When he hath made plain the face thereof
By harrowing it, after it is ploughed:
doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin;
in sowing them in the ground, prepared for them; the former of these does not seem to be the same we so call, but something else. The Septuagint version calls it the little "melanthion" F3, the same with the "nigella" F4 of the Latins, and is sometimes called "gith" F5, as in the Vulgate Latin version here. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it "anise", which is mentioned along with "cummin", as common with the Jews, and which, in Christ's time, were tithed, ( Matthew 23:23 ) and both these in the text are by Kimchi said to be the food of man:
and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the
rye in their place?
each in their proper place, or in soil suitable for them; some land being more suitable for the one than for the other, which the husbandman understands: "wheat" is the choicest and most excellent grain, and therefore called "principal"; or else because it is "first" sown, or sown in the best and "principal" ground: "barley" is said to be "appointed", or to be sowed in a place appointed for it; or "marked" F6, referring either to places marked in the field, where it should be sown; which sense the Targum and the Jewish commentators favour; or to sacks of it marked, in which the best seed for sowing was put: "and the rye in its border" F7; appointed for that Jarchi thinks this refers to the different places of sowing; the wheat was sown in the middle of the field; barley round about the mark or sign for that purpose; and rye upon the borders. The Targum is,
``as wheat is sown in an uncultivated field, and barley by the signs, and rye by the borders;''but the whole is intended to express the wisdom of the husbandman, in sowing different seeds, not in the same field, which was forbidden by the law, ( Leviticus 19:19 ) but in ground suitable to each of them; and in the mystical sense designs the execution of divine judgments on men, in proportion to their sins, after they have been admonished of them, and reproved for them; and may be applied also to the sowing of the seed of the word in the hearts of men, and illustrated by the parable of the sower in ( Matthew 13:19-23 ) .
F3 So Junius & Tremellius, and Piscator.
F4 As here with Pagninus, Montanus.
F5 So Vatablus and Castalio.
F6 (Nmon hrev) "hordeum signatum", Vatablus, Pagninus, Montanus; "signato loco", Tigurine version.
F7 (wtlbg tmok) "speltam in termino ejus, vel suo", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.