But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
] A proverbial expression, showing the perfect knowledge God has, and the exquisite care he takes, in providence, of all his creatures, particularly men, and especially his dear children and faithful ministers; as not a sparrow, so not a single hair of a man's head falls to the ground without the knowledge, and will of God: a way of speaking sometimes used to signify, that not the least hurt or damage should befall a person; see ( 1 Samuel 14:45 ) ( 2 Samuel 14:11 ) ( Acts 27:34 ) and the phraseology of the text was in use, and very well known by the Jews; for so they represent God speaking F9;
``do not I number all the hairs of every creature?''As our Lord applies this particularly to his disciples, his sense is, that they had no reason to be afraid of men, or fear anything that should befall them, for their bearing a faithful testimony to him; for, their valuable lives were under the special and peculiar care of divine providence; not only the days, months, and years of their lives were with God, and put down in his book of purposes and decrees, which could neither be shortened nor lengthened; and not only the more principal, and even all the members of their bodies were written in his book of providence, and a singular care taken of them; but even their very excrescences, the more minute parts, and which were of no great account with them, the "hairs" of their head", even "all" of them, were not only known, but numbered", taken account of; yea, the thing was done already, it was not to be done; a very strong way of setting forth the doctrine of divine providence: a doctrine which the Jews were not unacquainted with, who say F11;
``that the events of man, and accidents which come upon him, (Mymv ydyb lkh) , "are all by", or "in the hands of God";''and F12 that
``nothing is by chance, but all things are (tnwkb) , "with design";''or, as they elsewhere say F13,
``a man does not hurt his finger below, but they proclaim concerning it above;''that is, as the gloss explains it, (wyle wrzg) , "it is decreed" concerning it: which comes very near to the phrase here used.
F9 Pesikta, fol. 18. 4. apud Drusium in loc.
F11 Piske Tosaphot ad Cetubot, art. 119.
F12 Kimchi in Ps. civ. 4.
F13 T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 7. 2.