All the land shall be turned as a plain
That is, all the land of Israel round about Jerusalem, which was encompassed with mountains, ( Psalms 125:2 ) but now these mountains shall become a plain, that that may be seen; since it follows, from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem;
Geba was a city in the tribe of Benjamin, on the northern border of the land, ( Joshua 21:17 ) and Rimmon was in the tribe of Judah, given to Simeon on the southern part, ( Joshua 15:32 ) ( 19:7 ) so that from Geba to Rimmon was the same as from Geba to Beersheba, which was in the same tribe, ( 2 Kings 23:8 ) and, according to the Jewish writers, the south of Jerusalem was a plain; wherefore the meaning seems to be, that the whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, should be like that. Jerom makes mention of a village called Remmon in his time, fifteen miles to the north of Jerusalem, which cannot be the place here meant, and yet speaks of it as in the tribe of Simeon or Judah; and afterwards takes notice of another village called Remmus in Daroma, or the south F13; to me it seems that Geba and Rimmon were places near one to another, and both in the tribe of Benjamin; see ( 1 Samuel 14:2 ) where the word rendered "pomegranate" is Rimmon, and is the proper name of a place, according to some; the same with that in ( Judges 20:47 ) where was a rock called the rock Rimmon; and Jonathan ben Uzziel, on ( 1 Samuel 14:2 ) renders it, "the plain of the pomegranate"; or rather the plain of Rimmon: and the Jews make mention in their Talmud F14 of the valley of Rimmon, where seven elders met to intercalate the year; and here, they say, was a marble rock, in which everyone fastened a nail, and therefore it is called the rock of nails. Now the sense seems to be, that all the land of Israel should become a plain, like the valley that was between Geba and Rimmon. Jarchi interprets it of the whole world. And this will be literally true of the new earth, in the thousand years' reign, which will be without hills mountains, and seas, ( Revelation 21:1 ) . It may be mystically understood of the spiritual reign of Christ, when the whole world will become Christian; when Jews and Gentiles, and even the kings of the earth, shall bow the knee to Christ, and be subject to him. And it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place;
that is, Jerusalem, which shall appear very high, all the land round about being a plain; and, being rebuilt, shall be inhabited on the same spot of ground it formerly was: or the church may be meant, which in the latter day will be greatly exalted, and will be filled with, and inhabited by, some of all the nations of the world, ( Isaiah 2:2 Isaiah 2:3 ) : from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate;
not that called the high gate of Benjamin, and which was near the temple, ( Jeremiah 20:2 ) and seems to be one of its gates; and such an one there was, which in Arabic was called "Bab Alasbat", the gate of the tribes, where was the pool of the blood of the sacrifices; and is said to be not far from another gate, called the gate of mercy F15; but this is that which led out of the city, and was one of its gates towards the land of Benjamin, from whence it had its name, and through which Jeremiah attempted to go when he was stopped by the captain of the ward, ( Jeremiah 37:13 ) this, according to Grotius, was on the north of Jerusalem: Mr. Fuller F16 places it more rightly in the northeast part of it, as does Adrichomius F17, who wrongly confounds it with the corner gate later mentioned, which is here manifestly distinguished from it; and which mistake also Schindler F18 gives into, and likewise Arias Montanus F19 and others. "The first gate" is the same with "the old gate" in ( Nehemiah 3:6 ) ( 12:39 ) . Unto the corner gate;
the gate of Benjamin, and the gate of Ephraim, are the same, as is thought by Grotius; the distance between that gate and the corner gate was four hundred cubits, ( 2 Kings 14:13 ) : and [from] the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses;
mention is made of the tower of Hananeel in ( Nehemiah 3:1 ) ( 12:39 ) ( Jeremiah 31:38 ) it was to the south of Jerusalem; and is called in the Targum the tower of Pikkus: "the king's winepresses" doubtless were where his vineyards were; King Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon, ( Song of Solomon 8:11 ) . Grotius says the place where these winepresses were was at Sion, in the inmost part of the city; and so Adrichomius F20 places them in Mount Sion; though Kimchi speaks of them as without the city; and Jarchi makes mention of an Agadah, or exposition, which interprets them of the great ocean, which reaches from Jerusalem to the end of the world, the lakes which the King of kings has made. Very probably these places lay east, west, north, and south; and so denote the amplitude of the city, and the largeness and extensiveness of the church of Christ, signified thereby; see ( Ezekiel 48:1-35 ) .
F13 De locis Heb. fol. 94. A. C.
F14 T. Hieros. Chagiga, fol. 78. 4.
F15 Cippi Hebr. p. 22. Geograph. Nub. p. 114.
F16 Pisgah-Sight of Palestine, B. 3. c. 3. sect. 15. p. 322.
F17 Theatrum Terrae Sanct. p. 167.
F18 Lexic. Pentaglott. col. 1912.
F19 Nehemias, sive de Antiqu. Jerus. situ.
F20 Theatrum Terrae Sanct. Jerusalem, No. 25. p. 152.