Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Prophet. Moses, (Challoner) by whose ministry the Hebrews were delivered, (Haydock) and governed with the utmost prudence, Numbers xii. 26. (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Their enemies. The Amalecites, (Challoner) and all others, who durst attack Moses, Deuteronomy iii. 1.
Ver. 5. By what things, &c. The meaning is, that God, who wrought a miracle to punish the Egyptians by thirst, when he turned all their waters into blood, (at which time the Israelites, who were exempt from those plagues, had plenty of water) wrought another miracle in favour of his own people in their thirst, by giving them water out of the rock. (Challoner) — The Egyptians were thus tormented with thirst, though so near the Nile; and the Hebrews were refreshed in a barren desert, Exodus vii. 20.
Ver. 7. River. The Nile, to which the Egyptians gave divine honours. (Calmet) — Thou. Septuagint, “disturbed with corrupted blood, in punishment of the infanticide decree, thou gavest,” &c.
Ver. 14. By their punishments, &c. That is, that the Israelites had been benefited and miraculously favoured in the same kind, in which they had been punished. (Challoner) — Benefited. After war, peace is more agreeable. (Worthington)
Ver. 16. Serpents. The Egyptians adored asps, and fed them at their tables, without receiving any harm. (Ælian. Hist. xvii. 5.) — Dumb beasts. Viz., frogs, sciniphs, flies, and locusts. (Challoner)
Ver. 24. Repentance. If people neglect to reform their conduct in this world, they must expect to be treated with all severity in the other.
Ver. 25. It. Sin and disorder is the work of man, deserving hatred. (Calmet) — God created nothing evil, nor is there any but one God, as the Manichees pretended. (Worthington)
Ver. 26. Called. Into existence, or into its proper place, Romans iv. 17.
Ver. 27. All. Awaiting their amendment, and unwilling to destroy thy creatures, chap. xii. 10. Hence thou didst not exterminate the Egyptians at once. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Other benefits of wisdom to the people of God.
1 She* prospered their works in the hands of the holy prophet.
2 They went through wildernesses that were not inhabited, and in desert places they pitched their tents.
3 *They stood against their enemies, and revenged themselves of their adversaries.
4 *They were thirsty, and they called upon thee, and water was given them out of the high rock, and a refreshment of their thirst out of the hard stone.
5 For by what things their enemies were punished, when their drink failed them, while the children of Israel abounded therewith, and rejoiced:
6 By the same things they in their need were benefited.
7 For instead of a fountain of an ever-running river, thou gavest human blood to the unjust.
8 And whilst they were diminished for a manifest reproof of their murdering the infants, thou gavest to thine abundant water unlooked for:
9 Shewing by the thirst that was then, how thou didst exalt thine, and didst kill their adversaries.
10 For when they were tried, and chastised with mercy, they knew how the wicked were judged with wrath, and tormented.
11 For thou didst admonish and try them as a father: but the others, as a severe king, thou didst examine and condemn.
12 For whether absent or present, they were tormented alike.
13 For a double affliction came upon them, and a groaning for the remembrance of things past.
14 For when they heard that by their punishments the others were benefited, they remembered the Lord, wondering at the end of what was come to pass.
15 For whom they scorned before, when he was thrown out at the time of his being wickedly exposed to perish, him they admired in the end, when they saw the event: their thirsting being unlike to that of the just.
16 But for the foolish devices of their iniquity, *because some being deceived worshipped dumb serpents, and worthless beasts, thou didst send upon them a multitude of dumb beasts for vengeance:
17 That they might know that by what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented.
18 For thy almighty hand, which made the world of matter without form, was not unable to send upon them a multitude of bears, or fierce lions,
19 Or unknown beasts of a new kind, full of rage: either breathing out a fiery vapour, *or sending forth a stinking smoke, or shooting horrible sparks out of their eyes:
20 Whereof not only the hurt might be able to destroy them, but also the very sight might kill them through fear.
21 Yea, and without these, they might have been slain with one blast, persecuted by their own deeds, and scattered by the breath of thy power: but thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight.
22 For great power always belonged to thee alone: and who shall resist the strength of thy arm?
23 For the whole world before thee is as the least grain of the balance, and as a drop of the morning dew, that falleth down upon the earth.
24 But thou hast mercy upon all, because thou canst do all things, and overlookest the sins of men for the sake of repentance.
25 For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made: for thou didst not appoint, or make any thing hating it.
26 And how could any thing endure, if thou wouldst not? or be preserved, if not called by thee.
27 But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest souls.
1: Exodus xvi. 1.
3: Exodus xvii. 12.
4: Numbers xx. 11.
16: Wisdom xii. 24.
19: Leviticus xxvi. 22.; Wisdom xvi. 1.; Jeremias viii. 17.