Jeremiah 6:9 Is a very complicated Hebrew construction and has met with two different translations as handled by the many different English Versions.  The verse says, “Thus says the 30 mr rightLORD of hosts:  They shall glean thoroughly as a vine the remnant of Israel; like a grape gatherer pass your hand again over its branches.” Many translations render the “gleaning” as a taking away to judgment. As I perused a number of various translations it seems most of them follow this line of thinking. The Handbook for translators makes this comment, “Translators who interpret the gleaning to refer to destruction rather than rescue could have something similar to cev: ‘I will tell your enemies to leave your nation bare like a vine stripped of grapes.’”[1]

I don’t think that the gleaning is a taking away to judgment but a taking out for rescue or salvation. Isn’t that what “gleaning” actually is? You look once again for the good fruit in order to save it for yourself?  When you glean something it’s usually something you want. The Handbook observes that many translations assume this is true. Today’s English Version, for example, says, “…you must rescue everyone you can while there is still time.” The Handbook suggests this rendering is possible: “They will examine Israel carefully to rescue what remains, just as a grape harvester gleans the vines to find the fruit that remains.”[2] Similar language is used by God regarding the days of Noah. God “gleaned” Noah and his sons from the corrupted crops who met God’s judgment, but Noah and his family were “gleaned” to safety.  Lot and his family were “gleaned” from Sodom and Gomorrah before judgment came.

This gleaning is often used by premillennials to illustrate the Rapture of the Church.  Jeremiah as he said earlier in the book was searching (gleaning) the fields of Jerusalem for the righteous remnant but he found none. We seem to think that those gleaned before God’s judgment, Enoch, Lot, Noah, Rahab and others were so chosen because they were “righteous” in some way. But the truth is they were taken out because of their “faith” not because of their goodness.  The book of Hebrews makes it clear that all these men and women of the past were “gleaned” for God’s salvation because of faith, not because of works.  There is “none righteous, no not one.” The only righteousness available to you and I today is that which comes by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 1:17 says that in Christ or, “…in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” Through faith in Christ, you can call me “Mr. Right.”

cev Contemporary English Version

[1] Barclay M. Newman Jr. and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on Jeremiah, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2003), 187.

[2] Barclay M. Newman Jr. and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on Jeremiah, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2003), 187.