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4For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege ramps and before the sword:

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He now expresses what these hidden things were, As to the houses, he says, (so it is literally) thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, as to the houses of this city, and as to the houses of the kings of Judah The proposition; על, upon, often means with regard to, concerning. He names the houses of the kings, for the kings of Judah were not satisfied, as it is well known, with one palace, but had many houses without the city. As to the houses, he says, which had been thrown down This is variously explained; the houses, say some, had been pulled down for the warlike engines, that is, that these engines might be made from the materials, and for the sword. The sense, however, would appear more obvious were we to take this view, that the houses had been thrown down by the warlike engines, and also by the sword, that is, by the violence of the enemies. The word, סללת sallut, as it has been already stated, is rendered by some fortifications; but when the storming of cities is spoken of, it means no doubt warlike machines, such as the engines to throw darts, or battering-rams: but we know not in what form they were made by the Jews and the Chaldeans.