|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:8-23 Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealth of the world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a house and a field to purchase another; but the fault is, that they never know when they have enough. Covetousness is idolatry; and while many envy the prosperous, wretched man, the Lord denounces awful woes upon him. How applicable to many among us! God has many ways to empty the most populous cities. Those who set their hearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed. Here is woe to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense. The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments have seized them, but they will not disturb themselves in their pleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so high, death will bring him low; ever so mean, death will bring him lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be, that God will be glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; he shall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteous punishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who set up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts. They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent and politic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denying duties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness, it is a sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judges perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it.
Verse 10. - Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath. The greed of adding field to field will he punished by the curse of barrenness, which God will send upon the laud. Dr. Kay-calculates that ten acres (Roman) of vineyard ought to yield upon the average five hundred baths (or four thousand gallons) instead of one bath (eight gallons). An homer... an ephah. The "ephah" was the tenth-part of a "homer" (Ezekiel 45:11). Corn lands should return only one-tenth part of the seed sown in them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,.... They shall get nothing by laying field to field, for their fields shall be barren and unfruitful; though Jarchi and Kimchi take this to be a reason why their houses should be desolate, and without inhabitants, because there would be a famine, rendering the words, "for ten acres", &c. The Targum makes this barrenness to be the punishment of their sin, in not paying tithes; paraphrasing the words thus,
"for because of the sin of not giving tithes, the place of ten acres of vineyard shall produce one bath.''
The word signifies "yokes", and is used of yokes of oxen; hence the Septuagint and Arabic versions render the words thus, "for where ten yoke of oxen work", or "plough, it shall make one flagon"; and so Kimchi explains them, the place in a vineyard, which ten yoke of oxen plough in one day, shall yield no more wine than one bath. A bath is a measure for liquids; according to Godwin (a), it held four gallons and a half; a small quantity indeed, to be produced out of ten acres of ground; an acre, according to our English measure, being a quantity of land containing four square roods, or one hundred sixty square poles or perches:
and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah: that is, as much seed as an "homer" would hold, which was a dry measure, and which, according to the above writer, contained five bushels and five gallons, should yield only an ephah, which was the tenth part of an homer, Ezekiel 45:11 so that it would only produce a tenth part of the seed sown.
(a) Moses and Aaron, l. 6. c. 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. acres—literally, "yokes"; as much as one yoke of oxen could plow in a day.
bath—of wine; seven and a half gallons.
homer … ephah—Eight bushels of seed would yield only three pecks of produce (Eze 45:11). The ephah and bath, one-tenth of an homer.
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