The burden of the valley of vision
A prophecy concerning Jerusalem, so called, because it lay in a valley, encompassed about with mountains, and which was the habitation of the prophets or seers, and the seat of vision and prophecy; and perhaps there is an allusion to its name, which signifies the vision of peace, or they shall see peace. The Septuagint version calls it, "the word of the valley of Sion"; and the Arabic version,
``a prophecy concerning the inhabitants of the valley of Sion, to wit, the fields which are about Jerusalem.''The Targum is,
``the burden of the prophecy concerning the city which dwells in the valley, of which the prophets prophesied;''by all which it appears, that not the whole land of Judea is thought to be meant, only the city of Jerusalem, so called, not from its low estate into which it would fall, through the wickedness of the people, and so rather to be called a valley than a mountain, as Kimchi; but from its situation, it being, as Josephus F8 says, fortified with three walls, except on that side at which it was encircled with inaccessible valleys; and hence it may be, that one of its gates is called the valley gate, ( Nehemiah 2:13 ) ( 3:13 ) and besides, there was a valley in it, between the mountains of Zion and Acra, which divided the upper and lower city, as he also elsewhere says F9. The burden of it is a heavy prophecy of calamities that should come upon it, or at least of a fright it should be put into, not in the times of Nebuchadnezzar, when it was taken and destroyed, as Jarchi and Kimchi, and another Jew Jerom makes mention of; nor in the times of Titus Vespasian, according to Eusebius, as the said Jerom relates; but in the times of Hezekiah, when Judea was invaded, and Jerusalem besieged by Sennacherib: what aileth thee now?
or, "what to thee now?" F11 what is come to thee? what is the matter with thee now? how comes this strange and sudden change? that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?
not to burn incense to the queen of heaven, which was sometimes done, and is the sense of some mentioned by Aben Ezra; but either for safety, to secure themselves from their enemies; or to take a view of them, and observe their motions, and cast from thence their arrows and darts at them; or to look out for help, or to mourn over their distresses, and implore help of the Lord; see ( Isaiah 15:2 Isaiah 15:3 ) and this was the case, not only of some, but of them all; so that there was scarce a man to be seen in the streets, or in the lower parts of their houses, but were all gone up to the tops of them, which were built with flat roofs and battlements about them, ( Deuteronomy 22:8 ) .
F8 De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 1.
F9 Ib. l. 6. c. 6.
F11 (Kl hm) "quid tibi accidit?" Vatablus; "quid tibi nunc est?" Piscator.