He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass - The word גז gez, which we translate mown grass, more properly means pastured grass or pastured land; for the dew of the night is intended to restore the grass which has been eaten in the course of the day. This very idea the Chaldee has seized, and renders the place thus: "He shall descend gently, like rain upon the grass which has been eaten by the locust." But there seems to be a reference to the thick night dews which in summer fall on the pasturages, and become the means of restoring the grass consumed in the day-time by the cattle. This is finely expressed by the most accomplished of all poets and agriculturists: -
Et quantum longis carpent armenta diebus,
Exigua tantum gelidus ros nocte reponet.
Virg. Geor. ii., ver. 201.
"For what the day devours, the nightly dew
Shall to the morn by pearly drops renew."
Or to leave poetry, which always says too much or too little, the plain prose is: -
"And as much as the flocks crop in the long days,
So much shall the cold dew restore in one short night."
As showers that water the earth - The influence of the doctrine and Spirit of Christ on the soul of man shall be as grateful, as refreshing, and as fructifying, as the nightly dews on the cropped fields, and the vernal showers on the cultivated lands. Without his influence all tillage is vain; without him there can neither be seed nor fruit.
He shall come down - That is, The influence of his reign will be like fertilising showers. The word” he” in this place might have been “it,” referring to his reign, or to the influence of his government.
Like rain upon the mown grass - The word rendered “mown grass” - גז gêz - means properly “a shearing,” and is applied in Deuteronomy 18:4, and Job 31:20, to a fleece of wool. So it is understood here by the Septuagint, by the Latin Vulgate, by the Syriac, and by Luther; and, in accordance with this, it has been supposed by some that there is an allusion to the dew that descended on the fleece spread out by Gideon, Judges 6:37. The Chaldee Paraphrase renders it, “As the grass that has been eaten off by locusts;” where the idea would be that after locusts have passed over a field, devouring everything, when the rain descends the fields revive, and nature again puts on the appearance of life. This idea is adopted by Rosenmuller. The common interpretation, however, which refers the word to a “mowing,” that is, a “mown meadow,” is probably the correct one; and thus understood, the image is very beautiful. The reign of the Messiah would resemble the gently descending shower, under which the grass which has been mown springs up again with freshness and beauty.
As showers that water the earth - literally, “like showers, the watering of the earth.” The original word rendered “that water” suggests the idea of distilling, or “gently” flowing.
“I have sworn unto David My servant ... with whom My hand shall be established: Mine arm also shall strengthen him.... My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto Me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. Also I will make him My first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and My covenant shall stand fast with him.” Psalm 89:3-28. PP 755.1
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:32, 33(757) . PP 755.4Read in context »
In the matchless gift of His Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. SC 68.1
As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven's light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ. SC 68.2
Jesus teaches the same thing when He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.... Without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:4, 5. You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart from Him you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in Him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from Him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. SC 68.3Read in context »
As something strange and new, these words fall upon the ears of the wondering multitude. Such teaching is contrary to all they have ever heard from priest or rabbi. They see in it nothing to flatter their pride or to feed their ambitious hopes. But there is about this new Teacher a power that holds them spellbound. The sweetness of divine love flows from His very presence as the fragrance from a flower. His words fall like “rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.” Psalm 72:6. All feel instinctively that here is One who reads the secrets of the soul, yet who comes near to them with tender compassion. Their hearts open to Him, and, as they listen, the Holy Spirit unfolds to them something of the meaning of that lesson which humanity in all ages so needs to learn. MB 6.1
In the days of Christ the religious leaders of the people felt that they were rich in spiritual treasure. The prayer of the Pharisee, “God, I thank Thee, that I am not as the rest of men” (Luke 18:11 , R.V.), expressed the feeling of his class and, to a great degree, of the whole nation. But in the throng that surrounded Jesus there were some who had a sense of their spiritual poverty. When in the miraculous draft of fishes the divine power of Christ was revealed, Peter fell at the Saviour's feet, exclaiming, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8); so in the multitude gathered upon the mount there were souls who, in the presence of His purity, felt that they were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17); and they longed for “the grace of God that bringeth salvation” (Titus 2:11). In these souls, Christ's words of greeting awakened hope; they saw that their lives were under the benediction of God. MB 6.2Read in context »