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Matthew Henry's Commentary on Psalm 128:3


Matthew Henry (1662-1714), still world-famous amongst Christians for his Commentary, was a Presbyterian minister born in Flintshire, Wales. His father was a renowned pastor of the Puritan era.



verse 3: Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive-plants round about thy table. verse 4: Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.


We must sing this psalm in the firm belief of this truth, That religion and piety are the best friends to outward prosperity, giving God the praise that it is so, and that we have found it so; and encouraging ourselves and others with itÖ


2. That they shall have abundance of comfort in their family relations. As a wife and children are very much a manís care, so, if by the grace of God they are such as they should be, they are very much a manís delight, as much as any creature comfort. (1.) The wife shall be as a vine by the sides of the house, not only as a spreading vine which serves for an ornament, but as a fruitful vine which is for profit, and with the fruit whereof both God and man are honoured, Judg. ix. 13. The vine is a weak and tender plant, and needs to be supported and cherished, but it is a very valuable plant, and some think (because all the products of it were prohibited to the Nazarites) it was the tree of knowledge itself. The wifeís place is the husbandís house; there her business lies, and that is her castle. Where is Sarah thy wife? Behold, in the tent; where should she be else? Her place is by the sides of the house, not under-foot to be trampled on, nor yet upon the house-top to domineer (if she be so, she is but as the grass upon the house-top, in the next psalm), but on the side of the house, being a rib out of the side of the man. She shall be a loving wife, as the vine, which cleaves to the house-side, an obedient wife, as the vine, which is pliable, and grows as it is directed. She shall be fruitful as the vine, not only in children, but in the fruits of wisdom, and righteousness, and good management, the branches of which run over the wall (Gen. xlix. 22. Ps. lxxx. 11.), like a fruitful vine, not cumbering the ground, nor bringing forth sour grapes, or grapes of Sodom, but good fruit. (2.) The children shall be as olive plants, likely in time to be olive-trees, and, though wild by nature, yet grafted into the good olive, and partaking of its root and fatness, Rom. xi. 17. It is pleasant to parents who have a table spread, though but with ordinary fare, to see their children round about it, to have many children, enough to surround it, and those with them, and not scattered, or the parents forced from them. Job makes it one of the first instances of his former prosperity that his children were about him, Job xxix. 5. Parents love to have their children at table, to keep up the pleasantness of the table-talk, to have them in health, craving food and not physic, to have them like olive-plants, straight and green, sucking in the sap of their good education, and likely in due time to be serviceable.


For Matthew Henryís full commentary on this Psalm, click here




ďA Commentary on the Holy Bible,Ē Ward, Lock & Co., Vol 3, p 436.