Israel [is] a scattered sheep
Or like a sheep that is frightened and drove from the fold, and is dispersed, and wanders about here and there; Israel includes all the twelve tribes: the lions have driven [him] away;
from his own land, and carried him captive, and scattered him among the nations; these lions are afterwards interpreted of the kings of Assyria and Babylon: so the Targum,
``kings have removed them;''
comparable to lions for their strength, fierceness, and voraciousness: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him
eaten up his flesh; meaning Shalmaneser king of Assyria, who carried captive the ten tribes, that never returned, and therefore said to be devoured: and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones
or, "boned him" F20
; took out his bones, all his strength and substance; or took the flesh off of them, stripped him of all his wealth and riches, reduced him to his bones, made a mere skeleton of him: we, with Kimchi and Ben Melech, and others, read "broke his bones"; to get the very marrow out, that nothing may be left of him: he took Jerusalem, burnt the temple, and carried captive the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the strength of Israel; so, between the one and the other, all Israel were like a scattered sheep, dispersed among the nations. Nebuchadrezzar was the then reigning king in Babylon when this prophecy was delivered, and therefore called "this Nebuchadrezzar".