They shall bring out the bones - This and the two following verses are a continuation of the preceding prophecy, and should not have been separated from the foregoing chapter.
In order to pour the utmost contempt upon the land, the victorious enemies dragged out of their graves, caves, and sepulchers, the bones of kings, princes, prophets, priests, and the principal inhabitants, and exposed them in the open air; so that they became, in the order of God's judgments, a reproach to them in the vain confidence they had in the sun, moon, and the host of heaven - all the planets and stars, whose worship they had set up in opposition to that of Jehovah. This custom of raising the bodies of the dead, and scattering their bones about, seems to have been general. It was the highest expression of hatred and contempt. Horace refers to it: -
Barbarus, heu, cineres insistet victor, et urbem
Eques sonante verberabit ungula:
Quaeque carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini
(Nefas videre) dissipabit insolens.
"Barbarians fell shall wanton with success,
Scatter the city's flaming ruins wide;
Or through her streets in vengeful triumph ride,
And her great founder's hallowed ashes spurn,
That slept uninjured in the sacred urn."
See this judgment referred to, Baruch 2:24, 25.
Not the living only but the dead shall be exposed to the ruthless violence of the enemy, who will ransack the graves of the wealthier classes.