|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:11-15 Christ died to gather together the children of God that were scattered abroad, here said to be those who were called by his name. The Lord saith this, who doeth this, who can do it, who has determined to do it, the power of whose grace is engaged for doing it. Verses 13-15 may refer to the early times of Christianity, but will receive a more glorious fulfilment in the events which all the prophets more or less foretold, and may be understood of the happy state when the fulness both of the Jews and the Gentiles come into the church. Let us continue earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of these prophecies, in the peace, purity, and the beauty of the church. God marvellously preserves his elect amidst the most fearful confusions and miseries. When all seems desperate, he wonderfully revives his church, and blesses her with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And great shall be the glory of that period, in which not one good thing promised shall remain unfulfilled.
Verse 13. - The prophet expatiates upon the rich blessings which shall follow the establishment of the kingdom. Under the figure of a supernatural fertility are represented the victories of grace (comp. Isaiah 11:6; Ezekiel 26:10, etc.; Ezekiel 34:25, etc.). The blessing is founded on the Mosaic promise (Leviticus 26:5). The ploughman shall overtake the reaper. Ploughing and harvest shall be continuous, without sensible interval. The treader of grapes him that soweth seed. The vintage should be so abundant that it should last till sowing time. The mountains shall drop sweet wine. This is from Joel 3:18. And all the hills shall melt. As Joel says, "shall flow with milk," in this promised land "flowing with milk and honey." Septuagint, πάντες οἱ βουνοὶ σύμφυτοι ἔσονται, "all the hills shall be planted" with vines and olives. For, as Corn. a Lapide quotes, "Bacchus amat colles" (Virg., 'Georg.,' 2:113). The hyperbolical expressions in the text are not to be taken literally; they depict in bright colours the blessings of the kingdom of Messiah. Material and temporal blessings are generally represented as closely connected with spiritual, and as figurative of them. Such predictions, understood literally, are common in the so called Sibylline Books; see e.g. lib. 3:743, etc., where, among other prodigies, we have -
Πηγάς τε ῤήξει γλυκερὰς λευκοῖο γάλακτος One is reminded of the golden age depicted by Virgil in his fourth eclogue. Trochon cites Claudian, 'In Rufin.,' 1:381, etc. -
"... nec vomere sulcus adunco
Findetur; subitis messor gaudebit aristis.
Rorabunt querceta favis; stagnantia passim
Vina fluent, oleique lacus."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord,.... Or "are coming" (y); and which will commence upon the accomplishment of the above things, when the church of Christ is raised up and established, the Jews converted, and the Gentiles brought in:
that the ploughman shall overtake the reaper; or "meet the reaper" (z); or come up to him, or touch him, as it may be rendered; and so the Targum; that is, before the reaper has well cut down the grain, or it is scarce gathered in, the ploughman shall be ready to plough up the ground again, that it may be sown, and produce another crop:
and the treaders of grapes him that soweth seed; or "draweth seed" (a); out of his basket, and scatters it in the land; signifying that there should he such an abundance of grapes in the vintage, that they would continue pressing till seedtime; and the whole denotes a great affluence of temporal good things, as an emblem of spiritual ones; see Leviticus 26:5; where something of the like nature is promised, and expressed in much the same manner:
and the mountains shall drop sweet wine; or "new wine" (b); intimating that there shall be abundance of vines grow upon the mountains, which will produce large quantities of wine, so that they shall seem to drop or flow with it:
and all the hills shall melt; with liquors; either with wine or honey, or rather with milk, being covered with flocks and herds, which shall yield abundance of milk; by all which, plenty of spiritual things, as the word and ordinances, and rich supplies of grace, as well as of temporal things, is meant; see Joel 3:18.
(y) "dies venientes", Montanus, Burkius. (z) "et vel cum occurret arator messori", Vatablus, Drusius; "attingent arator messorem", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "accedet arator ad messorem", Cocceius. (a) "trahentem semen", Montanus, Liveleus, Drusius, Mercerus. (b) "mustum", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Mercerus; "musto", Drusius, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. the days come—at the future restoration of the Jews to their own land.
ploughman shall overtake … reaper … treader of grapes him that soweth—fulfilling Le 26:5. Such shall be the abundance that the harvest and vintage can hardly be gathered before the time for preparing for the next crop shall come. Instead of the greater part of the year being spent in war, the whole shall be spent in sowing and reaping the fruits of earth. Compare Isa 65:21-23, as to the same period.
soweth seed—literally, "draweth it forth," namely, from the sack in order to sow it.
mountains … drop sweet wine—an appropriate image, as the vines in Palestine were trained on terraces at the sides of the hills.
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