Lectionary Calendar
Friday, July 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Lamentations 4

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Chapter 4

The fourth lamentation:

How is the gold become dim! the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, and they give suck to their young ones ( Lamentations 4:1-3 ):

The mammals in the sea nurse their little ones.

the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches of the wilderness ( Lamentations 4:3 ).

Now, the ostrich totally forsakes its eggs. It lays its eggs and leaves them; it has nothing to do with the raising of its kids, just has no concern. Doesn't even know the eggs ever hatched and doesn't really care if the egg ever hatched. It just lays its eggs in the sand and that's it, forgets all about them. If they make it, they make it on their own. The mother ostrich has no mothering instincts. But the mammals in the sea nurse the little ones. But the daughter of my people, the young mothers in Jerusalem had become like ostriches in that they weren't concerned with their offspring anymore.

The tongue of the nursing child cleaves to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask for bread, and no man breaks it unto them. They that did feed delicately ( Lamentations 4:4-5 )

Those that used to dine at Gulliver's

are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills. For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, because at least they were overthrown in a moment [they were destroyed], no hands stayed on her ( Lamentations 4:4-6 ).

Theirs was an instant death. That is much better than death by starvation.

Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire ( Lamentations 4:7 ):

The young men who had made their commitments, the Nazarite vows to God, but now,

Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin is cleaving to their bones ( Lamentations 4:8 );

They're like walking skeletons.

it is withered, it is become like a stick. They that are slain with the sword are really better off than those that are slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for the want of the fruits of the field. The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children: and they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people. The LORD has accomplished his fury, he has poured out his fierce anger, he has kindled a fire in Zion, and it has devoured the foundations thereof. The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem ( Lamentations 4:7-12 ).

It was thought to be impregnable. It sits there on the hill with the walls around it. They thought that the city was impregnable. The inhabitants of the earth would never have believed that Jerusalem could be taken. And yet it is now destroyed.

For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her, They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments. They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, don't touch: when they fled away and wondered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there. The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favored not the elders. As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us. They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in the streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come. Our persecutors are swifter than eagles of heaven: they have pursued us on the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness. The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom [that is their perennial enemy], that dwells in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shall make thyself naked. The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins ( Lamentations 4:13-22 ).

So Edom is rejoicing, but just wait, yours is coming. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Lamentations 4". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/lamentations-4.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile