Zephaniah 1:11

Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.

Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh,.... The name of a street in Jerusalem, as Aben Ezra; perhaps it lay low in the hollow of the city, and in the form of a mortar, from whence it might have its name, as the word {q} signifies; which is used both for a hollow place and for a mortar, Judges 15:19 unless it might be so called from such persons dwelling in it, that used mortars for spice, and other things. The Targum is,

"howl, all ye that dwell in the valley of Kidron;''

and Jerom thinks the valley of Siloah is intended, which is the same; which, Adrichomius {r} says, was broad, deep, and dark, and surrounded the temple in manner of a foss, or ditch; and was disposed in the form of a mortar, called in Hebrew "machtes"; in Latin, "pila"; in which merchants and tradesmen of all kinds dwelt. It is thought by others to be the same which Josephus {s} calls "the valley of the cheese mongers", which lay between the two hills Zion and Acra. The reason of their howling is,

for all the merchant people are cut down; either cut to pieces by the sword of the enemy, and become silent, as the word {t} sometimes signifies, and the Vulgate Latin version here renders it; become so by death, and laid in the silent grave, and no more concerned in merchandise; or else stripped of all their wealth and goods by the enemy, and so cut down, broke, and become bankrupt, and could trade no more. The word for merchant signifies a Canaanite; and the Targum paraphrases it thus,

"for all the people are broken, whose works are like the works of the people of the land of Canaan:''

all they that bear silver are cut off; that have large quantities of it, and carry it to market to buy goods with it as merchants; these shall be cut off, and so a great loss to trade, and a cause of howling and lamentation; or such that wear it in their garments, embroidered with it; or rather in their purses, who are loaded with this thick clay, abound with it. The Targum is,

"all that are rich in substance shall be destroyed.''

{q} vtkmh "mortarii", Vatablus, Tigurine version; "cavi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "loci concavi", Calvin.
{r} Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 163.
{s} De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 1.
{t} hmdn "conticuit", V. L. "in silentium redactus est", Drusius.