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.