But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They shall sit . . .—This was a proverbial expression for the feeling of security brought about by a peace which no foreign power was strong enough to disturb. It describes the state of the Israelites under Solomon—“Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even unto Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.” The vine and the fig-tree are the representative trees of Palestine.
They shall sit every man, under his vine and under his fig-tree - Palestine was a home of the vine and the fig-tree. Vineyards were a common property, possessed by all but the very poor , or even by them Nehemiah 5:4; Jeremiah 39:10. The land was "a land of bread and vineyards" 2 Kings 18:32. The vine was the emblem of the people, in Psalmists and prophets (Psalm 80:8 ff; Isaiah 3:14; Isaiah 5:1 ff; Isaiah 27:2; Jeremiah 2:21; Jeremiah 12:10; Ezekiel 15:1-8; Ezekiel 17:5-10; Ezekiel 19:10; Hosea 10:1). The bunch of grapes or the vine-leaf appear as characteristic emblems on Jewish coins , chiefly in the times of their revolts under Vespasian and Hadrian . The fig is also mentioned as part of the characteristic fruitfulness of Palestine Deuteronomy 8:8.
It too was an universal property 2 Kings 18:32. Both formed natural arbors; the fig had its name probably from its length, the vine from the arch made by its drooping boughs. Both formed, in those hot countries, a grateful shade. The vine, rising with its single stem, was spread over trellis-work or by props, so as to enclose a considerable space . Even in Italy, a single vine shaded a portico . In Palestine it grew by the walls of the house Psalm 128:3.
Rabbis relate how their forefathers sat and studied under the fig-tree , as Nathanael was doubtless meditating or praying under one, when Jesus, being God, saw him John 1:48. It exhibits a picture of domestic peace, each family gathered in harmony and rest under the protection of God, each content with what they have, neither coveting another's, nor disturbed in their own. Wine is explained in Holy Scripture to be an emblem of gladness, and the fig of sweetness . Cyril: "For exceeding sweet is the word of the Saviour, and it knoweth how to gladden man's heart; sweet also and full of joy is the hope of the future, wherewith we are enriched in Christ.
Such had been Israel's lot in the peaceful days of Solomon 1 Kings 4:25, the peace of whose times had already been made the image of the Gospel Psalm 72; the coming of the Queen of the South from the uttermost parts of the earth, to hear the wisdom of Solomon Matthew 12:42, had made her kingdom to be selected as an emblem of those who should fall down before Christ and serve Him Psalm 60:12 :10-11. Lap.: "Such is that most quiet fearlessness which the law of Christ bringeth, as being the law of charity, peace, and concord."
And none shall make them afraid - o: "Neither man, nor devil; for the Lord hath given us power to "tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and said, nothing shall by any means hurt you" Luke 10:19, and bade us, "fear not them which kill the body" Matthew 10:28. Witness the might which He gave to His Apostles and Martyrs.
For the mouth of the Lord of Host hath spoken it - The prophets often add this, when what they say, seems, for its greatness, past belief Yet it will be, because He hath spoken it, "the Lord" who changeth not, "the Lord of Hosts," to whose commands all creatures are subject, whose word is truth with whom to speak is to do.
Lord of hosts hath spoken it—Therefore it must come to pass, however unlikely now it may seem.But they, the redeemed of the Lord, redeemed from Babylonish captivity, and brought back into their own land, the type of a greater redemption by Jesus Christ,
shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree: the planting vines and fig trees was one part of that husbandry which the Jews made great profit by; to this husbandry they were much addicted in times of peace, 1 Kings 4:25, and when peace, security, and riches or plenty are promised, among other ways of expressing it, this is one: so Zechariah 3:10. So in the type, the Jews returned (whilst they walked in the ways of the God of Jacob) did enjoy safety and plenty, as Ezekiel 34:25-28 36:8,9, &c. This was made good in the gospel days more universally and fully, both in outward and inward peace under the Messiah.
None shall make them afraid; those that were once enemies shall be friends; the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, Isaiah 11:6-9. These proverbial allusions do assure us that they who were redeemed out of Babylon, and the servitude of sin, should enjoy their own with great safety and security, which literally was performed to the returned, resettled captives, and spiritually or mystically is made good among those that are redeemed by Christ, and who embrace the gospel.
