Isaiah 24:13
When thus it shall be in the middle of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) There shall be as the shaking of an olive tree . . .—The prophet’s characteristic thought of the “remnant” that should escape is presented under familiar imagery, that of the few olives on the olive tree, and the gleaning of the grapes when the vintage is over. (Comp. Isaiah 17:5-6; Judges 8:2.)

Isaiah 24:13-14. When thus it shall be in the midst of the land, &c. — When this judgment shall be executed, there shall he left a remnant; as there are some few olives or grapes left after the vintage is over. They shall lift up their voice, &c. — The remnant shall sing for the glorious power and goodness of God manifested in their deliverance. They shall cry aloud

In a way of exultation and thanksgiving to God; from the sea — From the isles of the sea, as it is expressed in Isaiah 24:15, that is, from the isles of the Western or Mediterranean sea, whither many of the Jews were scattered, and where they sojourned. “The great distresses brought upon Israel and Judah drove the people away, and dispersed them all over the neighbouring countries; they fled to Egypt, to Asia Minor, to the islands and coasts of Greece. They were to be found in great numbers in most of the principal cities of these countries. Alexandria was, in a great measure, peopled by them. They had synagogues for their worship in many places; and were greatly instrumental in propagating the knowledge of the true God among these heathen nations, and preparing them for the reception of Christianity. This is what the prophet seems to mean by the celebration of the name of JEHOVAH in the distant coasts, and in the uttermost parts of the land.” — Bishop Lowth.24:13-15 There shall be a remnant preserved from the general ruin, and it shall be a devout and pious remnant. These few are dispersed; like the gleanings of the olive tree, hid under the leaves. The Lord knows those that are his; the world does not. When the mirth of carnal worldlings ceases, the joy of the saints is as lively as ever, because the covenant of grace, the fountain of their comforts, and the foundation of their hopes, never fails. Those who rejoice in the Lord can rejoice in tribulation, and by faith may triumph when all about them are in tears. They encourage their fellow-sufferers to do likewise, even those who are in the furnace of affliction. Or, in the valleys, low, dark, miry places. In every fire, even the hottest, in every place, even the remotest, let us keep up our good thoughts of God. If none of these trials move us, then we glorify the Lord in the fires.In the midst of the land - That is, in the midst of the land of Canaan.

There shall be as the shaking of an olive-tree - A few shall be left, as in gathering olives a few will remain on the highest and outermost boughs (see the notes at Isaiah 17:5-6).

13. the land—Judea. Put the comma after "land," not after "people." "There shall be among the people (a remnant left), as the shaking (the after-picking) of an olive tree"; as in gathering olives, a few remain on the highest boughs (Isa 17:5, 6). When thus it shall be, when this judgment shall be executed,

in the midst of the land; in the land. But withal this phrase may intimate that the judgment should not be slight and superficial, and in the skirts of the land; but that it should reach their very heart, their most inward and best defended parts.

There shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, & c.; there shall be left a remnant, and that but a very small remnant; as there are some few, and but a few, olives or grapes left after the vintage is over; which, by comparing this with the following verse, seems to be added by way of mitigation, to signify that God would in judgment remember mercy. When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people,.... When the above judgments shall be executed, the city of Rome shall be destroyed, and the vials of God's wrath are poured but on all the antichristian states, on all the followers of the beast, throughout the whole Romish jurisdiction:

there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning of grapes, when the vintage is done; as when an olive tree is shaken, or beaten with a staff, which was the usual way of gathering olives, and which the word (t) here signifies, there are some few left upon the uppermost or outermost branches, which cannot be reached; and as, after the vintage is got in, there are some grapes to be gleaned and gathered from the vines; see Isaiah 17:6 so it is here insinuated that there should be some, though but a few, a remnant, according to the election of grace, that should escape the above calamities, and be preserved as a seed for the church of God; and so it will be, that just before the destruction of mystical Babylon, the Lord's people will be called out of her, that they partake not of her sins, and of her plagues, Revelation 18:4. The Targum is,

"for now shall be left alone the righteous in the midst of the earth, among the kingdoms, as the shaking of olives, as the gleaning of grapes after the vintage;''

and to olives and grapes are these gracious persons fitly compared, for the goodness, loveliness, and fruitfulness of them, through the grace of God.

(t) "similes olivis destrictae oleae", Junius & Tremellius; "tanquam strictura oleae", Cocceius.

When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be {h} as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.

