|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-11 Christianity teaches men to be joyful under troubles: such exercises are sent from God's love; and trials in the way of duty will brighten our graces now, and our crown at last. Let us take care, in times of trial, that patience, and not passion, is set to work in us: whatever is said or done, let patience have the saying and doing of it. When the work of patience is complete, it will furnish all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare. We should not pray so much for the removal of affliction, as for wisdom to make a right use of it. And who does not want wisdom to guide him under trials, both in regulating his own spirit, and in managing his affairs? Here is something in answer to every discouraging turn of the mind, when we go to God under a sense of our own weakness and folly. If, after all, any should say, This may be the case with some, but I fear I shall not succeed, the promise is, To any that asketh, it shall be given. A mind that has single and prevailing regard to its spiritual and eternal interest, and that keeps steady in its purposes for God, will grow wise by afflictions, will continue fervent in devotion, and rise above trials and oppositions. When our faith and spirits rise and fall with second causes, there will be unsteadiness in our words and actions. This may not always expose men to contempt in the world, but such ways cannot please God. No condition of life is such as to hinder rejoicing in God. Those of low degree may rejoice, if they are exalted to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God; and the rich may rejoice in humbling providences, that lead to a humble and lowly disposition of mind. Worldly wealth is a withering thing. Then, let him that is rich rejoice in the grace of God, which makes and keeps him humble; and in the trials and exercises which teach him to seek happiness in and from God, not from perishing enjoyments.
Verse 11. - Ἀνέτειλε . ἐξήρανε ἐξέπεσε... ἀπώλετο. Observe the aorists here and in ver. 24. The illustration or case mentioned by way of example is taken as an actual fact, and the apostle falls into the tone of narration (see Wirier, 'Grammar of New Testament Greek,' § 40:5, 6. 1). Render, For the sun arose with the scorching wind, and withered the grass; and the flower thereof fell away, and the grace of the fashion of it perished. Καύσων may refer to
(1) the heat of the sun, or
(2) more probably, the hot Samum wind, the קָדִים of the Old Testament (Job 27:21; Ezekiel 17:10, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat,.... As it is about the middle of the day, when it shines in its full strength, and its heat is very great and scorching, especially in the summer season, and in hot climates:
but it withereth the grass; strikes it with heat, causes it to shrivel, and dries it up;
and the flower thereof falleth; drops off from it to the ground:
and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth; its form and colour, its glory and beauty, which were pleasant to the eye, are lost, and no more to be recovered. This shows, that earthly riches, like the flower of the field, have an outward show and glory in them, which attract the mind, and fix an attention to them for a while; they are gay and glittering, and look lovely, are pleasant to behold, and desirable to enjoy; but when the sun of persecution, or any other outward calamity arises, they are quickly destroyed, and are no more.
So also shall the rich man fade away in his ways; riches are uncertain things now, they often make themselves wings and flee away; they are things that are not, that are not solid and substantial they are a vain show; they sometimes fade away in a man's lifetime, before he dies; and he fades away, and comes to decay, amidst all the ways and means, designs and schemes, he forms and pursues, and all the actions and business he does; and if not, when he fades away, and dies amidst all his riches, his glory does not descend after him, but falls off from him, as the flower of the field before the heat of the sun.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Taken from Isa 40:6-8.
heat—rather, "the hot wind" from the (east or) south, which scorches vegetation (Lu 12:55). The "burning heat" of the sun is not at its rising, but rather at noon; whereas the scorching Kadim wind is often at sunrise (Jon 4:8) [Middleton, The Doctrine of the Greek Article]. Mt 20:12 uses the Greek word for "heat." Isa 40:7, "bloweth upon it," seems to answer to "the hot wind" here.
grace of the fashion—that is of the external appearance.
in his ways—referring to the burdensome extent of the rich man's devices [Bengel]. Compare "his ways," that is, his course of life, Jas 1:8.
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