Behold, he that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Why was this added? Was it not enough to say, "He that keepeth thee will not slumber"? Nay, this is not mere repetition. In the one sentence God is spoken of as the Keeper generally of His Church, or people; in the other sentence as the keeper of the believer individually. And the transition from the believer to the Church is exquisitely beautiful and comforting. For the individual, on being told of the wakefulness of his heavenly Keeper, might say — "Can I dare to hope that one so insignificant as myself is to be the object of so unwearied attention?" And why not, "O thou of little faith"? Thou art a member of that body which God hath purchased to Himself at inestimable cost. Dost thou not know, that to touch this body is to touch "the apple of His eye"? and is not the body touched, if touched in the very least of its members? If thou canst believe that "He that keepeth Israel never slumbers," is not the wakeful eye upon thyself? What is "Israel" but the aggregate of such units as thyself? and how can "Israel" be incessantly watched if a single unit be overlooked? Or there is another way, in which the third and fourth verses may be connected. There is nothing of selfishness in religion. It does not content the believer that great privileges are his; he longs to share them with others; they seem but half enjoyed, unless enjoyed in fellowship and communion with multitudes possessing "like precious faith." Does his heart, then, bound at being told — "He that keepeth thee will not slumber"? Yes, but his joy is not full till the celestial voice adds — "He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." Then he feels — "There is a blessed company who share with me this unwearied protection. I am not alone, and I would not be alone, in the favour of that glorious Being, who made heaven and earth." Friends, kinsmen, children, all may be included. There is room for an innumerable multitude: — oh! that an innumerable multitude may suffer themselves to be gathered under the shadow of His wings.
(H Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.