For, lo, they are gone, because of destruction
That is, many of the people of Israel were gone out of their own land to others, particularly to Egypt, because of the destruction that was coming upon them, and to avoid it; because of the Assyrian army which invaded their land, and besieged Samaria, and threatened them with entire destruction; and upon which a famine ensued, and which is thought by Kimchi to be here particularly meant; Egypt shall gather them up:
being dead; for they shall die there, perhaps by the pestilence, and never return to their own country, as they flattered themselves; and they shall make preparations for their funeral: Memphis shall bury them;
or they shall be buried there; which was a principal city in Egypt, here called Moph, in ( Isaiah 19:13 ) , Noph. It was the metropolis of upper Egypt, and the seat of the Egyptian kings. In it, as Plutarch says F20, was the sepulchre of Osiris; and some say its name so signifies. Near to it were the famous pyramids, as Strabo F21 says, supposed to be built for the sepulchre of them. Herodotus F23 places these pyramids at Memphis, and says there were three of them; the largest had several subterraneous chambers in it; the next in size had none; the smallest was covered with Ethiopic marble. Strabo, in the place referred to, speaks of many pyramids near it, of which three were very remarkable, and expressly says they were the burying places of the kings. Diodorus F24 agrees with these, as to the number of them, but places them fifteen miles from Memphis. Pliny F25 places them between Memphis and the Delta, six miles from Memphis; pretty near to which is Strabo's account, who in the above place says, they stood forty furlongs, or five miles, from the city. Near it was the lake of Charon or Acherusia, over which he ferried dead bodies from Memphis to the pyramids, or to the plains of the mummies, the Elysian fields. Now since this was so famous for the burying places of kings, there may be an allusion to it in this expression. Here also were buried their deities, the Apis or ox when it died; the pleasant [places] for their silver, nettles shall possess them;
such beautiful edifices as were made for the repositories or treasure houses for their silver; or were built or purchased at great expense of silver; or were decorated with it; now should lie in ruins, and be like a waste, desert, and desolate place, all overrun with nettles, and uninhabited: briers [shall be] in their tabernacles;
their dwelling houses, which being demolished, briers shall grow upon the ground where they stood, and overspread it; another token of desolation. The Targum interprets it of living creatures, beasts of prey, that should dwell there; wild cats particularly.
F20 De Iside & Osir. p. 359.
F21 Geograph. l. 17. p. 555.
F23 Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 8. 126, 127.
F24 Bibliothec. l. 1. p 57.
F25 Nat. Hist. l. 36. c. 12.