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3

For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;

ascribe greatness to our God!

 

4

The Rock, his work is perfect,

and all his ways are just.

A faithful God, without deceit,

just and upright is he;

5

yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him,

a perverse and crooked generation.

6

Do you thus repay the Lord,

O foolish and senseless people?

Is not he your father, who created you,

who made you and established you?

7

Remember the days of old,

consider the years long past;

ask your father, and he will inform you;

your elders, and they will tell you.

8

When the Most High apportioned the nations,

when he divided humankind,

he fixed the boundaries of the peoples

according to the number of the gods;

9

the Lord’s own portion was his people,

Jacob his allotted share.

 

10

He sustained him in a desert land,

in a howling wilderness waste;

he shielded him, cared for him,

guarded him as the apple of his eye.

11

As an eagle stirs up its nest,

and hovers over its young;

as it spreads its wings, takes them up,

and bears them aloft on its pinions,


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2, 3. My doctrine shall drop, &c.—The language may justly be taken as uttered in the form of a wish or prayer, and the comparison of wholesome instruction to the pure, gentle, and insinuating influence of rain or dew, is frequently made by the sacred writers (Isa 5:6; 55:10, 11).

4. He is the Rock—a word expressive of power and stability. The application of it in this passage is to declare that God had been true to His covenant with their fathers and them. Nothing that He had promised had failed; so that if their national experience had been painfully checkered by severe and protracted trials, notwithstanding the brightest promises, that result was traceable to their own undutiful and perverse conduct; not to any vacillation or unfaithfulness on the part of God (Jas 1:17), whose procedure was marked by justice and judgment, whether they had been exalted to prosperity or plunged into the depths of affliction.

5. They have corrupted themselves—that is, the Israelites by their frequent lapses and their inveterate attachment to idolatry.

their spot is not the spot of his children—This is an allusion to the marks which idolaters inscribe on their foreheads or their arms with paint or other substances, in various colors and forms—straight, oval, or circular, according to the favorite idol of their worship.

6. is not he thy father that hath bought thee—or emancipated thee from Egyptian bondage.

and made thee—advanced the nation to unprecedented and peculiar privileges.

8, 9. When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance—In the division of the earth, which Noah is believed to have made by divine direction (Ge 10:5; De 2:5-9; Ac 17:26, 27), Palestine was reserved by the wisdom and goodness of Heaven for the possession of His peculiar people and the display of the most stupendous wonders. The theater was small, but admirably suited for the convenient observation of the human race—at the junction of the two great continents of Asia and Africa, and almost within sight of Europe. From this spot as from a common center the report of God's wonderful works, the glad tidings of salvation through the obedience and sufferings of His own eternal Son, might be rapidly and easily wafted to every part of the globe.

he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel—Another rendering, which has received the sanction of eminent scholars, has been proposed as follows: "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam and set the bounds of every people, the children of Israel were few in numbers, when the Lord chose that people and made Jacob His inheritance" (compare De 30:5; Ge 34:30; Ps 105:9-12).

10. found him in a desert land—took him into a covenant relation at Sinai, or rather "sustained," "provided for him" in a desert land.

a waste howling wilderness—a common Oriental expression for a desert infested by wild beasts.

11. As an eagle … fluttereth over her young—This beautiful and expressive metaphor is founded on the extraordinary care and attachment which the female eagle cherishes for her young. When her newly fledged progeny are sufficiently advanced to soar in their native element, she, in their first attempts at flying, supports them on the tip of her wing, encouraging, directing, and aiding their feeble efforts to longer and sublimer flights. So did God take the most tender and powerful care of His chosen people; He carried them out of Egypt and led them through all the horrors of the wilderness to the promised inheritance.




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