|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
80:8-16 The church is represented as a vine and a vineyard. The root of this vine is Christ, the branches are believers. The church is like a vine, needing support, but spreading and fruitful. If a vine do not bring forth fruit, no tree is so worthless. And are not we planted as in a well-cultivated garden, with every means of being fruitful in works of righteousness? But the useless leaves of profession, and the empty boughs of notions and forms, abound far more than real piety. It was wasted and ruined. There was a good reason for this change in God's way toward them. And it is well or ill with us, according as we are under God's smiles or frowns. When we consider the state of the purest part of the visible church, we cannot wonder that it is visited with sharp corrections. They request that God would help the vine. Lord, it is formed by thyself, and for thyself, therefore it may, with humble confidence, be committed to thyself.
Verses 8-19. - The poet, to excite God's compassion, proceeds to depict Israel as it was and as it is. He adopts the figure of a vine, perhaps suggested to him by the description of Joseph in the dying speech of Jacob (Genesis 49:22), and carries out his metaphor, in nine consecutive verses, with great beauty and consistency. Isaiah's description of Israel as a vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7) is somewhat similar. Verse 8. - Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt. The history of Israel as a nation begins with the Exodus. The nation was transplanted from Egypt into a soil better fitted for it by the loving hand of God, in order that it might have ample room to grow up and develop itself freely. God "brought it out of Egypt," not merely in the exercise of his ordinary providence over humanity, but by an active exertion of his Almighty power, and a long series of miraculous manifestations, without which the transfer could not have been effected. He then cast out the heathen, and planted it - drove out, that is, before Israel the seven nations of the Hivites, Hittites, Gergashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, and Jebusites, and, having driven them out, "planted" in his own people (see Psalm 44:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt,.... The house of Israel, who are like unto a vine, as the Targum paraphrases it; and to a vine or vineyard are they often compared; see Isaiah 5:1, Jeremiah 2:21. These were in Egypt awhile, where they were grievously oppressed and trampled upon; and yet the more they were afflicted, the more they grew and multiplied; and from hence the Lord brought them in due time, with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
he caused them to go out; the word (o) used fitly expresses their journeyings from thence, and through the wilderness; they were a type of the church of Christ, and special people of God, who also are frequently compared to vines and vineyards; see Sol 2:13 the vine tree is fruitful, and bears fruit in clusters but its wood is very useless and unprofitable, Ezekiel 15:2 and it is a tree very weak, and cannot rise and support itself, it must be propped up; so believers in Christ, though fruitful through the grace of God, yet are unprofitable to him, and very weak in themselves, and are upheld by the right hand of his righteousness, on whom they lean and stay themselves; and these, in their natural state, are in worse than Egyptian bondage, darkness, and idolatry, out of which they are brought, in the effectual calling, into Gospel liberty, marvellous light, and the true worship and service of God; and out of the antichristian Egypt will all the Lord's people be brought one day; see Revelation 11:8.
thou hast cast out the Heathen; the Targum adds, out of the land of Israel, that is, Canaan; it designs the expulsion of the seven nations from thence, to make way for the Israelites, Deuteronomy 7:1 and was an emblem of the ejection of Satan out of the Gentile world, and out of the souls of men, through the ministry of the word; and of sin, and the lusts of it, when the King of glory enters in, so as that they shall not any more have dominion; though as the Canaanites were left in the land to be pricks and thorns in the eyes and sides of the Israelites, so indwelling sin remains in God's people to the distress of their souls, and the trial of their graces. The Papists are sometimes called the Heathens and Gentiles; and there will be a time when they shall be cast out, and be no more in the land, Psalm 10:16,
and planted it; the vine, the Israelites, in the land of Canaan; see Exodus 15:17. So saints are planted not only in Christ, the true vine, of which they are branches; but in a Gospel church state, where they flourish and become fruitful and pleasant plants, plants of renown; and being of the Lord's planting, he is glorified by them, and they shall never be rooted up, nor wither, but prosper and thrive; see Psalm 1:3.
(o) "fecisti proficisci", Paginus, Montanus, Vatablus.
The Treasury of David
8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;
15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
19 Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
"Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt." There it was in unfriendly soil: the waters of the Nile watered it not, but were as death to its shoots, while the inhabitants of the land despised it and trampled it down. Glorious was the right hand of the Lord when with power and great wonders he removed his pleasant plant in the teeth of those who sought its destruction. "Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it." Seven nations were digged out to make space for the vine of the Lord; the old trees, which long had engrossed the soil were torn up root and branch; oaks of Bashan, and palm trees of Jericho were displaced for the chosen vine. It was securely placed in its appointed position with divine prudence and wisdom. Small in appearance, very dependent, exceeding weak, and apt to trail on the ground, yet the vine of Israel was chosen of the Lord, because he knew that by incessant care, and abounding skill, he could make of it a goodly fruitbearing plant.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8-11. brought—or, "plucked up," as by roots, to be replanted.
a vine—(Ps 78:47). The figure (Isa 16:8) represents the flourishing state of Israel, as predicted (Ge 28:14), and verified (1Ki 4:20-25).
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