|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:16-26 The prophet reproves and warns the daughters of Zion of the sufferings coming upon them. Let them know that God notices the folly and vanity of proud women, even of their dress. The punishments threatened answered the sin. Loathsome diseases often are the just punishment of pride. It is not material to ask what sort of ornaments they wore; many of these things, if they had not been in fashion, would have been ridiculed then as now. Their fashions differed much from those of our times, but human nature is the same. Wasting time and money, to the neglect of piety, charity, and even of justice, displease the Lord. Many professors at the present day, seem to think there is no harm in worldly finery; but were it not a great evil, would the Holy Spirit have taught the prophet to expose it so fully? The Jews being overcome, Jerusalem would be levelled with the ground; which is represented under the idea of a desolate female seated upon the earth. And when the Romans had destroyed Jerusalem, they struck a medal, on which was represented a woman sitting on the ground in a posture of grief. If sin be harboured within the walls, lamentation and mourning are near the gates.
Verse 26. - Her gates. The sudden change of person is common in Oriental poetry. Shall lament and mourn. On account of their destruction, which would be very complete (see Lamentations 1:4; Lamentations 2:9; Nehemiah 1:3; Nehemiah 2:13). Conquerors could not do more than break breaches in the walls of a town, but they carefully destroyed the gates. Being desolate; or, emptied - plundered of everything, and so far "cleansed" from her abominations. Shall sit upon the ground. In deep grief (see Job 2:13; and comp. Isaiah 47:1; Lamentations 2:10). So in the coin of Vespasian, the captive Judah (Judea capta) sits upon the ground.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And her gates shall lament and mourn,.... These being utterly destroyed; or there being none to pass through them, meaning the gates of the city of Jerusalem:
and she being desolate; clear of inhabitants, quite emptied, and exhausted of men; being laid even with the ground, and her children within her, Luke 19:44.
shall sit upon the ground; being levelled with it, and not one stone cast upon another; alluding to the posture of mourners, Job 2:13. Our countryman, Mr. Gregory (k), thinks that the device of the coin of the emperor Vespasian, in the reverse of it, upon taking Judea, which was a woman sitting on the ground, leaning back, to a palm tree, with this inscription, "Judea Capta", was contrived out of this prophecy; and that he was helped to it by Josephus, the Jew, then in his court. The whole prophecy had its accomplishment, not in the Babylonish captivity, as Jarchi suggests, much less in the times of Ahaz, as Kimchi and Abarbinal suppose, but in the times of Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans.
(k) Notes and Observations, &c, p. 26, 27.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. gates—The place of concourse personified is represented mourning for the loss of those multitudes which once frequented it.
desolate … sit upon … ground—the very figure under which Judea was represented on medals after the destruction by Titus: a female sitting under a palm tree in a posture of grief; the motto, Judæa capta (Job 2:13; La 2:10, where, as here primarily, the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar is alluded to).
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