1:8-16 The prophet laments that Israel's case is desperate; but declare it not in Gath. Gratify not those that make merry with the sins or with the sorrows of God's Israel. Roll thyself in the dust, as mourners used to do; let every house in Jerusalem become a house of Aphrah, a house of dust. When God makes the house dust it becomes us to humble ourselves to the dust under his mighty hand. Many places should share this mourning. The names have meanings which pointed out the miseries coming upon them; thereby to awaken the people to a holy fear of Divine wrath. All refuges but Christ, must be refuges of lies to those who trust in them; other heirs will succeed to every inheritance but that of heaven; and all glory will be turned into shame, except that honour which cometh from God only. Sinners may now disregard their neighbours' sufferings, yet their turn to be punished will some come.
8. Therefore I will wail—The prophet first shows how the coming judgment affects himself, in order that he might affect the minds of his countrymen similarly.
stripped—that is, of shoes, or sandals, as the Septuagint translates. Otherwise "naked" would be a tautology.
naked—"Naked" means divested of the upper garment (Isa 20:2). "Naked and barefoot," the sign of mourning (2Sa 15:30). The prophet's upper garment was usually rough and coarse-haired (2Ki 1:8; Zec 13:4).
like the dragons—so Jerome. Rather, "the wild dogs," jackals or wolves, which wail like an infant when in distress or alone [Maurer]. (See on Job 30:29).
owls—rather, "ostriches," which give a shrill and long-drawn, sigh-like cry, especially at night.