|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:7-12 The men of that generation turned away from God, they had not kept his ordinances. God gives them a gracious call. But they said, Wherein shall we return? God notices what returns our hearts make to the calls of his word. It shows great perverseness in sin, when men make afflictions excuses for sin, which are sent to part between them and their sins. Here is an earnest exhortation to reform. God must be served in the first place; and the interest of our souls ought to be preferred before that of our bodies. Let them trust God to provide for their comfort. God has blessings ready for us, but through the weakness of our faith and the narrowness of our desires, we have not room to receive them. He who makes trial will find nothing is lost by honouring the Lord with his substance.
Verse 10. - All the tithes; the whole tithe - not merely a portion of it. God is not served with partial service. The storehouse. The tithes were brought to the temple, and laid up in the chambers built to receive them (see Nehemiah 10:38, 39; Nehemiah 13:5, 12, 13; 2 Chronicles 31:11, 12). That there may be meat in mine house. That they who minister about holy things may live of the things of the temple (1 Corinthians 9:13; Numbers 18:21). Prove me now herewith. Do your part, perform your duties, and then see if I will not reward your obedience. Open you the windows of heaven. The expression implies net only the removal of drought by copious showers of rain, but the diffusion of heavenly blessing in large abundance. That there shall not be room enough to receive it; or, unto superabundance; Vulgate, usque ad abundantiam; Septuagint, ἕως τοῦ ἱκανωθῆναι, "until it suffice;" Syriac, "until ye say, It is enough." The Authorized Version retains the negation in the sentence, and perhaps comes nearest to the meaning of the original (comp. Luke 12:17, 18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,.... Or "treasury" (e); for there were places in the temple where the tithe was put, and from thence distributed to the priests and Levites, for the support of their families, as they wanted. There were the tithe or tenth part of all eatable things paid to the Levites, and out of this another tithe was paid by the Levites to the priests; and there was another tithe, which some years the owners ate themselves at Jerusalem, and in others gave them to the poor; and these were called the first tithe, the tithe out of the tithe, the second tithe, and the poor's tithe; though they are commonly reduced to three, and are called first, and second, and third, as they are by Maimonides; who says (f),
"after they have separated the first tithe every year, they separate the second tithe, as it is said "thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed", &c. Deuteronomy 14:22 and in the third year, and in the sixth, they separate the poor's tithe, instead of the second tithe.''
So Tobit says; Tobit 1:7
"the first tithe I gave to the Levites, who stand before the Lord to minister to him, and to bless in his name the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the second tithe I sold (as he might, according to the law in Deuteronomy 14:24), and took the money, and went up to Jerusalem, and bought with it what I pleased; and the third tithe I gave to the repair of the temple;''
so Fagius reads: but according to Munster's edition it is, the second and third tithes I gave to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow; see Deuteronomy 26:12. It appears from hence that the sin of the people was, that they did not bring in "all" their tithes; they kept back a part of them: wherefore they are called upon to bring in the whole, and which they did in Nehemiah's time; see Nehemiah 10:38 where mention is made of the treasuries for the tithe, which were certain chambers adjoining to the temple; and besides those that were built by Solomon, there were other chambers prepared by Hezekiah in his times, when the tithes were brought in, in such plenty, that there was not room enough for them, 2 Chronicles 31:11 and besides those in the second temple, that were in the court of the priests, there were others in the court of the people, as L'Empereur thinks (g), where what the others could not contain might be put; and into which court the priests might come; and there were also receptacles underground, as well as upper rooms, where much might be laid up; add to all this, that Dr. Lightfoot (h) suggests, that these tithes were treasured up in the chambers by the gates of the temple, and were at least a part of the treasuries of the house of God, which the porters at the gates had the care of, 1 Chronicles 9:26 and particularly that the house of Asuppim, at which were four porters, was a large piece of building, containing divers rooms for the treasuring up things for the use of the temple; in the Apocrypha:
" And are resolved to spend the firstfruits of the the tenths of wine and oil, which they had sanctified, and reserved for the priests that serve in Jerusalem before the face of our God; the which things it is not lawful for any of the people so much as to touch with their hands.'' Judith 11:13
that there may be food in mine house; in the temple, for the sustenance of the priests and Levites: so the Targum,
"the prophet said, bring all the tithes into the treasury, that there may be food for them that minister in the house of my sanctuary:''
and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts; by bringing in all their tithes; when they would find, by making this experiment or trial, that the curse would be removed from them, and blessings be largely and liberally bestowed upon them by him, who is the Lord of hosts, and so able to perform any promise he makes; and here one is implied, and is as follows:
if I will not open you the windows of heaven; which had been shut and stopped up, and let down no rain upon their land, which brought a scarcity of provisions among them; but now, upon a change in their conduct it is suggested that these windows or floodgates should be opened, and rain let down plentifully upon them, which only could be done by the Lord himself; for the key of rain is one of the three keys, the Jews say (i), which God has reserved for himself, and never puts into the hands of a minister:
and pour you out a blessing: give abundance of rain to make the earth fruitful, and bring forth its increase in great plenty, which is a blessing; and not destroy the earth, and the fruits of it, as in the times of Noah, when the windows of heaven were opened, and a curse was poured out upon the earth:
that there shall not be room enough to receive it; and so Kimchi says his father interpreted this clause, that there would not be a sufficiency of vessels (k) and storehouses. Some render the words, as Junius, "so that ye shall not be sufficient"; either to gather in the increase, or to consume it. The Targum is,
"until ye say it is enough;''
and so the Syriac version. The phrase, which is very concise in the original text, and may be literally rendered, "unto not enough" (l), denotes great abundance and fulness of good things, so that there should be enough and to spare; and yet, as Gussetius observes, not enough to answer and express the abundance of mercy and goodness in the heart of God.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. (Pr 3:9, 10).
storehouse—(2Ch 31:11, Margin; compare 1Ch 26:20; Ne 10:38; 13:5, 12).
prove me … herewith—with this; by doing so. Test Me whether I will keep My promise of blessing you, on condition of your doing your part (2Ch 31:10).
pour … out—literally, "empty out": image from a vessel completely emptied of its contents: no blessing being kept back.
windows of heaven—(2Ki 2:7).
that … not … room enough, &c.—literally, "even to not … sufficiency," that is, either, as English Version. Or, even so as that there should be "not merely" "sufficiency" but superabundance [Jerome, Maurer]. Gesenius not so well translates, "Even to a failure of sufficiency," which in the case of God could never arise, and therefore means for ever, perpetually: so Ps 72:5, "as long as the sun and moon endure"; literally, "until a failure of the sun and moon," which is never to be; and therefore means, for ever.
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