For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good
Or, "though [they] waited for good" F18; expected to have it, yet the reverse befell them: or "verily [they were] grieved for good" F19; for the good things they had lost, or were likely to lose; and which they had no more hope of, when they saw Jerusalem in distress. Grotius thinks, by transposition of letters, Ramoth is intended by Maroth, or the many Ramahs which were in Judah and Benjamin; but Hillerus F20 is of opinion that Jarmuth is meant, a city of Judah, ( Joshua 15:35 ) ; the word Maroth signifies "bitterness"; see ( Ruth 1:20 ) ; and, according to others, "rough places"; and may design the inhabitants of such places that were in great bitterness and trouble because of the invasion of the enemy, who before that had promised themselves good things, and lived in the expectation of them: but evil came down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem;
meaning the Assyrian army under Sennacherib, which came into the land of Judea by the order, direction, and providence of God, like an overflowing flood; which spread itself over the land, and reached to the very gates of Jerusalem, which was besieged by it, and threatened with destruction: or "because evil came down" that is, "because" of that, the inhabitants of Maroth grieved, or were in pain, as a woman in travail.
F18 (yk) "quamvis".
F19 (bwjl hlx yk) "certe doluit propter bonum", Vatablus; "siquidem doluit", Pagninus, Montanus; "quia doluit propter bonum", Burkius.
F20 Onomast. p. 87, 951.