Ver. 1. The prayer, &c. This title is not in Heb. Sept. &c. Theodoret has passed over the chapter, as if he doubted of its authenticity. It does not follow the order of Heb. letters like the preceding, and seems to be a form of prayer for those who retired into Egypt. C.
--- Jeremias foresees what would happen, and prays as the people would do. W.
Ver. 2. Aliens. The Idumeans seized and kept possession of the southern parts.
Ver. 3. Father. Many had none surviving, and all had lost their king. W.
Ver. 4. Water. Even this was not given for nothing.
Ver. 6. Hand; engaged to serve Egyptians, Babylonians, (C.) or other nations, to procure sustenance. W.
Ver. 7. Iniquities. This was the usual complaint of the Jews, (C. xxxi. 29.) as if they had committed no offence themselves. If any virtuous people were involved in common ruin, they bore it with resignation, and acknowledged that they had deserved it. 1 Esd. ix. 6. and 2 Esd. i. 6. Est. xiv. 6. Dan. iii. 29.
Ver. 8. Servants. One had command over another. Mat. xxiv. 45. The Chaldees were like slaves, and the race of Cham was condemned to servitude. Gen. ix. 26. C.
--- The Jews had formerly dominion over Edom, &c. who now treated them so cruelly. M. Lyran.
Ver. 9. Sword. Any one might kill us.
Ver. 11. Oppressed. Heb. "afflicted." Brutal insolence prevailed. C.
Ver. 12. Hand. Thus Leonidas was treated, after his head was cut off, by Xerxes. Herod. vii. 238.
Ver. 13. Indecently, like the Sodomites. Heb. "they made the young men grind" at the mill, in their prison, (H.) as Samson (Judg. xvi. 21.) and Sedecias (according to the Sept. C. lii. 11.) were forced to do. To grind is often used in a bad sense; but it is not necessary to adopt it here. C. Amama.
--- The Chaldees treated their captives without pity or shame. H.
--- Wood; burdens, or stumbling-blocks, unless they were crucified; or, "roasted," if we admit a small alteration in the Heb. C. iv. 10. C.
--- They were forced to grind naked, and were beaten with staves. W.
Ver. 14. Gates, where sentence was usually passed. H.
--- The Jews had judges at Babylon, (Dan. xiii. 5.) but not at first, nor everywhere.
Ver. 16. Crown, used at feasts; (C.) or, we have lost the sovereign power. W.
Ver. 17. Dim, the natural consequence of extreme want. 1 K. xiv. 27.
Ver. 18. Foxes, which were very common. Judg. xv. 4. Thus, Horace says:
Agros atque lares patrios, habitandaque fana
Apris relinquet et edacibus lupis. Epod. 16.
Ver. 21. Convert. Thy grace must work upon our hearts, (C.) before we can expect redress, (H.) and an end of our banishment. T. Grot.
--- Beginning, when our fathers observed the law. S. Tho. M. See C. xxxi. 18. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. ii. and iv. W.
Ver. 22. Thou hast. We might read with an interrogation, (H.) in Heb. "Hast thou?" &c. The Jews superstitiously repeat the last verse, for fear of ending the book in an ominous manner, as they do at the end of Isaias and Malachias. C.
--- Having treated us so severely, stop thy hand. W.
--- But I perceive it will be in vain to beg for redress till the seventy years be expired. M.