The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said…
The people tell the sad tale of the pursuit of their foes. Swifter than the eagles, they chased them on the mountains, and laid wait for them in the wilderness. Then they narrate how their king fell into the hands of them who sought his life. He was dear to them as the breath of their nostrils; his person was sacred as the anointed of the Lord; they had thought that even though they were carried into captivity they would find some alleviation to their hardships in dwelling under his protection; they said, "Under his shadow we shall live among the nations." But even he was taken in their pits. What a likeness and a contrast to our blessed Lord!
I. There is LIKENESS. He is as the breath of our life. As we inhale the air around us, so we expand our souls to drink in of His most blessed nature. We open our mouths, and inhale Him as our vital element; His Spirit for our spirit; His blood for our souls; His resurrection strength for our bodies. He is the anointed of the Father, who anoints us. Because He is the Christ (anointed), we are Christians (anointed ones). His shadow is a most grateful and wide spreading one, beneath which we may dwell in safety.
II. But how great the CONTRAST! Though He was once taken in the pit of Satanic malice and the shadow of death, yet now He liveth to be the shield and protector of His people wherever they are scattered among the nations. He that sitteth on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. They shall hunger and thirst no more, neither shall the sun strike them. However far our bodies are from one another, we all dwell beneath the shadow of the Lord, which is as a great rock in a weary land.
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.