|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
128:1-6 The blessings of those who fear God. - Only those who are truly holy, are truly happy. In vain do we pretend to be of those that fear God, if we do not make conscience of keeping stedfastly to his ways. Blessed is every one that fears the Lord; whether he be high or low, rich or poor in the world. If thou fear him and walk in his ways, all shall be well with thee while thou livest, better when thou diest, best of all in eternity. By the blessing of God, the godly shall get an honest livelihood. Here is a double promise; they shall have something to do, for an idle life is a miserable, uncomfortable life, and shall have health and strength, and power of mind to do it. They shall not be forced to live upon the labours of other people. It is as much a mercy as a duty, with quietness to work and eat our own bread. They and theirs shall enjoy what they get. Such as fear the Lord and walk in his ways, are the only happy persons, whatever their station in life may be. They shall have abundant comfort in their family relations. And they shall have all the good things God has promised, and which they pray for. A good man can have little comfort in seeing his children's children, unless he sees peace upon Israel. Every true believer rejoices in the prosperity of the church. Hereafter we shall see greater things, with the everlasting peace and rest that remain for the Israel of God.
Verse 2. - For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands. This is the first point of the "blessedness." God's faithful servant shall enjoy the fruits of his own industry, and not have them devoured by strangers (comp. Deuteronomy 28:33; Leviticus 26:16; Psalm 109:11). Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee; rather, happy thou, and well is it with thee (comp. Deuteronomy 33:29).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thou shall eat the labour of thine hands,.... That is, thou that fearest the Lord, and walkest in his ways. It is an apostrophe, or address to such, even to everyone of them; instancing in one part of the blessedness that belongs to them, enjoyment of what their hands have laboured for; which may be understood both in a literal and spiritual sense: man must labour and get his bread with the sweat of his brow; he that will not work should not eat, he that does should; and a good man may have a comfortable enjoyment of the good of his labour; than which, as to temporal blessings, there is nothing better under the sun, Ecclesiastes 5:18; and, in a spiritual sense, good men labour in prayers at the throne of grace, there lifting up holy hands to God, wrestling with him for a blessing, which they enjoy; they labour in attendance on the word and ordinances, for the meat which endures to everlasting life; and they find the word and eat it, and Christ in it, whose flesh is meat indeed; and feed by faith on it, to the joy and comfort of their souls;
happy shall thou be, and it shall be well with thee; or, to thy soul, as the Syriac version; happy as to temporal things, and well as to spiritual ones: such having an apparent special interest in the love, grace, mercy, and delight of God; in his providence, protection, and care; in the supplies of his grace, and in his provisions for his people, in time and eternity. It is well with such that felt God, in life and at death, at judgment and for ever: and the Targum is,
"thou art blessed in this world, and it shall be well with thee in the world to come;''
and so Arama.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. For thou shalt eat—that is, It is a blessing to live on the fruits of one's own industry.
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