Verse 6. He. The general assurance is applied to each one in particular. That which is spoken in the previous verse in the plural -- "they", is here repeated in the singular -- "he." He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. He leaves his couch to go forth into the frosty air and tread the heavy soil; and as he goes he weeps because of past failures, or because the ground is so sterile, or the weather so unseasonable, or his corn so scarce, and his enemies so plentiful and so eager to rob him of his reward. He drops a seed and a tear, a seed and a tear, and so goes on his way. In his basket he has seed which is precious to him, for he has little of it, and it is his hope for the next year. Each grain leaves his hand with anxious prayer that it may not be lost: he thinks little of himself, but much of his seed, and he eagerly asks, "Will it prosper? shall I receive a reward for my labour?" Yes, good husbandman, doubtless you will gather sheaves from your sowing. Because the Lord has written doubtless, take heed that you do not doubt. No reason for doubt can remain after the Lord has spoken. You will return to this field -- not to sow, but to reap; not to weep, but to rejoice; and after awhile you will go home again with nimbler step than today, though with a heavier load, for you shall have sheaves to bear with you. Your handful shall be so greatly multiplied that many sheaves shall spring from it; and you shall have the pleasure of reaping them and bringing them home to the place from which you went out weeping.
This is a figurative description of that which was literally described in the first three verses. It is the turning of the worker's captivity, when, instead of seed buried beneath black earth, he sees the waving crops inviting him to a golden harvest.
It is somewhat singular to find this promise of fruitfulness in close contact with ret urn from captivity; and yet it is so in our own experience, for when our own soul is revived the souls of others are blessed by our labours. If any of us, having been once lonesome and lingering captives, have now returned home, and have become longing and labouring sowers, may the Lord, who has already delivered us, soon transform us into glad hearted reapers, and to him shall be praise for ever and ever. Amen.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 6. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, etc. This is very expressive of a gospel minister's life; he goeth forth with the everlasting gospel which he preaches; he sows it as precious seed in the church of God; he waters it with tears and prayers; the Lord's blessing accompanies it; the Lord crowns his labours with success; he has seals to his ministry; and at the last day he shall doubtless come again with joy from the grave of death bringing his sheaves with him; and will, in the new Jerusalem state, be addressed by his Lord with, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." --Samuel Eyles Pierce (1746-1829?), in "The Book of Psalms, an Epitome of the Old Testament Scripture."
Verse 6. He may go forth, he may go forth, and weep, bearing (his) load of seed. He shall come, he shall come with singing, bearing sheaves. The emphatic combination of the finite tense with the infinitive is altogether foreign from our idiom, and very imperfectly represented, in the ancient and some modern versions, by the active participle (venientes venient, coming they shall come), which conveys neither the peculiar form nor the precise sense of the Hebrew phrase. The best approximation to the force of the original is Luther's repetition of the finite tense, he shall come, he shall come, because in all such cases the infinitive is really defined or determined by the term which follows, and in sense, though not in form, assimilated to it. --Joseph Addison Alexander.
Verse 6. --
--Ben Tehillim, in "The Book of Psalms, in English Blank Verse", 1883.
Verse 6. Goeth forth. The church must not only keep this seed in the store house, for such as come to enquire for it; but must send her sowers forth to cast it among those who are ignorant of its value, or too indifferent to ask it at her hands. She must not sit weeping because men will not apply to her, but must go forth and bear the precious seed to the unwilling, the careless, the prejudiced, and the profligate. --Edwin Sidney, in "The Pulpit", 1840.
Verse 6. Weeping must not hinder sowing: when we suffer ill we must be doing well. --Matthew Henry.
Verse 6. Precious seed. Seed corn is always dearest; and when other corn is dear, then it is very dear; yet though never so dear, the husbandman resolves that he must have it; and he will deprive his own belly, and his wife and children of it, and will sow it, going out "weeping" with it. There is also great hazard; for corn, after it is sown, is subject to many dangers. And so is it, indeed, with the children of God in a good cause. Ye must resolve to undergo hazards also, in life, lands, movables, or whatsoever else ye have in this world: rather hazard all these before either religion be in hazard, or your own souls. --Alexander Henderson.
Verse 6. Precious seed. Aben Ezra, by the words rendered precious seed, or, as they may be, a draught of seed, 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." -- John Gill.
Verse 6. Precious seed. Faith is called "precious seed": quod tatum est charurn est. Seed was accounted precious when all countries came unto Egypt to buy corn of Joseph, and truly faith must needs be precious, seeing that when Christ comes he shall hardly "find faith upon the earth": Luke 18:8 . The necessity of faith is such, that therefore it must need be precious; for as the material seed is the only instrumental means to preserve the life of man; for all the spices, honey, myrrh, nuts, and almonds, gold and silver, that were in Canaan, were not sufficient for Jacob and his children's sustenance; but they were forced to repair unto Egypt for corn, that they might live and not die; even so, without faith the soul is starved; it is the food of it; for, "the just man liveth by his faith": Galatians 3:11 . -- John Hume.
Verse 6. Sheaves. The psalm which begins with "dream" and ends with "sheaves" invites us to think of Joseph; Joseph, "in whom", according to S. Ambrose's beautiful application, "there was revealed the future resurrection of the Lord Jesus, to whom both his eleven disciples did obeisance when they saw him gone into Galilee, and to whom all the saints shall on their resurrection do obeisance, bringing forth the fruit of good works, as it is written, "He shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." -- H. T. Armfield.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 6. In the two parts of this verse we may behold a threefold antithesis or opposition; in the progress,
Verse 6. "Doubtless." Or the reasons why our labour cannot be in vain in the Lord.
Verse 6. Bringing his sheaves with him. The faithful sower's return to his Lord. Successful, knowing it, personally honoured, abundantly recompensed.
Verse 6. See "Spurgeon's Sermons" No. 867: "Tearful Sowing and Joyful Reaping."