Psalm 129:7

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 7. Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. When with his sickle the husbandman would cut down the tufts, he found nothing to lay hold upon: the grass promised fairly enough, but there was no fulfilment, there was nothing to cut or to carry, nothing for the hand to grasp, nothing for the lap to gather. Easterners carry their corn in their bosoms, but in this case there was nothing to bear home. Thus do the wicked come to nothing. By God's just appointment they prove a disappointment. Their fire ends in smoke; their verdure turns to vanity; their flourishing is but a form of withering. No one profits by them, least of all are they profitable to themselves. Their aim is bad, their work is worse, their end is worst of all.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 7. The mower filleth not his hand, etc. The grain was rather pulled than cut, and as each handful was taken the reaper gave it a flourishing swing up into his bosom. -- Mrs. Finn, in "Home in the Holy Land", 1866.

Verse 7. He that bindeth sheaves his bosom. A practice prevails in hot climates of sending out persons into the woods and other wild places to collect the grass, which would otherwise be wasted; and it is no uncommon tiling in the evening to see groups of grass cutters in the market, waiting to dispose of their bundles or sheaves, which are often so large that one is disposed to wonder how they could have been conveyed from the woods upon one man's shoulders. --Maria Calcott, in "A Scripture Herbal", 1842.