At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem
All his divinations, whether by arrows, or by images, or by liver, all directed him to his right hand, to turn to that which led to Jerusalem; and thus what appeared to him to be the effect of divination was overruled by the providence of God, to direct him to go and do what he designed he should: to appoint captains to open the mouth in the slaughter;
upon which he appointed his several captains and officers their distinct bodies of men they were to lead on to the siege of Jerusalem; and give them the word of command when to attack the place, scale the walls, or make breaches in it, and fall upon the enemy, and make a slaughter of them. The word for "captains" signifies "rams"; and Joseph Kimchi interprets it of battering rams, to beat down walls; but these are after mentioned; and is both by Jarchi and David Kimchi explained of general officers of the army; and so the Targum,
``to appoint generals to open the gates, that the slayer may enter by them:''to lift up the voice with shouting;
which is usually done in sieges, when a shout is made, and a place is stormed; both to animate the besiegers, and to terrify the besieged: to appoint battering rams against the gates;
to break them down, or break through them, and so make way for the army to enter in; these were engines used in sieges, to beat down walls, and make breaches in them, that the besiegers might enter; so called from the iron heads of them, which resembled rams; and are thus described by Josephus F15,
``the ram is a huge beam, not unlike the mast of a ship; the top of it is capped with a thick piece of iron, in the form of a ram's head, from whence it has its name: this is hung by the middle with ropes to another beam, which lies across, supported by a couple of posts; and thus hanging equally balanced, is, by a great number of men violently thrust backwards and forwards, and so beats the wall with its iron head; nor is there any tower so strong, or wall so broad, as to resist its repeated strokes.''Vitruvius F16 says it was invented by the Carthaginians at the siege of Cadiz; but Pliny F17 affirms it was invented by Epeus at the siege of Troy; but the first mention of them is made by Ezekiel here, and in ( Ezekiel 4:2 ) , and Diodorus Siculus F18 affirms they were not known in the times of Sardanapalus, when Nineveh was taken by Arbaces. The Targum interprets it of officers set at the gates, as before; and so Jarchi: to cast a mount;
made up of earth, to raise their batteries upon: and to build a fort;
to cast out their arrows from thence, and protect the besiegers; (See Gill on Ezekiel 4:1).
F15 De Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 19. Vid. Valtrinum de Re Militari Roman. l. 5. c. 6. p. 526.
F16 De Architectura, l. 10. c. 19.
F17 Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 56.
F18 Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 113.