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and his hosts, we shall not read or sing this song with spirit or understanding. We are assured, Rev. xv. 2, 3, 4. that the redeemed who have gotten the victory over the beast and his image and name, sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. This song therefore evidently respects a greater redemption than that from Egypt.
The name JAH is here first introduced, of which it is said, Psal. 1xviii. 4. “God rides in the heavens by his name JAH.' It is seldom used but in songs, and from it we have the word halelujah, or Greek alleluia. This name is borrowed by the heathens ; thus their Jupiter, is from Jah and Pater father. He is the strength of his church, and is frequently called THE STRENGTH of Israel, and their song, viz. the subject of it, see Deut. X. 21. Psal. xviii. 2. xxii. 3. cxviii. 14. Isa, xii. 2. And the subject of this song is his great salVATION, of which the deliverance at the Red Sea was a grand figure. Christ is called God's salvation, Luke i. 71. 74. because by him God's salvation was accomplished. He manifested himself as the God of Israel in the redemption from Egypt, which becaine the foundation of the old covenant ; therefore
the church, • him an habitation :' the word is literally, a comely dwelling, viz. a place of worship. This redemption also demonstrated him to be their fathers' God, viz. the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom this great deliverance was first promised, and on this account they were bound to exalt or magnify his name : The Lord is a man of • war, that is, an eminent warrior ; this he proved by vanquishing the hosts of Pharaoh, and still farther, by that of which this was only a figure, when Christ spoiled principalities and powers, triumph
ing over them in his cross.' • Jehovah is his name' or memorial, for this was • Jehovah's work, and marvellous in our eyes.' Hence the God of the fathers, who redeemed Israel, was Jehovah, the self-existent eternal God. The chosen captains mentioned in verse 4. are his most noble or distinguished leaders. The full extent of this victory is described, Rev. xix. 17, 18. 21. when all the fowls of heaven shall be called to eat the flesh of kings, and chosen captains, and mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sat on them. The ó sinking into the depths as a stone,' verse 5. will remind of the angel casting the millstone into the sea ; • so with violence shall that
great city Babylon (Antichrist) be thrown down, and shall be • found no more at all, Rev. xviii. 21. The RIGHT HAND celebrated in verse 6. is an expression of power very much used in scripture ; hence Jesus Christ is called Ben-JAMIN, the man of God's right hand. There is a remarkable commentary on this subject, Isa. li. 7-11. compared with Psal. lxxxvii. 4. lxxiv. 13, 14. It is at the cross of Christ all these passages are fully explained ; there was Rahab wounded, and there the dragon cut. Glorious indeed did the right hand of the Lord appear, according to the working of that mighty power which wrought in Christ, when God raised him from the dead. At the cross the enemy was dashed in pieces, for there the gates of hell were vanquished. His conquest and victory over death and him that hath the power thereof are evidently referred to in this song ; very similar language will be found in the 18th psalm. The blast of God's nostrils is an expressive description of his wrath, • By the blast of God they perish,' Job iv. 9. We read of • snares, • fire and brimstone, furious blasts.' The language of the enemy is most sublimely introduced, verse 9. ; but the divine warrior divided
the spoil, and with the spirit of his mouth consumed the adversary. The language in verse 11. is frequently adopted, as in Psalm lxxxvi. 8. and lxxxix. 6. from which the correctness of the marginal reading, mighties, in place of Gods, will be observed. In verse 12. the earth is said to swallow them ; so Jonah says, ' the earth with her bars
was about me for ever,' Jonah ii. 6. In the 13th versé, God is not only celebrated as the redeemer of his church, but as leading them as a shepherd in his mercy, In this character he is worshipped,' 'Thou • that leadest Joseph like a flock,' Psal. lxxx. 1.• Thy way is in the
sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known; thou leadest thy people like a lock, by the hand of Mo
and Aaron,' Psal. lxxvii. 19, 20. These are beautiful descriptions of the manner in which the Great Shepherd of the sheep leads his church in all ages into his holy habitation,' or “ habitation of “thy holiness.' His sanctuary, the holiest of all, was the habitation in which the Holy One of Israel dwelt. The terror and dismay which should strike the hearts of their enemies are beautifully ex. pressed, verses 14, 15, and 16. It was a promise of God, ' I will send
my terror before thee,' Exod. xxiii. 27. It was a terror ari. sing from the conviction, that the Holy One of Israel was leading and fighting for them. Israel is called the people which God hath pur• chased ;' and denying the Lord that bought them,
great • iniquity of old Israel, as well as of latter times. Verse 17. speaks of them as the vine which God brought from Egypt, and which his right hand planted, see Psalm lxxx. 9. The mountain of God's in. • heritance was Mount Zion, where God dwelt in the midst of his church, and on which he established his sanctuary. There he set his throne, and there he will reign for ever and ever.
