|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:6-23 The order in which the tribes are here blessed, is not the same as is observed elsewhere. The blessing of Judah may refer to the whole tribe in general, or to David as a type of Christ. Moses largely blesses the tribe of Levi. Acceptance with God is what we should all aim at, and desire, in all our devotions, whether men accept us or not, 2Co 5:9. This prayer is a prophecy, that God will keep up a ministry in his church to the end of time. The tribe of Benjamin had their inheritance close to mount Zion. To be situated near the ordinances, is a precious gift from the Lord, a privilege not to be exchanged for any worldly advantage, or indulgence. We should thankfully receive the earthly blessings sent to us, through the successive seasons. But those good gifts which come down from the Father of lights, through the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring out of his Spirit like the rain which makes fruitful, are infinitely more precious, as the tokens of his special love. The precious things here prayed for, are figures of spiritual blessing in heavenly things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and comforts of the Spirit. When Moses prays for the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush, he refers to the covenant, on which all our hopes of God's favour must be founded. The providence of God appoints men's habitations, and wisely disposes men to different employments for the public good. Whatever our place and business are, it is our wisdom and duty to apply thereto; and it is happiness to be well pleased therewith. We should not only invite others to the service of God, but abound in it. The blessing of Naphtali. The favour of God is the only favour satisfying to the soul. Those are happy indeed, who have the favour of God; and those shall have it, who reckon that in having it they have enough, and desire no more.
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And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun,.... Which has a wonderful influence upon many and most of the fruits of the earth, to produce them out of their seeds in it, to bring them forward, to ripen and perfect them, and to make them rich and excellent. Jarchi says,"the land of Joseph lay open to the sun, and it sweetened the fruits of it;''it improved them, and made them more valuable; and this is spiritually true of Christ the sun of righteousness, to whose influence are owing the blessings of grace, redemption, peace, pardon, and justification, and the graces of the Spirit, faith, hope, and love, and by what believers are filled with, the fruits of righteousness, see Malachi 4:2,
and for the precious things put forth by the moon; the fruits which the moon helps forward by its coolness and moisture; and those the above Jewish writer says are cucumbers and gourds; and as various creatures are affected by the moon, it is observed by a naturalist (o), that onions, when the moon waxes old, increase, and flag when it is young; and Pliny says (p), that at the increase of the moon all sort of corn grows bigger and larger; but a late learned writer (q) remarks, that though upon the pressure of the moon on the globe many things depend, as the ebbing and flowing of the sea, epileptic and convulsive paroxysms, yet it does not appear that this pressure exerts its power on plants, so as to thrust them forth, and therefore thinks this respects the ejection or protrusion of monthly fruits; for the word here used is in the plural number, and signifies "months"; and so Onkelos paraphrases the words,"it produces precious fruits at the beginning of every month;''or ripe fruit at the beginning of every month, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; for the spiritual meaning, see Revelation 22:2.
(o) Dalecamp. in Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 41. (p) Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 30. (q) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 437.
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