heaven: neither their settlement nor satisfaction are here; they do not reckon themselves at home while they are in this world; they are indeed in an enemy's country, in a cursed land; or that is nigh unto cursing, and its end to be burned. Such the land of Ham was, where Jacob sojourned.
(k) De Iside. (l) Biblioth. l. 1. p. 16. (m) Ut supra. (De Iside.) (n) Euterpe sive, l. 2. c. 91. (o) Ethiopic. l. 5. c. 9. & l. 6. c. 4. (p) Ut supra, (Euterpe sive, l. 2.) c. 156. (q) De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 9. (r) Stephanus de Urb. (s) Melpomene sive, l. 4. c. 181. (t) Euterpe sive, l. 2. c. 32, 42. (u) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 9. (w) Sanchoniatho apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 32.Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. Israel also] So Israel; the great ancestor of the nation is still meant.
the land of Ham] Cp. Psalm 105:27; Psalm 78:51.Verse 23. - Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob. (For the conjunction of both names of the patriarch, see ver. 10. For the journey of the Patriarch from Canaan into Egypt, see Genesis 46:1-7.) Sojourned in the land of Ham; or, was a sojourner. As a "stranger" and a "sojourner," Jacob charged his sons not to bury him in Egypt, but in the land of Canaan, with his fathers (Genesis 49:29; Genesis 50:5). (For the use of the periphrasis, "land of Ham," instead of Egypt, see below, ver. 27; and comb. Psalm 106:22.) 2 Kings 8:1. To break the staff of bread (i.e., the staff which bread is to man) is a very old metaphor, Leviticus 26:26. That the selling of Joseph was, providentially regarded, a "sending before," he himself says in Genesis 45:5. Psalm 102:24 throws light upon the meaning of ענּה ב. The Kerמ רגלו is just as much without any occasion to justify it as עינו in Ecclesiastes 4:8 (for עיניו). The statement that iron came upon his soul is intended to say that he had to endure in iron fetters sufferings that threatened his life. Most expositors take בּרזל as equivalent to בּבּרזל, but Hitzig rightly takes נפשׁו as an object, following the Targum; for ברזל as a name of an iron fetter
(Note: Also in ancient Arabic firzil (after the Aramaic פרזלא) directly signifies an iron fetter (and the large smith's shears for cutting the iron), whence the verb. denom. Arab. farzala, c. acc. pers., to put any one into iron chains. Iron is called בּרזל from בּרז, to pierce, like the Arabic ḥdı̂d, as being the material of which pointed tools are made.)
can change its gender, as do, e.g., צפון as a name of the north wind, and כבוד as a name of the soul. The imprisonment (so harsh at the commencement) lasted over ten years, until at last Joseph's word cam to pass, viz., the word concerning this exaltation which had been revealed to him in dreams (Genesis 42:9). According to Psalm 107:20, דברו appears to be the word of Jahve, but then one would expect from Psalm 105:19 a more parallel turn of expression. What is meant is Joseph's open-hearted word concerning his visions, and אמרת ה is the revelation of God conveying His promises, which came to him in the same form, which had to try, to prove, and to purify him (צרף as in Psalm 17:3, and frequently), inasmuch as he was not to be raised to honour without having in a state of deep abasement proved a faithfulness that wavered not, and a confidence that knew no despair. The divine "word" is conceived of as a living effectual power, as in Psalm 119:50. The representation of the exaltation begins, according to Genesis 41:14, with שׁלח־מלך
(Note: Here שׁלח is united by Makkeph with the following word, to which it hurries on, whereas in Psalm 105:28 it has its own accent, a circumstance to which the Masora has directed attention in the apophthegm: שׁלוחי דמלכא זריזין שׁלוחי דחשׁוכא מתינין (the emissaries of the king are in haste, those of darkness are tardy); vid., Baer, Thorath Emeth, p. 22.)
and follows Genesis 41:39-41, Genesis 41:44, very closely as to the rest, according to which בּנפשׁו is a collateral definition to לאסּר (with an orthophonic Dag.) in the sense of בּרצונו: by his soul, i.e., by virtue of his will (vid., Psychology, S. 202; tr. p. 239). In consequence of this exaltation of Joseph, Jacob-Israel came then into Egypt, and sojourned there as in a protecting house of shelter (concerning גּוּר, vid., supra, p. 414). Egypt is called (Psalm 105:23, Psalm 105:27) the land of Chaam, as in Psalm 78:51; according to Plutarch, in the vernacular the black land, from the dark ashy grey colouring which the deposited mud of the Nile gives to the ground. There Israel became a powerful, numerous people (Exodus 1:7; Deuteronomy 26:5), greater than their oppressors.
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