My vineyard, which [is] mine, [is] before me
These are either the words of Christ, asserting and confirming his right and property in his vineyard, the church; and which he distinguishes from and prefers to all others; and which being said to be before him denotes his exact knowledge of every vine in it, not a plant escaping his watchful eye; his presence in it, his care of it, the delight and complacency he has therein: or else the words of the church, expressing her care, watchfulness, and diligence in the vineyard, and her concern for the welfare of the several vines and plants in it; see ( Song of Solomon 1:6 ) ( 7:12 ) ; And certain it is that the next clause is spoken by her: thou, O Solomon, [must have] a thousand;
a thousand pieces or shekels of silver, as before: the church is willing Christ should have all he desires and demands, his whole due and full revenue of glory from his people; for he is meant, and not Solomon literally, as many Jewish writers F8 acknowledge. And the church being now in his presence, and using familiarity with him, thus addresses him, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred;
by which may be meant an honourable maintenance for themselves and families, and much esteem and respect among the people to whom they minister; this is the double honour in ( 1 Timothy 5:17 1 Timothy 5:18 ) . Christ has the greatest share, as in reason he should, being the proprietor of the vineyard, and having the chief care and oversight of it, and gives it its increase: however, faithful ministers have their reward, which lies greatly in the conversion of sinners, and edification of saints; for that is their joy, and crown of rejoicing; and in eternal happiness they shall enjoy hereafter, ( 1 Thessalonians 2:19 ) ( 1 Peter 5:4 ) .
F8 Shir Hashirim Rabba, & Alshech in loc. R. Abendamae Not. in Miclol Yophi in Psal. lxxii. 20.