Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children,
All, of them objects of compassion, because of their age and sex; and yet none to be spared; and which orders were exactly obeyed; see ( 2 Chronicles 36:17 ) ; but come not near any man on whom [is] the mark;
these were not to be slain; and though some were carried captive, as Daniel, and others; yet it was for their good and God's glory; see ( Revelation 7:3 Revelation 7:4 ) ( Revelation 9:3 Revelation 9:4 ) ; and begin at my sanctuary;
the temple, the house of God, and the priests and Levites that dwelt there. The Septuagint version is, "begin at my saints"; those who professed themselves to be the saints of the Lord, and were separated and devoted to his service; and so the Rabbins say F25, do not read (yvdqmm) , "at my sanctuary"; but (yvdwqmm) , "at those that sanctify me", or "my sanctified ones"; which they interpret of those that keep the whole law, from "aleph" to "tau"; see ( 1 Peter 4:17 ) ; then they began at the ancient men which [were] before the house;
the seventy elders of Israel, who offered incense to the idols portrayed upon the walls of the chambers of the temple, ( Ezekiel 8:10 Ezekiel 8:11 ) ; these they slew first.
F25 T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 4. 1.