[And that] the whole land thereof [is] brimstone and salt,
That is, is become exceeding barren, as all such land is where there are sulphureous mines, or salt pits, or burning mountains; not that this would be, or has been the case of the land of Judea in a strict literal sense; only these are expressions made use of to show the barrenness of it, which is its case at this day, not through the nature of its soil being changed, but through the slothfulness of the inhabitants of it; to which time it better agrees than to the time of its falling into the hands of the Chaldeans, who left men in it for husbandmen and vinedressers. Aben Ezra understands this as a prayer to God, that the land might be burnt up; that is, for the sins of the people:
[that] it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein;
not being sown, it would bear and produce no corn for men; and not being manured, no grass would spring up for the cattle: and so would be
like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Admah and Zeboim;
which indeed are, strictly speaking, become a sulphurous and bituminous lake, called the salt sea, and the lake Asphaltites, and where no green grass or corn, or any kind of fruit grow: which the Lord overthrew in his anger and in his wrath the Targum of Jonathan is,
``which the Word of the Lord overthrew;''and it was Jehovah, the Word, or Son of God, who rained, from Jehovah the Father, out of heaven, fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, and the rest of the cities; (See Gill on Genesis 19:24), in which chapter is the history of this fatal overthrow.