Ver. 1. City. David had conquered many. Jerusalem was long considered as the finest city in those parts.
--- Tributary. It had been so to the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Chaldees. 4 K. xxiv. 1. From this and similar passages, it would seem that the city was still existing: yet in others it appears to have been demolished. Here then the prophet declares what it had been: (C.) unless he wrote part after the death of Josias. H.
--- The beholders are astonished at the change and misery of the city. W.
THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAS.
In these Jeremias laments in a most pathetic manner the miseries of his people, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, in Hebrew verses, beginning with different letters according to the order of the Hebrew alphabet. Ch.
--- In the first chapter the order is exactly observed, but in the three next phe comes before ain, either for some mystery to us unknown, or by the derangement of transcribers, who perhaps thought that those verses were better connected, as they seem to be, (C.) though this is not very clear. H.
--- In such pieces the sentiments of a pensive heart are poured out without much connection. W.
--- The Greeks style this word qrhnoi, and Heb. kinoth, or lamentations. H.
--- S. Jerom, (2 Par. xxxv. 25.) thinks it was the first composition of Jeremias, and sung at the death of Josias. W. S. Jer. in Zac. xii. 11.
--- The eulogy of the king seems to belong to him rather than to Sedecias. C. iv. 20. C.
--- Yet it might afterwards be applied to the latter, (H.) and to the ruin of Jerusalem. Eccli. xlix. 8. S. Jer. Pref. Theod. &c.
--- The city is represented standing, and sometimes in ruins. Chap. v. seems to have been written after the rest. v. 4, 18. C.
--- It is not acrostic like them. The prophet alludes to the wretched condition of the Jews, after the murder of their Messias; and hence the Church makes use of the lamentations on the anniversary of our Saviour's passion, inviting all sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, to repent: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted to the Lord thy God." W.
--- Many passages are applicable to a soul fallen into sin, as the commentary under the name of S. Jerom, (H.) compiled by Rabanus, (Du Pin) shews. H.
And, &c. This preface was not written by Jeremias, but added by the seventy interpreters, to give the reader to understand upon what occasion the Lamentations were published. Ch.
--- The author is not known, (W.) and few assert with Gretser that it is canonical; as it is only a title, (C.) like those prefixed to the Psalms. H.
--- It is not found in Heb. Chal. Syr. or S. Jerom. C.
Ver. 2. Night; privately, or without ceasing.
--- Friends, who had made a league with Sedecias. C. xxvii. 3. and xlviii. 26.
Ver. 3. Rest. Many returning to join Godolias. C. xl. 7. C.
--- The Jews who beheld their brethren led away to Babylon, retired into Egypt, but were in misery. W.
Ver. 4. Feast, thrice-a-year. This was the most charming sight, when all the nation met to adore God, and to renew their friendship with one another. C.
Ver. 5. Lords. Lit. "at the head," (H.) which Moses had threatened. Deut. xxvi. 1. and 43. C.
--- This would be most cutting. W.
Ver. 6. Beauty; princes' palaces, but particularly the temple. v. 10. C.
--- Rams, fleeing from place to place to seek relief. W.
Ver. 7. Of all. She compares her past happiness with her present chastisement.
--- Sabbaths, or days of rest. The pagans derided them as so much lost time. Ignava et partem vitæ non attigit ullam. Juv. v. Seneca ap. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. vi. 11.
--- If none of their legislators thought of such an institution, it was because they had not the spirit of Moses: their feasts were dissolute. C.
Ver. 8. Unstable. Heb. also, "removed," (H.) like a woman unclean. C.
--- Such were excluded from places of prayer, and were not allowed to touch a sacred book, or to pronounce God's name. Their husbands could not look at their face, nor give them any thing, but laid it down for them to take. Buxtorf. Syn. 31.
--- No condition could be more distressing. C.
Ver. 9. End in her prosperity, to avert this misfortune. H.
--- Idolatry is a spiritual adultery, (W.) and one of the worst species of filth. H.
Ver. 10. Church. Deut. xxxiii. 1. Ezec. xliv. 9. The Chaldees disregarded the ordinance.
Ver. 11-12. O. Heb. of the Masor. "It is." C.
--- Prot. "Is it nothing to you, all?" &c. H.
--- But the Vulg. is much clearer, and approved by many Protestants, lu being often used as an exclamation. Gen. xvii. 18. C.
--- Vintage. He has plundered all. v. 22. H.
--- The king took a great deal, and his general the rest. 4 Kin. xxiv. and xxv. W.
Ver. 13. Bones: fortresses. Theod.
--- I am like one in a burning fever. Ezec. xxiv. 4. C.
--- Chastised. Lit. "instructed." This is the good effect of affliction. H.
Ver. 14. Watched. This metaphor is not too harsh. C. xxxi. 28. The Masorets prefer, (C.) "is bound by his hand." Prot. But miskad is explained (H.) by the Sept. &c. in the sense of the Vulg. God lays the yoke on my neck suddenly. My iniquities are like bands, and Nabuchodonosor has power over me.
Ver. 15. Mighty. Heb. "magnificent" princes, (Lu. xxii. 25.) or warriors.
--- Time of vengeance. All in animated. Heb. also, "a troop" of Chaldees. C. ii. 22.
--- Juda. God, as the first cause, punishes the Jews by war.
AinAin (Josh 19:7; Juda), also called En,-Rimmon: Kh. Umm er-Rummânîm, N. of Bersabee, on the road to Beit-Jibrîn.
Ver. 17. Then. They surround the city, to starve the inhabitants. v. 8.
Ver. 19. Me. Egypt attempted to relieve Juda, to no purpose. v. 2. C.
--- It could not, or at least did not, prove of any service to the Jews. C. ii. 18. W.
Ver. 20. Alike, by famine, &c. C. W.
--- Ubique pavor et plurima mortis imago. Æn. ii.
Ver. 21. Done it. They conclude that I am cast off for ever. But when I shall be comforted, their turn will come; (C.) or rather they will feel the scourge soon after me.
--- Consolation. Heb. "which thou hast appointed." H. C. xlviii. 26. &c. Ezec. xxv. &c.
Ver. 22. Let. He prays not for their ruin, but predicts it; and wishes rather that they would be converted. C.