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it: this gives us the greatest confirmation and assurance of the future accomplishment of the prediction and promise; the merciful, wise, faithful, and almighty God hath spoken it; he hath promised it, whose word spoken, commanding it should be, can make their state what he saith it shall be. 1 Kings 4:25; when persons need not keep within their walled towns and cities, and lack themselves up in their houses, but may sit down in their gardens, fields, and vineyards, and enjoy the fruit thereof; as the Targum interprets it,
"under the fruit of his vine, and under, the fruit of his fig tree.''
It was usual for persons in the eastern countries to sit under vines and fig trees to read, meditate, pray, or converse together, where they grow very large, as were their vines; and even with us they are frequently raised and carried over supporters, so as to be sat under; and of fig trees, we frequently read in Jewish writings of their being very large, and of their going up to them, and praying on the top of them; and of sitting under them, and studying in the law there. So one of the Rabbins says (p), he went up into his mustard tree, as one goes up to the top of a fig tree; and it is said (q), he that prays on the top of an olive tree, or on the top of a fig tree must come down, and pray below; and again (r), R. Jacob and his companions were fasting, studying in the law, under a certain fig tree; and sometimes they speak of all these together, of sitting under olives, and under vines, and under fig trees, and studying in the words of the law (s); see John 1:48. This is to be understood, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi explain it, of all men; not of the Israelites only, but of all nations, since there will be no more war any where; hence it follows:
and none shall make them afraid; the enemies of God's people will be no more, neither Turk nor pope, eastern or western antichrist, beast or, false prophet; wherefore, in those days of the Messiah, Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely, even all the spiritual Israel of God, Jews and Gentiles; there shall be none to hurt in the holy mountain of the Lord, or any violence and oppression, wasting and destruction, anywhere; see Jeremiah 23:5;
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it; who speaks nothing but truth, and who is able and faithful to perform what he has spoken; and therefore all this may be depended on.
(p) T. Hieros. Peah, c. 7. fol. 20. 2.((q) T. Hieros. Beracot, c. 2. fol. 5. 1.((r) Ib. Colossians 3. (s) Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 16. 4.But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. every man under his vine …] Comp. 1 Kings 4:25, 2 Kings 18:31. The old agricultural ideal. The depression of the peasantry, owing to the growing concentration of wealth, naturally made a peasant-prophet like Micah look forward with hope to a reaction, when each family should have its own allotment of land. This verse is omitted in Isaiah 2; it would no doubt have been unsuitable in that connexion.Verse 4. - This verse is omitted in Isaiah. They shall sit every man under his vine. This image of plenty and security is derived from the account of the material prosperity of Israel in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 4:25), in accordance with the Mosaic promise (Leviticus 26:4, etc.). It passed into a proverb expressive of peace and happiness (comp. Zechariah 3:10; 1 Macc. 14:12). The mouth of the Lord of hosts. The great promise is thus confirmed (Isaiah 58:14). The LXX. usually renders this expression in Jeremiah and the minor prophets by Κύριος παντοκράτωρ, elsewhere by Κύριος σαβαώθ, and Κύριος δυνάμεων. It means, "the Lord of the powers of heaven and earth," the idea being originally that God was the Leader of the armies of Israel. Amos 7:10 and Amos 7:11), and then calls upon Amos himself to leave Bethel (Amos 7:12 and Amos 7:13). That this attempt to drive Amos out of Bethel was occasioned by his prophecy in Amos 7:7-11, is evident from what Amaziah says to the king concerning the words of Amos. "The priest of Bethel" (Kōhēn Bēth-ēl) is the high priest at the sanctuary of the golden calf at Bethel. He accused the prophet to the king of having made a conspiracy (qâshar; cf. 1 Kings 15:27, etc.) against the king, and that "in the midst of the house of Israel," i.e., in the centre of the kingdom of Israel - namely at Bethel, the religious centre of the kingdom - through all his sayings, which the land could not bear. To establish this charge, he states (in Amos 7:11) that Amos has foretold the death of Jeroboam by the sword, and the carrying away of the people out of the land. Amos had really said this. The fact that in Amos 7:9 Jeroboam is named, and not the house of Jeroboam, makes no difference; for the head of the house if naturally included in the house itself. And the carrying away of the people out of the land was not only implied in the announcement of the devastation of the sanctuaries of the kingdom (Amos 7:9), which presupposes the conquest of the land by foes; but Amos had actually predicted it in so many words (Amos 5:27). And Amaziah naturally gave the substance of all the prophet's addresses, instead of simply confining himself to the last. There is no reason, therefore, to think of intentional slander.
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