"who fills his school of them:''
so Jarchi interprets the children, of the disciples of the wise men. It may be applied to young converts, the children of Christ and of the church; which, when numerous, is a blessing to him and her; see Isaiah 49:20;
they shall not be ashamed; the father and his children, as Aben Ezra; parents rather are meant, who are not ashamed when they have many children: with the Romans (z), those that had wives and children were preferred in honour to senior persons that had none; and they that had most to those that had fewest; and so with the Persians; See Gill on Esther 5:11;
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate: where courts of judicature were kept; and so the Targum,
"in the gate of the house of judgment.''
The sense is, that their children should stand and plead the cause of their parents against their adversaries in courts of judicature; or publicly before the eyes of all, as Aben Ezra: and spiritually may design such of Christ's seed who are set for the defence of the Gospel, are valiant for the truth on earth, and earnestly contend for it; meet the enemy in the gate, publicly oppose him, and behave themselves like men, and are strong.
(z) A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 2. c. 15.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 128
A Song of degrees. This psalm very probably was written by the same hand as the former, and seems to have some connection with it; as that shows that all things depend on the providence and goodness of God; and that all blessings, particularly children, are the gift of God; this points out the blessings, civil and religious, that belong to good men; and, among the rest, a numerous offspring. According to the Syriac version,
"it is said concerning Zerubbabel, prince of Judah; and the care of the building: and it intimates in it the calling of Gentiles.''
Manythings in it may be applied Christ and his church.
that walketh in his ways: which God has prescribed and directed his people to walk in, his ordinances and commands; which, to walk in, is both pleasant and profitable: it supposes life, requires strength and wisdom; and is expressive of progression, or going on and continuance in them: and where the true fear of God is, which includes every grace, and the whole of religious worship, there will be a conscientious regard to the ways of God: such avoid evil, and do good, because of the fear of God, Job 1:1.
happy shall thou be, and it shall be well with thee; or, to thy soul, as the Syriac version; happy as to temporal things, and well as to spiritual ones: such having an apparent special interest in the love, grace, mercy, and delight of God; in his providence, protection, and care; in the supplies of his grace, and in his provisions for his people, in time and eternity. It is well with such that felt God, in life and at death, at judgment and for ever: and the Targum is,
"thou art blessed in this world, and it shall be well with thee in the world to come;''
and so Arama.
thy children like olive plants round about thy table; a numerous offspring was always accounted a very great blessing; and it must be very pleasant to a parent to see his children round about his table, placed in their proper order according to their age, partaking of what it is furnished with: Job, in his time of prosperity, had many children; and, next to the presence of the Almighty with him, he mentions this of his children being about him; see Job 1:2. This may be applied to the spiritual seed and offspring of Christ, which are like to olive trees or olive plants; to which David is compared, Psalm 52:8; the two anointed ones in Zechariah 4:11; the two witnesses in Revelation 11:4; and all true believers in Christ may; because of their excellency, these being choice plants; because of their fruitfulness and beauty; because of their fatness, and having oil in them; and because of their perpetuity, being ever green; see Jeremiah 11:16. Now Christ has a table, which he has well furnished, at which he himself sits, and places these his children all around; and whom he welcomes to the entertainment he makes, and takes delight and pleasure in them, Sol 1:12. Kimchi observes, the olive trees do not admit of a graft from other trees; see Romans 11:24; and so this denotes the legitimacy of those children, being free from all suspicion of being spurious, being born of such a wife as before described; and being green and moist all the year long, denotes their continuance in good works.
and thou shall see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life; the goodness of God in Jerusalem, which is another name for the church of God; the beauty of the Lord in his house and ordinances; his power and his glory in the sanctuary: or should see the church of God in prosperous circumstances all his days; true religion flourish, the power of godliness in the professors of it; the word and ordinances blessed to the edification of saints, and many sinners converted and gathered in. This may be applied to Christ, Isaiah 53:11.