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Psalm 114

God’s Wonders at the Exodus


When Israel went out from Egypt,

the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,


Judah became God’s sanctuary,

Israel his dominion.



The sea looked and fled;

Jordan turned back.


The mountains skipped like rams,

the hills like lambs.



Why is it, O sea, that you flee?

O Jordan, that you turn back?


O mountains, that you skip like rams?

O hills, like lambs?



Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the L ord,

at the presence of the God of Jacob,


who turns the rock into a pool of water,

the flint into a spring of water.

7 At the presence of the Lord Having aroused the senses of men by interrogations, he now furnishes a reply, which many understand to be a personification of the earth; because they take י, yod, to be the affix of the verb חולי, chuli; and they represent the earth as saying, It is my duty to tremble at the presence of the Lord. This fanciful interpretation is untenable; for the term, earth, is immediately subjoined. Others, with more propriety, considering the י, yod, in this, as in many other passages, to be redundant, adopt this interpretation: It is reasonable and becoming that the earth should tremble in the presence of the Lord. Again, the term חולי, chuli, is by many rendered in the imperative mood; which interpretation I readily adopt, as it is most probable that the prophet again makes an appeal to the earth, that the hearts of men may be the more sensibly moved. The meaning is the same, — It must be that the earth quake at the presence of her King. And this view receives confirmation from the term אדון, adon, being used, which signifies a lord or a master. He then immediately introduces the name of the God of Jacob, for the purpose of banishing from men all notions of false gods. Their minds being prone to deceit, they are always in great danger of allowing idols to usurp the place of the true God. Another miracle is mentioned, in which God, after the passage of the people through the Red Sea, gave an additional splendid manifestation of his power in the wilderness. The glory of God, as he informs us, did not appear for one day only, on the departure of the people; it constantly shone in his other works, as when a stream suddenly issued out of the dry rock, Exodus 17:6. Waters may be found trickling out from among rocks and stony places, but to make them flow out of a dry rock, was unquestionably above the ordinary course of nature, or miraculous. I have no intention of entering into any ingenious discussion, how the stone was converted into water; all that the prophet means amounts simply to this, that water flowed in places formerly dry and hard. How absurd, then, is it for the sophists to pretend that a transubstantiation takes place in every case in which the Scripture affirms that a change has been produced? The substance of the stone was not converted into water, but God miraculously created the water, which gushed out of the dry rock.

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