|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:8-12 The church pleads for the Gentiles, who then had not the word of God, nor the means of grace. Those who are brought to Christ themselves, should contrive what they may do to help others to him. Babes in Christ are always seen among Christians, and the welfare of their weak brethren is an object of continual prayer with the stronger believers. If the beginning of this work were likened to a wall built upon Him the precious Foundation and Corner-stone, then the Gentile church would become as a palace for the great King, built of solid silver. If the first preaching of the gospel were as the making a door through the wall of partition, that door should be lasting, as cased with boards of durable cedar. She shall be carefully and effectually protected, enclosed so as to receive no damage. The church is full of care for those yet uncalled. Christ says, I will do all that is necessary to be done for them. See with what satisfaction we should look back upon the times and seasons, when we were in his eyes as those that find favour. Our hearts are our vineyards, which we must keep with all diligence. To Christ, and to his praise, all our fruits must be dedicated. All that work for Christ, work for themselves, and shall be unspeakable gainers by it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon,.... The little sister, or Gentile church, goes on to give an account of the success of the Gospel, the planting of churches, and the establishment of the interest of Christ in the Gentile world, together with the advantages that accrued to Christ from it; for not Solomon literally, but a greater than he, is here, Christ, the antitype of him, the Prince of peace; See Gill on Sol 3:7. By the "vineyard" is meant the church, especially under the New Testament dispensation; so called, because separated from the world by sovereign grace; planted with precious and fruitful plants, which Christ has a property in, by his Father's gift and his own purchase; and therefore receives of the fruit of it; takes delight and pleasure to walk in it; and takes care to keep it in order, and to protect and preserve it: this is said to be at Baalhamon; perhaps the same with Baalgad, the names signifying much the same, and where Solomon might have a vineyard, Joshua 11:17; the word signifies "the master", or "lord of a multitude" (f); the Gentile world, consisting of a multitude of nations; and in which were many churches, and consisting of many persons;
he let out the vineyard unto keepers; to his apostles, and to ministers of the Gospel in succeeding times; and who have their employment in it; some to plant, others to water; some to prune, to reprove and correct for bad principles and practices, and others to support and uphold weak believers; and others to defend truth, and preserve the church from innovation in doctrine and worship: the "letting" it out to these agrees with the parables in Matthew 20:1; where there seems to be an allusion to this passage. Christ is the proprietor of the vineyard, and the principal vinedresser; yet he makes use of his ministers to take the care of it, watch and keep it in order; for which purpose he lets, or "gives" (g), it to them, as the word is, for he makes them in some sense owners; and they have an interest in the churches, and their life and comfort, greatly lie in the fruitfulness and well being of them; the vines are called "ours", Sol 2:15;
everyone for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver; or shekels, amounting to about an hundred and fifty pounds; which shows the fruitfulness of the vineyard, that its produce should be worth so much; and the great usefulness of the Gospel ministry, in bringing souls to Christ; the fruit of his labour is as dear to him as pieces of silver, Luke 15:8. Christ's ministers are his rent gatherers, and the collectors of his fruit, John 15:16; and though they have different talents and success, yet, being honest and faithful, the meanest are reckoned to bring in the same as others, or what make for Christ's delight, pleasure, and glory; as will appear when the reckoning day comes, and an account will be given in, Matthew 25:19.
(f) "in ea quae habet populos", V. L. "in domino multitudinis", Piscator. (g) Sept. "dedit", Marckius, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. The joint Church speaks of Jesus Christ's vineyard. Transference of it from the Jews, who rendered not the fruits, as is implied by the silence respecting any, to the Gentiles (Mt 21:33-43).
Baal-hamon—equivalent to the owner of a multitude; so Israel in Solomon's day (1Ki 4:20); so Isa 5:1, "a very fruitful hill" abounding in privileges, as in numbers.
thousand pieces—namely, silverlings, or shekels. The vineyard had a thousand vines probably; a vine at a silverling (Isa 7:23), referring to this passage.
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