The sinners in Zion are afraid, and fearfulness hath
surprised the hypocrites
Meaning not persons of such a character that dwelt in Jerusalem, who had the guise and form of religion, and not the power of it, and were for fleeing to Egypt, and trusting in Pharaoh, and not in the Lord; who were seized with dread and terror, when the Assyrian army besieged them, or when it was so awfully destroyed by the angel in the night; when, observing the visible and immediate hand of God in it, they might fear the like judgment would fall upon them for their irreligion and hypocrisy; but rather formal professors, and hypocritical persons, in the reformed churches, or Protestants having only a form of godliness, without the power of it, are meant; who, observing God's judgments upon antichrist, shall be seized with a panic, lest the like should come down upon them for their hypocrisy and deceit; unless it should be rather thought that antichrist, and his followers themselves, are designed, who himself is said to sit in the temple of God, and who claim to themselves the name of the church of God, and pretend to be Christians, though they are not; when they shall see the city of Rome in flames, and the vials of God's wrath poured on the antichristian states, shall dread the vengeance of eternal fire, which they express in the following words: Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us
shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
that is, the wrath of God in hell, which is the fire that feeds upon and devours Christless sinners; which shall never be quenched, and is called everlasting fire, in which the followers of antichrist will be tormented for ever; and the smoke of which will ascend for ever and ever, and will be intolerable; none will be able to abide and endure it; see ( Revelation 14:9-11 ) . So the Targum interprets it of the place where the ungodly are to be judged and delivered into hell, an everlasting burning.