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Micah 7:1-2

1. Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.

1. Vae mihi (alii deducunt a ילל, ululare meum; sed est particula dolentis apud Hebraeos; Vae mihi ergo,) quia fui sicut collectiones aestatis (sic est ad verbum,) et sicuti racemi vindemiae; nullus botrus ad comedendum; maturos fructus (vel, primitias frugum) desideravit anima mea.

2. The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

2. Periit humanus (vel, mansuetus) e terra, et rectus in hominibus nemo est; et omnes sanguinibus insidiantur, quisque fratrem suum venatur reti (alii, ad perniciem; et הרם, etiam Hebraeis interdum est occisio.)


The meaning of the first verse is somewhat doubtful: some refer what the Prophet says to punishment; and others to the wickedness of the people. The first think that the calamity, with which the Lord had visited the sins of the people, is bewailed; as though the Prophet looked on the disordered state of the whole land. But it may be easily gathered from the second verse, that the Prophet speaks here of the wickedness of the people, rather than of the punishment already inflicted. I have therefore put the two verses together, that the full meaning may be more evident to us.

Woe then to me! Why? I am become as gatherings Too free, or rather too licentious is this version, — “I am become as one who seeks to gather summer-fruits, and finds none;” so that being disappointed of his hope, he burns with desire. This cannot possibly be considered as the rendering of the Prophet’s words. There is indeed some difficulty in the expressions: their import, however, seems to be this, — that the land, which the Prophet undertakes here to represent and personify, was like to a field, or a garden, or a vineyard, that was empty. He therefore says, that the land was stripped of all its fruit, as it is after harvest and the vintage. So by gatherings we must understand the collected fruit. Some understand the gleanings which remain, as when one leaves carelessly a few clusters on the vines: and thus, they say, a few just men remained alive on the land. But the former comparison harmonizes better with the rest of the passage, and that is, that the land was now stripped of all its fruit, as it is after the harvest and the vintage. I am become then as the gatherings of summer, that is, as in the summer, when the fruit has been already gathered; and as the clusters of the vintage, that is when the vintage is over. 181181     Newcome renders the verse somewhat different, and makes the comparison more clear, —
   “Woe is me! For I am become
As the gatherers of late figs,
As the gleaners of the vintage:
There is no cluster to eat;
My soul desireth the first ripe fig.”

   Substantially the same is the version of Dathius and of Henderson. “Late figs” is not strictly the meaning of קיף, which is properly summer or summer-fruit; yet, as the early or first ripe fig is mentioned in the last line, which forms a contrast with this, what is meant, no doubt, is the late figs. Then the word for “gleaners,” עללת, is properly, gleanings; but here it is evidently to be taken as a concrete, gleaners, to correspond with gatherers, though Newcome considers the women-gleaners to be intended. The four last lines form a parallelism, in which the first and the early fig, — the vintage and the cluster. — Ed.

There is no cluster, he says to eat. The Prophet refers here to the scarcity of good men; yea, he says that there were no longer any righteous men living. For though God had ever preserved some hidden seed, yet it might have been justly declared with regard to the whole people, that they were like a field after gathering the corn, or a vineyard after the vintage. Some residue, indeed, remains in the field after harvest, but there are no ears of corn; and in the vineyard some bunches remain, but they are empty; nothing remains but leaves. Now this personification is very forcible when the Prophet comes forth as though he represented the land itself; for he speaks in his own name and person, Woe is to me, he says, for I am like summer-gatherings! It was then the same thing, as though he deplored his own nakedness and want, inasmuch as there were not remaining any upright and righteous men.

In the second verse he expresses more clearly his mind, Perished, he says, has the righteous 182182     Justus, rendered in the text humanus, vel, mansuetus The Hebrew is חסיר, rendered by the Septuagint “ευσβης—godly, pious,”—by Marckius,benignus — kind, benignant,” — by Newcome, “the good man,” — and by Henderson, “the pious.” It is sometimes rendered holy; but its meaning is, kind, benevolent, merciful, actively good, beneficent. In Psalm 12:1, it is rendered “godly,” and in Isaiah 57:1, “merciful.” — Ed. from the land, and there is none upright 183183     Rectus, ישר, rendered by the Septuagint, “κατορθων—one going straight to an object,”—by Newcome and Henderson, “upright.” It is one who proceeds in a straight course according to the rule of the law, without making any windings or turning aside into any devious path. — Ed. among men. Here now he does not personify the land. It was indeed a forcible and an emphatic language, when he complained at the beginning, that he groaned as though the land was ashamed of its dearth: but the Prophet now performs the office of a teacher, Perished, he says, has the righteous from the land; there is no one upright among men; all lay in wait for blood; every one hunts his brother as with a net In this verse the Prophet briefly shows, that all were full both of cruelty and perfidy, that there was no care for justice; as though he said, In vain are good men sought among this people; for they are all bloody, they are all fraudulent. When he says, that they all did lay in wait for blood, he no doubt intended to set forth their cruelty, as though he had said, that they were thirsting for blood. But when he adds, that each did lay in wait for their brethren, he alludes to their frauds or to their perfidy.

We now then perceive the meaning of the Prophet: and the manner he adopts is more emphatical than if God, in his own name, had pronounced the words: for, as men were fixed, and as though drowned, in their own carelessness, the Prophet introduces here the land as speaking, which accuses its own children, and confesses its own guilt; yea, it anticipates God’s judgment, and acknowledges itself to be contaminated by its own inhabitants, so that nothing pure remained in it. It follows —

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