Psalm 95:10
Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
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(10) See Notes, Hebrews 3:17, New Testament Commentary.

I grieved.—Better, I loathed.

A people that do err.—Literally, a people of wanderers in heart. They are morally astray through ignorance of God’s paths.

Psalm 95:10. Forty years long, &c. — Nor did they cease their discontented murmurings and distrust of me; but persisted in their stubborn infidelity and disobedience for the space of forty years; was I grieved with this generation — Or rather, with that generation, which then lived, who were your ancestors; and said, It is a people that do err in their heart — They not only sin through infirmity, and the violence and surprise of temptation, but their hearts are insincere and inconstant, and given to backsliding, and therefore there is no hope of their amendment. And they have not known — Or, they do not know, namely, with a practical and useful knowledge; they do not rightly understand, nor duly consider, nor seriously lay to heart, my ways — That is, either, 1st, My laws, or statutes, which are frequently called God’s ways; or, rather, 2d, My works, as it is explained Psalm 95:9, which also are often so called. They do not know nor consider those great things which I wrought for them and among them.95:7-11 Christ calls upon his people to hear his voice. You call him Master, or Lord; then be his willing, obedient people. Hear the voice of his doctrine, of his law, and in both, of his Spirit: hear and heed; hear and yield. Christ's voice must be heard to-day. This day of opportunity will not last always; improve it while it is called to-day. Hearing the voice of Christ is the same with believing. Hardness of heart is at the bottom of all distrust of the Lord. The sins of others ought to be warnings to us not to tread in their steps. The murmurings of Israel were written for our admonition. God is not subject to such passions as we are; but he is very angry at sin and sinners. That certainly is evil, which deserves such a recompence; and his threatenings are as sure as his promises. Let us be aware of the evils of our hearts, which lead us to wander from the Lord. There is a rest ordained for believers, the rest of everlasting refreshment, begun in this life, and perfected in the life to come. This is the rest which God calls his rest.Forty years long - All the time that they were in the wilderness. During this long period their conduct was such as to try my patience and forbearance.

Was I grieved - The word used here - קוט qûṭ - means properly to loathe, to nauseate, to be disgusted with. It is translated "loathe" in Ezekiel 6:9; Ezekiel 20:43; Ezekiel 36:31; and grieved in Psalm 119:158; Psalm 139:21. It is here expressive of the strong abhorrence which God had of their conduct. Compare Revelation 3:16.

With this generation - With the entire generation that came out of Egypt. They were all cut off in the wilderness, except Caleb and Joshua.

And said, It is a people - It is a characteristic of the entire people, that they are disposed to wander from God.

That do err in their heart - In the Epistle to the Hebrews Heb 3:10 where this is quoted, it is, "They do always err in their heart." The sense is substantially the same. See the notes at that place.

And they have not known my ways - See the notes at Hebrews 3:10.

10. err in their heart—Their wanderings in the desert were but types of their innate ignorance and perverseness.

that they should not—literally, "if they," &c., part of the form of swearing (compare Nu 14:30; Ps 89:35).

With this generation; or rather, with that generation which then lived, who were your ancestors.

Do err in their heart; they do not only sin through infirmity, and the violence and surprisal of temptations, but their hearts are insincere and inconstant, and given to backsliding, and therefore there is no hopes of their amendment. Compare Psalm 78:8.

They have not known; or, they do not know, to wit, with a practical and useful knowledge, as that word commonly notes in Scripture. They did not rightly understand, nor duly consider, nor seriously lay to heart; they remain ignorant after all my teachings and discoveries of myself to them.

My ways; either,

1. My laws or statutes, which are frequently called God’s ways. Or rather,

2. My works, as it is expressed, Psalm 95:9, which also are commonly so called. They did not know nor consider and remember those great things which I had wrought for them and among them. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation,.... The generation of the wilderness, as the Jews commonly call them; and which was a stubborn and a rebellious one, whose heart and spirit were not right with God, Psalm 78:8, wherefore, speaking after the manner of men, God was grieved with them, as he was with the old world, Genesis 6:6, or he was "weary" of them, and "loathed" them as the word (l) sometimes signifies; wherefore, after the affair of the spies, to which Aben Ezra thinks this had reference, they did not hear from the mouth of the Lord, there was no prophecy sent them by the hand of Moses, as the same writer observes; nor any history or account of them, from that time till they came to the border of Canaan; so greatly was their conduct and behaviour resented: and it was much such a term of time that was between the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist and of Christ, and the destruction of Jerusalem; during which time the Jews tempted Christ, tried his patience, saw his works, and grieved his Spirit, which brought at last ruin upon them:

and said, it is a people that do err in their heart; he was not only inwardly grieved with them, but, speaking after the same human manner, he gave his grief vent, he spoke and gave this just character of them. The apostle adds "alway", Hebrews 3:10 and so does the Arabic version here, and which is implied in the words "do err"; they not only had erred, but they continued to do so; and their errors were not merely through weakness, ignorance, and mistake, but were voluntary, and with their whole hearts; they sprung from their hearts, which were desperately wicked; they erred willingly and wilfully; and this the Lord, the searcher of hearts, knew and took notice of:

and they have not known my ways; they had his law, his statutes, and his judgments, and so must know the ways he prescribed them to walk in; but they did not practically observe them: or his ways of providence; which they did not take that notice of as they ought to have done; they did not consider them as they should, nor improve them in the manner as became them; they were not thankful for their mercies as they ought; nor did the goodness of God lead them to repentance.

