If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night
Whether the one came by day, and the other by night, or both by night, the same being meant by different words, whose intent is to plunder and steal, and carry off what they can; thy condition would not be worse, nor so bad as now it is: for how art thou cut off!
from being a nation, wholly destroyed; thy people killed, or carried captive; thy fortresses demolished, towns and cities levelled with the ground, and all thy wealth and substance carried off, and nothing left: these are either the words of God, or of the prophet, setting forth their utter ruin, as if it was already; or of the nations round about, wondering at their sudden destruction. Some render it, "how silent art thou!" F17 that is, under all these calamities: or, "how art thou asleep!" or "stupefied!" as the Targum and Jarchi; not to be upon thy guard against the incursions of the enemy, but careless, secure, and stupid, and now stripped of everything: had common thieves and robbers broke in upon thee, would they not have stolen till they had enough?
as much as they came for, or could carry off; they seldom strip a house into which they enter of everything in it; they come for some particular things, and, meeting with them, they go off, and leave the rest: if the grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave [some]
that is, if men should come into thy vineyards, and gather the grapes, and carry them off by force or stealth, would they take them all a way? doubtless they would leave some behind; some would be hid under the boughs, and be left unobserved by them: or the allusion is to gatherers of grapes, who gather them for the owners, and at their direction, who were wont to leave some clusters for the poor to glean after them; but in the case of Edom it is suggested that nothing should be left, all should be clean carried off; the destruction would he complete and entire. The Targum is,
``if spoilers as grape gatherers should come unto thee''see ( Jeremiah 49:9 ) .