I did know thee in the wilderness
Where there were no food nor drink, where were scorpions, serpents, and beasts of prey; there the Lord knew them, owned them, and showed a fatherly affection for them, and care of them; and fed them with manna and quails, and guided and directed them in the way, and protected and preserved them from their enemies, and from all hurt and danger. So the Targum explains it,
``I sufficiently supplied their necessities in the wilderness:''in the land of great drought;
or, "of droughts" F3; the word is only used in this place; and is by Aben Ezra interpreted a dry and thirsty land; and so he says it signifies in the Arabic language and the same is observed by the father of Kimchi, and by R. Jonah F4; but is by some rendered "torrid" F5, or "inflamed", as if it had the signification of a Hebrew word which signifies a flame: and the Targum takes it to be akin to another, which signifies to "desire", rendering it,
``in a land in which thou desirest everything;''that is, wants everything. The first seems best, and is a fit a description of the wilderness, which was a place of drought, wherein was no water, ( Deuteronomy 8:15 ) .
F3 (tbwalt Urab) "an terra siccitatum", Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt.
F4 Apud R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed. fol. 35. 1.
F5 "In terra torridonum locorum", Montanus; "torridissima", Junius & Tremellius, Heb. "infammationum", Piscator.