You have multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before you according to the joy in harvest…
The idea of national prosperity being dependent on agricultural prosperity, true as applied to Israel, is really universally true. There may be many an industry that brings more wealth to a nation in the shape of money — as the coal industry, the iron industry, the shipping industry — but the primal industry is the agricultural industry. "Moreover, the profit of the earth is for all; the king himself is served by the field," says the writer of Ecclesiastes, thereby giving expression to the eternal truth that all wealth comes ultimately from the soil; even the king himself is not independent of it. One cannot help rejoicing over the ingathering of the harvest, for nature itself seems musical with joy. "The valleys are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing." This joy is —
I. THE JOY OF PROVISION SECURED. We can joy before the Lord — not before the world, for that would mean pride; nor before ourselves, for that would mean selfishness; but before the Lord, for that means thankfulness over provision secured. There is nothing meaner than to boast of one's prosperity before the world, or before one's own heart; but we can derive joy from it before the Lord, for the Lord means us to rejoice in all His gifts — material as well as spiritual.
II. THE JOY OF PATIENCE REWARDED.
III. THE JOY OF LABOUR REQUITED. What kind of harvest is your life to have?
(J. Mackie, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.