Psalms 78:49 MEANING

Psalm 78:49
(49) Evil angels.--So LXX. and Vulg., but in the Hebrew angels (or messengers) of ills (so Symmachus), with evident reference to the destruction of the firstborn.

Verse 49. - He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble. "The accumulation of terms signifying Divine wrath is designed to set forth the dreadful nature of this last judgment" (Hengstenberg) - the death of the firstborn. By sending evil angels among them. Most modern critics regard this clause as in apposition with the preceding one, and consider the "wrath, indignation, and trouble" to be themselves the "evil angels" spoken cf. Some, however, as Hengstenberg and Kay, interpret the passage of spiritual beings - not, however, of spirits of evil, who are never said to be ministers of God's wrath, but of good angels, who on this occasion were "ministers of woe."

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 cast upon them the fierceness of his anger,.... This with the following words,

wrath, and indignation, and trouble, are thought by some to intend the other plagues, which are not particularly mentioned; or rather they express the manner in which they were all inflicted, in great wrath and hot displeasure for their sins and iniquities, and which particularly were shown

by sending evil angels among them; not evil in themselves, but because they were the instruments God made use of to bring evil things upon the Egyptians, as good angels often are; though some think that demons, devils, or wicked spirits, were sent among them at that time; the darkness was over all the land, and frightened them; in the Apocrypha:

"3 For while they supposed to lie hid in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly astonished, and troubled with strange apparitions. 4 For neither might the corner that held them keep them from fear: but noises as of waters falling down sounded about them, and sad visions appeared unto them with heavy countenances.'' (Wisdom 17)

According to Arama, the three last plagues are meant: the words may be rendered "messengers of evil things" (l), as they are by some, and be understood of Moses and Aaron, who were sent time after time with messages of evil things to Pharaoh, in which were expressed his wrath and fury against them.

(l) "numcios malorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Courtesy of Open Bible