And by the river on the banks thereof, on this side and on
On each side of the river, on the banks of it: shall grow all trees for meat;
such as bear fruit, that may be eaten, and is good for food: by these "trees" are meant truly gracious souls, converted persons, real Christians, true believers in Christ; who like trees have a root, are rooted in the love of God, in the person and grace of Christ, and have the root of the matter in them, the grace of the blessed Spirit; and who also is their sap, of which they are full, and so grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ; grow up in him, and grow upwards and heavenwards in their affections and desires, and in the exercise of faith and hope: they are the trees of the Lord, trees of righteousness, good trees, that bring forth good fruit; and are often in Scripture compared to trees the most excellent, as palm trees, cedars, olives, myrtles and wherever the Gospel comes, these trees arise, and are watered and made fruitful by it; sometimes in lesser, and sometimes in greater numbers, as in the first times of the Gospel, and as they will in the latter day; see ( Psalms 92:12 ) ( Isaiah 61:3 ) : whose leaf shall not fade;
as the leaves of trees in autumn do, and drop off and fall; to which some professors of religion are compared, who bear no fruit, only have the leaves of a profession, and this they drop when any trouble or difficulty arises, ( Jude 1:12 ) ( Matthew 13:21 ) , but true believers, as they take up a profession on principles of grace, they hold it fast without wavering; their root, seed, and sap, remain, and so never wither and die in their profession; see ( Psalms 1:3 ) ( Jeremiah 17:8 ) : neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed;
which are the graces of the Spirit, and good works flowing from them: the graces of the Spirit are abiding ones, as faith, hope, and love; these never die, are an incorruptible seed, a well of water springing up unto everlasting life; and good works, which are fruits meet for repentance, and evidences of faith, and by which trees are known to be good, always continue to be wrought by believers, in the strength and grace of Christ, from whom they have all their fruits of every kind, ( Hosea 14:8 ) ( Philippians 1:11 ) : it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months;
or, "first fruits" F15; that is, everyone of these trees, or every true believer, shall be continually in the exercise of grace, and the performance of duty; they shall be constant and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; they shall never cease from yielding fruit, or doing good; they shall still bring it even in old age; see ( Psalms 92:14 ) ( Jeremiah 17:8 ) : because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary;
because the waters, which issued out of the sanctuary, ran by these trees, and watered them, and made them fruitful, and therefore called their waters: the fruitfulness of these trees, true believers, is not owing to themselves, to their free will and power; to their own industry, diligence, and cultivation; but to the supplies of grace they receive by means of the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; which bring forth, or cause to bring forth fruit, wherever they come with power, ( Colossians 1:6 ) : and the fruit thereof shall be for meat;
not for saints themselves, who live not, neither on their graces, nor their works; though indeed they do eat the fruits of their doings, ( Isaiah 3:10 ) , that is, enjoy good things, consequent on their works, through the free favour and good will of God; but for meat for others; for their fruit, which appears in their words and actions, are very beneficent to others; their fruit is a tree of life, ( Proverbs 11:30 ) and their lips feed many, ( Proverbs 10:21 ) , with knowledge and understanding; with the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; and with the comfortable experience they have of its truths and promises: yea, their fruit are meat and food for Christ himself; who comes into his garden, and eats his pleasant fruits, feeds and feasts, and delights himself with his own grace in his people, and the exercise of it, ( Song of Solomon 4:9 Song of Solomon 4:10 Song of Solomon 4:16 ) ( 5:1 ) : and the leaf thereof for medicine;
or, "for bruises" F16; for the healing of them, which is only done by the blood of Christ; who is the only physician, the sun of righteousness, that rises with healing or pardon in his wings; and the whole language of this passage is borrowed from hence by John, and applied to Christ the tree of life, ( Revelation 22:2 ) and the Gospel professed by true believers directs to him for healing, or for the remission of sin, and is the means of applying it, ( Psalms 107:20 ) and a cheerful constant profession of Christ and his Gospel, which is the Christian's leaf, does good like a medicine, both to the Christian himself, and to others; who are animated and encouraged thereby to go on with pleasure in the ways of God.
F15 (rkby) "afferet primitiva", V. L. Vatablus; "primogenita", Starckius. So Ben Melech.
F16 (hpwrtl) "ad contritionem, vel ad sanitatem contritionis", Vatablus; "ad fractionem sanandam", Pagninus. So Ben Melech.