And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes,
&c.] The Targum paraphrases it,
``where the carcasses of the Assyrian army fell;''
Sennacherib's army, destroyed by an angel; and so Jarchi and Kimchi; which latter observes, that the word for "ashes" signifies "fat"; and so may describe the persons then destroyed, who were fat and lusty men: others think, more probably, that the valley of Tophet or Hinnom is here meant; so called, either from the persons that were burnt and sacrificed to Moloch; or from the carcasses of malefactors interred here; and from the ashes of the sacrifices which were brought from the temple, and laid here. This valley lay southwest of the city; it was a ditch at the foot of the mount of Calvary; where, as Monsieur Thevenot
F19 says, now stands the chapel of the invention of the cross: and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron;
such as the potters and fullers' fields, which lay to the south of the city, or more to the east, where Kidron was situated: unto the corner of the horse gate towards the east;
and so the compass is fetched round the city to the eastern part of it, from whence it began, even to the tower of Hananeel, which was on the east of this horse gate; see ( 2 Kings 11:16 ) ( Nehemiah 3:28 ) . The Targum renders it,
``to the corner of the gate of the house of the king's course;'' supposed to be the gate at which the king's horses went in and out, when led to be watered or exercised: [shall be] holy unto the Lord;
that is, the whole city in its utmost compass thus rebuilt, yea, even the out parts of it, and those that were defiled with the carcasses of men, and ashes of the burnt offerings. It seems to respect the extensive holiness of the church of God in the latter day; compare with it ( Zechariah 14:10 Zechariah 14:20 Zechariah 14:21 ) ; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever;
which, if understood literally of the city of Jerusalem, can only signify, that it should not be destroyed soon, but should continue a long time; for certain it is, that after it was rebuilt by Zerubbabel, it was plucked up, and thrown down by the Romans, and particularly by Hadrian, who ploughed it up, and built another city, and called it by his own name; but this figuratively rather intends the church of Christ, which is built on him the Rock, and so is immovable; and, like Mount Zion, shall abide for ever.
F19 Travels, par. 1. ch. 39. p. 189.