17. For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.
17. Nam quanta beneficentia ejus? et quanta pulchritudo ejus? Frumentum adolescentes, et mustum recreat (vel, corroborat) puellas.
The Prophet here exclaims at the incredible kindness of God, that the Jews might learn to raise up their thoughts above the world, as they were to look for that felicity which he had before mentioned. We then see that by this exclamation a fuller confirmation is given to what had been said by the Prophet, as though his words were, -- |No one ought to judge of God's favor, of which I have spoken, according to his own doings, or conduct, or experience; but on the contrary, every one of you ought to be filled with amazement at God's incredible kindness, and at his incredible beauty.| But by the last word he understands the brightness or splendor, which appears in all God's favors and gifts.
He then concludes by saying, that the abundance of corn and wine would be so great, that young men and young women would eat and drink together, and be fully satisfied. Here a frivolous question may be asked, whether Zechariah allowed the use of wine to young women. But he speaks not here, as I have said before, of God's blessing, as though it were an incentive to luxury; but what he means is, that the abundance of provisions would be so great as to be fully sufficient, not only for the old, but also for young men and young women. We know that when there is but a small supply of wine, it ought by right of age to be reserved for the old, but when wine so overflows that young men and young women may freely drink of it, it is a proof of great abundance. This then is simply the meaning of the Prophet: but something more shall be said tomorrow on the subject.