on Zephaniah 1 :10
A cry from the fish-gate - This gate, which is mentioned Nehemiah 3:3, was opposite to Joppa; and perhaps the way in which the news came of the irruption of the Chaldean army, the great crashing from the hills.
The second - Or second city, may here mean a part of Jerusalem, mentioned 2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22.
on Zephaniah 1 :10
A cry from the fish-gate - "The fish-gate" was probably in the north of the wall of "the second city." For in Nehemiah's rebuilding, the restoration began at the sheep-gate Nehemiah 3:1 (so called doubtless, because the sheep for the sacrifices were brought in by it), which, as being near the temple, was repaired by the priests; then it ascended northward, by two towers, the towers of Meah and Hananeel; then two companies repaired some undescribed part of the wall Nehemiah 3:2, and then another company built the fish-gate Nehemiah 3:3. Four companies are then mentioned, who repaired, in order, to the old gate, which was repaired by another company Nehemiah 3:4-6. Three more companies repaired beyond these; and they left Jerusalem unto the broad wall Nehemiah 3:7-8. After three more sections repaired by individuals, two others repaired a second measured portion, and the tower of the furnaces Nehemiah 3:9-11.
This order is reversed in the account of the dedication of the walls. The people being divided "into two great companies of them that give thanks" Nehemiah 12:31-38, some place near "the tower of the furnaces" was the central point, from which both parted to encompass the city in opposite directions. In this account, we have two additional gates mentioned, "the gate of Ephraim" Nehemiah 12:39, between the "broad wall" and the "old gate," and "the prison-gate," beyond "the sheep-gate," from which the repairs had begun. "The gate of Ephraim" had obviously not been repaired, because, for some reason, it had not been destroyed. Elsewhere, Nehemiah, who describes the rebuilding of the wall so minutely, must have mentioned its rebuilding. It was obviously to the north, as leading to Ephraim. But the tower of Hananeel must have been a very marked tower. In Zechariah Jerusalem is measured from north to south, "from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses" Zechariah 14:10.
It was then itself at the northeast corner of Jerusalem, where towers were of most importance to strengthen the wall, and to command the approach to the wall either way. "The fish-gate" then, lying between it and "the gate of Ephraim," must have been on the north side of the city, and so on the side where the Chaldaean invasions came; yet it must have been much inside the present city, because the city itself was enlarged by Herod Agrippa on the north, as it was unaccountably contracted on the south. The then limits of Jerusalem are defined. For Josephus thus describes "the second wall." (B. J. v. 42): "It took its beginning from that gate which they called "Gennath," which belonged to the first wall; it only encompassed the northern quarter of the city and reached as far as the tower of Antonia." The tower of Antonia was situated at the northwest angle of the corner of the temple. The other end of the wall, the Gennath or "garden" gate, must have opened on cultivated land; and Josephus speaks of the gardens on the north and northwest of the city which were destroyed by Titus in leveling the ground (B. J. v. 32).
But near the tower of Hippicus, the northwestern extremity of the first wall, no ancient remains have been discovered by excavation ; but they have been traced north, from "an ancient Jewish semi-circular arch, resting on piers 18 feet high, now buried in rubbish."
These old foundations have been traced at three places in a line on the east of the Holy Sepulchre (which lay consequently outside the city) up to the judgment gate, but not north of it .
The line from west to east, that is, to the tower of Antonia, is marked generally by "very large stones, evidently of Jewish work, in the walls of houses, especially in the lower parts" . They are chiefly in the line of the Via Dolorosa.
"The fish-gate" had its name probably from a fish-market (markets being in the open places near the gates (see 2 Kings 7:1; Nehemiah 13:16, Nehemiah 13:19)) the fish being brought either from the lake of Tiberius or from Joppa. Near it, the wall ended, which Manasseh, after his restoration from Babylon, "built without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley" 2 Chronicles 33:14. This, being unprotected by its situation, was the weakest part of the city. : "The most ancient of the three walls could be considered as impregnable, as much on account of its extreme thickness, as of the height of the mountain on which it was built, and the depth of the valleys at its base, and David, Solomon and the other kings neglected nothing to place it in this state." Where they had made themselves strong, there God's judgment should find them.
And a howling from the second - city, as it is supplied in Nehemiah, who mentions the prefect set over it . It was here that Huldah the prophetess lived , who prophesied the evils to come upon Jerusalem, after Josiah should be "gathered to" his "grave in peace." It was probably the lower city, which was enclosed by the second wall. It was a second or new city, as compared to the original city of David, on Mount Moriah. On this the enemy who had penetrated by the fish-gate would first enter; then take the strongest part of the city itself. Gareb Jeremiah 31:39 and Bezetha were outside of the then town; they would then be already occupied by the enemy before entering the city.
A great crashing from the hills - These are probably Zion, and Mount Moriah on which the temple stood, and so the capture is described as complete. Here should be not a cry or howling only, but an utter destruction . Mount Moriah was the seat of the worship of God; on Mount Zion was the state, and the abode of the wealthy. In human sight they were impregnable. The Jebusites mocked at David's siege, as thinking their city impregnable 2 Samuel 5:6; but God was with David and he took it. He and his successors fortified it yet more, but its true defense was that the Lord was round about His people" Psalm 125:2, and when lie withdrew His protection, then this natural strength was but their destruction, tempting them to resist first the Chaldaeans, then the Romans. Human strength is but a great crash, falling by its own weight and burying its owner. "This threefold cry , from three parts of the city, had a fulfillment before the destruction by the Romans. In the lower part of the city Simon tyrannized, and in the middle John raged, and "there was a great crashing from the hills," that is, from the temple and citadel where was Eleazar, who stained the very altar of the temple with blood, and in the courts of the Lord made a pool of blood of divers corpses."
Cyril: "In the assaults of an enemy the inhabitants are ever wont to flee to the tops of the hills, thinking that the difficulty of access will be a hindrance to him, and will cut off the assaults of the pursuers. But when God smiteth, and requireth of the despisers the penalties of their sin, not the most towered city nor impregnable circuits of walls, not height of hills, or rough rocks, or pathless difficulty of ground, will avail to the sufferers. Repentance alone saves, softening the Judge and allaying His wrath, and readily inviting the Creator in His inherent goodness to His appropriate gentleness. Better is it, with all our might to implore that we may not offend Him. But since human nature is prone to evil, and "in many things we all offend" James 3:2, let us at least by repentance invite to His wonted clemency the Lord of all, Who is by nature kind."
on Zephaniah 1 :10
1:10 The noise - The great out - cry and lamentation. The fish gate - At which gate the Babylonians first entered into the city. The second - This gate was in the second wall of Jerusalem, which on that side was fortified with three walls. Crashing - Of things broken into shivers; possibly the noise of doors, windows, closets, and chests broken up. The hills - On which the city stood.