New American Standard Bible
How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters, Who let out freely the ox and the donkey.
King James Bible
Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
Darby Bible Translation
Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth the feet of the ox and the ass.
World English Bible
Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send out the feet of the ox and the donkey.
Young's Literal Translation
Happy are ye sowing by all waters, Sending forth the foot of the ox and the ass!
Isaiah 32:20 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Blessed are ye - The sense of this verse is, that while the enemies of the Jews would be overthrown, they themselves would be permitted to cultivate their lands in security. Instead of predicting this directly, the prophet implies that this would occur, by declaring that those who were permitted to do this were happy.
That sow beside all waters - Hebrew, 'Upon (על ‛al) all waters.' This may mean that they selected places near running streams as being most fertile; or it may refer, as Lowth supposes, to the manner of sowing grain, and particularly rice, in eastern countries. This is done by casting the seed upon the water. This custom is referred to in Ecclesiastes 11:1 : 'Cast thy bread,' that is, thy seed, 'upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days;' that is, cast thy seed upon the waters when the river overflows the banks, and the seed will sink into the slime and mud, and will spring up when the waters subside, and you will find it again after many days in a rich and luxuriant harvest. Sir John Chardin thus describes this mode of sowing: They sow it (the rice) upon the water; and before sowing, while the earth is covered with water, they cause the ground to be trodden by oxen, horses, and asses, who go mid-leg deep; and this is the way they prepare the ground for sowing' (Harmer's Obs. vol. i. p. 280).
That send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass - That is, for the purpose of treading the earth while the water is on it, and preparing it for the seed. In this way the ground would need no plowing, but the seed would fall into the slime, and be sufficiently covered when the waters should subside. The idea in this verse is, that there would be a state of security succeeding the destruction of their enemies; and that they would be permitted to pursue the cultivation of the soil, unannoyed and undisturbed.
The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.' (Isaiah xxxii. 17.) One reason why I glory in teaching Full Salvation is that it includes a religion of certainty. It brings a man to a place of sureness as to his religious relationships. A soul just awakened to a sense of responsibility is naturally full of wonderment and anxiety, and this must be disposed of. So that when we speak of a man obtaining Salvation, we say 'he found peace'. …
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service
Under his Shadow.
How the Silent and the Talkative are to be Admonished.
Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.
Then He will give you rain for the seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground, and it will be rich and plenteous; on that day your livestock will graze in a roomy pasture.
Also the oxen and the donkeys which work the ground will eat salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork.
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