|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 3. - Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides (rather, in the inner chambers) of thine house. The second point of blessedness is a fruitful wife, content to dwell in the female apartments of the house, to keep at home (Titus 2:5) and guide the household. Thy children like olive plants; or, "olive shoots" - the vigorous offsets from an aged olive tree, which spring up around it, ready to take its place. Round about thy table. Clustering around thy board, at once a source of cheerfulness and strength (see Psalm 127:5). This is the third point of blessedness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house,.... The vine being a weak and tender tree, which needs propping and supporting; and often is fastened to the sides of a house, to which the allusion here is; whereunto it cleaves, and on which it runs up, and bears very agreeable fruit; it is properly used to express the weakness and tenderness of the female sex, their fruitfulness in bearing children, and their care of domestic affairs, being keepers at home; see 1 Peter 3:7. Kimchi observes, that the vine is the only tree men plant within doors; which, when it is grown up, they bring out at a hole or window of the house without, to have the sun and air; and so its root is within the house, and the branches without: and he observes, that a modest woman is within the house, and does not go without, and is only seen by her husband; but her children, like the branches of the vine, go out to work. This may be applied to Christ and his church; to him the other characters agree: he, as man, is one that feared the Lord; the grace of fear was in him; the spirit of fear rested on him; and he was in the exercise of it, and walked in all the ways of the Lord, Isaiah 11:1; he now sees and enjoys the travail or labour of his soul to satisfaction, and is made most blessed for evermore, Isaiah 53:11. The church is the bride, the Lamb's wife, the spouse of Christ; and may be compared to a vine for her weakness in herself, her fruitfulness in grace and good works, and in bringing forth souls to Christ, through the ministry of the word; all which is pleasant and grateful to him; see Psalm 80:14;
thy children like olive plants round about thy table; a numerous offspring was always accounted a very great blessing; and it must be very pleasant to a parent to see his children round about his table, placed in their proper order according to their age, partaking of what it is furnished with: Job, in his time of prosperity, had many children; and, next to the presence of the Almighty with him, he mentions this of his children being about him; see Job 1:2. This may be applied to the spiritual seed and offspring of Christ, which are like to olive trees or olive plants; to which David is compared, Psalm 52:8; the two anointed ones in Zechariah 4:11; the two witnesses in Revelation 11:4; and all true believers in Christ may; because of their excellency, these being choice plants; because of their fruitfulness and beauty; because of their fatness, and having oil in them; and because of their perpetuity, being ever green; see Jeremiah 11:16. Now Christ has a table, which he has well furnished, at which he himself sits, and places these his children all around; and whom he welcomes to the entertainment he makes, and takes delight and pleasure in them, Sol 1:12. Kimchi observes, the olive trees do not admit of a graft from other trees; see Romans 11:24; and so this denotes the legitimacy of those children, being free from all suspicion of being spurious, being born of such a wife as before described; and being green and moist all the year long, denotes their continuance in good works.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. by the sides—or, "within" (Ps 48:2).
olive plants—are peculiarly luxuriant (Ps 52:8).
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