As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to serve the
Chaldeans that come unto us
Here he urges his own example, as before their welfare, to engage them to dwell in the land, and serve the Chaldeans; this was what he had determined to do, and had fixed upon Mizpah, a frontier town, and in the way to Babylon, as a proper seat of residence for him, as a governor under the king of Babylon: "to serve the Chaldeans"; or "to stand before them" F21; that should come to him as messengers from the king of Babylon, to receive tribute or bring orders to him; all which he would take care of, as well as be an advocate for the Jews, and plead on their behalf, for favours to be bestowed on them; and particularly for these generals and their forces, that they might be pardoned, and dwell safely in the land: he suggests, that they need not trouble themselves about these things; all affairs of this kind he would take upon himself to transact; so that they would have nothing to fear, nor anything to do, but as follows: but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil;
that is, grapes to make wine of, and olives to make oil of, and summer fruits, such as figs and apples. The Targum interprets it lumps of figs; and so Jarchi; for fruits of trees are meant, and not fruits of the earth, as corn and wheat; for both barley and wheat harvests were over before this time; the city being taken in July, and, a month after that, Nebuzaradan came and carried off the captives, and left the poor with Gedaliah, appointed governor. It may be rendered, "autumnal fruits" F23; for the word signifies autumn as well as summer; and put [them] in your vessels;
casks, bottles, and such like vessels, suitable to the things mentioned, and which were in common use, in order to be laid up for winter; and as they used to do in times of peace, not fearing any enemy to come and take them from them: and dwell in your cities which ye have taken;
not by force of arms, or as they pleased; but which they had held in possession formerly as the inheritances of their families, and which they had lately reassumed, or might however enter upon the quiet possession of.
F21 (ynpl dmel) "ut stem coram", Vatablus, Pagninus; "ad standum coram", Schmidt.
F23 (Uyqw) "et autumni fructus", Schmidt; "fructus autumnales", Vatablus.