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
“His seed also will I make to endure forever,
And his throne as the days of heaven.” Psalm 89:29. PP 755.2
“He shall judge the poor of the people,
He shall save the children of the needy,
And shall break in pieces the oppressor.
They shall fear thee while the sun endureth,
And so long as the moon, throughout all generations....
In his days shall the righteous flourish;
And abundance of peace, till the moon be no more.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the river unto the ends of the earth.”
“His name shall endure forever:
His name shall be continued as long as the sun:
And men shall be blessed in him:
All nations shall call him blessed.” PP 755.3
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 »
The Sermon on the Mount is Heaven's benediction to the world—a voice from the throne of God. MB vii.1
It was given to mankind to be to them the law of duty and the light of heaven, their hope and consolation in despondency, their joy and comfort in all the vicissitudes and walks of life. Here the Prince of preachers, the Master Teacher, utters the words that the Father gave Him to speak. MB vii.2Read in context »