Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of
Such as travellers take up with in a desert, when they are benighted, and cannot reach a town or village. This the prophet chose, partly that he might have an opportunity to give vent to his grief, being alone; for which reason he did not desire to be in cities and populous places, where he might be amused and diverted while his people were in distress: and partly to show his sympathy, not being able to bear the sight of their misery; and also some degree of indignation at their impieties, which had brought ruin upon them; on account of which it was more eligible to dwell with the wild beasts of the desert than with them in his native country: wherefore it follows, that I might leave my people, and go from them;
which of itself was not desirable; no man chooses to leave his country, his own people, and his father's house, and go into distant lands and strange countries; and especially into a wilderness, where there is neither suitable food nor agreeable company: wherefore this shows, that there must be something very bad, and very provoking, to lead him to take such a step as this: the reason follows, for they be all adulterers;
either in a literal or figurative sense; the latter seems rather intended; for though corporeal fornication and adultery might greatly prevail among them, yet not to such a height as that "all" of them were guilty; whereas idolatry did generally obtain among them: an assembly of treacherous men; not a few only, but in general they were apostates from God and from true religion, and treacherous to one another. The Septuagint calls them "a synod"; and Joseph Kimchi interprets it "a kingdom"; deriving the word from (rue) , as it signifies to have rule and dominion; denoting, that the kingdom in general was false and perfidious.