|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 6. - I will lay it waste; literally, I will make it a desolation (comp. Isaiah 7:19, where a cognate term occurs). Active ravage is not so much pointed at, as the desolation which comes from neglect. There shall come up briers and thorns. The natural produce of neglected ground in Palestine (see Proverbs 24:31). The "thorns and briers" symbolize vices of various kinds, the natural produce of the human soul, if God leaves it to itself. The words are scarcely to be taken literally, though it is probably true that "no country in the world has such variety and abundance of thorny plants as Palestine in its present desolation" (Macmillan, 'Min. of Nat.,' p. 103). I will also command the clouds. Here at last disguise is thrown off, and the speaker manifestly appears as Jehovah, who can alone "command the clouds." The "rain" intended is probably that of his gracious influences.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will lay it waste,.... Or "desolate", as it was by the Romans: the whole land of Judea, as well as the city and temple Matthew 23:38,
it shall not be pruned nor digged; as vineyards are, to make them more fruitful; but no care shall be taken of it, no means made use of to cultivate it, all being ineffectual:
but there shall come up briers and thorns; sons of Belial, wicked and ungodly men; immoralities, errors, heresies, contentions, quarrels, &c. which abounded about the time of Jerusalem's destruction, and before:
I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon them; by "the clouds" are meant the apostles of Christ, who were full of the doctrines of grace, from whom they dropped as rain upon the mown grass; these, when the Jews contradicted and blasphemed the Gospel, and judged themselves unworthy of it, were commanded by Christ to turn from them, and go to the Gentiles, Acts 13:45 agreeably to this sense is the Targum,
"and I will command the prophets, that they do not prophesy upon them prophecy.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. I will … command—The parable is partly dropped and Jehovah, as in Isa 5:7, is implied to be the Owner: for He alone, not an ordinary husbandman (Mt 21:43; Lu 17:22), could give such a "command."
no rain—antitypically, the heaven-sent teachings of the prophets (Am 8:11). Not accomplished in the Babylonish captivity; for Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah prophesied during or after it. But in gospel times.
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