The mighty man, and man of war
The meaning is either that these should die in war, as thousands of them did; or that men fit to be generals of armies should be removed by death before this time, so that they should have none to go out with their armies, and meet the enemy: the judge and the prophet;
there should be none to sit upon the bench, and administer justice to the people in civil affairs, and to determine causes relating to life and death; and none to instruct them in religious matters, and deliver the mind and will of God to them; and before this time the Jews were under the Roman jurisdiction, and had a Roman governor over them, and had not power to judge in capital cases, in matters of life and death, as they suggest, ( John 18:31 ) and they say F26, that forty years before the destruction of the temple this power was taken from them; and at the time that Jerusalem was besieged, and taken by the Romans, and before that, they had no prophets among them; for though there were prophets in the Christian churches, yet none among them; this shows that this prophecy cannot be understood of the Babylonish captivity, because there were prophets then, as Jeremy, Ezekiel, and Daniel, but of Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans: and the prudent and the ancient:
with whom are wisdom, and who are fit to give advice and counsel in matters of difficulty; but these would be removed by famine or sword. The first of these words is used sometimes in an ill sense, for a diviner or soothsayer, ( Deuteronomy 18:10-14 ) . The Jewish writers F1 interpret it of a king, according to ( Proverbs 16:10 ) and it is certain they were without one at this time, and have been ever since, ( Hosea 3:4 ) .
F26 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 15. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 41. 1. and Beracot, fol. 58. 1.
F1 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 14. 1. Jarchi in loc.