Behold, O Lord, and consider to whom thou hast done this
On whom thou hast brought these calamities of famine and sword; not upon thine enemies, but upon thine own people, that are called by thy name, and upon theirs, their young ones, who had not sinned as their fathers had: here the church does not charge God with any injustice, or complain of hard usage; only humbly entreats he would look upon her, in her misery, with an eye of pity and compassion; and consider her sorrowful condition; and remember the relation she stood in to him; and so submits her case, and leaves it with him. These words seem to be suggested to the church by the prophet, as what might be proper for her to use, when praying for the life of her young children; and might be introduced by supplying the word "saying" before "behold, O Lord" shall the women eat their fruit;
their children, the fruit of their womb, as the Targum; their newborn babes, that hung at their breasts, and were carried in their arms; it seems they did, as was threatened they should, ( Leviticus 26:29 ) ( Deuteronomy 28:57 ) ; and so they did at the siege of Samaria, and at the siege of Jerusalem, both by the Chaldeans and the Romans: [and] children of a span long?
or of a hand's breadth; the breadth of the palms of the hand, denoting very little ones: or "children handled", or "swaddled with the hands" F3; of their parents, who are used to stroke the limbs of their babes, to bring them to; and keep them in right form and shape, and swaddle them with swaddling bands in a proper manner; see ( Lamentations 2:22 ) ; and so the Targum,
``desirable children, who are wrapped in fine linen.''Jarchi F4 interprets it of Doeg Ben Joseph, whom his mother slew, and ate: shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?
as very probably some were, who fled thither for safety when the city was broken up; but were not spared by the merciless Chaldeans, who had no regard to their office and character; nor is it any wonder they should not, when the Jews themselves slew Zechariah, a priest and prophet, between the porch and the altar; of whom the Targum here makes mention; and to whom Jarchi applies these words.
F3 (Myxpj ylle) "parvulos qui educantur", Pagninus; "parvulos educationum", Montanus; "educationis", Calvin; "infantes palmationum, [sive] tractationis palmarum", Michaelis; "pueros palmis tractatos", Cocceius.
F4 E Talmud Bab. Yoma, fol. 38. 2.