Sanctify yea a fast
This is spoken to the priests, whose business it was to appoint a fast, as the Targum renders it; or to set apart a time for such religious service, as the word signifies; and to keep it holy themselves, and see that it was so kept by others: Kimchi interprets it, prepare the people for a fast; give them notice of it, that they may be prepared for it: call a solemn assembly;
of all the people of the land later mentioned: or, "proclaim a restraint" F23; a time of ceasing, as a fast day should be from all servile work, that attendance may be given to the duties of it, prayer and humiliation: gather the elders:
meaning not those in age, but in office: [and] all the inhabitants of the land;
not the magistrates only, though first and principally, as examples, who had been deeply concerned in guilt; but the common people also, even all of them: [into] the house of the Lord your God;
the temple, the court of the Israelites, where they were to go and supplicate the Lord, when such a calamity as this of locusts and caterpillars were upon them; and where they might hope the Lord would hear them, and remove his judgments from them, ( 1 Kings 8:37 ) ; and cry unto the Lord;
in prayer, with vehemence and earnestness of soul.