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…
The picture in this text is based upon the familiar custom in Judaism of associating a sacrificial feast with a thank offering or peace offering. Such feasts were highly festive and joyous occasions. As an instance of the custom, reference may be made to the scene of the anointing of King Saul. Samuel made a feast, after sacrifice, to which some thirty persons were bidden (1 Samuel 9:19, 22). "According to the Mosaic Law, the fat pieces of the victim were to be devoted to Jehovah immediately by burning, and the next best piece, the breast, mediately by giving it to his servants the priests;" the rest was a foundation for a feast in which the offerers shared. The "wines on the lees" are those kept long, that have become old and mellowed. "Full of marrow" indicates superior quality. The first reference may be to the joy of the returned captives when God permitted a revival of Jerusalem; but the full reference must be to the spiritual provisions of Messianic times. For "feasts" as the figure for spiritual blessings, gospel provisions, comp. Psalm 22:26-29; Isaiah 55:1-5; Matthew 8:11; Matthew 25:1; Luke 13:28, 29; Luke 14:15-24. Keeping to the idea of feast after sacrifice sealing the reconciliation, and working that idea out in relation to Christian times, we note -
I. GOD GIVES COMMUNION WHEN HE GIVES RECONCILIATION. The feast was designed to assure the worshippers that all separations and enmities were done away, and God was now in gracious and comfortable relations with them. In the East restored friendship is sealed by eating together. It will at once be seen how this constancy of Divine communion with renewed souls is sealed in the symbolic meal of our sacramental Supper. That feast keeps up the assurance of God's comfortable relations with us. We are the restored and accepted ones to whom God gives his friendship.
II. GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS FUTURE RELATIONS WITH HIS REDEEMED ONES. It is important to correct a sentiment which very seriously imperils right Christian living, but seldom gets shape in actual words. It is assumed that God is supremely anxious for our salvation, our "conversion" as we call it, but indifferent to what we are and do, if only we are saved. This modern modification of Antinomian error is met by the fact that God makes a feast for the redeemed, providing for them after redemption. God is the food for the soul's life, and that life he quickens.
III. GOD WANTS JOY TO CHARACTERIZE THOSE CONTINUOUS RELATIONS. Therefore is the festive figure chosen. "The joy of the Lord is our strength." The redeemed of the Lord ought to march "with singing unto Zion." Depressions may come, but they may not abide. Our Christian life should be a glad feasting on the abundance God provides. - R.T.
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.