Speak unto all the people of the land
Of Judea, who had sent these men on this errand, and whom they represented, and in whose name they spake: and to the priests;
who were consulted on this occasion: saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth;
on the seventh or tenth day of the fifth month Ab, on account of the temple being burnt by Nebuchadnezzar: and seventh [month];
the month Tisri, which answers to September; on the third day of this month a fast was kept on account of the murder of Gedaliah, ( Jeremiah 41:1 ) though Kimchi says he was slain on the first day of the month; but, because that was a feast day, keeping a day for a fast on this occasion was fixed on the day following: even those seventy years;
of their captivity, during which they kept the above fasts. The Jews say F23 there was no fast of the congregation, or public fast, kept in Babylon, but on the ninth of Ab, or the fifth month only; and if so, other fasts here, and in ( Zechariah 8:19 ) , must be private ones. These seventy years are to be reckoned from the nineteenth of Nebuchadnezzar, when the city was destroyed, to the second or fourth of Darius: did ye at all fast unto me, [even] to me?
the fast they kept was not according to the command of God, but an appointment of theirs; nor was it directed to his glory; nor was it any profit or advantage to him; and therefore it was nothing to him whether they fasted or not; see ( Isaiah 58:3-7 ) .
F23 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 54. 2.