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42. I will make my arrows drunk with blood. In these words He describes a horrible massacre, as though He had said, There shall be no end to my vengeance, until the earth shall be full of blood and corpses. Elsewhere f296 also, God’s sword is said to be “drunk with blood,” as here His arrows, when His wrath proceeds to inflict great acts of carnage; and in the same sense it is here said to “devour flesh.”

The second µdm, midam, some render, “on account of the blood;” and I admit that m, mem, is sometimes the causalparticle. They understand it, then, that this would be the just recompense of their cruelty, when the wicked, who had slain the Israelites, or led them away captive, should be cut off by God. But I do not see why the same word should be expounded in two different senses; and I have no doubt but that it is a repetition of the same thing, that God will make His “arrows drunk with blood;” f297 but He says, “the blood both of the slain and of the captives,” since, when an army is put to the sword, some fall in the battle itself, whilst others, maimed and wounded, make an effort to escape.

The conclusion of the verse is twisted into various senses; some expound the word “head” by change of number, “heads,” as though it were said, “I will cut off the heads of the enemies;” it would, however, be more plausible to apply it metaphorically to the leaders. But others translate it more correctly, “the beginning,” not, indeed, with reference to time, but as though it were said, the flower, or best of the multitude, according to the common phrase, “from the first to the last.” My interpretation of “the revenges of the enemy” is, not those which God will inflict upon His enemies, but such as are capital, or deadly, as though He had said that He would deal as an enemy with the wicked, so that there should be no place for mercy. f298

43. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people. The appositive reading, which some prefer, “Praise him, O nations, His people,” supplying the word “God,” is constrained. For there is no incongruity in the notion that the Gentiles should celebrate the benefits which God has conferred upon His people; at any rate, it is more simple to take it thus, that so conspicuous was the favor of God towards the Israelites, that the knowledge and favor of it should diffuse itself far and wide, and be renowned even among the Gentiles. For Scripture thus magnifies some of the more memorable exertions of God’s power, especially when reference is made to the redemption of the elect people, and commands His praise to be proclaimed among the nations, since it would be by no means fitting that it should be confined within the narrow limits of Judea. A question, however, occurs, because Paul seems to quote this passage differently; for he says, “Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people,” (<451510>Romans 15:10;) and undoubtedly the word µqn, nakam, which Moses uses, also signifies to rejoice. f299 If we admit that Paul took this sentence from Moses, the same Spirit, who spoke both by Moses and Paul, is the best interpreter of His own words; nor will it be inconsistent that the Gentiles should rejoice at the felicity of God’s people. But it may have been the case that Paul did not take this testimony from any particular place, but from the general teaching of Scripture. At any rate, the dignity of the people is celebrated on the ground that God esteems their blood precious, and will deem their persecutors His own adversaries.

The word rpk, capbar, at the end of the verse, some render to expiate, others, to be propitious, which is the rendering I have preferred, although I do not reject the former meaning. The verb rpk, caphar, signifies that an expiation is made with sacrifice to appease God; and it is probable that Moses alludes to the legal mode of reconciliation; nevertheless, in my judgment, he means that God will restore His land and people to His favor.

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