Jeremiah 49:9
If grape gatherers come to you, 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. The cities of the Ammonites, i.e., their inhabitants, shall howl and lament over this calamity. The summons given to Heshbon to howl implies that this city, formerly the residence of Sihon, was then in possession of the Ammonites. There is obscurity in the clause announcing the reason, "for עי (lxx Γαΐ́) is laid waste:" the word seems to be a proper noun, but there is no city of this name known in the Ammonite country, or the land east of the Jordan; while we must not think of Ai (העי, Joshua 7:2.), which was situated on the west side of the Jordan. Venema and Ewald are inclined to take the word as an appellative, synonymous with תּל, "ruins" (which is the meaning of עי), and regard it as the subject of Rabbah, the capital, "because it has been laid in ruins." But a comparison of Jeremiah 48:20; Jeremiah 4:20; Zechariah 11:3, rather favours our taking עי as the subject. Graf and others would therefore change עי into ער, as (they say) the capital of the Ammonites was called by the Israelites. But there are no historical traces of this designation of Rabbah. There remains hardly any other course open than to consider עי as the name of an important Ammonite city. The mere fact that it is mentioned nowhere else cannot form a strong foundation for the objection against this assumption, for we do not find anywhere a list of the Ammonite cities. The inhabitants of the other towns are to put on signs of sorrow, and go about mourning "in the enclosures," i.e., in the open country, since the cities, being reduced to ashes, no longer afford shelter. Most expositors understand גּדרות as meaning sheep-folds (Numbers 32:16, Numbers 32:24, Numbers 32:36); but there is no reason for taking this special view of the meaning of the word, according to which גּדרות would stand for גּדרות צאן. גּדרה and גּדר also mean the wall of a vineyard, or the hedges of the vineyards, and in Numbers 22:24 specially the enclosure of the vineyards at the cross-roads in the country east of the Jordan. This is the meaning here. We must not, with Ngelsbach, think of city walls on which one could run up and down, for the purpose of taking measures for defence: the words to not signify the walls of a city. The carrying away into exile of Malcam with his priests and princes gives the reason for the sorrow. מלכּם is here not the earthly king, but the god Milcom viewed as the king of the Ammonites, as is clear from the addition כּהניו noitidd, and from the parallel passage in Jeremiah 48:7. The clause is copied from Amos 1:15, but הוּא has been substituted for כּהניו, in order that מלכּם may be understood of Milcom, the chief deity (see on 1 Kings 11:5).
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