When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken
This city is compared to a tree, whose branches are not only gnawed and consumed by cattle, as in the former verse ( Isaiah 27:10 ) ; but which, in a hot dry summer, are withered and dried up, and so are easily broken, and are fit for nothing but the fire; hence it follows: the women come [and] set them on fire;
or "gather" them F6 in order to burn them; as is commonly done with withered branches, ( John 15:6 ) it may design the burning of the whore of Rome by the kings of the earth; for as antichrist is signified by a woman, so the ten kings that shall hate her, and burn her flesh with fire, may be signified by women; see ( Revelation 17:16 ) . The word here used signifies to illuminate, or give light, which is done when wood is set on fire; hence the Vulgate Latin renders it, "women coming, and teaching it"; and so the Targum,
``women shall come into the house of their gods, and teach them;''
as the woman Jezebel does, ( Revelation 2:20
) the former sense is best: for it [is] a people of no understanding
or "understandings": that is, the people that inhabit the above city, they are sottish and stupid, have no understanding of God and divine things, of the Scriptures, and the doctrines of them; among whom this maxim obtains, that ignorance is the mother of devotion; they are under a judicial blindness, are given up to strong delusions to believe a lie, ( 2 Thessalonians 2:10 2 Thessalonians 2:11
) : therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them; and he that formed them will show them no favour
but his wrath shall be poured out upon them to the uttermost, which will be fulfilled in the seven vials, and in the destruction of Rome, and the everlasting ruin of the worshippers of the man of sin; see ( Revelation 16:1-19
) ( 18:10
) ( Revelation 14:10 Revelation 14:11
) no argument can be taken from men's being God's creatures and offspring, and from his being the former and maker of them, to their salvation; or because they are so, therefore shall be saved when they are sinful and sottish; for, being like brutes without understanding, they shall perish as they, without mercy.
F6 So Abendana in Miclol Yophi observes, this is the sense some give of the word, taking it to be the same as is used in Cant. v. 1.