Psalm 105:34
He spoke, and the locusts came, and caterpillars, and that without number,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) Caterpillars.—To the locust, ‘aarbeh, alone mentioned in Exodus, the psalmist adds, as a poetical synonym to suit his parallelism, caterpillar (yelek), a word occurring in Joel 1:4; Joel 2:25; Nahum 3:15; Jeremiah 51:14; Jeremiah 51:27. By derivation the word means “licker” (comp. Numbers 22:4), and is possibly used in a wide or general sense for insects of the locust kind. (See Bible Educator, IV. 294.)

105:24-45 As the believer commonly thrives best in his soul when under the cross; so the church also flourishes most in true holiness, and increases in number, while under persecution. Yet instruments shall be raised up for their deliverance, and plagues may be expected by persecutors. And see the special care God took of his people in the wilderness. All the benefits bestowed on Israel as a nation, were shadows of spiritual blessings with which we are blessed in Christ Jesus. Having redeemed us with his blood, restored our souls to holiness, and set us at liberty from Satan's bondage, he guides and guards us all the way. He satisfies our souls with the bread of heaven, and the water of life from the Rock of salvation, and will bring us safely to heaven. He redeems his servants from all iniquity, and purifies them unto himself, to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works.See an account of these plagues in Exodus 6-11. Compare Psalm 78:43-51. This is mostly a mere enumeration of the plagues in the order in which they occurred, but without, of course, the details of the circumstances attending them. There are no circumstances mentioned here which require particular explanation. 34. caterpillars—literally, "the lickers up," devouring insects; probably the hairy-winged locust. No text from Poole on this verse. He spake, and the locusts came,.... A great army of them, and covered the land, that it was even darkened by them; and were such as had never been seen before, or ever were since; this is the eighth plague, Exodus 10:12, with these compare the locusts in Revelation 9:3.

And caterpillars, and that without number; of these no mention is made in Exodus; they seem to be one of the kinds of locusts, or a different word is here used for the same, and so Kimchi interprets it; some render it the white locust; it has its name from licking up the herbs and grass of the field; as the other name for the locust seems to be taken from its great abundance and increase.

{r} He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number,

(r) He shows that all creatures are armed against man when God is his enemy as at his commandment the grasshoppers destroyed the land.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34, 35. The eighth plague, Exodus 10:1 ff.; Psalm 78:46. The Heb. word yĕlĕq, R.V. cankerworm, as A.V. in Joel 1:4, is not used in Exodus. It probably denotes the locust in its larva state.Verse 34. - He spake, and the locusts came (see Exodus 10:13, 14). And caterpillars. Either a kind of locust, or the locust at one period of its growth. Not mentioned in Exodus. And that without number (see Exodus 10:14, 15). Narration of the exodus out of Egypt after the plagues that went forth over that land. Psalm 105:25 tells how the Egyptians became their "oppressors." It was indirectly God's work, inasmuch as He gave increasing might to His people, which excited their jealousy. The craft reached its highest pitch in the weakening of the Israelites that was aimed at by killing all the male children that were born. דּברי signifies facts, instances, as in Psalm 65:4; Psalm 145:5. Here, too, as in Psalm 78, the miraculous judgments of the ten plagues to not stand in exactly historical order. The poet begins with the ninth, which was the most distinct self-representation of divine wrath, viz., the darkness (Exodus 10:21-29): shā'lach chō'shech. The former word (שׁלח) has an orthophonic Gaja by the final syllable, which warns the reader audibly to utter the guttural of the toneless final syllable, which might here be easily slurred over. The Hiph. החשׁיך has its causative signification here, as also in Jeremiah 13:16; the contracted mode of writing with i instead of ı̂ may be occasioned by the Waw convers. Psalm 105:28 cannot be referred to the Egyptians; for the expression would be a mistaken one for the final compliance, which was wrung from them, and the interrogative way of taking it: nonne rebellarunt, is forced: the cancelling of the לא, however (lxx and Syriac), makes the thought halting. Hitzig proposes ולא שׁמרו: they observed not His words; but this, too, sounds flat and awkward when said of the Egyptians. The subject will therefore be the same as the subject of שׂמוּ; and of Moses and Aaron, in contrast to the behaviour at Mê-Merı̂bah (Numbers 20:24; Numbers 27:14; cf. 1 Kings 13:21, 1 Kings 13:26), it is said that this time they rebelled not against the words (Ker, without any ground: the word) of God, but executed the terrible commands accurately and willingly. From the ninth plague the poet in Psalm 105:29 passes over to the first (Exodus 7:14-25), viz., the red blood is appended to the black darkness. The second plague follows, viz., the frogs (Exodus 8:1-15); Psalm 105:20 looks as though it were stunted, but neither has the lxx read any ויבאו (ויעלו), Exodus 7:28. In Psalm 105:31 he next briefly touches upon the fourth plague, viz., the gad-fly, ערב, lxx κυνόμυια (Exodus 8:20-32, vid., on Psalm 78:45), and the third (Exodus 8:16-19), viz., the gnats, which are passed over in Psalm 78. From the third plague the poet in Psalm 105:32, Psalm 105:33 takes a leap over to the seventh, viz., the hail (Exodus 9:13-35). In Psalm 105:32 he has Exodus 9:24 before his mind, according to which masses of fire descended with the hail; and in Psalm 105:33 (as in Psalm 78:47) he fills in the details of Exodus 9:25. The seventh plague is followed by the eighth in Psalm 105:34, Psalm 105:35, viz., the locust (Exodus 10:1-20), to which ילק (the grasshopper) is the parallel word here, just as חסיל (the cricket) is in Psalm 78:46. The expression of innumerableness is the same as in Psalm 104:25. The fifth plague, viz., the pestilence, murrain (Exodus 9:1-7), and the sixth, viz., שׁחין, boils (Exodus 9:8-12), are left unmentioned; and the tenth plague closes, viz., the smiting of the first-born (Exodus 11:1.), which Psalm 105:36 expresses in the Asaphic language of Psalm 78:51. Without any mention of the institution of the Passover, the tenth plague is followed by the departure with the vessels of silver and gold asked for from the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35; Exodus 11:2; Exodus 3:22). The Egyptians were glad to get rid of the people whose detention threatened them with total destruction (Exodus 12:33). The poet here draws from Isaiah 5:27; Isaiah 14:31; Isaiah 63:13, and Exodus 15:16. The suffix of שׁבטיו refers to the chief subject of the assertion, viz., to God, according to Psalm 122:4, although manifestly enough the reference to Israel is also possible (Numbers 24:2).
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