Verse 10. "The hills were covered with the shadow of it." Israel dwelt up the mountains' summits, cultivating every foot of soil. The nation multiplied and became so great that other lands felt its influence, or were shadowed by it.
"And the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars." The nation itself was so great that even its tribes were powerful and worthy to take rank among the mighty. A more correct rendering describes the cedars as covered with the vine, and we know that in many lands vines climb the trees, and cover them. What a vine must that be which ascends the cedars of God, and even overtops them! It is a noble picture of the prosperity of the Israelitish people in their best days. In Solomon's time the little land of Israel occupied a high place among the nations. There have been times when the church of God also has been eminently conspicuous, and her power has been felt far and near.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8-19. See Psalms on "Psalms 80:8" for further information.
Verse 10. "The hills," etc. That the sides of hills are the most commodious places for vineyards, is sufficiently known; as also that the vine hath props on which it climbs, and rests itself, and that these are lower or higher, according to the nature of the several soils or climates. In fertile soils, as now a days in Lombardy, the vines run up the trees and cover them. And so here with respect to the luxuriant growth of this fruitful vine, it may not unfitly be said, in the poetical style, to run up to and reach the tops of the tall "cedars," as Joseph is said to be "a fruitful bough, whose branches run over the wall," Genesis 49:22 . Thomas Fenton.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8-15. Parallel between the Church and a vine.