(l) "fastidio habui", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus, so Cocceius, Michaelis.

Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do {g} err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

(g) They were without judgment and reason.

10. was I grieved] The Heb. is stronger; did I loathe (Ezekiel 6:9).

this generation] “This” is not in the Heb., which seems to mean, with a (whole) generation. But it is better to read with LXX and Jer., with that generation.

And I said, They are a people whose heart goeth astray,

And they know not my ways.

Wandering from the right way (Psalm 58:3; Isaiah 29:24; Isaiah 53:6); incapable of understanding the leadings of God’s Providence (Psalm 81:13).Verse 10. - Forty years long was I grieved with this generation; rather, with that generation - the generation that tempted God in the wilderness (see the Revised Version). And said, It is a people that do err in their heart; literally, a people of wanderers in heart are these; i.e. "not only are they a people whose feet wander (Psalm 107:4), but their hearts also have wandered and gone astray from my paths." And they have not known my ways. "My ways - the ways of my commandments - are unknown to them, untrodden by them." The adorableness of God receives a threefold confirmation: He is exalted above all gods as King, above all things as Creator, and above His people as Shepherd and Leader. אלהים (gods) here, as in Psalm 96:4., Psalm 97:7, Psalm 97:9, and frequently, are the powers of the natural world and of the world of men, which the Gentiles deify and call kings (as Moloch Molech, the deified fire), which, however, all stand under the lordship of Jahve, who is infinitely exalted above everything that is otherwise called god (Psalm 96:4; Psalm 97:9). The supposition that תּועפות הרים denotes the pit-works (μέταλλα) of the mountains (Bφttcher), is at once improbable, because to all appearance it is intended to be the antithesis to מחקרי־ארץ, the shafts of the earth. The derivation from ועף (יעף), κάμνειν, κοπιᾶν, also does not suit תועפות in Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8, for "fatigues" and "indefatigableness" are notions that lie very wide apart. The כּסף תּועפות of Job 22:25 might more readily be explained according to this "silver of fatigues," i.e., silver that the fatiguing labour of mining brings to light, and תועפות הרים in the passage before us, with Gussetius, Geier, and Hengstenberg: cacumina montium quia defatigantur qui eo ascendunt, prop. ascendings equals summits of the mountains, after which כסף תועפות, Job 22:25, might also signify "silver of the mountain-heights." But the lxx, which renders δόξα in the passages in Numbers and τὰ ὕψη τῶν ὀρέων in the passage before us, leads one to a more correct track. The verb יעף (ועף), transposed from יפע (ופע), goes back to the root יף, וף, to stand forth, tower above, to be high, according to which תועפות equals תופעות signifies eminentiae, i.e., towerings equals summits, or prominences equals high (the highest) perfection (vid., on Job 22:25). In the passage before us it is a synonym of the Arabic mı̂fan, mı̂fâtun, pars terrae eminens (from Arab. wfâ equals יפע, prop. instrumentally: a means of rising above, viz., by climbing), and of the names of eminences derived from Arab. yf' (after which Hitzig renders: the teeth of the mountains). By reason of the fact that Jahve is the Owner (cf. 1 Samuel 2:8), because the Creator of all things, the call to worship, which concerns no one so nearly as it does Israel, the people, which before other peoples is Jahve's creation, viz., the creation of His miraculously mighty grace, is repeated. In the call or invitation, השׁתּחוה signifies to stretch one's self out full length upon the ground, the proper attitude of adoration; כּרע, to curtsey, to totter; and בּרך, Arabic baraka, starting from the radical signification flectere, to kneel down, in genua (πρόχνυ, pronum equals procnum) procumbere, 2 Chronicles 6:13 (cf. Hlemann, Bibelstudien, i. 135f.). Beside עם מרעיתו, people of His pasture, צאן ידו is not the flock formed by His creating hand (Augustine: ipse gratiâ suâ nos oves fecit), but, after Genesis 30:35, the flock under His protection, the flock led and defended by His skilful, powerful hand. Bttcher renders: flock of His charge; but יד in this sense (Jeremiah 6:3) signifies only a place, and "flock of His place" would be poetry and prose in one figure.
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