10. For thou, O God! hast proved us, thou hast tried us as silver is tried. 11. Thou broughtest us into the net, thou laidest restraint upon our loins. 12. Thou hast made man to ride over our heads,1 we have come into fire and water, and thou hast brought us into a fruitful place.2
1 To ride over; signifies to insult or tyrannise over. But here the image may be taken from the trampling of war-horses in the day of battle. The cavalry, in the field of battle, pay no regard to the fallen, the dying, and the dead, but tread promiscuously upon all that come in their way, "Thou hast permitted us," says Dr Adam Clarke, "to fall under the dominion of our enemies, who have treated us as broken infantry are when the cavalry dashes among their disordered ranks, treading all under their horses' feet."
2 "In planitiem." -- Lat. "En lieu plantureux." -- Fr.
3 "Per naufragium et incendium transiisse." The French version reads, "Par l'eau et par le feu;" but it is important to retain the original more closely, as giving what Calvin considered to be the sense of the words in the text. Fire and water, the one of which elements consumes, while the other suffocates, is a proverbial expression, signifying, as our author afterwards states, extreme danger and complicated calamities. "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt," Isaiah 43:2. See also Psalm 32:6; Ezekiel 16:6, 7; Numbers 31:23. Those things are said to come into or to pass through the fire, which abide the same, without being consumed; and which, like metals, lose only thereby their dross.
4 Cresswell takes this view. His note on the place is, "'Into a wealthy place,' literally into an irriguous region, (comp. Judges 1:15,) i.e., into a fertile country, a land of abundance, the promised land: comp. Exodus 3:8."
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