The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven,.... For such there were, both at the time of the Babylonish captivity, and in the times of Antiochus, who were good men, and served the Lord, and yet suffered in the common calamity. Nicanor, a general of Demetrius, in the time of the Maccabees, seems to have been guilty of such a fact as this, since, when he was slain, his tongue was given in pieces to the fowls, and the reward of his madness was hung up before the temple, as in the Apocrypha:
"And when he had cut out the tongue of that ungodly Nicanor, he commanded that they should give it by pieces unto the fowls, and hang up the reward of his madness before the temple.'' (2 Maccabees 15:33)
the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth; this clause and the following verse are applied to a case in the times of the Maccabees, when sixty men of the Assideans were slain, religious, devout, and holy men, so called from the very word here translated "saints";
"Now the Assideans were the first among the children of Israel that sought peace of them:'' (1 Maccabees 7:13)
"The flesh of thy saints have they cast out, and their blood have they shed round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them.'' (1 Maccabees 7:17)