Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 21:17

Then Israel sang this song: "Spring up, O well! Sing to it!
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beer;   Thankfulness;   Scofield Reference Index - Joy;   Thompson Chain Reference - Music;   Singing;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Wells;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Beer;   Serpents;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Reuben;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Beer;   Songs;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Beer;   Jasher;   Jephthah;   Numbers, the Book of;   Poetry;   Prayer;   Well;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Book(s);   Music, Instruments, Dancing;   Pentateuch;   Poetry;   Well;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beer;   Israel;   Jephthah;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Poetry;   Rock;   Wars of the Lord, Book of the;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Living (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Arnon ;   Beer ;   Moab, Moabites ;   Type;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Beer-elim;   Wells;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Be'er;   Mo'ses;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Answer;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Samuel the Prophet;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Poetry, Hebrew;   Song;   Wanderings of Israel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Arnon;   Beer;   Poetry;   Well, Song of the;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Spring up, O well, etc. - This is one of the most ancient war songs in the world, but is not easily understood, which is commonly the case with all very ancient compositions, especially the poetic. See the remarks Exodus 15:1; (note), etc.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/numbers-21.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then Israel sang this song,.... Being affected with the free favour and good will of God towards them:

spring up, O well; for the springing up of which they prayed in faith, believing in the promise of God, that it would spring up; and so encouraged one another not only to believe it, but even to sing on account of it before it actually did:

sing ye unto it; or on account of it praise the Lord for it; or "answer to it"F13ענו לה "respondete ei", Montanus; "alternis canite ei", Tigurine version, Piscator. , it being their manner to sing their songs by responses, or alternately.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; f sing ye unto it:

(f) You that receive the convenience of it, give praise for it.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-21.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

Spring up — Heb. ascend, that is, let thy waters, which now lie hid below in the earth, ascend for our use. It is either a prediction that it should spring up, or a prayer that it might.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-21.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Then Israel

The spiritual order here is beautiful:

(1) atonement Numbers 21:8; Numbers 21:9; John 3:14; John 3:15

(2) water, symbol of the Spirit bestowed Numbers 21:16; John 7:37-39.

(3) joy Numbers 21:17; Numbers 21:18; Romans 14:17.

(4) power Numbers 21:21-24.

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Numbers 21:17". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/numbers-21.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Numbers 21:17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

Ver. 17. Then Israel sang this soug.] A sign of that Christian joy. [Isaiah 12:3-4]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/numbers-21.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Israel sang this song, to praise God for giving them such a seasonable blessing, before they asked it, or complained for the want of it.

Spring up; give forth thy waters that we may drink. Heb. Ascend, i.e. let thy waters, which now lie hid below in the earth, ascend for thy use. It is either a prediction that it should spring up, or a prayer that it might, or a command in the name of God directed to the well, by a usual prosopopaeia, as when God bids the heavens hear, and the earth give ear, Isaiah 1:2. Any of these ways it shows their faith. Sing ye unto it; or, sing ye of it; or, answer to it or concerning it; it being the manner of the Jewish singers that one should answer to another, of which see Exodus 15:21 1 Samuel 18:7.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17.Israel sang this song

“Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it;

The well which the princes digged,

Which the nobles of the people delved

With the sceptre and with their staves.”

“The arrival in Moab marks, indeed, the first outburst of Hebrew poetry. Ordinary words would no longer suffice to give expression to the joy at entering on fertile regions, and leaving the desert behind them.” — Geikie. This song, first sung at the digging of the well, was afterward, no doubt, commonly used by those who came to draw water. The maidens of Israel chanted it one to another, verse by verse, as they toiled at the bucket, and thus beguiled their labour. But its peculiar charm lies in the characteristic touch which manifestly connects it with the life of the time to which the narrative assigns it. The leaders were not above doing some part of the work. “This little carol is fresh and lusty with long life; it sparkles like the water of the well whose springing up first occasioned it; it is the expression of lively confidence in the sympathy of their leaders, which might be relied on in all emergencies.” — Ewald.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

They sung. Hebrew, "sing ye unto it," in chorus, men and women. Septuagint, "commence a canticle unto it. This well the princes dug, the kings of nations hewed in the rock, in their kingdom, while they held dominion."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

this song. See note on Exodus 15:1.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/numbers-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

Then Israel sang. This beautiful little song was in accordance with the wants and feelings of traveling caravans in the East, where water is an occasion both of prayer and thanksgiving. From the princes using their official rods only, and not spades, it seems probable that this well was concealed by the brushwood or the sand, as is the case with many wells in Idumea still. The discovery of it was seasonable, and owing to the special interposition of God. This seems to be the true interpretation of a clause somewhat obscure.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:
sang
Exodus 15:1,2; Judges 5:1; Psalms 105:2; 106:12; Isaiah 12:1,2,5; James 5:13
Spring up
Heb. ascend. sing ye. or answer.
Reciprocal: Isaiah 26:1 - this song;  Isaiah 27:2 - sing;  Hosea 2:15 - she shall sing

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 21:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-21.html.