Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small…
The physical wants of man demand a day of rest; and it is a gracious appointment of the all-wise One, which has secured it to him. No constitution, however robust, can endure the wear and tear of unceasing labour. An experiment was once tried in England on a grand scale. Two thousand men were employed for years, seven days in a week. To make them contented to give up the blessed privilege of resting on Sundays, they received double wages for that day; or eight days' wages for seven days' work. It was found, however, utterly impossible to keep them healthy or moral. Things went on so badly that the old custom of resting on the Lord's day was revived, and that, too, with immediate results. More work was accomplished in six days than in seven, and the labourers were more sober and honest. Yet there are headstrong and worldly-minded people to be found, so oaten by covetousness that they are disposed to cry out, in the complaining language of the text, "When will the Sabbath be past, that we may sell wheat?" The same physical law which requires that man should have his day of rest applies also to the brute creation. In making the land route to California, the companies which rest on Sunday invariably reach their destinations before those which journey forward without regard to God's appointment. While man and beasts are decidedly the gainers from observing the beneficent appointment of their Creator, can we be expected to listen with patience while the despisers of God's law ask in words of cool contempt, "When will the Sabbath be past, that we may sell wheat?" Besides the actual benefits secured by those who honour the Lord's day, they are saved from many evils which naturally grow out of a disregard for it. The chaplain of Newgate prison, who hears the confessions of those sentenced to death, once remarked that, in almost every instance they ascribed their ruin to their desertion of the House of God, and to their violation of the day of rest. A distinguished merchant, long accustomed to extensive observation of men, was often heard to say, "When I discover one of my clerks to be a wilful neglecter of the Lord's day, I forthwith dismiss him. Such persons cannot be trusted." Sabbath-breaking is the sure forerunner of other sins. Moreover, we all need stated times when we can devote ourselves more unreservedly to the great work of preparing for death and the final judgment. Few are the spiritual blessings of earth, and few the joys of heaven, that have not a nearer or remoter connection with the Lord's day. How ought the Lord's day to be kept? Mere cessation from worldly employments will not come up to the demands of God's law. Attendance upon public worship is the great duty of Sunday, and one which will be strictly regarded by all who desire God's favour. A portion of the time should be spent in such reading as will tend to our spiritual improvement.
(John N. Norton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
WEB: Saying, 'When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may market wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel large, and dealing falsely with balances of deceit;