Verse 6. Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name. Though not ordained to the typical priesthood, Moses was a true priest, even as Melchizedek had been before him. God has ever had a priesthood beside and above that of the law. The three holy men here mentioned all stood in his courts, and saw his holiness, each one after his own order. Moses saw the Lord in flaming fire revealing each perfect law, Aaron full often watched the sacred fire devour the sin-offering, and Samuel witnessed the judgment of the Lord on Eli's house, because of the error of his way. These each one stood in the gap when the wrath of God broke forth, because his holiness had been insulted; and acting as intercessors, they screened the nation from the great and terrible God, who otherwise would in a dreadful manner have executed judgment in Jacob. Let these men, or such as these, lead us in our worship, and let us approach the Lord at the mercy-seat as they did, for he is as accessible to us as to them. They made it their life's business to call upon him in prayer, and by so doing brought down innumerable blessings upon themselves and others. Does not the Lord call us also to come up into the mount with Moses, and to enter the most holy place with Aaron? Do we not hear him call us by our name as he did Samuel? And do we not answer, "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth"?
They called upon the Lord, and he answered them. Not in vain were their prayers; but being a holy God he was true to his promises, and hearkened to them from off the mercy- seat. Here is reason for praise, for answers to the petitions of some are proofs of God's readiness to hear others. These three men asked large things, they pleaded for a whole nation, and they stayed great plagues and turned away fiery wrath; who would not exercise himself in adoring so great and merciful a God? If he were unholy he would be false to his word and refuse his people's cries; this, then, is recorded for our joy and for his glory, that holy men of old were not suffered to pray in vain.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. Moses and Aaron among his priests, or chief officers; as in 1 Chronicles 18:17 . Moses was, if not a priest, yet a continual intercessor for the people, and a type of Christ the great Mediator of his church. Aben-Ezra called him Cohen haccohanim, the priest of priests; and Philo, writing his life, concludeth, This was the life and death of Moses the king, the lawgiver, the prophet, and the chief priest. John Trapp.
Verse 6. Moses twice performed acts essentially priestly ( Exodus 24:4-8 and Exodus 40:22 , compared with Leviticus 8:1-36 ), at the ratification of the covenant, and at the consecration of the priests. For this reason he could the more readily be placed here among the priestly mediators. C. B. Moll.
Verse 6. Priests. The word cohen is not confined as a title to the priests of the Levitical order, it is applied to Melchizedek and others. Moses is included among God's priests in accordance with the true idea of a priest, as being the official exponent of the divine love and mercy -- one who represented God though acting in the interests of man. Robert JBaker Girdlestone, in "Synonyms of the Old Testament."
Verse 6. His priests. At the foundation of this there is another spiritual idiom, that, namely, according to which all are called priests who possess what constitutes the essence of the ordinary priestly office (although not the externals), inward connection with God, free access to the throne of grace, and the gift and power of intercessory prayer. This figurative idiom occurs even in the law itself, compare Exodus 19:6 , where it is said to all Israel, "Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." F.W. Hengstenberg.
Verse 6. Priests. The word cohen, Priest, is from cahan, to plead a cause, as an intercessor, mediator, or advocate; hence the strict propriety of its use here in reference to Moses. C. H. S.
Verse 6. They that call upon his name. The Hebrew word which we translate to call upon God, notes a sort of men whose chief business or trade was to call upon or invocate the name of God, and in this instance it implies that it was the special calling of these men to call upon God. Joseph Caryl.
Verse 6-9. This third strophe is in reality a prophetical picture of the future holy worship of God, in which Moses, Aaron, and Samuel appear as the living representatives of the redeemed church, like the four and twenty elders in the more fully developed Apocalyptic scene of St. John. Revelation 5. Joseph Francis Thrupp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
- Prayer offered. Moses the prophet, Aaron the priest, Samuel the ruler, "They called," &c.
- Prayer answered. "He answered them," "he spake," &c.
- Prayer vindicated. They kept the other testimonies, &c. G. R.