My people hath been lost sheep
like lost sheep, without a shepherd, going astray the fold, wandering from place to place, having none to take care of them, guide and direct them, or to go in and out before them, and lead them into suitable pastures; so it was with the Jews in the Babylonish captivity, and so it is with them now, and yet the Lord's people still in some sense; he has a design of grace concerning them, a store of mercy for them, and thoughts of peace towards them, which will take place in due time; and such is the case of all God's elect in a state of nature, they are sheep, but lost sheep, and yet his people; their shepherds have caused them to go astray;
from God and his worship, from the true religion; so their civil and ecclesiastical governors, their kings, princes, priests, and prophets, were the causes of leading them into errors, by their laws, doctrines, and examples; so Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of their kings; but the Targum seems to understand it of other kings, that carried them captive,
``kings carried them away, rulers spoiled them;''so their priests and Rabbins now cause them to err from the true Messiah, his Gospel and ordinances, as their false Christs and false prophets have done in all ages since the times of Christ; they have turned them away [on] the mountains;
or, "to" them F5; where idols were worshipped, as Jarchi; this was their case before and at the Babylonish captivity, though never since: or, "from the mountains" F6; from the mountains of Israel, and the good pastures there; from the Gospel of Christ, and the ordinances of it; they have gone from mountain to hill;
from one religion to another, from duty to duty, seeking rest and happiness there, in the law of Moses, and traditions of the elders; or from kingdom to kingdom, wandering about from place to place, as they do to this day; they have forgotten their resting place;
either the land of Canaan, which was their rest, ( Deuteronomy 12:9 ) ; or rather God himself, the resting place of his people, ( Psalms 116:7 ) ; or the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose person, blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and fulness, is the true rest of his people; and which is forgotten when men rest in themselves and their duties, and seek elsewhere than in Christ for peace and comfort.
F5 (Myrh) "ad montes", Vatablus. So R. Jonah in Ben Melech.
F6 "A montibus", Piscator.