on Exodus 15 :2
The Lord is my strength and song - How judiciously are the members of this sentence arranged! He who has God for his strength, will have him for his song; and he to whom Jehovah is become salvation, will exalt his name. Miserably and untunably, in the ears of God, does that man sing praises, who is not saved by the grace of Christ, nor strengthened by the power of his might.
It is worthy of observation that the word which we translate Lord here, is not יהוה JEHOVAH in the original, but יה Jah; "as if by abbreviation," says Mr. Parkhurst, "for יהיה yeheieh or יהי yehi. It signifies the Essence Ὁ ΩΝ, He who Is, simply, absolutely, and independently. The relation between יה Jah and the verb היה to subsist, exist, be, is intimated to us the first time יה Jah is used in Scripture, (Exodus 15:2): 'My strength and my song is יה Jah, and he is become (ויהי vajehi) to me salvation.'" See Psalm 68:5; Psalm 89:6; Psalm 94:7; Psalm 115:17, Psalm 115:18; Psalm 118:17.
Jah יה is several times joined with the name Jehovah יהוה so that we may be sure that it is not, as some have supposed, a mere abbreviation of that word. See Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 26:4. Our blessed Lord solemnly claims to himself what is intended in this Divine name יה Jah, John 8:58 : "Before Abraham was, (γενεσθαι, was born), εγω ειμι, I Am," not I was, but I am, plainly intimating his Divine eternal existence. Compare Isaiah 43:13. And the Jews appear to have well understood him, for then took they up stones to cast at him as a blasphemer. Compare Colossians 1:16, Colossians 1:17, where the Apostle Paul, after asserting that all things that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, were created, εκτισται, by and for Christ, adds And He Is (αυτος εστι, not ην, was) before all things, and by him all things συνεστηκε, have subsisted, and still subsist. See Parkhurst.
From this Divine name יה Jah the ancient Greeks had their Ιη, Ιη, in their invocations of the gods, particularly of Apollo (the uncompounded One) the light; and hence ei, written after the oriental manner from right to left, afterwards ie, was inscribed over the great door of the temple at Delphi! See Clarke's note on Exodus 3:14, and the concluding observations there.
I will prepare him a habitation - ואנוהו veanvehu. It has been supposed that Moses, by this expression, intended the building of the tabernacle; but it seems to come in very strangely in this place. Most of the ancient versions understood the original in a very different sense. The Vulgate has et glorificabo eum; the Septuagint δοξασω αυτον, I will Glorify him; with which the Syriac, Coptic, the Targum of Jonathan, and the Jerusalem Targum, agree. From the Targum of Onkelos the present translation seems to have been originally derived; he has translated the place ואבני לה מקדש veebnei leh makdash, "And I will build him a sanctuary," which not one of the other versions, the Persian excepted, acknowledges. Our own old translations are generally different from the present: Coverdale, "This my God, I will magnify him;" Matthew's, Cranmer's, and the Bishops' Bible, render it glorify, and the sense of the place seems to require it. Calmet, Houbigant, Kennicott, and other critics, contend for this translation.
My father's God - I believe Houbigant to be right, who translates the original, אלהי אבי Elohey abi, Deus meus, pater meus est, "My God is my Father." Every man may call the Divine Being his God; but only those who are his children by adoption through grace can call him their Father. This is a privilege which God has given to none but his children. See Galatians 4:6.
on Exodus 15 :2
The Lord is my strength and song - My strength and song is Jah. See Psalm 68:4. The name was chosen here by Moses to draw attention to the promise ratified by the name "I am."
I will prepare Him an habitation - I will glorify Him. Our Authorized Version is open to serious objection, as suggesting a thought (namely, of erecting a temple) which could hardly have been in the mind of Moses at that time, and unsuited to the occasion.
on Exodus 15 :2
15:2 Israel rejoiceth in God, as their strength, song, and salvation - Happy therefore the people whole God is the Lord: They are weak themselves, but he strengthens them, his grace is their strength: they are oft in sorrow, but in him they have comfort, he is their song: sin and death threaten them, but he is, and will be, their salvation. He is their fathers God - This they take notice of, because being conscious of their own unworthiness, they had reason to think that what God had now done for them was for their fathers sake, Deu 4:37.