He hath forsaken his covert as a lion
Which some understand of God leaving Jerusalem, or the temple, where he dwelt; who, while he made it his residence, protected it; but when he forsook it, it became exposed to the enemy. Kimchi says it may be understood of the destruction of the first temple by Nebuchadnezzar; but he thinks it is most correct to interpret it of the destruction of the second temple; that is, by the Romans, when it was left desolate by Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. But it may be understood of Nebuchadnezzar leaving Babylon, his den, and ranging about like a ]ion for his prey; see ( Jeremiah 4:7 ) ( 50:17 ) . So the Targum,
``and a king has removed from his tower or fortress;''and the land is desolate;
the land of Judea, or whatsoever country he comes into with his army; that, or Egypt, or any other: because of the fierceness of the oppressor;
the tyrant Nebuchadnezzar; or "oppressing sword" F23, as some supply it, it being feminine; and so the Targum,
``from before the sword of the enemy.''Some render it, "because of the fierceness of the dove"; so the Vulgate Latin; and understand it of the Babylonians or Chaldeans; who, as the Romans had an eagle, they had the dove on their standards or ensigns; which they received from the Assyrians, when they succeeded them in their monarchy; and those from Semiramis their first queen, who had it, it is said, on her standard F24; and was retained in honour of her, and in memory of her being nourished by a dove, and turned into one after her death, as commonly believed F25; and who had her name, as is affirmed F26, from the word (arymu) , "semira", signifying, in the Chaldee language, the song or cooing of the dove; but fierceness ill agrees with the dove, which is a meek and harmless creature; and because of his fierce anger;
either of God, or of the king of Babylon his instrument, in destroying nations; not Judea only, but many others.
F23 (hnwyh) "gladii opprimentis", Junius & Tremellius; "gladii abripientis", Piscator. So Gataker and Ben Melech.
F24 R. David Gantz, Tzemach David, par. 2. fol. 4. 1. Vid. Lydium, de Re Militare, l. 3. c. 7. p. 83, 84.
F25 Vid. Diodor. Sicul l. 2. p. 92, 107. Ed. Rhodoman.
F26 R. Azarias, Meor, Enayim, c. 21. fol. 89. 2. Vid Selden, De Dieu, Syris, l. 2. c. 3. p. 275.