Isaiah 3:26
And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
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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.And her gates - Cities were surrounded with walls, and were entered through gates opening into the principal streets. Those gates became, of course, the places of chief confluence and of business; and the expression here means, that in all the places of confluence, or amidst the assembled people, there should be lamentation on account of the slain in battle, and the loss of their mighty men in war.

And she - Jerusalem is often represented as a female distinguished for beauty. It is here represented as a female sitting in a posture of grief.

Being desolate, shall sit upon the ground - To sit on the ground, or in the dust, was the usual posture of grief and mourning, denoting great depression and humiliation; Lamentations 2:10; Lamentations 3:28; Jeremiah 15:17; Job 3:13; Ezra 9:3-5. It is a remarkable coincidence, that in the medals which were made by the Romans to commemorate the captivity of Judea and Jerusalem, Judea is represented under the figure of a female sitting in a posture of grief, under a palm tree, with this inscription - judea capta. The passage here, however, refers not to the captivity by the Romans, but to the first destruction by Nebuchadnezzar. It is a tender and most affecting image of desolation. During the captivity at Babylon, it was completely fulfilled; and for ages since, Judea might be appropriately represented by a captive female sitting pensively on the ground.

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).

Her gates; the gates of Zion or Jerusalem, which, by a figure very usual in sacred Scripture and all authors, are said to lament, to imply the great desolation of the place, that there should be no people to go out and come in by the gates, or to meet together in the gates, as they used to do. Shall sit upon the ground, like a mournful woman bewailing the loss of her husband and children.

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.

And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
26. her gates] the places of rendezvous in Eastern cities. lament and mourn] because they are now deserted. Cf. Lamentations 1:4; Jeremiah 14:2.

and she, emptied, shall sit upon the ground] Cf. ch. Isaiah 47:1; Lamentations 2:10; Job 2:13.

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.

Isaiah 3:26What the prophet here foretells to the daughter of Zion he sees in Isaiah 3:26 fulfilled upon her: "Then will her gates lament and mourn, and desolate is she, sits down upon the ground." The gates, where the husbands of the daughters of Zion, who have now fallen in war, sued at one time to gather together in such numbers, are turned into a state of desolation, in which they may, as it were, be heard complaining, and seen to mourn (Isaiah 14:31; Jeremiah 14:2; Lamentations 1:4); and the daughter of Zion herself is utterly vacated, thoroughly emptied, completely deprived of all her former population; and in this state of the most mournful widowhood or orphanage, brought down from her lofty seat (Isaiah 47:1) and princely glory (Jeremiah 13:18), she sits down upon the ground, just as Judaea is represented as doing upon Roman medals that were struck after the destruction of Jerusalem, where she is introduced as a woman thoroughly broken down, and sitting under a palm-tree in an attitude of despair, with a warrior standing in front of her, the inscription upon the medal being Judaea capta, or devicta. The Septuagint rendering is quite in accordance with the sense, viz., καὶ καταλειφθἠση μόνη καὶ εἰς την̀ γῆν ἐδαφισθήση (cf., Luke 19:44), except that תּשׁב is not the second person, but the third, and נקּתה the third pers. pret. niph. for נקּתה - a pausal form which is frequently met with in connection with the smaller distinctive accents, such as silluk and athnach (here it occurs with tiphchah, as, for example, in Amos 3:8). The clause "sits down upon the ground" is appended ἀσυνδἔτως - a frequent construction in cases where one of two verbs defines the other in a manner which is generally expressed adverbially (vid., 1 Chronicles 13:2, and the inverted order of the words in Jeremiah 4:5; cf., Isaiah 12:6): Zion sits upon the earth in a state of utter depopulation.
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