|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-7 Christ is God's beloved Son, and our beloved Saviour. The care of the Lord over the church of Israel, is described by the management of a vineyard. The advantages of our situation will be brought into the account another day. He planted it with the choicest vines; gave them a most excellent law, instituted proper ordinances. The temple was a tower, where God gave tokens of his presence. He set up his altar, to which the sacrifices should be brought; all the means of grace are denoted thereby. God expects fruit from those that enjoy privileges. Good purposes and good beginnings are good things, but not enough; there must be vineyard fruit; thoughts and affections, words and actions, agreeable to the Spirit. It brought forth bad fruit. Wild grapes are the fruits of the corrupt nature. Where grace does not work, corruption will. But the wickedness of those that profess religion, and enjoy the means of grace, must be upon the sinners themselves. They shall no longer be a peculiar people. When errors and vice go without check or control, the vineyard is unpruned; then it will soon be grown over with thorns. This is often shown in the departure of God's Spirit from those who have long striven against him, and the removal of his gospel from places which have long been a reproach to it. The explanation is given. It is sad with a soul, when, instead of the grapes of humility, meekness, love, patience, and contempt of the world, for which God looks, there are the wild grapes of pride, passion, discontent, and malice, and contempt of God; instead of the grapes of praying and praising, the wild grapes of cursing and swearing. Let us bring forth fruit with patience, that in the end we may obtain everlasting life.
Verse 5. - And now go to; I will tell you; rather, and now, I pray you, let me tell yon. The address is still smooth and persuasive up to the word "vineyard." Then there is a sudden change; the style becomes abrupt, the tone fierce and menacing. "Let me tell you what I will do to my vineyard: break down its hedge, that it be grazed on; destroy its wall, that it be trampled underfoot," etc. The hedge... the wall. Vine-yards were usually protected either by a hedge of thorns, commonly of the prickly pear, or else by a wall; but the rabbis say that in some cases, for additional security, they were surrounded by both. God had given his vineyard all the protection possible.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And now, go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard,.... Not by bestowing fresh favours upon them, but by inflicting punishment on them, for abusing what they had received; and this he told by John Baptist, Christ, and his apostles, what he determined to do; and what he was about to do to the Jewish nation, in the utter ruin of it, Matthew 3:12.
I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; that is, the vineyard shall be eaten by the wild beasts that will enter into it, when the hedge is taken away; or "it shall be burnt"; that is, the hedge, being a hedge of thorns, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe; such there were about vineyards, besides the stone wall after mentioned:
and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down; the vineyard, or the vines in it, see Psalm 80:12 this is to be understood of the Lord's removing his presence, power, and protection from the Jewish nation, and leaving them naked, destitute, and helpless, and exposed to their enemies. The Targum is,
"and now I will declare to you what I will do to my people; I will cause my Shechinah, or Majesty, to remove from them, and they shall be for a spoil; and I will break down the house of their sanctuary, and they shall be for treading.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. go to—that is, attend to me.
hedge … wall—It had both; a proof of the care of the owner. But now it shall be trodden down by wild beasts (enemies) (Ps 80:12, 13).
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