And when I passed by thee
Alluding to a traveller passing by where an infant lies, exposed, and looks upon it, and takes it up; or it may be to Pharaoh's daughter walking by the river side, when she spied the ark in which Moses was, and ordered it to be taken up, and so saved his life: and saw thee in thine own blood;
keeping up the simile of a newborn infant, that has nothing done to it, but is all over covered with menstruous blood; denoting the wretched and miserable estate the Jews were in when in Egypt; when they were not only loathsome and abominable to the Egyptians, and ill used and unpitied by them; but were in danger of being utterly destroyed, and ready to expire. The word rendered "polluted" signifies "trodden underfoot" F12; like mire in the streets; and so denotes both pollution and distress; so the Israelites were trodden under foot by the Egyptians, when they made them to serve with rigour, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; and so the Targum paraphrases it,
``for it was manifest before me that you were afflicted in your bondage;''
as they then sighed and cried because of their bondage, the Lord looked upon them with an eye of pity and compassion, and delivered them, ( Exodus 1:14
) ( 2:23-25
) ( Exodus 3:7 Exodus 3:8
) ; I said unto thee, [when thou wast] in thy blood, live: yea, I said unto thee, [when thou wast] in thy blood, live
the Lord preserved them and saved them alive, when they were near to ruin, and delivered them by the hands of Moses, which was as life from the dead; and this he did of his own sovereign good will and pleasure, and not for any worth or merit, in them, any goodness or righteousness of theirs; for this he did when they were in their blood, pollution, and guilt; and which, that it might be observed, is repeated. The word for "blood", which is thrice mentioned, is in the plural number, "bloods"; and denotes not the blood of circumcision, and the blood of the passover; for, or by which, the Lord had mercy upon them, and redeemed them, as the Targum and Jarchi interpret it; but the abundance of it, as upon a newborn infant; and the great pollution and distress in which the Israelites were, through the many murders committed on them by their enemies. The whole is an emblem of the state and condition the elect of God are in, when they are quickened by him; who are by their first birth unclean; under the pollution, power, and guilt of sin; wallowing and weltering in it; deserving of the wrath of God, and liable to punishment for it; trodden under foot, quite neglected and despised in all appearance; and are both hopeless and helpless: when the Lord "passes" by them, not by chance, but on purpose, knowing where they are; and this he often does by the ministry of the word, under which they are providentially cast; and where he "sees" them, and looks upon then, not merely with his eye of omniscience, much less with an eye of scorn, contempt, and abhorrence; but with an eye of pity and compassion, and even of complacency and delight in their persons, though not in their sins: and when he speaks life into them, a principle of spiritual life; or quickens them by his word, so that they live a life of faith and holiness, which issues in everlasting life: this flows from divine love, and is the effect of divine power; it is of pure rich grace, and not of man's merit; as his case, being in his blood, and dead in sins, show; see ( Ephesians 2:4 Ephesians 2:5
F12 (toowbtm) "conculcatam", Pagninus, Montanus, Starckius; "praebentem conculcandam te", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus, Piscator.