And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make to all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees…
In the single circumstance that the feast foretold by the prophet was to be a feast "to all people," there is an obvious reference to the Gospel dispensation; for feasts among the Jews were more or less exclusive, and in no instance, not even on occasions of the most intense interest and joy, were they made accessible to the Gentiles by open and indiscriminate invitation. Besides, in the subsequent context, there is a prediction respecting the conquest of death by believers, which is quoted by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15), and is directly applied by him to that most blessed and triumphant result of the death of Christ. This quotation gives to the whole prediction a New Testament aspect.
I. WHO IS REPRESENTED AS MAKING THIS FEAST. "The Lord of hosts." This is one of God's names, which calls up the majesty of His nature. He dwells amidst the bright angels, controls the stormiest tide of battle, prescribes their courses to the great lights of the firmament; yet though thus almighty, independent, supreme, He makes a feast for guilty, polluted man. Nor is it a feast in the ordinary sense of the term. As the world is now constituted, He may be said to have spread, out such a feast in the riches of that universe which He has so skilfully contrived, and so munificently adorned. There is a feast in its aspects of beauty and grandeur — in its vastness and variety — in its perfection and magnificence — in its wondrous laws and minute provisions. Still more; there is a feast in the comforts, the privileges, and pleasures of civilised life — in the means of acquiring knowledge — in the protection of righteous laws — in the blessings of the domestic constitution — in the progress of nations — and in the triumphs or reason. But far different is the feast foretold in the text. It is a spiritual feast; a feast for the undeserving; a feast which required important arrangements to be made before it could be provided.
II. THE SCENE OF ENTERTAINMENT. "On this mountain." "This mountain" means Zion or Jerusalem, which was the select scene of Divine manifestation and worship to the chosen people. Zion came to be identified with the Church of God; and in the Old Testament it is frequently employed as synonymous with it. It is emphatically styled "the mountain of the Lord's house" Its great distinction consisted in this — it was the scene where the Divine presence was manifested in a visible glory, and where answers were vouchsafed to the prayers of the faithful. In one sense, the feast might be said to have been prepared at the period the prediction of the text was announced. As the believing Jews waited on the spiritual services of the temple, they partook of this feast. Truths of unspeakable importance occupied their attention; their minds were elevated, comforted and soothed by them; and, as they descended from the sacred hill, again to engage in the ordinary duties and cares of life, it must have been with refreshed and joyful hearts, with conscious satisfaction, and with a settled tranquillity. The full revelation of the Gospel, however, was more appropriately and emphatically the time of festivity. Now this full revelation might be said to have been made on Zion or in Jerusalem. It was in the temple of Zion that the infant Redeemer was first recognised by aged Simeon; there He was dedicated to the Lord by His mother, Mary. From time to time, He appeared within its gates, addressing the people; while, on one memorable occasion, He asserted His authority as its master by driving forth the dove merchants and the money changers, by whom it had been recklessly profaned. There, too, it is to be remembered, was the scene of His last suffering — there He shed the blood of atonement, and there He abolished death by dying. When He had left our world, it was in Jerusalem that His apostles first began to preach; it was "in an upper room" there that they met with one accord, and engaged in prayer, the Spirit came plentifully down, and by means of one sermon, three thousand converts were added to the Church. Jerusalem continued to be the scene of amazing triumphs. The city of the prophets was shaken to its centre; the feast of grace was spread out; the invitation was freely announced; multitudes from distant heathen lands heard the Gospel sound, and crowded to the scene of entertainment. There is a peculiarity respecting this feast which requires to be considered. It is not, like other feasts, restricted as to time or place; it is a feast for all times and for all places.
III. THE FEAST ITSELF. It is a feast of best things. We consider this figurative language as strikingly descriptive of the peculiar blessings the Gospel offers to guilty, ruined man. This provision grows by distribution; like the miraculous loaves in the Gospel, the fragments after every participation are more abundant than the original supply.
IV. THE GUESTS FOR WHOM THE FEAST IS MADE. "All people." There is no distinction, and there is no limit. This feast presents a striking contrast with the feasts usually made by men. When men invite to a feast, they select a class — kindred, friends, or, perhaps more frequently, rich neighbours. But the feast foretold in the text, is to be a feast "for all people." The vastness of its extent strikingly illustrates the power and the mercy of the Divine Entertainer. Conclusion: — There is one question of immense importance, Have you accepted the invitation to come to this feast!
(A. Bennie, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.