Isaiah 24:13
When thus it shall be in the midst 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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(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.

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." Isaiah 24:13The world with its pleasure is judged; the world's city is also judged, in which both the world's power and the world's pleasure were concentrated. "The city of tohu is broken to pieces; every house is shut up, so that no man can come in. There is lamentation for wine in the fields; all rejoicing has set; the delight of the earth is banished. What is left of the city is wilderness, and the gate was shattered to ruins. For so will it be within the earth, in the midst of the nations; as at the olive-beating, as at the gleaning, when the vintage is over." The city of tohu (kiryath tōhu): this cannot be taken collectively, as Rosenmller, Arndt, and Drechsler suppose, on account of the annexation of kiryath to tohu, which is turned into a kind of proper name; for can we understand it as referring to Jerusalem, as the majority of commentators have done, including even Schegg and Stier (according to Isaiah 32:13-14), after we have taken "the earth" (hâ'âretz) in the sense of kosmos (the world). It is rather the central city of the world as estranged from God; and it is here designated according to its end, which end will be tohu, as its nature was tohu. Its true nature was the breaking up of the harmony of all divine order; and so its end will be the breaking up of its own standing, and a hurling back, as it were, into the chaos of its primeval beginning. With a very similar significance Rome is called turbida Roma in Persius (i. 5). The whole is thoroughly Isaiah's, even to the finest points: tohu is the same as in Isaiah 29:21; and for the expression מבּוא (so that you cannot enter; namely, on account of the ruins which block up the doorway) compare Isaiah 23:1; Isaiah 7:8; Isaiah 17:1, also Isaiah 5:9; Isaiah 6:11; Isaiah 32:13. The cry or lamentation for the wine out in the fields (Isaiah 24:11; cf., Job 5:10) is the mourning on account of the destruction of the vineyards; the vine, which is one of Isaiah's most favourite symbols, represents in this instance also all the natural sources of joy. In the term ‛ârbâh (rejoicing) the relation between joy and light is presupposed; the sun of joy is set (compare Micah 3:6). What remains of the city בּעיר is partitive, just as בּו in Isaiah 10:22) is shammâh (desolation), to which the whole city has been brought (compare Isaiah 5:9; Isaiah 32:14). The strong gates, which once swarmed with men, are shattered to ruins (yuccath, like Micah 1:7, for yūcath, Ges. 67, Anm. 8; שׁאיּה, ἁπ λεγ, a predicating noun of sequence, as in Isaiah 37:26, "into desolated heaps;" compare Isaiah 6:11, etc., and other passages). In the whole circuit of the earth (Isaiah 6:12; Isaiah 7:22; hâ'âretz is "the earth" here as in Isaiah 10:23; Isaiah 19:24), and in the midst of what was once a crowd of nations (compare Micah 5:6-7), there is only a small remnant of men left. This is the leading thought, which runs through the book of Isaiah from beginning to end, and is figuratively depicted here in a miniature of Isaiah 17:4-6. The state of things produced by the catastrophe is compared to the olive-beating, which fetches down what fruit was left at the general picking, and to the gleaning of the grapes after the vintage has been fully gathered in (câlâh is used here as in Isaiah 10:25; Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 21:16, etc., viz., "to be over," whereas in Isaiah 32:10 it means to be hopelessly lost, as in Isaiah 15:6). There are no more men in the whole of the wide world than there are of olives and grapes after the principal gathering has taken place. The persons saved belong chiefly, though not exclusively, to Israel (John 3:5). The place where they assemble is the land of promise.
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