While the earth remaineth
Which as to its substance may remain for ever, ( Ecclesiastes 1:4 ) yet as to its form and quality will be changed; that and all in it will be burnt up; there will be an end of all things in it, for so the words are in the original, "as yet all the days of the earth", or "while all the days of the earth" are F9; which shows that there is a time fixed for its continuance, and that this time is but short, being measured by days: but however, as long as it does continue,
seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and
day and night, shall not cease;
as they had done, or seemed to do during the flood; for the year past there had been no seedtime nor harvest, and it must have been for the most part damp and cold, through the rains, and the abundance of water on earth, that the difference of seasons was not very discernible; as neither of days and nights at some times, especially when the clouds were so black and thick over the heavens, that neither sun, moon, or stars could be seen; and such floods of water continually pouring down, that it must be difficult to know when it was day, and when night; but for the future it is promised, that these should not cease as long as the world stands: "seedtime and harvest"; the time of sowing seed in the earth, and the time of gathering in the fruits of it when ripe, so necessary for the sustenance of man and beast: once in seven years, and once in fifty years indeed, these ceased in the land of Judea, while the people of Israel resided there; but then this was not general all the world over, in other places there were seedtime and harvest: "and cold and heat, and summer and winter"; in some places indeed there is but little cold, in others but little heat, and the difference of summer and winter is not so discernible in some places as in others, yet there is of all these in the world in general. According to Jarchi, "cold" signifies a more severe season than "winter", or the severer part of the winter; and "heat" a hotter season than the summer, or the hotter part of it. The Jews observe, that the seasons of the year are divided into six parts, and two months are to be allowed to each part; which Lyra, from them, and chiefly from Jarchi, thus gives,
``to seedtime the last half of September, all October, and half November; to cold, the other half of November, all December, and half January; to winter, half January, all February, and half March: to harvest, half March, all April, and half May; to summer, half May, all June, and half July; to heat, half July, all August, and the first half of September.''But these accounts refer to the land of Judea only: it is enough for the fulfilment of the promise, that they are more or less, at one time of the year or another, in all parts of the world, and so will be until the world shall be no more; and may, in a mystic sense, denote the continuance of the church of God in the world, as long as it endures, and its various vicissitudes and revolutions; sometimes it is a time of sowing the precious seed of the Word; and sometimes it is an harvest, is an ingathering of souls into it; sometimes it is a winter season with it, and all things seem withered and dead; and at other times it is summer, and all things look smiling and cheerful; sometimes it is in a state of coldness and indifference, and at other times exposed to the heat of persecution, and more warm and zealous usually then; sometimes it is night with it, and sometimes day, and so it is like to be, until that state takes place described in ( Revelation 7:16 ) ( 21:25 ) .