|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:9-20 When there was so much provocation given to the holy God, bad times might be expected. Alas! how many careless ones there are, who support self-indulgence by shameful niggardliness! We deserve to be deprived of the supports of life, when we make them the food of lusts. Let such tremble and be troubled. Blessed times shall be brought in by the pouring out of the Spirit from on high; then, and not till then, there will be good times. The present state of the Jews shall continue until a more abundant pouring out of the Spirit from on high. Peace and quietness shall be found in the way and work of righteousness. True satisfaction is to be had only in true religion. And real holiness is real happiness now, and shall be perfect happiness, that is, perfect holiness for ever. The good seed of the word shall be sown in all places, and be watered by Divine grace; and laborious, patient labourers shall be sent forth into God's husbandry.
Verse 20. - Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters. The idyllic picture, begun in ver. 15, terminates here. The people of the kingdom have a well-watered land (Isaiah 30:25), where they live peacefully, sowing their seed beside the water-courses, and having abundant pasture for their peaceful beasts - the ox and the ass (comp. Isaiah 30:24). A spiritual meaning doubtless underlies the literal sense.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters,.... In places well watered and moistened, and so fit to receive the seed sown, which grows up, and brings forth much fruit, and amply rewards the pains of the sower, who on that account is happy. These words are directed to the ministers of the Gospel in the latter day; the word is compared to seed, and the preachers of it to sowers of seed, who have a commission to preach the Gospel to every creature; and in the latter day, in the spiritual reign of Christ, to which the whole paragraph refers, they will sow the seed of the word "by many waters"; or among great multitudes of people, signified hereby, and with great success, great numbers both of Jews and Gentiles will be converted:
that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass; which were used in ploughing and tilling the earth, and in making it fit to sow the seed in it, and to eat off the heads of grain when it is grown thick and full, which some think is here meant; and the one might also be used to gather it in when ripe, and the other to tread and thresh it, as the Targum and Jarchi interpret it; there being a law given the Jews, that these two should not work together, Deuteronomy 22:10 and from hence it may be concluded, that these words refer to a time when this law should be abolished; and the Jews themselves apply it to the times of the Messiah (r); and it undoubtedly points to Gospel times, and even to those times when the Jews shall be converted, and great numbers among the Gentiles also, who shall join together in spreading the Gospel, and in promoting the interest of Christ.
(r) Debarim Rabba, sect. 6. fol. 241. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. While the enemy shall be brought "low," the Jews shall cultivate their land in undisturbed prosperity.
all waters—well-watered places (Isa 30:25). The Hebrew translation, "beside," ought rather to be translated, "upon" (Ec 11:1), where the meaning is, "Cast thy seed upon the waters when the river overflows its banks; the seed will sink into the mud and will spring up when the waters subside, and you will find it after many days in a rich harvest." Before sowing, they send oxen, &c., into the water to tread the ground for sowing. Castalio thinks there is an allusion to the Mosaic precept, not to plough with an ox and ass together, mystically implying that the Jew was to have no intercourse with Gentiles; the Gospel abolishes this distinction (Col 3:11); thus the sense here is, Blessed are ye that sow the gospel seed without distinction of race in the teachers or the taught. But there is no need of supposing that the ox and ass here are yoked together; they are probably "sent forth" separately, as in Isa 30:24.
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