Jeremiah 49:9
If grapegatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough.
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(9) If grapegatherers come to thee . . .—The words are reproduced in Obadiah 1:5. Vine-gatherers leave some bunches for the gleaner; robbers are at last satiated with plunder; but the destroyers of Edom would be insatiable (comp. Isaiah 17:6). Esau (the name stands for Edom) should be laid bare, and perish utterly. It is significant that there is no promise to Edom that her captivity should be brought back.

Jeremiah 49:9-10. If grape-gatherers come to thee, &c. — The vintage is not usually gathered so clean but there will be a gleaning left, Isaiah 17:6; and house-breakers, or thieves, commonly leave something behind. But I have made Esau bare — But the destruction coming upon thee will be so entire that scarcely a remnant shall be preserved. I have uncovered his secret places — I have taken from him every thing that might be a refuge or defence to him, and laid open all the recesses wherein he might conceal himself, or his riches. His seed is spoiled, &c. — The calamity shall also extend to his family, and to all that he has any connection with. And he is not — He is utterly ruined and undone.

49:7-22 The Edomites were old enemies to the Israel of God. But their day is now at hand; it is foretold, not only to warn them, but for the sake of the Israel of God, whose afflictions were aggravated by them. Thus Divine judgments go round from nation to nation; the earth is full of commotion, and nothing can escape the ministers of Divine vengeance. The righteousness of God is to be observed amidst the violence of men.Translate it: "If vintagers come to thee, they will not leave any gleaning: if thieves by night, they will destroy their fill."9. (Ob 5). Grape gatherers, yea even thieves, leave something behind them; but the Chaldeans will sweep Idumea clean of everything. We have much the same Ob 5. The scope of the prophet in this place is only to show that Edom should be totally destroyed; their destruction should not be like the gleaning of grapes, where the gatherers content themselves with taking the principal clusters, but for single grapes, or small clusters, they leave them; nor yet like the robbings of thieves, who take for their hunger, and when they have got enough leave the rest.

If grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes?.... If gatherers of grapes, at the time of the vintage, should come into thy fields to gather the grapes, being ripe, would not they leave some for the poor to glean? certainly they would, and not take every cluster. The Targum renders it,

"if thy spoilers, as grape gatherers, should come to thee,'' &c.

if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough; who break into houses by night, these will eat and drink as much as is sufficient, and carry off what serves their turn; but they seldom take away everything they find in a house; they leave some things behind them; but it is suggested that the Chaldeans should take away all from the Edomites, and leave them nothing; see Obadiah 1:5.

If {l} grapegatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough.

(l) Meaning that God would utterly destroy them and not spare one, though the grape gatherers leave some grapes, and thieves seek but till they have enough, Ob 1:5.

9. would they not leave some gleaning grapes?] The v. is based on Obadiah 1:5, but while the general sense is the same, Obadiah contrasts the extremities to which the foe proceeds with the comparative moderation shewn by grape-gatherers or thieves. Here, on the contrary, the enemy’s conduct is directly illustrated by the figures employed, and accordingly we should render as mg.

Verse 9. - If grape gatherers, etc. Jeremiah modifies his original in Obadiah 1:5; the interrogative clauses here become affirmative. Render, If vintagers come to thee, they will not leave any gleanings: if thieves by night, they destroy what is sufficient for them. Jeremiah 49:9Jeremiah 49:9 is a reproduction of Obadiah 1:5, but in such a way that what Obadiah brings forward as a comparison is directly applied by Jeremiah to the enemy: our prophet represents the enemy as grape-gatherers who leave nothing to glean, and as nocturnal thieves who destroy what is sufficient for them, i.e., destroy till they have enough, drag away and destroy as much as they can. The after-clauses, "they will not leave," etc., "they destroy," etc., are thus not to be taken as questions. The reference to Obadiah does not entitle us to supply הלוא from that passage. The connection here is somewhat different. The following verse is joined by means of כּי, "for;" and the thought, "for I have stripped Esau, I have discovered his secret places," shows that the enemy is to be understood by the grape-gatherers and nocturnal thieves: he will leave nothing to glean - will plunder all the goods and treasures of Edom, even those that have been hidden. On this subject, cf. Obadiah 1:6. חשׂף, "to strip off leaves, make bare" (Jeremiah 13:26), has been chosen with a regard to נחפּשׂוּ in Obadiah. ונחבּה לא יוּכל, lit., "and he hides himself, he will not be able to do it;" i.e., Esau (Edom) tries to hide himself; he will not be able to do it - he will not remain concealed from the enemy. There are not sufficient grounds for changing the perf. נחבּה equals נחבּא into the inf. abs. נחבּה, as Ewald and Graf do. "His seed is destroyed," i.e., his family, the posterity of Esau, the Edomites, his brethren," the descendants of nations related to the family, and of others similar who had intermingled with them, as the Amalekites, Genesis 36:12, Horites, Genesis 36:20., Simeonites, 1 Chronicles 4:42, "and his neighbours," the neighbouring tribes, as Dedan, Jeremiah 49:8, Thema and Buz, Jeremiah 25:23. "And he is not" is added to give intensity, as in Isaiah 19:7; cf. Jeremiah 31:15. The last idea is made more intensive by Jeremiah 49:11, "Leave your orphans and widows." Edom is addressed, and the imperative expresses what must happen. The men of Edom will be obliged to leave their wives and children, and these will be left behind as widows and orphans, because the men fall in battle. Yet the Lord will care for them, so that they shall not perish. In this comfort there is contained a very bitter truth for the Edomites who hated Jahveh. עזבה is the imperative (Ewald, 228, a), not infinitive (Hitzig); and תּבטחוּ is a rare form of the jussive for תּבטחנה, as in Ezekiel 37:7; cf. Ewald, 191, b. Reasons are given for these threats in Jeremiah 49:12 and Jeremiah 49:13, first in the thought that Edom cannot continue to be the only one unpunished, then in the bringing forward of the solemnly uttered purpose of God. "Those who should not be compelled to drink." Those meant are the Israelites, who, as the people of God, ought to have been free from the penal judgment with which the Lord visits the nations. If, now, these are not left (spared such an infliction), still less can Edom, as a heathen nation, lay claim to exemption. By this Jeremiah does not mean to say that nay injustice befalls the Jews if they are obliged to drink the cup of the wrath of God, but merely that their having been chosen to be the people of God does not give them any right to exemption from the judgments of God on the world, i.e., if they make themselves like the heathen through their sins and vices. The inf. abs. שׁתו for שׁתה intensifies: "ye shall (must) drink." The idea is founded on that pervading Jeremiah 25, and there is use made of the words in Jeremiah 25:29. The כּי in Jeremiah 49:13 is mainly dependent on the clause immediately preceding: "thou shalt certainly drink." On "by myself have I sworn" cf. Jeremiah 22:5. In the threat that Edom shall be laid waste there is an accumulation of words corresponding to the excitement of feeling accompanying an utterance under solemn oath. חרב is used instead of the more common חרבּה; cf. Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 44:22, etc. חרבות עולם, as in Jeremiah 25:9. Bozrah was at that time the capital of the Edomites (cf. Jeremiah 49:22); it lay south from the Dead Sea, on the site of the village Buseireh (Little Bozrah), in Jebal, which is still surrounded by a castle and with ruins of considerable extent, and is situated on an eminence; see on Amos 1:12 and Genesis 36:33. "And all its cities," i.e., the rest of the cities of Idumea; cf. וּבנותיה, Jeremiah 49:2.
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