Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.
Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women,.... Or like women, weak and feeble, fearful and timorous; frightened at the first approach of the enemy; run away, and run up and down in the utmost consternation and distress, having neither skill nor courage to oppose them; some regard may be had to the effeminacy of their king; see Nahum 2:7. The sense is, they should be at once dispirited, and lose all strength of mind and body, and have neither heads nor hearts to form schemes, and execute them in their own defence; and thus should they be, even in the midst of the city, upon their own ground, where, any where, it might be thought they would exert themselves, and play the man, since their all lay at stake: this was another thing they trusted in, the multitude of their people, even of their soldiers; but these would be of no avail, since they would lose all their military skill and bravery:
the gates of thy land shall be set wide open to thine enemies: instead of guarding the passes and avenues, they would abandon them to the enemy; and, instead of securing the gates and passages, they would run away from them; and the enemy would find as easy access as if they were thrown open on purpose for them; perhaps this may respect the gates of the rivers being opened by the inundation, which threw down the wall, and made a way into the city; see Nahum 2:6:
the fire shall devour thy bars; with which their gates had been shut, but now opened, and in the enemies' hands; who would set fire to them, that the way to go in and out might be open and free.