Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people
Because of their wickedness and vain confidence, the Assyrian army should invade them; which would cause a tumultuous noise to be made throughout the tribes in all cities and towns, a cry, a howling, and lamentation; especially among fearful and timorous ones as women and children; who would be thrown into a panic at hearing the news of a powerful foreign enemy entering their country, and laying waste all before them; a voice of clamour, as Jarchi observes, crying, flee, flee: and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled;
the strong holds, in which they put their confidence for safety; everyone of these should be taken and demolished by the enemy, in all parts of the kingdom; so that there should be none left to flee unto no place of retreat: as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle;
that is, Shalmaneser king of Assyria, his name being abbreviated, as Bethaven is called Aven, ( Hosea 10:8 ) ; who had lately, though there in no account of it elsewhere, spoiled this place, demolished its fortresses, and destroyed the inhabitants of it; which is thought to be either the city of Arbel beyond Jordan, in the Apocrypha:
``Who went forth by the way that leadeth to Galgala, and pitched their tents before Masaloth, which is in Arbela, and after they had won it, they slew much people.'' (1 Maccabees 9:2)which Josephus F11 calls a city of Galilee, and sometimes a village; and which, according to him, was not far from Sipphore, and in lower Galilee near to which thieves and robbers dwelt in caves and dens, difficult to come at; and so a Jewish writer F12 places Arbel between Sipphore and Tiberias; and elsewhere F13 mention is made of the valley of Arbel, near to these places: and Jerom F14 says, there was the village Arbel beyond Jordan, on the borders of Pella, a city of Palestine; and another of this name in the large plain, nine miles from the town of Legio: and he also speaks of an Arbela, the border of the tribe of Judah to the east; perhaps the same with Harbaalah, whence Arbela, or the mount of Baalah, ( Joshua 15:11 ) ; now one or other of these places might be laid waste by this king of Assyria, in the first year of Hoshea, when he came up against him, and made him tributary: though some think Arbela in Assyria or Armenia is meant, famous for the utter defeat of Darius by Alexander, four hundred years after this, when it might have been rebuilt, and become considerable again: some of the Jewish writers F15 say there was a place near Nineveh so called; Benjamin of Tudela says F16, from Nineveh to Arbel is one "parsa", or four miles: and others F17 think Samaria itself is meant; but that cannot be, since the destruction of that city is here prophesied of, which should be as this: some conjecture it was the temple of a deity called Arbel, as Schmidt: but, be it what or where it will, here was a great devastation and slaughter made; which at this time was well known, and to which the desolation that would be made in the land of Israel is compared. The Vulgate Latin version is, "as Salmana was wasted by the house of him who judged Baal in the day of battle"; which patrons and defenders of interpret of the slaughter of Zalmunna by Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon; but the names of the one and the other are very different; nor does the text speak of the slaughter of a prince, but of the destruction of a city, and not of Shalman, but of Arbel; and refers not to an ancient, but recent history. Mr. Whiston F18 places the spoil of Arbela in the year 3272 A.M. or before Christ 732; the mother was dashed in pieces with [her] children:
women big with child, or having their children in their arms, had no mercy shown them, but were destroyed together; so it had been at Arbel, and would be again in Israel, which was dreadful to think of: according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, Arbel was the name of a great man in those days, whose family, meant by beth or a house, was thus cruelly destroyed.
F11 Antiqu. l. 12. c. 11. sect. 1. & l. 14. c. 15. sect. 4. In Vita sua, sect. 69. p. 922, 934.
F12 Juchasin, fol. 65. 1.
F13 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 2, 3. & Taaniot, fol. 69. 2. Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 34. 3.
F14 De locis Heb. fol. 87. L.
F15 Juchasin, ut supra. (fol. 65. 1.)
F16 Itinerar. p. 62.
F17 Juchasin, ib. (fol. 65. 1.) R. Joseph Kimchi in David Kimchi in loc.
F18 Chronological Tables, cent. 8.