New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary

:5 The promised land was to flow with milk and honey to those who kept covenant. And yet Saul later precluded the people from experiencing the blessings of the covenant by petty legalism and a desire for personal control. The people were obedient to his word, but then totally disobeyed Yahweh's command about not eating blood as a result of it (1 Sam. 14:25,33).

13:15 As the firstborn, Moses should have been slain on Passover night (Ex. 13:15); but he made the Passover sacrifice for his own redemption, although Heb. 11:28 says that he did it for the sake of Israel's redemption. Likewise the Lord's almost incomprehensible victory over human nature was not motivated by a selfish desire for his redemption; he did it for himself, that it might be for us. And this is what strengthened him. And on a far lower level, our own salvation is surely worked out through the sacrifices we make for the sake of others' spirituality. The fact that Christ, as Moses, has gone along the same path to salvation really should be a comfort to us, it should lessen the distance which we feel between us and our Lord. Thus a study of typology and of the atonement is not barren; it really will bring us closer to the Lord Jesus if we do it in the right spirit. 
Despite their limitations, we know that the work of our guardian is so over-ruled that they will never tempt us above what we are able to bear. The trials they chose for us are in accordance to the spiritual strength they know we posess- thus the Angel leading Israel through the wilderness "led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines; for God (the Angel leading them) said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt; but God led the people about through the way of the wilderness" (Ex. 13:17,18). So we see the great fear our guardian Angel has that we will return to Egypt (the flesh), and therefore He gives us trials which will prevent this, although at the time we feel like Israel that the trials are actually enough to make us want to return to the world.
13:21 This is very rhythmic and poetic in Hebrew, as if part of a marching song: "And YHWH went before them / by day in a pillar of cloud / to lead them by the way / and by night in a pillar of fire / to give them the light / to go by day and night. / Aside turns not / the pillar of cloud by day / nor the pillar of fire by night / before the people".