For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing
Because of the desolation of them; because no pasture upon them, nor flocks feeding there; or "concerning" them, as the Arabic version; or "upon" them F25, in order to cause the lamentation to be heard the further; but the former sense seems best, as appears by what follows. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read it as an exhortation to others, "take up a weeping": but they are the words of the prophet, declaring what he would do. And for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation;
for the cottages of the shepherds, erected for their convenience, to look after their flocks, feeding on the mountains, and in the valleys; for the wilderness does not denote barren places, but pastures: because they are burnt up;
by the fire of the Chaldeans, who burnt the cottages, and drove off the cattle: so that none can pass through them;
or there is none that passes through; as no inhabitant there, so no passenger that way; which shows how very desolate these places were: neither can men hear the voice of the cattle;
the lowing of the oxen, or the bleating of the sheep, there being none to be heard, being all carried off; and indeed no men to hear them, had there been any: both the fowl of the heavens and the beasts are fled, they are gone;
or, "from the fowl of the heavens to the beasts" F26, the places lying waste and uncultivated; there were no seed for the fowls to pick up, which generally frequent places where there is sowing, and where fruit is brought to perfection; and no pasture for the beasts to feed upon. Kimchi says these words are an hyperbole. The word (hmhb) , "beast", being by geometry, or numerically, fifty two, the Jews F1 gather from hence, that for the space of fifty two years no man passed through the land of Judah; which they reckon from the time that Zedekiah was carried captive, to the commandment of Cyrus.
F25 (Myrhh le) "super montibus", Cocceius; "super montes", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.
F26 (hmhb red Mymvh Pwem) "ab ave coelorum usque ad bestiam", Schmidt.
F1 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 145. 2. & Gloss. in ib. Vid. T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 11. 1, 2.