Psalms 78:45 MEANING

Psalm 78:45
(45) Divers sorts of flies.--Better, simply flies. See Note Exodus 8:21.

Frogs.--See Exodus 8:2, and Bib. Ed., iv. 145.

Verse 45. - He sent divers sorts of flies among them (see Exodus 8:24). A particular sort of fly or beetle is meant, rather than many different sorts. Dr. Kay and Professor Cheyne suggest "dog flies" - Canon Cook, the Blatta Orientalis. Which devoured them; i.e. "preyed upon them," sucking out their life blood. And frogs, which destroyed them (see Exodus 8:6). The poet, not being an historian, does not give the plagues in their chronological order, neither regards himself as bound to mention all of them. He omits the third, and reverses the order of the second and fourth.

78:40-55. Let not those that receive mercy from God, be thereby made bold to sin, for the mercies they receive will hasten its punishment; yet let not those who are under Divine rebukes for sin, be discouraged from repentance. The Holy One of Israel will do what is most for his own glory, and what is most for their good. Their forgetting former favours, led them to limit God for the future. God made his own people to go forth like sheep; and guided them in the wilderness, as a shepherd his flock, with all care and tenderness. Thus the true Joshua, even Jesus, brings his church out of the wilderness; but no earthly Canaan, no worldly advantages, should make us forget that the church is in the wilderness while in this world, and that there remaineth a far more glorious rest for the people of God.He sent divers sorts of flies among them,.... This was the fourth plague; see Exodus 8:24, the word signifies a "mixture" (f), and the Targum renders it

"a mixture of wild beasts;''

so Josephus (g) understood this plague of various sorts of beasts of different forms, and such as had never been seen before. Aben Ezra, on Exodus 8:24 interprets it of evil beasts mixed together, as lions, wolves, bears, and leopards; and Jarchi, on the same place, of serpents and scorpions: the Syriac and Arabic versions here, following the Septuagint, render the word "dog flies"; so called because they were, as Pliny (h) says, very troublesome to dogs, and so might give the Egyptians greater uneasiness, because they worshipped dogs. God can make use of very mean and contemptible instruments, the least of insects, to plague and distress the most powerful enemies of his people;

which devoured them; corrupted their land, Exodus 8:24, perhaps produced a pestilence, which destroyed many of the inhabitants, or consumed the vegetables of the land; as but a few years ago (e), in New England, a sort of insects came out of little holes in the ground, in the form of maggots, and turned to flies, which for the space of two hundred miles poisoned and destroyed all the trees in the country (i):

and frogs, which destroyed them; with their stench; see Exodus 8:5, with this plague compare Revelation 16:13, this was the second plague.

(e) This was written about 1750. Editor. (f) "mixtionem", Montanus; "miscellam", Vatablus; "a mixed swarm", Ainsworth. (g) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 14. sect. 3.((h) Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 34. (i) See Philosoph. Transact. vol. 2. p. 766. See also p. 781.

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