Butter of kine
Made of milk, which kine or cows give; Jarchi says, this is the fat that is gathered on the top of milk, he means cream, and which indeed was the butter of the ancients, and is here meant:
and milk of sheep:
which they give, though not in such plenty as the kine, yet what is very wholesome and nourishing: the philosopher F2 observes, that sheep give more milk in proportion to the size of their bodies than cows: and Pliny F3 says their milk is sweeter and more nourishing, and the butter made of it is the fattest:
with fat of lambs;
or fat lambs, rich and delicious food:
and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats;
a fruitful country abounding with pasturage, where rams and goats of the best sort were and the breed of them was coveted and had in the land of Canaan; the kine of Bashan are mentioned elsewhere, ( Psalms 22:12 ) ( Amos 4:1 ) ;
with the fat of kidneys of wheat:
that is, the best wheat, the grains are plump and full; and Aben Ezra observes, that a grain of wheat has some likeness to a kidney, see ( Psalms 81:16 ) ( 147:14 ) ;
and thou didst drink the pure blood of the
wine which comes from the grape, red wine, pure and unmixed, see ( Genesis 40:11 ) ; the land of Canaan was a land of vines, and abounded with good wine, ( Deuteronomy 8:8 ) ; which the Israelites, when they came into it, drank of in common, who had only drank water in the wilderness, and had but little flesh, and lived on manna, and now abounded with plenty of all good things; all which are observed as instances of divine goodness, and to aggravate their ingratitude in rejecting the Messiah, they then enjoying all these good things, the land being alike fertile and affluent then, as appears from ( Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 7:15 Isaiah 7:21 Isaiah 7:22 ) ; Jarchi applies this fruitfulness to the times of Solomon, as the butter of kine, and the kidneys of wheat, ( 1 Kings 4:22 1 Kings 4:23 ) ; and fat of lambs, and the blood of the grape, to the times of the ten tribes, ( Amos 6:4-6 ) ; but this was the constant fertility of the land, and lasted to the times of the Messiah: now all these may be expressive of the blessings of grace, and the spiritual food of the Gospel: Ainsworth very prettily remarks, that here is both food for babes and for grown persons, butter and milk for the one, and meat for the other, and drink for them both: the plain truths of the Gospel are like butter, soft and easy to be taken in, and like milk, easy of digestion, cooling, nourishing, sweet, and pleasant; the more sublime truths of the Gospel are meat for strong men, signified by the flesh of fat lambs, rams, and goats; which all being used in sacrifices were typical of Christ; as also the finest of wheat is an emblem of him the bread of life, on whom the weakest believer lives by faith; and the drink for both, the wine the blood of the grape, may signify the love of Christ, the Gospel and the truths of it, and the blessings of grace, which come through the everlasting covenant.
F2 Aristot. Problem. sect. 10. qu. 6.
F3 Nat. Hist. l. 28. c. 9.