Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was
Alluding to the case of an infant when born, which comes naked into the world; and referring to the state and condition of the Israelites in Egypt, which was the time of their nativity, as a people and church; see ( Ezekiel 16:4 ) , and when they were in a state of servitude and bondage, and had no wealth and substance, and without possessions and lands, and had no country of their own to inhabit; and signifying that this should be their case again, if they persisted in their idolatry, impenitence, and unbelief; as has been the case of the ten tribes upon their captivity, when they were stripped of all their wealth and riches, carried away out of their own land, and scattered among the nations, and have never returned since; and as was the case of the Jews in their last destruction, for the rejection of Christ, they were stripped of their civil and religious privileges, of their temporal and spiritual mercies as a nation and church; what they feared is come upon them, that the Romans would come and take away their place and nation, ( John 11:48 ) and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land;
having some respect to her former condition in the wilderness, where they had no food nor drink but what they had from God, as Abarbinel thinks; or else to the destruction and consumption of them in the wilderness, their carcasses falling there, who sinned against the Lord, as the Targum and Jarchi; and denoting the utter destruction of their commonwealth and church, when their land was laid waste, their city destroyed, their house and temple left desolate and burnt, and they deprived of all the necessaries of life, which was their case at their last destruction by the Romans; and to this day they are as they are described, ( Hosea 3:4 ) : and slay her with thirst;
after their vainly expected Messiah, which has brought them to desperation; or with a thirst, not for water, but of hearing the word of the Lord, ( Amos 8:11 ) , the Gospel, and the ordinances of it, being taken away from them, and the clouds ordered to drop down no rain upon them; that is, the ministers of the word not to preach the Gospel to them; and so are left destitute of the means of grace, and of spiritual life, and of escaping eternal death, ( Matthew 21:43 ) ( Isaiah 5:6 ) . The Targum of the whole is,
``lest I remove my Shechinah from her, and take away her glory, and set her forsaken, as in the days of old, before she came to my worship; and my fury shall remain upon her, as it remained upon the people of that generation that transgressed my law in the wilderness; and I will set the land desolate, and kill her with thirst.''