Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it
In Ephraim or Jacob; that is, in the ten tribes, a few of them should escape, a remnant should be saved; comparable, for the smallness of their number, to grapes that are gleaned after the vintage is got in: though Kimchi interprets it of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who were but few, in comparison of the ten tribes, who were many; and Jarchi explains it of Hezekiah and his company, in the midst of Jerusalem, who were but few; and observes, that some of their Rabbins understood it of the few men that were left of the multitude of Sennacherib's army, when it was destroyed; but the first sense is best: and the same thing is signified by another simile, as the shaking of an olive tree;
with the hand, when the fruit is ripe; or, "as the striking" F17 of it with a staff; to beat off the berries, when there are left two [or] three berries at the top of the uppermost bough:
the word "amir" is only used here, and in ( Isaiah 17:9 ) and signifies, as Kimchi says, the upper bough or branch; and so Aben Ezra interprets it, the highest part of the olive; and observes, that it so signifies in the language of Kedar, or the Arabic language; in which it is used for a king, a prince, an emperor, one that has the command and government of others F18; and hence the word "amiral" or "admiral" comes: now two or three olive berries, being in the uppermost bough, are left, because they cannot be reached by the hand of the gatherer, nor by the staff of the striker. Kimchi applies this to Jerusalem, which was the highest part of the land of Israel; and what was in it the hand of the king of Assyria could not reach: four [or] five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof;
which escape the gatherer, shaker, or striker, for the same reason. These similes are very aptly made use of, since the people of Israel are frequently compared to grapes, and vines, and olives, ( Isaiah 5:1 Isaiah 5:7 ) ( Jeremiah 11:16 ) ( Hosea 9:10 ) : saith the Lord God of Israel;
this is added to confirm what is said, and to express the certainty of it; and shows that the Israelites are meant, to whom the Lord was a covenant God. The Targum applies the metaphors thus,
``so shall the righteous be left alone in the world among the kingdoms, saith the Lord God of Israel.''
F17 (tyw Pqnk) "ut strictura oleae", Cocceius.