That is, the inhabitants of Judah; those of the house of Judah, as the Targum; these mourned because of the drought and famine that were upon the land: and the gates thereof languish;
the cities of Judah, as the Targum; the inhabitants of them, which used to be supplied from the field, and out of the country; gates may be mentioned, because through the gates the provisions were brought into the city; but now none; and therefore are said to languish; or else those that sat in the gates are meant, the elders of the people, the senators, the judges, and civil magistrates; these shared in the common calamity: they are black unto the ground;
that is, the inhabitants of the cities, and those that sit in the gates, their faces are black through famine; see ( Lamentations 4:8 ) ( 5:10 ) , so the Targum,
``their faces are covered with blackness, they are black as a pot;''and which they turned to the ground, and looked downwards, not being able to lift them up through the sorrow and distress they were in, and through faintness of spirit for want of food: and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up:
meaning the cry and lamentation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem because of the famine, for that city was not exempted from it, it having its supply from the country; or the prayer of them, and of the people from all parts got together there, which went up to heaven for rain: it being usual, in times of common distress, for the people in the country to come up to Jerusalem to the temple to pray to God, and particularly for rain, when there was a want of it.