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Zion’s Sorrows due to Jehovah’s Anger
In this second dirge, the cause of Zion’s woe is dwelt upon. Jehovah has become angry with His people, therefore He has cast them off. Zion’s miseries are the judgments of God, which have been sent because of Judah’s sins. In structure the poem is an acrostic, each v. being of triple character, as in Lamentations 1. The prophet speaks.
1-10. The agonies caused by Adonai’s anger.
1. The beauty of Israel] the Temple (Isaiah 64:11), or possibly the heroes of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 1:19). His footstool] the ark of the covenant (1 Chronicles 28:2), or possibly the sanctuary (Psalms 99:5; Psalms 132:7; Isaiah 60:13).
2. Swallowed up] i.e. destroyed by earthquake. Habitations] open villages of the shepherds. Strong holds] fortified towns.
3. All the horn] better, ’every horn,’ in the sense of self-protection or of resistance, the horn being a symbol of strength.
4. In the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion] The division of the v. in AV is faulty. The colon after Zion should stand after eye, as in RV.
6. As if it were of a garden] i.e. God has destroyed His Temple as easily as a man removes a vintage booth, which has served its purpose, from a garden (Isaiah 1:18).
8. He hath stretched out a line] Jehovah surveys, but to destroy: cp. Isaiah 34:11; Amos 7:7.
9. Her gates are sunk into the ground] a metaphor expressing their total destruction, not a vestige being left above ground. The law is no more] including the national ritual and government. Her prophets also find no vision] because so hardened by sin.
10. The elders.. sit upon the ground] i.e. in banishment.
11-19. Zion’s bitter sorrow and lamentation.
11. The scene of Jerusalem’s woes is to the poet heartrending. My liver] a phrase not found elsewhere in OT., but expressive of strong emotion: cp. our English use of ’spleen’ and ’humorous.’
12. The picture of helpless, innocent children crying in vain for food is touching.
13. What thing shall I take to witness for thee?] RV ’What shall I testify unto thee? ’in the sense of attempting to comfort Jerusalem.
14. False burdens] RM ’oracles of vanity’ (Jeremiah 23:33). Causes of banishment] The Heb. word employed here is not found elsewhere, but probably means things which draw aside and drive out (Jeremiah 27:10, Jeremiah 27:15).
17. The Lord hath done] The poet points to Jehovah as Zion’s Destroyer, only later to show that He may become her Saviour.
18. O wall] apostrophised as a human mourner (Isaiah 14:31). No rest] RV ’no respite.’ Apple of thine eye] lit. ’daughter,’ i.e. pupil of the eye: cp. Psalms 17:8.
20-22. In bewilderment Zion appeals to Jehovah.
20. To whom thou hast done this] viz. to His own chosen people. Children of a span long] RV ’the children that are dandled in the hands’: op. Lamentations 2:22, Jeremiah 19:9.
22. My terrors round about] as in Jeremiah 6:25; Jeremiah 20:3, Jeremiah 20:10. Jehovah has now summoned His terrors (Magormissabib), as at other times He had summoned His people to the festivals (a solemn day).
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 2". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26