(h) He comforts the faithful, declaring that in this great desolation the Lord will assemble his Church which will praise his Name, as in Isa 10:22.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. The whole human race must perish, with the exception of an insignificant remnant. Render: For so shall it be in the midst of the earth among the peoples as at the beating of an olive-tree, as the after-gleaning when the vintage is over. The images are borrowed from ch. Isaiah 17:6, and are used in the same sense.Verse 13. - When thus it shall be; rather, for so shall it be. In the time described the condition of the earth shall be like to that of an olive-ground when the beating is done, or of a vineyard when (he grapes are gathered. That is, a small and scattered remnant of inhabitants shall alone be left, like the few grapes and olives that were the portion of the gleaners (cf. Isaiah 17:6). There shall be. These words are not needed, and should be erased. The nexus is, "so it shall be as the shaking [rather, 'beating'] of an olive tree." That this is the case is evident from Isaiah 24:4-9, where the accursed state into which the earth is brought is more fully described, and the cause thereof is given. "Smitten down, withered up is the earth; pined away, wasted away is the world; pined away have they, the foremost of the people of the earth. And the earth has become wicked among its inhabitants; for they transgressed revelations, set at nought the ordinance, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they who dwelt in it make expiation: therefore are the inhabitants of the earth withered up, and there are very few mortals left. New wine mourneth, vine is parched, all the merry-hearted groan. The joyous playing of tabrets is silent; the noise of them that rejoice hath ceased; the joyous playing of the guitar is silent. They drink no wine with a song; meth tastes bitter to them that drink it." "The world" (tēbēl) is used here in Isaiah 24:4, as in Isaiah 26:9 (always in the form of a proper name, and without the article), as a parallel to "the earth" (hâ'âretz), with which it alternates throughout this cycle of prophecies. It is used poetically to signify the globe, and that without limitation (even in Isaiah 13:11 and Isaiah 18:3); and therefore "the earth" is also to be understood here in its most comprehensive sense (in a different sense, therefore, from Isaiah 33:9, which contains the same play upon sounds). The earth is sunk in mourning, and has become like a faded plant, withered up with heat; the high ones of the people of the earth (merōm; abstr. pro concr., like câbōd in Isaiah 5:13; Isaiah 22:24) are included (עם is used, as in Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 40:7, to signify humanity, i.e., man generally). אמללוּ (for the form, see Comm. on Job, at Job 18:16-19) stands in half pause, which throws the subjective notion that follows into greater prominence. It is the punishment of the inhabitants of the earth, which the earth has to share, because it has shared in the wickedness of those who live upon it: chânaph (not related to tânaph) signifies to be degenerate, to have decided for what is evil (Isaiah 9:16), to be wicked; and in this intransitive sense it is applied to the land, which is said to be affected with the guilt of wicked, reckless conduct, more especially of blood-guiltiness (Psalm 106:38; Numbers 35:33; compare the transitive use in Jeremiah 3:9). The wicked conduct of men, which has caused the earth also to become chanēphâh, is described in three short, rapid, involuntarily excited sentences (compare Isaiah 15:6; Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 29:20; Isaiah 33:8; also Isaiah 24:5; Isaiah 1:4, Isaiah 1:6, Isaiah 1:8; out of the book of Isaiah, however, we only meet with this in Joel 1:10, and possibly Joshua 7:11). Understanding "the earth" as we do in a general sense, "the law" cannot signify merely the positive law of Israel. The Gentile world had also a torâh or divine teaching within, which contained an abundance of divine directions (tōrōth). They also had a law written in their hearts; and it was with the whole human race that God concluded a covenant in the person of Noah, at a time when the nations had none of them come into existence at all. This is the explanation given by even Jewish commentators; nevertheless, we must not forget that Israel was included among the transgressors, and the choice of expression was determined by this. With the expression "therefore" the prophecy moves on from sin to punishment, just as in Isaiah 5:25 (cf., Isaiah 5:24). אלה is the curse of God denounced against the transgressors of His law (Daniel 9:11; compare Jeremiah 23:10, which is founded upon this, and from which אבלה has been introduced into this passage in some codices and editions). The curse of God devours, for it is fire, and that from within outwards (see Isaiah 1:31; Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:16-17; Isaiah 29:6; Isaiah 30:27., Isaiah 33:11-14): chârū (milel, since pashta is an acc. postpos.),

(Note: In correct texts châr has two pashtas, the former indicating the place of the tone.)

from chârar, they are burnt up, exusti. With regard to ויּאשׁמוּ, it is hardly necessary to observe that it cannot be traced back to אשׁם equals ישׁם, שׁמם; and that of the two meanings, culpam contrahere and culpam sustinere, it has the latter meaning here. We must not overlook the genuine mark of Isaiah here in the description of the vanishing away of men down to a small remnant: נשׁאר (שׁאר) is the standing word used to denote this; מזער (used with regard to number both here and in Isaiah 16:14; and with regard to time in Isaiah 10:25 and Isaiah 29:17) is exclusively Isaiah's; and אנושׁ is used in the same sense as in Isaiah 33:8 (cf., Isaiah 13:12). In Isaiah 24:7 we are reminded of Joel 1 (on the short sentences, see Isaiah 29:20; Isaiah 16:8-10); in Isaiah 24:8, Isaiah 24:9 any one acquainted with Isaiah's style will recall to mind not only Isaiah 5:12, Isaiah 5:14, but a multitude of other parallels. We content ourselves with pointing to עלּיז (which belongs exclusively to Isaiah, and is taken from Isaiah 22:2 and Isaiah 32:13 in Zephaniah 2:15, and from Isaiah 13:3 in Zephaniah 3:11); and for basshir (with joyous song) to Isaiah 30:32 (with the beating of drums and playing of guitars), together with Isaiah 28:7. The picture is elegiac, and dwells so long upon the wine (cf., Isaiah 16:1-14), just because wine, both as a natural production and in the form of drink, is the most exhilarating to the heart of all the natural gifts of God (Psalm 104:15; Judges 9:13). All the sources of joy and gladness are destroyed; and even if there is much still left of that which ought to give enjoyment, the taste of the men themselves turns it into bitterness.

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