Verse 14. That our oxen may be strong to labour; so that the ploughing and cartage of the farm may be duly performed, and the husbandman's work may be accomplished without unduly taxing the cattle, or working them cruelly.
That there be no breaking in, nor going out; no irruption of marauders, and no forced emigration; no burglaries and no evictions.
That there be no complaining in our streets; no secret dissatisfaction, no public riot; no fainting of poverty, no clamour for rights denied, nor concerning wrongs unredressed. The state of things here pictured is very delightful: all is peaceful and prosperous; the throne is occupied efficiently, and even the beasts in their stalls are the better for it. This has been the condition of our own country, and if it should now be changed, who can wonder? For our ingratitude well deserves to be deprived of blessings which it has despised.
These verses may with a little accommodation be applied to a prosperous church, where the converts are growing and beautiful, the gospel stores abundant, and the spiritual increase most cheering. There ministers and workers are in full vigour, and the people are happy and united. The Lord make it so in all our churches evermore.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. That our oxen may be strong to labour. (Margin: "able to bear burdens", or, loaded with flesh.) As in the verse before he had ascribed the fruitfulness of the herds and flocks to God's goodness, so now the fattening of their oxen, to show that there is nothing relating to us here which he overlooks. -- John Calvin.
Verse 14. That our oxen may be strong to labour. Oxen were not only used for ploughing, thrashing, and drawing, but also for bearing burdens; compare 1 Chronicles 12:40 , which passage is peculiarly fitted to throw light on the verse before us. Laden oxen presuppose a rich abundance of produce. --E.W. Hengstenberg.
Verse 14. That there be no complaining in our streets, etc. Rather, "and no cry of sorrow" (comp. Isaiah 24:11 Jeremiah 14:2 46:12) "in our open places", i.e., the places where the people commonly assembled near the gate of the city (comp. 2 Chronicles 32:6 Nehemiah 8:1 ). The word rendered "complaining" does not occur elsewhere in the psalter. -- Speaker's Commentary.
Verse 14. No complaining. No outcries but "Harvest homes." --John Trapp.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14. A prayer for our ministers, and for the security, unity, and happiness of the church.
Verse 14. The prosperous Church. There --
- Labour is cheerfully performed.
- The enemy is kept without the gate.
- There are few or no departures.
- Faith and content silence complaint.
- Pray that such may be our case as a church. --W.B.H.