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Zechariah 8:12

12. For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things

12. Quia semen pacis, vitis proferet fructum suum, et terra proferet fructum suum (est quidem aliud nomen, sed idem significat,) et coeli dabunt rorem suum; et possidere faciam reliquias populi hujus omnia haec.


Here Zechariah promises the continuance of God’s favor, which the Jews had now begun to taste. God then had in part openly showed that he was a Father to the Jews, by dealing liberally with them: but in order more fully to strengthen them in their perseverance, Zechariah says that this favor would be continued.

And he says first, that there would be the seed of peace. Some think that it is called the seed of peace because the cultivation of the fields, while the assaults of enemies were dreaded, was deserted; no one dared to bring out his oxen or his horses, and then even when the husbandmen sowed their fields, it was not done as in seasons of quietness and security. As then the fields, when badly cultivated in times of war, do not produce a full crop, so they think that it is called the seed of peace, when husbandmen are permitted to employ necessary labor, when they are free from every fear, and devote securely their toils on the cultivation and the sowing of their fields. Others explain the seed of peace to be this — that it is so when neither storms, nor tempests, nor mildew, nor any other evils do any harm to the corn and fruit. But as שלום, shelum, means often in Hebrew prosperity, we may so take it here, that it would be the seed of peace, that is, that the seed would be prosperous; and this interpretation seems to me less strained. It shall then be the seed of peace, that is, it shall prosper according to your labor; what is sown shall produce its proper fruit. 8686     It is not easy to know the precise meaning of this phrase, capable as it is of various explanations. Jerome, Grotius, and Marckius consider “the remnant,” mentioned in the preceding verse, as meant by the seed, “For the seed shall be peace,” or peacable, instead of being rebellious as before. The verse, as stated by Marckius, may be thus rendered, —
   For to the seed of peace
Shall the vine yield its fruit, etc.

   But what seems most consonant with the whole passage, is to regard [זרע] as meaning seed-time or sowing, (Genesis 8:22,) and to consider [שלום] to be, in its ordinary sense, as signifying peace or peacable. It was said before, in verse 10, that there was no peace to goers and comers, such as went forth to labor in the field: but now there was to be a different state of things. Then the version would be, —


   12. For the sowing-time will be peacable; The vine shall give its fruit, And the land shall give its increase, And the heavens shall give their dew: Yea, I will cause the remnant of this people To inherit all these things.

   But most follow Calvin’s view: so do Newcome and Henderson.

   Blayney considers [זרע] a participle, and construes the words in connection with the former verse, “I will not be to the residue of this people such as I was in former days,” (that is, a sower of discord, as verse 10,) “but a sower of peace.” This certainly makes the construction easier. — Ed.

There is added an explanation — The vine shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and the heaven shall yield its dew. We hence conclude that it was called the seed of peace, because the husbandmen gained their object when the earth, irrigated by the dew of heaven, was not sterile, and when the produce was abundant, when there was plenty of corn and wine, and of other things. There is then peace or prosperity as to the seed, when the corn grows according to our wishes, and comes to maturity, and when heaven responds to the earth, and withholds not its dew, as we have seen in another place. In short, God testifies that the remnant of his people should abound in all good things, for the heaven would not withhold from them its rain, nor the earth shut up its bowels.

But God ever recalls his people to himself, that they may depend on his blessing; for it would be a cold doctrine were we not persuaded of this — that the earth is not otherwise fruitful than as God gives it the power of generating and of bringing forth. We ought therefore ever to regard the blessing of God, and to ask of him to supply us with food, and to pray him every day, as we are taught, to give us our daily bread. But few do this from the heart, and hardly one in a hundred so turns his thoughts to God’s hand as firmly to believe that he daily receives from him his daily food. We now understand what the Prophet means in these words. It now follows —

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