When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proved me.—Properly, of trying metals. This term is used of man’s attitude towards Providence, both in a good and bad sense (Malachi 3:10; Malachi 3:15).
And saw my work.—Better (as in Isaiah 49:15), Yea, they saw my works, watched, that is, God’s dealings with ever the same readiness to murmur and repine, and try the Divine patience.Hebrews 3:9.
Tempted me - Tried me; tried my patience, to see how much I would bear. This does not mean, as it commonly does now with us, to place inducements before one to lead him into sin, but to try one - to put his patience to the test. This they did, in the case referred to, by their obduracy and evil conduct.
Proved me - See the notes at Hebrews 3:9. "And saw my work." Though they constantly saw my work; saw my gracious interpositions; saw what I was doing for their own good.When; or, in which place; which may belong either to Meribah and Massah, or to the wilderness last mentioned. Or, surely, as this word is oft used in Scripture, as hath been observed once and again.
And saw; or, although or after that they saw or had seen; which is added as a just and great aggravation of their unbelief, after such a sensible and evident experience of God’s power and goodness to them.
My works; both my works of mercy, which gave them abundant cause to trust me; and my works of justice, for which they had reason to fear and please me. Heb. my work, to wit, that great and stupendous work of bringing my people out of Egypt with a strong hand, and of conducting them safely through the Red Sea into the wilderness, and of destroying the Egyptians. For not many more of God’s great works were done before they came to Meribah. 1 Corinthians 10:9.
proved me: had proof of his power, goodness, and mercy, in providing for them, and in the preservation of them: or "tried" (k) him, his patience, longsuffering, and forbearance, by their repeated provocations of him:
and saw my work; his work of judgment upon their enemies the Egyptians, by inflicting plagues upon them, and by the destruction of Pharaoh and his host at the Red sea; and his work of goodness to them, in bringing them out of bondage, leading them through the Red sea safely, raining manna about their tents, and giving them water out of the rock; or particularly his work in consuming them in the wilderness, as he swore he would, and which they saw with their eyes, and was near forty years a doing. The Syriac version joins the "forty years" at the beginning of the next verse to this; the phrase standing in such a situation as to be connected with both, and is true of each; so the apostle uses it both ways, Hebrews 3:9.When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. The Israelites tempted and tried God by faithless doubts of His goodness and arbitrary demands that He should prove His power (Exodus 17:2; Exodus 17:7; Psalm 78:18; Psalm 78:41; Psalm 78:56).
and saw my work] While they on their part tempted God, He on His part was ever working out His providential plan, by mercy and by chastisement. But it suits the context better to render, Though they had seen my work. (For the construction cp. Nehemiah 6:1.) Though they had just had proof of God’s power and goodwill in the Exodus, it had not taught them to trust Him. Cp. Numbers 14:22.Verse 9. - When your fathers tempted me (see Exodus 17:2, 7). Proved me; or, "tested me" - put my power and goodness to the proof. And (rather, even) saw my work; i.e. "saw the water gush forth from the rock, when at my command Moses struck it" (Exodus 17:6). 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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