And shall lay thee even with the ground
Beat down all the houses in it, the stately edifices, and even the temple itself; (See Gill on Matthew 24:2)
and thy children within thee;
that is, the inhabitants of the place should be slain with the sword of the enemy, and so fall to the ground, and lie upon it;
and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon anther;
such a consummate, and entire desolation shall be made, as was foretold by Daniel, ( Daniel 9:27 )
because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation;
in which the dayspring from on high had visited them with his personal presence, preaching among them, and working miracles; and yet they knew him not, but despised and rejected him; yea, after that they had put him to death, and he was risen again, he ordered his disciples to begin their ministry, and preach the Gospel, at Jerusalem; and they continued for some time only preaching to them, or at least rarely elsewhere, till they put away the Gospel from them. The time of the ministry of John the Baptist, of Christ, and his apostles in Judea, was the time of Jerusalem's visitation in a way of mercy; which not being taken notice of, and observed, brought another kind of visitation upon them, even in a way of wrath and vengeance. The Jews pretend to assign other causes of Jerusalem's destruction; but the true cause was their rejection of Jesus, as the Messiah.
``Says Abai, Jerusalem was not destroyed, but because they profaned the sabbath, as it is said, ( Ezekiel 22:26 ) "and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths" Says R. Abhu, Jerusalem was not destroyed, but because they ceased reading the "Shema (hear, O Israel") morning and evening, as it is said, ( Isaiah 5:11-13 ) woe to them that rise up early" Says Rab. Hamenuna, Jerusalem was not destroyed, but because there ceased in it the children of the school of Rabban, (children were not put to school,) as it is said ( Jeremiah 6:11 ) "I will pour it out upon the children" Says Ula, Jerusalem was not destroyed, but because there was no shame among them, as it is said, ( Jeremiah 6:15 ) "were they ashamed" Says R. Isaac, Jerusalem was not destroyed, but because small and great were put upon a level, as it is said, ( Isaiah 24:2 Isaiah 24:3 ) "as with the people, so with the priest" Says R. Amram, the son of R. Simeon bar Aba, R. Chanina said, Jerusalem was not destroyed, but because they did not reprove one another, as it is said, ( Lamentations 1:6 ) "her princes are become like harts" Says R. Judah, Jerusalem was not destroyed, but because they despised the disciples of the wise men, as it is said; ( 2 Chronicles 36:16 ) but they mocked the messengers of God" F21.''Thus they shifted off the true cause of their ruin, and ascribed it to other things.
F21 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 119. 2.