For thus saith the LORD unto the king's house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.
Gilead — Gilead was a country fertile for pastures; upon which account the Reubenites and Gadites, being men whose estate lay in cattle, begged it of Moses for their portion. Lebanon also was a very pleasant place: they were both in the lot of Gad and Manasseh. Perhaps God compares the king of Judah's house to these places, in regard of the height and nobleness of the structure, or for the pleasantness and delightfulness of it.
 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.
Weep not — For Josiah your dead prince. Josiah is happy, you need not trouble yourselves for him; but weep for Jehoahaz, who is to go into captivity.
 For thus saith the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:
Shallum — Most think that this Shallum was Jehoahaz.
Went forth — He was carried away from Jerusalem presently after he was set up, imprisoned at Riblah, and died in Egypt.
 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the LORD.
Was not this — They only truly know God who obey him; men vainly pretend to piety who are defective in justice and charity.
 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
Of an ass — None attending him to his grave, none mourning for him.
 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.
Lebanon — Jerusalem was the place to which this speech is directed: the inhabitants of which the prophet calls to go up to Lebanon. Both Lebanon and Bashan were hills that looked towards Assyria, from whence the Jews looked for help.
Abarim — Abarim is the name of a mountain, as well as Lebanon and Bashan. Go and cry for help from all places, but it will be in vain; for the Egyptians and Assyrians to whom thou wert wont to fly, are themselves in the power of the Chaldeans.
 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
Pastors — Thy rulers and governors, they shall be blasted by my judgments, as plants are blasted by winds.
Thy lovers — And those that have been thy friends, Syria and Egypt.
 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
Lebanon — Jerusalem is called an inhabitant of Lebanon, because their houses were built of wood cut down out of the forest of Lebanon.
Cedars — Their houses were built of the Cedars of Lebanon.
How gracious — What favour wilt thou find when my judgments come upon thee, as the pains of a woman in travail come upon her.
 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;
Coniah — By Coniah he means Jehoiakim, whose name was Jeconiah, 1 Chronicles 3:13, (for all Josiah's sons had two names, and so had his grandchild Jeconiah) here in contempt called Coniah.
The signet — Tho' he were as dear as a signet, which every man keeps safe.
 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
Is this — The prophet speaks this in the person of God, affirming that this prince, who was the idol of the people, was now become like a broken idol.
A vessel — So cracked, or so tainted, that they can make no use of it.
 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
Childless — He is said to be childless, either because all his children died before their father; or because he had no child that sat upon the throne, or ever had any ruler's place in Judah.