6. We have sinned with our fathers, we have acted iniquitously, we have done wickedly. 7. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy kindnesses; they rebelled at the sea, even the Red Sea. 8. Yet he saved them for his own name's sake, that he might make his power to be known. 9. Also he rebuked the Red Sea, and dried it up; and made them walk through the depths, as through the desert. 10. And saved them from the hand of the enemy, and delivered them from the hand of the wicked. 11. And the waters covered their oppressors: there was not one of them left.
In a very similar manner, Daniel, in the ninth chapter of his prophecies, acknowledges the guilt of his own iniquities and those of the people; and it may be that the author of this psalm followed his example. From both let us learn, that the only way of pleasing God is to institute a rigid course of self-examination. Let it also be carefully observed, that the holy prophets, who never departed from the fear and worship of God, uniformly confessed their own guilt in common with the people; and this they did, not out of feigned humility, but because they were aware that they themselves were tainted with manifold corruptions, for when iniquity abounds, it is almost impossible for even the best of men to keep themselves from being infected by its baneful effects. Not comparing themselves with others, but sisting themselves before God's tribunal, they at once perceive the impossibility of making their escape.
At that time impiety had attained to such a degree of enormity among the Jews, that it is not astonishing if even the best and most upright men were carried away, as if by the violence of a tempest. How very abominable, then, is the pride of those who hardly imagine that they offend in the least possible way; nay, who even, like certain fanatics of the day, conceive that they have attained to a state of sinless perfection! It must be borne in mind, however, that Daniel, who carefully kept himself under the fear of God, and whom the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel, declares to be one of the most upright of men, did not with reigned lips acknowledge his own transgressions, and those of the people, when he confessed them, under a deep sense of their grievously and dreadfully abhorrent character in the eyes of God. True, indeed, he was not overwhelmed in the same torrent of iniquity with others; but he knew that he had contracted a very large amount of guilt. Besides, the prophet does not bring forward their fathers for the purpose of palliating his own delinquency, (as many at the present day set at nought all reproof, shielding themselves with this, namely, that they have been so taught by their fathers, and that, therefore, their bad education, and not they, is at fault,) but rather to show that he and those of his own nation were obnoxious to severe punishment, because even from the very first, and as if co-existent with their early infancy, they never ceased to provoke the displeasure of God against themselves more and more by their fresh transgressions. It is in this manner that he involves the fathers with the children in many of the grounds of condemnation. 2
1 "Ils vienent a demander pardon de leurs pechez." -- Fr.
2 "En beaucoup d'articles de condemnation." -- Fr.
3 "At the Red Sea, i.e., at the Arabian Gulf; literally, at the Sea of Suph, which, if Suph be not here a proper name, (as it seems to be in Deuteronomy 1:1 and, with a slight variation, in Numbers 21:14) means the sea of weeds; and that sea is still called by a similar name in modern Egypt. This, its designation throughout the books of the Old Testament, is in the Syriac version and the Chaldee paraphrase likewise rendered the sea of weeds; which name may have been derived from the weeds growing near its shore, or from the weeds, or coralline productions, with which, according to Diodorus Siculus and Kircher, it abounded; and which were seen through its translucent waters. Finati, quoted by Laborde, speaks of the transparency of its waters, and the corals seen at its bottom." -- Cresswell. It has sometimes been asserted that this sea received the appellation of Red from its color. But it has been abundantly attested by those who have seen it, that it is no more red than any other sea. Niebuhr, in his description of Arabia, says, "The Europeans are accustomed to give the Arabian Gulf the name of Red Sea; nevertheless, I have not found it any more red than the Black Sea or the White Sea, or any other sea in the world." Artemidorus in Strabo expressly tells us that "it looks of a green color, by reason of the abundance of sea-weed and moss that grow in it;" which Diodorus Siculus also asserts of a particular part of it. It appears to have derived its name of "Red Sea" from Edom, which signifies red. Although throughout the whole Scriptures of the Old Testament it is called Yam Suph, the weedy sea, yet among the ancient inhabitants of the countries adjoining it was called Yam Edom, the sea of Edom, (1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17, 18,) the land of Edom having extended to the Arabian Gulf; and the Edomites or Idumeans having occupied at one time a part, if not the whole, of Arabia Petraea. The Greeks, who took the name of the sea from the Phoenicians, who called it Yam Edom, instead of rendering it the sea of Edom, or, the Idumean Sea, as they ought to have done, took the word Edom, by mistake, for an appellative, instead of a proper name, and accordingly rendered it
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