|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:1-11 Sin desolates cities. It is strange that great conquerors should take pride in being enemies to mankind; but it is better that flocks should lie down there, than that they should harbour any in open rebellion against God and holiness. The strong holds of Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes, will be brought to ruin. Those who are partakers in sin, are justly made partakers in ruin. The people had, by sins, made themselves ripe for ruin; and their glory was as quickly cut down and taken away by the enemy, as the corn is out of the field by the husbandman. Mercy is reserved in the midst of judgment, for a remnant. But very few shall be marked to be saved. Only here and there one was left behind. But they shall be a remnant made holy. The few that are saved were awakened to return to God. They shall acknowledge his hand in all events; they shall give him the glory due to his name. To bring us to this, is the design of his providence, as he is our Maker; and the work of his grace, as he is the Holy One of Israel. They shall look off from their idols, the creatures of their own fancy. We have reason to account those afflictions happy, which part between us and our sins. The God of our salvation is the Rock of our strength; and our forgetfulness and unmindfulness of him are at the bottom of all sin. The pleasant plants, and shoots from a foreign soil, are expressions for strange and idolatrous worship, and the vile practices connected therewith. Diligence would be used to promote the growth of these strange slips, but all in vain. See the evil and danger of sin, and its certain consequences.
Verse 11. - In the day; or, in a day (Kay). Shalt thou make; rather, thou makest. Each new slip that is planted is forced to take root and grow and flourish at once; the next morning it is expected to have formed its seed and reached perfection. So the harvest is hurried on; but when it is reached, the day of visitation has arrived - a day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In the day shall thou make thy plant to grow,.... Not that it is in the power of man to make it grow; but the sense is, that all means and methods should be used to make it grow, no cost nor pains should be spared:
and in the morning shall thou make thy seed to flourish; which may denote both diligence in the early care of it, and seeming promising success; and yet all should be in vain, and to no purpose:
but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief; or "of inheritance"; when it was about to be possessed and enjoyed, according to expectation, it shall be all thrown together in a heap, and be spoiled by the enemy: or, "the harvest" shall be "removed in the day of inheritance" (w); just when the fruit is ripe, and going to be gathered in, the enemy shall come and take it all away; and so, instead of being a time of joy, as harvest usually is, it will be a time of grief and trouble,
and of desperate sorrow too, or "deadly"; which will leave them in despair, without hope of subsistence for the present year, or of having another harvest hereafter, the land coming into the hands of their enemies.
(w) "recedit messis in die hereditatis sive possessionis"; so some in Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. In the day … thy plant—rather, "In the day of thy planting" [Horsley].
shalt … make … grow—Maurer translates, "Thou didst fence it," namely, the pleasure-ground. The parallel clause, "Make … flourish," favors English Version. As soon as thou plantest, it grows.
in the morning—that is, immediately after; so in Ps 90:14, the Hebrew, "in the morning," is translated "early."
but … shall be a heap—rather, "but (promising as was the prospect) the harvest is gone" [Horsley].
in … day of grief—rather, "in the day of (expected) possession" [Maurer]. "In the day of inundation" [Horsley].
of desperate sorrow—rather, "And the sorrow shall be desperate or irremediable." In English Version "heap" and "sorrow" may be taken together by hendiadys. "The heap of the harvest shall be desperate sorrow" [Rosenmuller].
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