|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
81:8-16 We cannot look for too little from the creature, nor too much from the Creator. We may have enough from God, if we pray for it in faith. All the wickedness of the world is owing to man's wilfulness. People are not religious, because they will not be so. God is not the Author of their sin, he leaves them to the lusts of their own hearts, and the counsels of their own heads; if they do not well, the blame must be upon themselves. The Lord is unwilling that any should perish. What enemies sinners are to themselves! It is sin that makes our troubles long, and our salvation slow. Upon the same conditions of faith and obedience, do Christians hold those spiritual and eternal good things, which the pleasant fields and fertile hills of Canaan showed forth. Christ is the Bread of life; he is the Rock of salvation, and his promises are as honey to pious minds. But those who reject him as their Lord and Master, must also lose him as their Saviour and their reward.
Verse 16. - He should have fed them also; rather, he should feed. With the finest of the wheat; literally, with the fat of the wheat (comp. Deuteronomy 32:14 and Psalm 147:14). And with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee; rather, would I satisfy thee. The expression, "honey out of the rock," is taken from Deuteronomy 32:13. It evidently means "honey of the best" - native honey, stored by the bees in clefts of the rocks. Of course, both the "wheat" and the "honey" are metaphors, which we are to regard as shadowing forth all temporal and spiritual blessings.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat,.... Or the "fat of the wheat (y)"; see Deuteronomy 32:14, with the finest flour of it: the Targum is,
"with the best bread of wheat;''
with the best of wheat, and the best bread that can be made of it: Aben Ezra interprets it of the manna, which was better than the fat, or finest, of the wheat, being the corn of heaven, and angels' food, Psalm 78:24, but it rather respects what the Israelites would have been continued to be fed with in the land of Canaan, which was a land of wheat, Deuteronomy 8:8, and such who hearken to the Lord, and walk in his ways, are fed by him with the Gospel, which is comparable to wheat, and the finest of it, for its choiceness and excellency, for its solidity and substantiality, for its purity and cleanness, and for its being of a nourishing and strengthening nature, see Jeremiah 38:28, and especially Christ, the sum and substance of the Gospel, may be figuratively meant, with whom the saints are fed, and who is compared to a corn of wheat, John 12:24 for his preciousness and excellency, for his purity and fruitfulness, and for being the food of his people, the bread of life, for which he was prepared by his sufferings and death; which may be fitly expressed by the threshing, winnowing, and grinding of wheat, and then of kneading the flour, and baking the bread:
and with honey out of the rock would I have satisfied thee; the land of Canaan abounded with hills and rocks, in which bees had their hives, and from whence honey dropped to lower places; and hence the land is said to flow with milk and honey, Exodus 3:8, nor is it unusual in other places to find honey in rocks; at Guadaloupe, in the West Indies, we are told (z), honey was found in trees and caves of rocks. Aben Ezra interprets this of the water which flowed out of the rock at Horeb, which was sweeter than honey; but the former sense is best: the rock spiritually and mystically designs Christ, the Rock of salvation, 1 Corinthians 10:4, the honey out of the rock, the fulness of grace in him, and the blessings of it, the sure mercies of David, and the precious promises of the everlasting covenant; and the Gospel, which is sweeter than the honey or the honeycomb; and with these such are filled and satisfied, who hearken to Christ, and walk in his ways; for, as the whole of what is here said shows what Israel lost by disobedience, it clearly suggests what such enjoy who hear and obey.
(y) "ex adipe frumenti", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus; "adipe tritici", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis. (z) P. Martyr. Decad. 3. lib. 9.
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