The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children,
&c.] Such as were naturally, and agreeably to their sex, pitiful and compassionate; merciful to the poor, as the Targum; and especially tenderhearted to their own offspring; yet, by reason of the soreness of the famine, became so cruel and hardhearted, as to take their own children, and slay them with their own hands, cut them to pieces, put them into a pot of water, and make a fire and boil them, and then eat them, as follows: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people:
at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. This strange and unnatural action was foretold by Moses, ( Deuteronomy 28:56 Deuteronomy 28:57 ) ; and though we have no particular instance of it on record, as done at the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, yet no doubt there was, as may be concluded from the words: and at the siege of it by the Romans, when many things here spoken of had a fuller accomplishment, we have a remarkable instance of it, which Josephus F1 relates; an illustrious woman, named Mary, pressed with the famine, slew her own son, a sucking child, boiled him, and ate part of him, and laid up the rest; which was found by the seditious party that broke into her house, which struck them with the utmost horror; (See Gill on Lamentations 2:20).
F1 De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 3. sect. 4.