|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:1-5 The Lord Jesus with his strong sword, the virtue of his death, and the preaching of his gospel, does and will destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, that old serpent. The world is a fruitless, worthless wilderness; but the church is a vineyard, a place that has great care taken of it, and from which precious fruits are gathered. God will keep it in the night of affliction and persecution, and in the day of peace and prosperity, the temptations of which are not less dangerous. God also takes care of the fruitfulness of this vineyard. We need the continual waterings of Divine grace; if these be at any time withdrawn, we wither, and come to nothing. Though God sometimes contends with his people, yet he graciously waits to be reconciled unto them. It is true, when he finds briers and thorns instead of vines, and they are set in array against him, he will tread them down and burn them. Here is a summary of the doctrine of the gospel, with which the church is to be watered every moment. Ever since sin first entered, there has been, on God's part, a righteous quarrel, but, on man's part, most unrighteous. Here is a gracious invitation given. Pardoning mercy is called the power of our Lord; let us take hold on that. Christ crucified is the power of God. Let us by lively faith take hold on his strength who is a strength to the needy, believing there is no other name by which we can be saved, as a man that is sinking catches hold of a bough, or cord, or plank, that is in his reach. This is the only way, and it is a sure way, to be saved. God is willing to be reconciled to us.
Verses 2-6. - GOD'S CARE FOR HIS VINEYARD. This piece may be called a companion picture to Isaiah 5:1-7, or a joy-song to be set over against that dirge. In both the figure of the vineyard is employed to express the people of God, and God is "the Lord of the vineyard." But whereas, on the former occasion, all was wrath and fury, menace and judgment, here all is mercy and loving-kindness, protection and promise. The difference is, no doubt, not with God, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17), but with the vineyard, which is either not the same, or, if the same, then differently circumstanced. The vineyard of Isaiah 5. is beyond all doubt the Jewish Church in the time of Isaiah, or in the times shortly after. The vineyard of the present place is either the Christian Church, or the Jewish Church reformed and purified by suffering. It is not the Church triumphant in heaven, since there are still "briars and thorns" in it, and there are still those belonging to it who have to "make their peace with God." The prophet has come back from his investigations of the remote future and the supra-mundane sphere to something which belongs to earth, and perhaps not to a very distant period. His second "song of the vineyard" may well comfort the Church through all her earthly struggles. Verse 2. - Sing ye unto her. Our translators have, strangely enough, inverted the order of the two clauses, which stand thus in the Hebrew: "A vineyard of red wine; sing ye unto it, "or "sing ye of it." The "vineyard of red wine" is one that produces abundance of rich fruit.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In that day sing ye unto her,.... The congregation of Israel, as the Targum; or rather the church of Christ; for after, and upon the destruction of his and her enemies, there will be great rejoicing and singing alternately, and by responses, as the word signifies; see Revelation 15:1. Gussetius (l) renders it, "afflict her"; as if spoken by the Lord to the enemies to do their worst to her, and he would take care of her, that it shall be in vain, and to no purpose, since he would keep her:
A vineyard of red wine; as the people of the Jews are compared to one, Isaiah 5:1 so is the church of Christ under the Gospel dispensation; see Sol 8:11 a vineyard is a spot of ground separated from others, and the church and people of God are separated from the rest of the world by electing, redeeming, and calling grace; a vineyard is a place set with various vines, so is the church; there is Christ the true vine, the principal one, which stands in the first place, John 15:1 and there are particular congregated churches, which belong to the vineyard, the general or catholic church, Sol 2:13 and there are particular believers that may be so called, Sol 6:11 moreover, sometimes in vineyards other trees are planted besides vines, as barren fig trees, Luke 13:6 and so there are in the visible church of God nominal believers, carnal professors, trees without fruit; there are no true vines but such as are ingrafted and planted in Christ, and who, through union to him, and abiding in him, bring forth fruit; a vineyard is the property of some one person, as this is of Christ, whose it is by his own choice, by his Father's gift, by inheritance, by purchase, as well as it is of his planting, and under his care; vineyards are valuable, pleasant, and profitable, but exposed to beasts of prey, and therefore to be fenced and guarded; all which may be applied to the church of Christ, which shall, in the latter day especially, be very fruitful, and answer to this character given her in this song, a vineyard "of red wine"; the allusion is to such a vineyard, in which vines grow, that bring forth grapes, productive of the best wine, as the red was reckoned in the eastern countries; see Genesis 49:12 and so Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it; this is a vineyard very different from that in Isaiah 5:5 and from the vine of Israel, Hosea 10:1 the fruit of it, signified by "red wine", may intend the graces of the Spirit, which like grapes, the fruit of the vine, grow in clusters; where one is, all of them are, and come from Christ, the vine, from whom all the fruit of divine grace is found: and which receive their tincture from the blood of Christ, their vigour and their usefulness; and may be said, like wine, to cheer the heart of God and man, Judges 9:13 grace when in exercise is delightful to God and Christ, Sol 4:9 and gives pleasure to other saints, Psalm 34:1 and as the fruit of the vine must be squeezed ere the liquor can be had, so the graces of the Spirit are tried by afflictive dispensations of Providence, by which the preciousness and usefulness of them are made known; moreover, the fruits of righteousness, or good works, may be also intended, by which the graces of faith and repentance are evidenced, and which, when performed aright, are acceptable to God through Christ, and profitable to men; and for these fruits of grace and good works the church will be famous in the latter day.
(l) Comment. Ebr. p. 622.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. In that day when leviathan shall be destroyed, the vineyard (Ps 80:8), the Church of God, purged of its blemishes, shall be lovely in God's eyes; to bring out this sense the better, Lowth, by changing a Hebrew letter, reads "pleasant," "lovely," for "red wine."
sing—a responsive song [Lowth].
unto her—rather, "concerning her" (see on Isa 5:1); namely, the Jewish state [Maurer].
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