The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 177 of 208
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"Of old" is also a frequent translation, and the words of Hab. 1: 12: "Art Thou not
from everlasting?" give a similar thought. The reader should not only remember that the
"eternal" God is "from of old", for this of itself would not necessarily prove that He
would be a refuge, but also that the word carries with it the idea of "being beforehand
with anything", "anticipating the demand" and providing for it.
As with the word "eternal", so with the word "refuge", it represents a number of ideas.
In Deut. 33: 27, the word is meonah, from a root meaning "to dwell". This refuge is,
therefore, a dwelling place. The same word is used for the "dwelling place" of God
Himself (Psa. 76: 2), and for the "dens" of wild beasts (Psa. 104: 22). In either case,
the meaning is the same. It is a place that provides protection, and where one may feel
The refuge provided for the people of God, is not to be conceived of in terms of
concrete or steel, for immediately after the opening statement of Deut. 33: 27 we
"And underneath are the everlasting arms."
In our own language the word "arms" may have two different meanings, but there is
no ambiguity in Deut. 33: 27. The "everlasting arms" refer, not to armaments, but to
the arms of the Lord, once "stretched out" to accomplish the deliverance of Israel
(Deut. 4: 34; 5: 15; 7: 19; 9: 29; 11: 2; 26: 8), and now stretched out in loving
support, so that the weary child of God, forgetting all alarms, thinking not of unkindly
steel or rough concrete, sinks into peaceful and secure rest in the arms of the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
"The God Who is beforehand is thy refuge."