How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of
&c.] These are the words of Jeremiah; so the Targum introduces them,
``Jeremiah the prophet and high priest said;''and began thus, "how"; not inquiring the reasons of this distress and ruin; but as amazed and astonished at it; and commiserating the sad case of the city of Jerusalem, which a little time ago was exceeding populous; had thousands of inhabitants in it; besides those that came from other parts to see it, or trade with it: and especially when the king of Babylon had invaded the land, which drove vast numbers to Jerusalem for safety; and which was the case afterwards when besieged by the Romans; at which time, as Josephus F6 relates, there were eleven hundred thousand persons; and very probably a like number was in it before the destruction of it by the Chaldeans, who all perished through famine, pestilence, and the sword; or were carried captive; or made their escape; so that the city, as was foretold it should, came to be without any inhabitant; and therefore is represented as "sitting", which is the posture of mourners; and as "solitary", or "alone" F7, like a menstruous woman in her separation, to which it is compared, ( Lamentations 1:17 ) ; or as a leper removed from the society of men; so the Targum,
``as a man that has the plague of leprosy on his flesh, that dwells alone;''or rather as a woman deprived of her husband and children; as follows: [how] is she become as a widow!
``she that was great among the people, and ruled over the provinces that paid tribute to her, returns to be depressed; and after this to give tribute to them.''