Psalm 78:50
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He made a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague.

King James Bible
He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

American Standard Version
He made a path for his anger; He spared not their soul from death, But gave their life over to the pestilence,

Douay-Rheims Bible
He made a way for a path to his anger: he spared not their souls from death, and their cattle he shut up in death.

English Revised Version
He made a path for his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

Webster's Bible Translation
He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

Psalm 78:50 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The second part of the Psalm now begins. God, notwithstanding, in His compassion restrains His anger; but Israel's God-tempting conduct was continued, even after the journey through the desert, in Canaan, and the miracles of judgment amidst which the deliverance out of Egypt had been effected were forgotten. With והוּא in Psalm 78:38

(Note: According to B. Kiddushin 30a, this Psalm 78:38 is the middle one of the 5896 פסוקין, στίχοι, of the Psalter. According to B. Maccoth 22b, Psalm 78:38, and previously Deuteronomy 28:58-59; Deuteronomy 29:8 [9], were recited when the forty strokes of the lash save one, which according to 2 Corinthians 11:24 Paul received five times, were being counted out to the culprit.)

begins an adversative clause, which is of universal import as far as ישׁהית, and then becomes historical. Psalm 78:38 expands what lies in רחוּם: He expiates iniquity and, by letting mercy instead of right take its course, arrests the destruction of the sinner. With והרבּה (Ges. ֗֗142, 2) this universal truth is supported out of the history of Israel. As this history shows, He has many a time called back His anger, i.e., checked it in its course, and not stirred up all His blowing anger (cf. Isaiah 42:13), i.e., His anger in all its fulness and intensity. We see that Psalm 78:38 refers to His conduct towards Israel, then Psalm 78:39 follows with the ground of the determination, and that in the form of an inference drawn from such conduct towards Israel. He moderated His anger against Israel, and consequently took human frailty and perishableness into consideration. The fact that man is flesh (which not merely affirms his physical fragility, but also his moral weakness, Genesis 6:3, cf. Genesis 8:21), and that, after a short life, he falls a prey to death, determines God to be long-suffering and kind; it was in fact sensuous desire and loathing by which Israel was beguiled time after time. The exclamation "how oft!" Psalm 78:40, calls attention to the praiseworthiness of this undeserved forbearance.

But with Psalm 78:41 the record of sins begins anew. There is nothing by which any reference of this Psalm 78:41 to the last example of insubordination recorded in the Pentateuch, Numbers 35:1-9 (Hitzig), is indicated. The poet comes back one more to the provocations of God by the Israel of the wilderness in order to expose the impious ingratitude which revealed itself in this conduct. התוה is the causative of תּוה equals Syriac tewā', תּהא, to repent, to be grieved, lxx παρώξυναν. The miracles of the tie of redemption are now brought before the mind in detail, ad exaggerandum crimen tentationis Deu cum summa ingratitudine conjunctum (Venema). The time of redemption is called יום, as in Genesis 2:4 the hexahemeron. שׂים אות (synon. עשׂה, נתן) is used as in Exodus 10:2. We have already met with מנּי־צר in Psalm 44:11. The first of the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7:14-25), the turning of the waters into blood, forms the beginning in Psalm 78:44. From this the poet takes a leap over to the fourth plague, the ערב (lxx κυνόμυια), a grievous and destructive species of fly (Exodus 8:20-32), and combines with it the frogs, the second plague (Exodus 8:1-15). צפרדּע is the lesser Egyptian frog, Rana Mosaica, which is even now called Arab. ḍfd‛, ḍofda. Next in Psalm 78:46 he comes to the eighth plague, the locusts, חסיל (a more select name of the migratory locusts than ארבּה), Exodus 10:1-20; the third plague, the gnats and midges, כּנּים, is left unmentioned in addition to the fourth, which is of a similar kind. For the chastisement by means of destructive living things is now closed, and in Psalm 78:47 follows the smiting with hail, the seventh plague, Exodus 9:13-35. חנמל (with pausal , not ā, cf. in Ezekiel 8:2 the similarly formed החשׁמלה) in the signification hoar-frost (πάχνη, lxx, Vulgate, Saadia, and Abulwald), or locusts (Targum כּזוּבא equals חגב), or ants (J. D. Michaelis), does not harmonize with the history; also the hoar-frost is called כּפוּר, the ant נּמלה (collective in Arabic neml). Although only conjecturing from the context, we understand it, with Parchon and Kimchi, of hailstones or hail. With thick lumpy pieces of ice He smote down vines and sycamore-trees (Fayum was called in ancient Egyptian "the district of the sycamore"). הרג proceeds from the Biblical conception that the plant has a life of its own. The description of this plague is continued in Psalm 78:48. Two MSS present לדּבר instead of לבּרד; but even supposing that רשׁפים might signify the fever-burnings of the pestilence (vid., on Habakkuk 3:5), the mention of the pestilence follows in Psalm 78:50, and the devastation which, according to Exodus 9:19-22, the hail caused among the cattle of the Egyptians is in its right place here. Moreover it is expressly said in Exodus 9:24 that there was conglomerate fire among the hail; רשׁפים are therefore flaming, blazing lightnings.

Psalm 78:50 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

made away. Heb. weighed a path
he spared

Job 27:22 For God shall cast on him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand.

Ezekiel 5:11 Why, as I live, said the Lord GOD; Surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things...

Ezekiel 7:4,9 And my eye shall not spare you, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense your ways on you...

Ezekiel 8:18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: my eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in my ears with a loud voice...

Ezekiel 9:10 And as for me also, my eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way on their head.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

2 Peter 2:4,5 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness...

life over to the pestilence. or, beasts to the murrain

Exodus 9:3-6 Behold, the hand of the LORD is on your cattle which is in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the oxen...

Cross References
Exodus 12:29
At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.

Exodus 12:30
And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.

Exodus 15:7
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.

Psalm 2:5
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,

Amos 4:10
"I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword, and carried away your horses, and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me," declares the LORD.

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