Our oxen will bear great loads. There will be no breach in the walls, no going into captivity, and no cry of lament in our streets.
plants: this figure marks the native strength and vigor and freedom of the youth of the land. As corner-pillars: marks the polished gracefulness, the quiet beauty, of the maidens; who are like exquisitely sculptured forms (Caryatides) which adorned the corner of some magnificent hall or chamber of a palace." (It does not, however, seem probable that at any time sculptured figures were allowed in Hebrew houses or palaces.) Ornamentation and various coloring of pillars may be referred to. Three things make up temporal prosperity. Family joys; business success; social security. The sense of God's gracious relations sanctifies all three.
I. FAMILY JOYS. From Eastern points of view, large families were desirable; but usually in the East daughters are despised. Two things are noticeable in these verses.
1. Daughters are spoken of as honorably as sons.
2. It is the growing up, developing character of children, that is the chief source of family joy.
II. BUSINESS SUCCESS. Dealt with in the psalm from the strictly agricultural point of view. The figures employed all belong to farm-life. This may give indication of the date of the psalm; but we may take it as illustrative of all the ways in which men work for their living. Harvest is the key to the prosperity of the year, and that is in God's hand. Times of confidence and enterprise bring national prosperity.
III. SOCIAL SECURITY. This is suggested by the sentence, "That there be no breaking in nor going out." Security is the condition of business enterprise. Men will not work for what they have no hope of keeping when it is gained. Social security is imperiled by fear of attack from national foes, and also by the restlessness of sections within the nation (nihilists, and extravagant socialists, etc.). But family joys, business success, and social security are, in a way, merely material things. Back of them all there must be this secret of happiness - the "nation's God is the Lord." - R.T.
That there be no complaining in our streets.
(H. P. Hughes, M. A.)
(H. P. Hughes, M. A.)
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