He cropped off the top of his young twigs
By which are meant the princes of the land, or the several branches of the royal family; the top of which was King Jeconiah, who was but young and tender, being but eighteen years of age when he began his reign, and this was within three months after; and who was no more able to withstand the force of the king of Babylon, than a tender twig so ravenous a bird as an eagle, ( 2 Kings 24:8 ) ; whose superior power and strength is signified by the cropping off of a tender twig: and carried it into a land of traffic;
not into the land of Canaan, as the Septuagint, and some other versions, literally render it; but into Babylon, which was become a place of great merchandise, through the great concourse of people to it, and the large additions made to the empire: he set it in a city of merchants;
meaning the city of Babylon, perhaps in particular, as distinct from the country before mentioned: the word for "merchants" signifies "apothecaries" or "druggists" F16; and may design such merchants as traded in sweet spices and aromatic drugs. The words may be rendered, "and brought it out of the land of Canaan" F17; out of which Jeconiah and his nobles were carried by the king of Babylon; so the particle (la) sometimes signifies "from", or "out of", as in ( 1 Kings 8:30 ) ; and others F18, "and in a city of merchants he set it"; in Babylon, famous for merchants; whom the Jews, being captives, were obliged to attend in a servile manner.