I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness
Or, "I beheld, and, lo, Carmel was a wilderness"; which was a particular part of the land of Israel, and was very fertile, and abounded in pastures and fruit trees, and yet this, as the rest, became desolate as a wilderness; see ( Isaiah 32:15 ) ( 35:2 ) though it may be put for the whole land, which was very fruitful; and so the Targum,
``I saw, and, lo, the land of Israel, which was planted as Carmel, was turned to be as a wilderness:''and all the cities thereof;
not of Carmel only, but of the whole land: were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger;
for though this was done by the Chaldeans, yet it was by the will and appointment of God, and as a token of his fierce anger against the people of the Jews, for their sins and transgressions. Jarchi cites a Midrash Agadah, or an allegorical exposition of this place, which interprets the "mountains", the Jewish fathers; the "hills", the mothers, and their merits; "no man", the worthiness of Moses, who was meeker than any man; and "Carmel", Elijah; without any manner of foundation.