766. Guiding the Plow

Luke 9:62  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The Eastern plow is of very rude and simple workmanship. See note on 1 Kings 19:1919So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. (1 Kings 19:19) #(317). It is evident from the text that in our Lord’s time the plow usually had but one handle, and many such plows are still seen. One hand guides the plow, while the other holds the long goad (see note on Judges 3:3131And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel. (Judges 3:31), #225) by which the oxen are spurred on to their work. The plow being light, it is necessary for the plowman to lean forward with all his weight on the handle to keep the share in the ground. Many commentators suggest that by looking back the laborer would be unable to make straight furrows. This is true; but it is also true that he could not make any furrow at all, and this fact must not be overlooked in considering the figure used by our Lord in the text.