Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
A lodging place — Some retiring place, though it were but some mean hut in the wilderness.
 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Weary — They use industry, and contrivance in it, they spare no labour.
 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
Try them — By melting them, I will bring upon them, the fire of the Chaldean war, that shall purge away those deceits in which they trust, that the remnant may be purified.
For how — I have tried all other means.
 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.
Wailing — The prophet having taken up a lamentation for the slaughter of the people, now re-assumes it for the desolation of the whole land. The mountains shall not be able to secure them, nor the valleys to feed them.
 Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?
Who is — Is there not a wise man among you, that will search into the cause of all these threatened judgments.
 I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.
A sword — But I will follow them with the sword, 'till they be destroyed, such of them as were appointed for destruction; for otherwise, they were not all consumed, a full end was not to be made.
 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:
Women — Who were hired to tear their hair, and beat their breasts, with other mourning postures, a foolish custom which has obtained in most ages and countries.
Cunning — Such as are most skilful in it.
 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbour lamentation.
Every one — It denotes how large and universal the mourning shall be.
 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.
Death — The unavoidableness of the ruin is expressed metaphorically, alluding to the storming of a city, wherein there is no respect had to sex, youth, or age.
 Speak, Thus saith the LORD, Even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.
As the handful — They shall be no more regarded than a few scattered ears that drop out of the reapers hand, which either lie on the ground and are eaten by birds, or trod to dirt by beasts.
None — None shall have so much respect to them, as to afford burial.
 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Knoweth — Whether we make any curious distinction between understanding God, as if that be more speculative, whereby we rightly apprehend his nature; and knowing God, as if that be more practical, as directing the conversation, we need not here enquire; yet certainly both center in this, that we so know and understand God as to trust in him, and depend on him alone in all conditions.
Exercise — Kindness, as it relates to his own people; judgment, in punishing the wicked; righteousness, as he deals justly and uprightly with both.