The pastures are clothed with flocks - Cattle are seen in every plain, avenue, and vista, feeding abundantly; and the valleys are clothed, and wave with the richest harvests; and transports of joy are heard every where in the cheerful songs of the peasantry, the singing of the birds, the neighing of the horse, the lowing of the ox, and the bleating of the sheep. Claudian uses the same image: -
Viridis amictus montium.
"The green vesture of the mountains."
Shout for joy, they also sing - They are not loud and unmeaning sounds, they are both music and harmony in their different notes; all together form one great concert, and the bounty of God is the subject which they all celebrate. What an inimitable description! And yet the nervous Hebrew is not half expressed, even by the amended translation and paraphrase above.
The pastures are clothed with flocks - The flocks stand so thick together, and are spread so far, that they seem to be a clothing for the pasture; or, the fields are entirely covered with them.
The valleys also are covered over with corn - With grain. That is, the parts of the land - the fertile valleys - which are devoted to tillage. They are covered over, or clothed with waving grain, as the pasture-fields are with flocks.
They shout for joy, they also sing - They seem to be full of joy and happiness. What a beautiful image is this! How well does it express the loveliness of nature; how appropriately does it describe the goodness of God! Everything seems to be happy; to be full of song; and all this is to be traced to the goodness of God, as it all serves to express that goodness. Strange that there should be an atheist in such a world as this; - strange that there should be an unhappy man; - strange that amidst such beauties, while all nature joins in rejoicing and praise - pastures, cultivated fields, valleys, hills - there can be found a human being who, instead of uniting in the language of joy, makes himself miserable by attempting to cherish the feeling that God is not good!
Through the long years of drought and famine, Elijah prayed earnestly that the hearts of Israel might be turned from idolatry to allegiance to God. Patiently the prophet waited, while the hand of the Lord rested heavily on the stricken land. As he saw evidences of suffering and want multiplying on every side, his heart was wrung with sorrow, and he longed for power to bring about a reformation quickly. But God Himself was working out His plan, and all that His servant could do was to pray on in faith and await the time for decided action. PK 133.1
The apostasy prevailing in Ahab's day was the result of many years of evil-doing. Step by step, year after year, Israel had been departing from the right way. For generation after generation they had refused to make straight paths for their feet, and at last the great majority of the people had yielded themselves to the leadership of the powers of darkness. PK 133.2
About a century had passed since, under the rulership of King David, Israel had joyfully united in chanting hymns of praise to the Most High, in recognition of their entire dependence on Him for daily mercies. Listen to their words of adoration as then they sang: PK 133.3Read in context »