The connection which is established, verses 18. and 19. between this and the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, leads us at once to this important truth, that when Antichrist shall be destroyed, then shall the throne of the Son of man be established. Miriam or Mary, the prophetess, is mentioned by the prophet as one of the three principal leaders whom God sent before his church of old ; ' for I brought thee up
out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thec out of the house of
servants ; and I sent before thee Mases, Aaron and Miriam.' She is called a prophetess, either as being divinely inspired to prophesy, or to sing the prophecies of others. The sacred music of the old Testament church was much attended to, and we are persuaded it should be more so than it generally is at present. The praise, or melodious singing and playing, formed a leading part of their wor. ship. • The singers went first, the players on instruments followed « after, then the damsels playing on timbrels,' Psalm lxvii. 25. Such is the attachment to the old practices of our fathers, that any attempt to improve the old droning so long in use is considered as a degree of levity. The timbrel or tabret was an instrument of joy, or cheerful mirth, see Judges xi. 34. and particularly 1 Sam. xvii. 6. Any idea of repeating, or responses in our church music, is considered as inconsistent with the gravity and solemnity of worship. It was not so thought of old : the text says, 1 Sam. xviii. 7. ' The women * played responses to one another ;' and in the passage before us, as the women sung and played, Miriam repeated the first verse of this song, which was the response or chorus constantly introduced. It is very unfashionable in the present day to let the voice be heard jouling in the sacred song ; and men, women and boys are paid, ia
order to form a land for carrying on the music ; but those who are so averse to join the song on earth, should not forget that to join the new song will be the highest employment of the redeemed church in heaven. Many of the Psalms shew the nature of these responses ; thus in the 136th Psalm, we find that the worshipping body sung the Psalın, and the women repeated and sung the chorus or response, For his mercy enclureth for ever. Dr Lowth considers the 1st verse of Moses's song as containing the chorus which was sung to every following verse.
Many passages in the prophets refer to this; such as, “ Again I will build thee, O • virgin daughter of Israel ; thou shalt again be adorned with thy
timbrels,' Jer. xxxi. 4. The word in verse 25. translated dances, Ainsworth shews clearly should be fiutes ; our translators have frequently erred in this, see Psalm cxlix. 3. • Let them praise his name
in the dance, (with the pipe or flute, see margin), and then follows o with the timbrel,' see also Psalm cl. 4. The marginal reading generally corrects this, but it is a pity it crept into the text, as it misa leads even as to the nature of the sacred dance, of which in its proper place. The wilderness of Shur, verse 22. is also called the wilderness of Etham, Exod. xiii. 20. Numb. xxxiii. 8. It was to this wilderness that Hagar fled from the face of Sarai, her mistress, Gen. xvi. 7. and there she sat by the fountain of water ; it is not im. probable that this was the same fountain which Moses here names Marah, bitterness. The word is usually applied to the bitterness or sorrow of afflictions. There Hagar sat in bitterness ; and this first stage in the wilderness commenced with bitterness, 'a figure of the afilictions which are always connected with the cross, and the Christian race, see Lam. iii. 15. Here Israel gave the first specimen of that murmuring, which so often afterwards appeared, and which is so natural a fruit of the human heart; nor can any thing exceed the striking view of that relief which the gospel, concerning Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree, gives to the afflicted minds, than verse 25. There is no reason to suppose the tree possessed any peculiar natural qualities for this end : it was demonstration of divine power. The bitterness of Marah was infused into that cup of which our Lord in his agony said, If this cup may not ' pass from me, except I drink it, tlıy will be done.' The vinegar and gall which they gave him to drink on the cross referred to the same subject ; and the bitter draught which he then drank sweetens the cup which he gives to all his followers. Now this ordinance or trial which God appointed for them (for this the latter clause of verse 25. should be read) was intended to prove them, as he after, wards
says ; to know what was in their heart, and to do them . good in their latter end, Deut. viii. 2. 15, 16. In verse 26. bis promise of healing is renewed, in connection with hearing his voice in the gospel, of which healing the water of Marah was a figure. The church then reached Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and seventy palm trees ; referring to the twelve patriarchs and seventy souls that came down with Jacob into Egypt, Gen. xlvi. 27.; or the twelve tribes, and seventy elders of the Sanhedrim, Gen. xlix. 28. Numb. xi. 16. ; or lastly, we may consider it, as bringing the church in their Christian pilgrimage through the wilderness, to the twelve apostles and seventy disciples, who were commissioned to preach the gospel of the kingdom, Luke ix. 1. %. 1. Rev. xxi. 12. 14.
CHAP. XVI.- Leaving Elim, the church now enters the wilderRess of Sin ; this was the name of a strong city in Egypt, in the neighbourhood of which this wilderness lay, Ezek, xxx. 15, 16. Here again 'they murmur against Moses and Aaron, and through them against God. This was the wilderness into which God brought his church, corresponding with the situation in which his people are in all ages in this world, a land of drought, and of the • shadow of death; a land that no man passed through, and where no • man dwelt,' Jer. ii. 6. They wandered there, as the Psalmist
says, • hungry and thirsty, their soul fainting in them,' Psalm cvii. 5. In the 4th verse God promises to relieve them by raining manna from heaven ; a subject which has been ofte:& handled, and on which we shall only trouble our readers with a very few general remarks. Manna derives its name from man hee, what is it? It was most wonderful, like the Wonderful Counsellor himself. The astonishing circumstance was, that it should come from heaven, and be given for the life of the church of God. Manna was the food of the mighty, prepared by the immediate operation and miraculous interference of God himselt'; the figure of Him for whom a body was prepared, that he might give his flesh for the life of the world.
