Isaiah 28:24

24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?

Read Isaiah 28:24 Using Other Translations

Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
Does he who plows for sowing plow continually? Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?

What does Isaiah 28:24 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 28:24

Doth the ploughman plough all day to sow?
&c.] Or, "every day"; he ploughs in order to sow; by ploughing he prepares the ground for sowing, that is his end in ploughing; and he may plough a whole day together when he is at it, but he does not plough every day in the year; he has other work to do besides ploughing, as is later mentioned; such as breaking of clods, sowing seed, and threshing the grain after it is ripe, and reaped, and gathered. The prophet signifies that the Lord, like a ploughman, had different sorts of work; he was not always doing one and the same thing; and particularly, that he would not be always admonishing and threatening men, and making preparation for his judgments, but in a little time he would execute them, signified by after metaphors: doth he open and break the clods of his ground?
he does, with a mallet or iron bar, or with the harrow; whereby the ground is made even, and so more fit for sowing. The Targum interprets the whole in a mystical sense, of the instructions of the prophets, thus,

``at all times the prophets prophesy to teach, if perhaps the ears of sinners may be opened to receive instruction;''
and it may be applied to the work of the Spirit of God upon men's hearts, by the ministry of the word: the heart of man is like the "fallow ground", hard and obdurate, barren and unfruitful; the ministry of the word is the "plough", and ministers are the "ploughmen"; but it is the Spirit of God that makes their ministrations useful, for the conviction of the mind, the pricking of the heart, and breaking it in pieces; see ( Jeremiah 4:3 ) ( 23:29 ) .
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