Malachi 3:11
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, said the LORD of hosts.
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(11) For your sakes.—The same word as in Malachi 2:3 : here in a good sense, there in a bad.

The devoureri.e., the locust, &c.

Rebuke.—Better, corrupt. The same word is used as in Malachi 2:3, but in a different construction. (With this verse comp. Haggai 1:6-11.)

3:7-12 The men of that generation turned away from God, they had not kept his ordinances. God gives them a gracious call. But they said, Wherein shall we return? God notices what returns our hearts make to the calls of his word. It shows great perverseness in sin, when men make afflictions excuses for sin, which are sent to part between them and their sins. Here is an earnest exhortation to reform. God must be served in the first place; and the interest of our souls ought to be preferred before that of our bodies. Let them trust God to provide for their comfort. God has blessings ready for us, but through the weakness of our faith and the narrowness of our desires, we have not room to receive them. He who makes trial will find nothing is lost by honouring the Lord with his substance.And I will rebuke the devourer - , the locust, caterpillar, or any like scourge of God. It might be, that when the rain watered the fields, the locust or caterpillar etc. might destroy the grain, so that the labors of man should perish; wherefore he adds, "I will rebuke the devourer. Neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time," holding out a fair promise, but cut off by the frost-wind or the hail; the blossoms or the unripe fruit strewing the earth, as a token of God's displeasure. 11. I will rebuke—(See on [1195]Mal 2:3). I will no longer "rebuke (English Version, 'corrupt') the seed," but will rebuke every agency that could hurt it (Am 4:9). I will rebuke; lay a restraint upon, or prohibit, and the prohibition shall be effectual; if God so check, no creature is or dares be deaf to it; such a check not only quiets the unruly sea, but can dry it up.

The devourer; all kinds of devourers, the locust, the canker-worm, caterpillar, &c., pests of those countries very often; though they are in mighty armies and incredible multitudes, yet a rebuke from God will check them all at once as if they were but one.

For your sakes; not for merit in you, but for good to you.

He shall not destroy; consume and eat it, as those vermin always did wherever they came.

The fruits of your ground; corn sown by your hand, and grass springing up of its own nature, both which these locusts devour wheresoever they come, and leave penury or famine behind them.

Neither shall your vine cast her fruit; no blasting or burning winds shall make them drop, no frosts or hails shall destroy your vines. This was once the plague of Egypt, Psalm 105:33-36.

Before the time; your vines shall carry their fruit till they are fully ripe.

In the field; where they had large vineyards and oliveyards planted, and God will make them prosper if this people will return to him. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,.... Or "eater" (m); the locust or caterpillar, or any such devouring creature, that eats up the herbage, corn, and fruits of trees; every such creature is under the restraint of Providence; and by a nod, a rebuke, they are easily prevented doing the mischief they otherwise would; these are the Lord's great army, which he can send and call off as he pleases, Joel 1:4,

and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; as he has done, by eating all green things, as the locust, caterpillar, and canker worm do, grass, corn, and trees:

neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field; which some understand of the devourer or locust, that that should not cause the vine to be abortive, or cast its fruit before its time, or bereave it of it; but it seems best to interpret it of the vine itself not casting its fruit, as an untimely birth, by blighting and blasting winds:

saith the Lord of hosts; who holds the winds in his fists, and will not suffer them when he pleases, any more than the locusts, to hurt the trees of the earth, Revelation 7:1.

(m) "comedentem", Drusius, Cocceius; "eum qui comedit", Burkius.

And I will rebuke the {l} devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

(l) Meaning the caterpillar, and whatever destroys corn and fruits.

11. the devourer] lit. eater, i.e. any insect, especially the locust, that would devour the fruits of the earth. The same verb is used of the ravages of four insects, “probably different kinds of locusts, or locusts in different stages of growth” (R.V. marginal note), Joel 1:4.

The threatened curse was the “rebuke” (ch. Malachi 2:3, note) of the seed: the promised blessing is the “rebuke” of the devourer.

cast her fruit before the time] lit. miscarry. Comp. “a miscarrying womb”, Hosea 9:14; “miscarrying ground”, 2 Kings 2:19; 2 Kings 2:21. So Pliny speaks of “arborum abortus”. (Pusey after Gesen.) In Revelation 6:13 we read: “the stars of the heaven fall unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs, when she is shaken of a great wind.”Verse 11. - The devourer. The locust (see Introduction to Joel, § 1.). God would not only give a fruitful season, so that the crops sprang up well, but would guard them from everything that could injure them before they were gathered in. Septuagint, διαστελῶ ὑμῖν εἰς βρῶσιν, which perhaps means, as Schleusner thinks, "I will give a charge unto consumption for your good," though Jerome renders, "dividam vobis cibos." The second word of the Lord recals to the recollection of the people the disobedience of the fathers, and its consequences, viz., the judgment of exile, as a warning example. The introduction of the prophet's name in the heading in Zechariah 7:8 does not warrant the strange opinion held by Schmieder and Schlier - namely, that our prophet is here reproducing the words of an earlier Zechariah who lived before the captivity - but is merely to be attributed to a variation in the form of expression. This divine word was as follows: Zechariah 7:9. "Thus hath Jehovah of hosts spoken, saying, Execute judgment of truth, and show love and compassion one to another. Zechariah 7:10. And widows and orphans, strangers and destitute ones, oppress not; and meditate not in your heart the injury of every brother. Zechariah 7:11. But they refused to attend, and offered a rebellious shoulder, and hardened their ears that they might not hear. Zechariah 7:12. And they made their heart diamond, that they might not hear the law and the words which Jehovah of hosts sent through His Spirit by means of the former prophet, so that great wrath came from Jehovah of hosts." כּה אמר is to be taken as a preterite here, referring to what Jehovah had caused to be proclaimed to the people before the captivity. The kernel of this announcement consisted in the appeal to the people, to keep the moral precepts of the law, to practise the true love of the neighbour in public life and private intercourse. Mishpat 'ĕmeth, judgment of truth (cf. Ezekiel 18:8), is such an administration of justice as simply fixes the eye upon the real circumstances of any dispute, without any personal considerations whatever, and decides them in accordance with truth. For the fact itself, compare Exodus 22:20, Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:6-9; Leviticus 19:15-18; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Deuteronomy 24:14; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 7:5-6; Jeremiah 22:3; Ezekiel 18:8; Hosea 12:7, etc. רעת אישׁ אחיו, the injury of a man who is his brother (as in Genesis 9:5); not "injury one towards another," which would suppose a transposition of the אישׁ equals אישׁ רעת אחיו. In Zechariah 7:11, Zechariah 7:12 the attitude of the people towards these admonitions of God is described. Nâthan kâthēph sōrereth: to give or offer a rebellious shoulder, as in Nehemiah 9:29. The figure is borrowed from an ox, which will not allow a yoke to be placed upon its neck (cf. Hosea 4:16). To make the ears heavy (hikhbı̄d), away from hearing, i.e., so that they do not hear (cf. Isaiah 6:10). To make the heart diamond (shâmı̄r), i.e., as hard as diamond. A stony heart is a heart not susceptible to impressions (cf. Ezekiel 11:19). The relative אשׁר before shâlach refers to the two nouns named before, viz., tōrâh and debhârı̄m, though we need not on that account take tōrâh in the general sense of instruction. God also sent the law to the people through the prophets, i.e., caused them to preach it and impress it upon their hearts. The consequence of this obduracy of the people was, that "there arose great wrath from Jehovah" (cf. Zechariah 1:2; 2 Kings 3:27).
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