Manna was pure and white, the emblem of the Holy One of God. It was a gift from heaven, and poured down to all promiscuously, poor and rich ; all were welcome ; nor was there any deficiency ; every man had his omer ; he that gathered much had nothing over; he that gathered little had no "lack. Manna was pleasant to the taste, and suited to every palate ; a noble figure of that bread of life, which is sweeter than honey from the comb. It was bruised in a mill, like the true bread corn, who was bruised for our iniquities. Manna was not given in Egypt, nor do those who are living in the enjoyment of the flesh pots need it ; it fell round the camp of Israel, and there alone. It was suited for their support in the wilderness, and there only ; it continued till they came to Canaan, and then it ceased. In like manner, during the six sevens in which the church shall wander in the wilderness of this world, they need and shall receive their manna ; but when they reach the heavenly Canaan, they will enjoy the hidden manna, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. It was to be gathered on the six days, for the same figurative reason, and not on the seventh. Israel alone enjoyed the manna ; the nations had no fellowship with them in it. The manna was a display of God's glory, verses 7. and 10. ; and it was when the word was made flesh, that the glory of the only begotten of the Father was manifest. The distinction between manna und ordinary food is highly instructing and important. The bread that perisheth, and the bread which endureth unto everlasting life, have always been decidedly different. In the conclusion of the chapter, we have an account of that omer which was preserved in the golden pot, and laid up before the Lord. This was a remarkable figure of THE TRUE MANNA, Jesus Christ, now in the heavenly holy
CHAP. XVII.-In this chapter we have the remarkable instance of the rebellion of Israel, in their murmuring for water, w which issued in their drinking of that spiritual rock, which is Christ. We shall have occasion to consider this subject more fully, Numb. xx. ; we shall therefore proceed to consider the interesting conflict of Israel with that remarkable enemy of the church of God, Amalek.
and his hosts, we shall not read or sing this song with spirit and understanding.
Amalek is the troubler, who fought with Israel in Rephidim, their places of rest ; and they represent their spiritual enemy of the church of Christ in every age with whom God will have perpetual warfare 5 and thus Balaam prophesied, · Amalek is the first
enemy among the • nations, but his latter end shall be, that he shall perish for ever,' Numb, xxiv, 20. The great principle which conducted Amalek in this warfare, was hatred to Israel, because of the truth. Whether that hatred appears in the individual person of Esau, the father of Amalek, hating and persecuting Jacob, the plain man, dwelling • in tents, or in his warlike posterity fighting with the hosts of Israel, • in their places of rest,' the principle is the same ; hence Moses says, “ Amalek feared not God, Deut. xxv. 17.
In the 9th verse of this chapter, we have a most interesting scene pourtrayed, · And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose out us men, and
go out, fight with Amalek; to-morrow I will stand on the top of the hill, with the rod of God in my hand.' Moses and Joshua each appear here fulfilling their respective typical offices, Moses with the rod, Joshua with the sword of God. In Moses we see the representative of the Great Intercessor, whose effectual fervent prayer a. vaileth much. In Joshua, the captain of the Lord's host, who fights the battles, and conducts his Israel in all their conflicts. How many purposes does this rod of God serve ! It executes judgments on the gods of Egypt: it smites the rock in Horeb, and produces waters in the wilderness : it is extended towards heaven on the top of the hill, and Amalek is destroyed,--striking emblem of that rod of God's mouth wherewith he slays the wicked ; that sword of the spirit or word of God, which is mighty through God to answer every purpose of heaven, and which, in the hand of the apostles, led them to
say, • Now thanks be to God, who always causeth us to trie umph in Christ. This was the first battle in which Israel was engaged, and was intended as a model of all that should follow. What could have preserved the • bruised reed and smoking flax,' in the many conflicts they had to encounter, but that they have a powerful friend on the top of the hill! What will preserve the poor, afflicted, tossed, and tormented church of Christ, till judgment be sent forth to victory, but that the antitype of Moses, who holds the rod of God's strength on Mount Zion, needs neither Aaron nor Hur, to hold up his hands. Moses, the mortal type, soon fainted in his work ; they placed him on a stone, and upheld his hands steady, ' till • the going down of the sun.' Never was a grander picture exhibit, ed of what now passes on Mount Zion : there the almighty power of the Great Intercessor will wield the rod of God, till the evening of that day, when the name of Amalek, the troubler, will be blotted out from under heaven. The literal destruction of Amalek is recorded, 1 Sam. xv. 2, 3. compared with 1 Sam. xxx. 1-17. and again 2 Sam. viii. 12. And it is very remarkable, that the name of Amalek, as a nation, is never so much as mentioned again in scrip. ture.