Psalm 78:26
He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) East wind . . . south wind.—Probably the very winds that brought the flights of quails, and not merely poetical details. (See Smith’s Biblical Dictionary, art. “Quails.”)

Psalm 78:26-29. He caused an east wind to blow, &c. — First an eastern, and afterward a southern wind. He rained flesh, &c., and feathered fowls like as the sand — Hebrew, עוŠ כנŠ, gnoph chanap, fowl of wing, or winged fowl; but God took away from them the use of their wings, and made them fall into the hands of the Israelites. And let it fall in the midst of their camp — Hebrew, מחנהו, machanehu, his camp; that is, either Israel’s camp, or God’s camp; for, seeing Israel was God’s people, and he dwelt among them, their camp was his camp. He gave them their own desire — What they desired, both for quality and quantity.

78:9-39. Sin dispirits men, and takes away the heart. Forgetfulness of God's works is the cause of disobedience to his laws. This narrative relates a struggle between God's goodness and man's badness. The Lord hears all our murmurings and distrusts, and is much displeased. Those that will not believe the power of God's mercy, shall feel the fire of his indignation. Those cannot be said to trust in God's salvation as their happiness at last, who can not trust his providence in the way to it. To all that by faith and prayer, ask, seek, and knock, these doors of heaven shall at any time be opened; and our distrust of God is a great aggravation of our sins. He expressed his resentment of their provocation; not in denying what they sinfully lusted after, but in granting it to them. Lust is contented with nothing. Those that indulge their lust, will never be estranged from it. Those hearts are hard indeed, that will neither be melted by the mercies of the Lord, nor broken by his judgments. Those that sin still, must expect to be in trouble still. And the reason why we live with so little comfort, and to so little purpose, is, because we do not live by faith. Under these rebukes they professed repentance, but they were not sincere, for they were not constant. In Israel's history we have a picture of our own hearts and lives. God's patience, and warnings, and mercies, imbolden them to harden their hearts against his word. And the history of kingdoms is much the same. Judgments and mercies have been little attended to, until the measure of their sins has been full. And higher advantages have not kept churches from declining from the commandments of God. Even true believers recollect, that for many a year they abused the kindness of Providence. When they come to heaven, how will they admire the Lord's patience and mercy in bringing them to his kingdom!He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven - See Numbers 11:31. In the history, the quarter from which the wind came is not mentioned, except as it might be indicated by the statement that the "quails were brought from the sea;" - that is, evidently, the Red Sea. This wind would have come from the southeast. The phrase "in the heaven" means in the air, or from above.

And by his power ... - By his direct agency. It was a wind which he caused to blow for the purpose; a miracle.

25. angels' food—literally, "bread of the mighty" (compare Ps 105:40); so called, as it came from heaven.

meat—literally, "victuals," as for a journey.

Either he brought in first an eastern, and afterwards a southern wind, or the wind was south-east; from which quarter these quails might come as well as from the west, where their more common abode is; this work being confessedly miraculous.

He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens,.... In the airy heaven: or "he caused it to go" (f); to go forth out of its place, out of the repositories and treasures of it, from whence he brings the wind, Psalm 130:7 the winds are under the power and government of God, they are his servants that obey him; he says to one, Go, and it goes; and to another, Come, and it comes; stormy wind fulfils his word of command, and obeys its Creator:

and by his power he brought in the south wind; into the heavens, into the air, as before, and with it he brought the quails; and which made his power to appear the greater, since they do not fly with the south wind, which is too moist and heavy for them, as naturalists observe (g); it looks as if first one wind blew, and then another was used for the bringing of them from the place where they were; perhaps about the Red sea, where they are said to have been in great numbers; and that the east wind brought them to a certain point, and then the south wind blew to bring them into the camp of Israel, where, by the moistness of it, they fell; hence fowlers, as the above naturalists relate, observe the south wind, in order to take them; though it may be that only one wind is intended, namely, the southeast wind; and so Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, understand it.

(f) "fecit proficisci", Pagninus, Montanus, Gejerus. (g) Aristot. de Hist. Animal. l. 8. c. 12. Plin. Hist. l. 10. c. 23.

He caused an {p} east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.

(p) God used the wind to show them that all the elements were at his command, and that no distance could restrain his working.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. He led forth the east wind In the heaven:

And by his power he guided the south wind:

Verse 26. - He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. Here, again, tradition seems to speak. The narrative in the Pentateuch has only, "There went forth a wind from the Lord" (Numbers 11:81). Psalm 78:26Passing over to the giving of the quails, the poet is thinking chiefly of the first occasion mentioned in Exodus 16, which directly preceded the giving of the manna. But the description follows the second: יסּע (He caused to depart, set out) after Numbers 11:31. "East" and "south" belong together: it was a south-east wind from the Aelanitic Gulf. "To rain down" is a figurative expression for a plentiful giving of dispensing from above. "Its camp, its tents," are those of Israel, Numbers 11:31, cf. Exodus 16:13. The תּעוה, occurring twice, Psalm 78:29-30 (of the object of strong desire, as in Psalm 21:3), points to Kibroth-hattaavah, the scene of this carnal lusting; הביא is the transitive of the בּוא in Proverbs 13:12. In Psalm 78:30-31 even in the construction the poet closely follows Numbers 11:33 (cf. also זרוּ with לזרא, aversion, loathing, Numbers 11:20). The Waw unites what takes place simultaneously; a construction which presents the advantage of being able to give special prominence to the subject. The wrath of God consisted in the breaking out of a sickness which was the result of immoderate indulgence, and to which even the best-nourished and most youthfully vigorous fell a prey. When the poet goes on in Psalm 78:32 to say that in spite of these visitations (בּכל־זאת) they went on sinning, he has chiefly before his mind the outbreak of "fat" rebelliousness after the return of the spies, cf. Psalm 78:32 with Numbers 14:11. And Psalm 78:33 refers to the judgment of death in the wilderness threatened at that time to all who had come out of Egypt from twenty years old and upward (Numbers 14:28-34). Their life devoted to death vanished from that time onwards בּהבל, in breath-like instability, and בּבּהלה, in undurable precipitancy; the mode of expression in Psalm 31:11; Job 36:1 suggests to the poet an expressive play of words. When now a special judgment suddenly and violently thinned the generation that otherwise was dying off, as in Numbers 21:6., then they inquired after Him, they again sought His favour, those who were still preserved in the midst of this dying again remembered the God who had proved Himself to be a "Rock" (Deuteronomy 32:15, Deuteronomy 32:18, Deuteronomy 32:37) and to be a "Redeemer" (Genesis 48:16) to them. And what next? Psalm 78:36-37

(Note: According to the reckoning of the Masora this Psalm 78:36 is the middle verse of the 2527 verses of the Psalter (Buxtorf, Tiberias, 1620, p. 133).)

tell us what effect they gave to this disposition to return to God. They appeased Him with their mouth, is meant to say: they sought to win Him over to themselves by fair speeches, inasmuch as they thus anthropopathically conceived of God, and with their tongue they played the hypocrite to Him; their heart, however, was not sincere towards Him (עם like את in Psalm 78:8), i.e., not directed straight towards Him, and they proved themselves not stedfast (πιστοί, or properly βέβαιοι) in their covenant-relationship to Him.

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