And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)By the right way.—Better, in a straight way. Even in the pathless wilderness “there is a hand that guides.”
That they might go to a city of habitation - A city where they might permanently dwell. The word "city" here seems to be used in the sense of "abode;" and the idea is, that he led them to a land where they might cease to be wanderers, and might find a settled home.Led them forth out of the wilderness, where they had lost their way, Psalm 107:4.
A city of habitation: See Poole "Psalm 107:4".
That they might go to a city of habitation; a city to dwell in; the Targum is,
"to Jerusalem, a city to dwell in:''
but any city nearest for travellers is here meant; and in a spiritual sense may be intended, either Christ, the city of refuge, where awakened sinners are directed to flee to, and where they find safety and plenty of provisions; or the church of God, the strong city, about which salvation is as walls and bulwarks; and to which they come when effectually called, and become citizens of it; or the New Jerusalem church state, in which the tabernacle of God will be, and he will dwell with men, and they with him; or the ultimate glory and happiness of the saints in heaven, that city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God; in which are everlasting habitations, and mansions of peace and rest for the people of God to dwell in, after they have gone through their troublesome passage in this wilderness.And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. And he guided them in a straight way,
That they might go to a city of habitation.Verse 7. - And he led them forth by the right way; or, "by a straight way" - a way in which there was no crookedness. That they might go to a city of habitation. The same phrase as in ver. 4. A city suitable for habitation is meant. Isaiah 62:12, cf. Psalm 63:4; Psalm 35:9.; קבּץ as in Isaiah 56:8, and frequently; "from the north and from the sea," as in Isaiah 49:12 : "the sea" (ים) here (as perhaps there also), side by side with east, west, and north, is the south, or rather (since ים is an established usus loquendi for the west) the south-west, viz., the southern portion of the Mediterranean washing the shores of Egypt. With this the poet associates the thought of the exiles of Egypt, as with וּממּערב the exiles of the islands, i.e., of Asia Minor and Europe; he is therefore writing at a period in which the Jewish state newly founded by the release of the Babylonian exiles had induced the scattered fellow-countrymen in all countries to return home. Calling upon the redeemed ones to give thanks to God the Redeemer in order that the work of the restoration of Israel may be gloriously perfected amidst the thanksgiving of the redeemed ones, he forthwith formulates the thanksgiving by putting the language of thanksgiving of the ancient liturgy (Jeremiah 33:11) into their mouth. The nation, now again established upon the soil of the fatherland, has, until it had acquired this again, seen destruction in every form in a strange land, and can tell of the most manifold divine deliverances. The call to sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving is expanded accordingly into several pictures portraying the dangers of the strange land, which are not so much allegorical, personifying the Exile, as rather exemplificative.
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