He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed
Which he sows in tears. This is but a repetition and confirmation of what is before expressed in different words; and may be applied, as to a praying saint, so to a faithful preacher of the word. The word is the precious seed which he bears, which he takes out of the granaries of the Scriptures; and carries from place to place, and scatters and sows, ( Luke 8:11 ) ; compared to seed, because of its meanness in the eyes of those that know it not; because of its generative virtue and increase, which it has from God, and which, unless sown in the earth, produces no fruit: and it is called "precious seed", because either bought at a great price, when grain is dear; or because it usually is the choicest wheat that is the sowing seed; and so may denote the preciousness and value of the Gospel, dispensed by Christ's faithful ministers, which is called a sowing of spiritual things, ( 1 Corinthians 9:11 ) ; which should be done plentifully and constantly, and with the same sort of seed or doctrine, and which requires art and skill; and is often performed weeping or with tears, because of their own insufficiency, through fear of success, and through want of it; and because of the badness of the ground, the hardness of men's hearts they have to do with. The allusion seems to be to a poor husbandman, that has got but little seed to sow, and this bought at a dear price; and which he buries under the clods, and fears it will rise no more; and weeps as he sows, because of the badness of the weather, or of the soil, doubting of success. Aben Ezra, by the words rendered "precious seed", or, as they may be, "a draught of seed" F18, understands the vessel in which the sower carries his seed, the seed basket, from whence he draws and takes out the seed, and scatters it; see ( Amos 9:13 ) ; so the Targum,
``bearing a tray of sowing corn;''shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with
the seed he has been to and fro in sowing springs up under a divine blessing; and, beyond his expectation and fears, produces a large and plentiful crop; which he reaps, and returns home, not with his arms full of sheaves only, but with his cart laden with them: so a faithful minister, sooner or later, is blessed with converts, who will be his joy and crown of rejoicing another day: see ( John 4:35 John 4:38 ) ( 1 Thessalonians 2:19 1 Thessalonians 2:20 ) .
F18 (erzh Kvm) "tractionem seminis", Montanus, Piscator, Gejerus.