All they that be fat upon earth - The rich, the great, the mighty, even princes, governors, and kings, shall embrace the Gospel. They shall count it their greatest honor to be called Christian; to join in the assemblies of his people, to commemorate his sacrificial death, to dispense the word of life, to discourage vice, and to encourage the profession and practice of pure and undefiled religion.
That go down to the dust - Every dying man shall put his trust in Christ, and shall expect glory only through the great Savior of mankind.
None can keep alive his own soul. The Vulgate has: Et anima mea illi vivet, et semen meum serviet ipsi; "and my soul shall live to him, and my seed shall serve him." And with this agree the Syriac, Septuagint, Ethiopic, Arabic, and Anglo-Saxon. The old Psalter follows them closely: And my saule sal lyf til him; and my sede hym sal serve. I believe this to be the true reading. Instead of נפשו naphsho, His soul, some MSS., in accordance with the above ancient versions, have נפשי naphshi, My soul. And instead of לא lo, not, two MSS., with the versions, have לו lo, to Him. And for חיה chiyah, shall vivify, some have יחיה yichyeh, shall live. The text, therefore, should be read, My soul (נפשי napshi ) shall live (לו lo ) to him: my seed (זרעי zari ) shall serve him. These may be the words of David himself: "I will live to this Savior while I live; and my spiritual posterity shall serve him through all generations."
All they that be fat upon the earth - The general meaning of this verse is, that “all classes of persons” will come and worship the true God; not the poor and needy only, the afflicted, and the oppressed, but the rich and the prosperous. There are three classes mentioned as representing all:
(1) the rich and prosperous;
(2) they who bow down to the dust, or the crushed and the oppressed;
(3) those who are approaching the grave, and have no power to keep themselves alive.
The first class comprises those who are mentioned here as being fat. This image is often used to denote prosperity: Judges 3:29; Job 15:27; Psalm 17:10; Psalm 73:4 (Hebrew); Deuteronomy 31:20; Deuteronomy 32:15. The meaning is, that the rich, the great, the prosperous would be among the multitudes who would be converted to the living God.
Shall eat and worship - This expression is derived from the custom of offering sacrifices, and of feasting upon portions of the animal that was slain. In accordance with this, the blessings of salvation are often represented as a “feast” to which all are invited. See the notes at Isaiah 25:6. Compare Luke 14:16.
All they that go down to the dust - All those descending to the dust. Those who are bowed down to the dust; who are crushed, broken, and oppressed; the poor, the sad, the sorrowful. Salvation is for them, as well as for the rich and the great.
Shall bow before him - Shall worship before the true God.
And none can keep alive his own soul - Or rather, and he who cannot keep his soul (that is, himself) alive. So the Hebrew properly means, and this accords better with the connection. The class here represented is composed of those who are ready to perish, who are about to die - the aged - the infirm - the sick - the dying. These, thus helpless, feeble, and sad, shall also become interested in the great plan of salvation, and shall turn unto the Lord. These classes would represent all the dwellers on the earth; and the affirmation is equivalent to a statement that men of all classes would be converted, and would partake of the blessings of salvation.
The soul is through the Lifegiver capable of living through eternal ages, and man is to take special care of the soul which Christ has purchased with His own blood. With Christ is Omnipotence. He also is able to keep that which I have committed to His trust against that day. If the preciousness of the soul has not been appreciated, if its temple courts have been defiled with buyers and sellers, and with committing it to the rule and indwelling of Satan in thought or in feeling, I would in deep earnestness beseech you to make no delay, but come before God in sincere prayer without one moment's speculation or hesitation, and say, “O Lord, I have opened the door of my heart to Thy worst enemy, and the worst enemy of my soul. I have acted as though I could save my own soul, as if I could sin and then reform when I choose to do so; but I find a power holding me in his keeping. Thou alone can save me that my soul shall not be eternally ruined.... No longer will I withhold it from Thee. I dare not trust it with any power but Thine.... I lay it at Thy feet. Thou Lamb of God, wash my soul in the blood of the Lamb; clothe it with Thine own garments of purity and righteousness (Manuscript 73, 1893). LHU 215.5Read in context »