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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 1 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 6:9

9. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.

9. Sic dicit Jehova exercituum, Racemando racemabunt quasi vitem reliquias Israel; reduc (vel, redire fac) manum tuam quasi vindemiator ad canistra (alii vertunt, ad ramos.)

God here confirms the former statement, as though he had said, that he dreaded a sight so sad and mournful, which yet the Jews disregarded. He then shews, that he did not in vain exhort the Jews, even though late, to repent, for he foresaw how dreadful would be their calamities. Hence he says, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Gleaning they shall glean; for the word here does not mean to gather the vintage, but to glean, grapiller, after the vintage. As after the harvest the poor follow and gather ears of corn here and there, until nothing remains in the field; so also in vintages when there is a gleaning, nothing remains. Hence God in the law forbade the vineyards to be gleaned, that there might be something left for the poor. (Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 24:21.) But he says here, |Gleaning they shall glean as a vine;| he speaks not of the people but of the remnant.

The ten tribes had been plundered, and at length their whole country had been laid waste, most of them had been led into exile, but a few had sought hiding -- places for a time: and he says that they were like gleanings: |though, |he says, |there be a few grapes, yet these shall follow.| In short, the Prophet sets before the Jews that vengeance of God, which was known already to them as much as to the Israelites, the ten tribes: and yet he shews that God's vengeance was not completed, for there were still a few remaining, a gleaning: |What then shall come of you? What indeed! ye have seen that your brethren have been plundered, ye have seen that they and their children have been slain; ye have seen that all kinds of cruelty have been exercised towards them; and yet after the name of Israel has been obliterated, and their country now deserted, has become a waste, God will still punish the remnant, and ye shall see that his judgment will shortly overtake them; and what do ye, wretched beings, yet look for? and how great is your torpidity, which never comes to an end? why do you not seek to be reconciled to God, when such an opportunity is offered to you?|

We now then apprehend the Prophet's object. And then he says, Return thy hand as a vintager to the baskets; that is, |Behold the vintagers, they stimulate one another; so that there is no end of gleaning, as they ever return to their baskets, until they gather everything, until there remains not a grape on the vine.|

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