Lectionary Calendar
Friday, May 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Lamentations 2

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Lam 2:1. This verse is a lamentation over the sad condition that was brought about through the righteous anger of the Lord. Daughter of Zion is an affectionate term for the people of the Lord who had their headquar­ters at Zion which was the principal district in Jerusalem. Footstool is an expression of humility which the prophet words on behalf of his people. Remembered not is used in the sense that the Lord did not spare his people when his anger was aroused to the extent of divine chastisement

Verse 2

Lam 2:2. Hath swallowed up is a figurative reference to the overwhelm­ing of the homes of the people. Daugh­ter of Judah has the same meaning as daughter of Zion in the preceding verse. The Lord is said to have done these things, but we should under­stand that he accomplished it through the services of the Babylonians.

Verse 3

Lam 2:3. Horn in symbolic language is defined as "power" in Strong's lexicon. It means the power of Israel has been cut off. which was done when the kings in Jerusalem were taken from their throne. Drawn back . . . from before the enemy denotes that when the enemy approached against His people he withdrew bis hand and left them to their fate. This was because they had sinned very grievously and caused His anger to burn like a flaming fire.

Verse 4

Lam 2:4. The Lord bent his bow by bringing the foreign army against the land of Judah. In the same way he stood as an adversary against the capital of the country,

Verse 5

Lam 2:5. All of these afflicting cir­cumstances are attributed to the Lord which is correct. However, we should understand that He was dealing to his people the punishment due them for their abominable practices of idolatry.

Verse 6

Lam 2:6. Tabernacle is from a word that means a fence or barricade, and the idea is that God had withdrawn his protection from his people and suffered the enemy to invade the land. The solemn feasts had been caused to cease in that the assembling place (Jerusalem) had been taken over by the enemy. To despise means to be­little or humiliate any person or thing. God had shown this attitude toward his rulers in the capital city where the kings and priests had their place of operations.

Verse 7

Lam 2:7. Cast off his altar took place when the Babylonians were suffered to interfere with the altar service in the sanctuary which means the tem­ple. The palaces also were destroyed which were the personal residences of the kings. The history of this event is recorded in 2Ki 25:9, Noise Is from kolk and Strong defines it, "To call aloud; a voice or sound.” The word does not necessarily mean a boisterous use of the voice for such as that would not be done on the days of solemn feasts. The meaning is that the enemy raised their shouts of triumph in the very house where God’s people had expressed their joy­ful feelings on the feast days.

Verse 8

Lam 2:8. Destroy the wall means to forsake his defence of his people and their city. Such is the meaning of the entire verse, figuratively expressed.

Verse 9

Lam 2:9. Gates are sunk into the ground is somewhat figurative, mean­ing they are a mass of ruins and are useless as a means of defense. Law is no more means there is no one in position to enforce the iaw. The Gentiles were the Babylonians among whom the people of Judah were scattered. Prophets found no vision indicates that God would not com­municate any vision to them because they had made such an unlawful use of their position.

Verse 10

Lam 2:10. This verse is a vivid pic­ture of tile dejected state of the lead­ing men of the nation who were at that time captives in the land of Babylon. Keep silence shows how completely they were depressed over the conditions, so much so that they were silenced. This very situation was predicted in the 137th Psalm.

Verse 11

Lam 2:11. The people of Israel were generally aware of the miserable con­dition and expressed their feelings in more ways than one. Tho greater portion of the several passages of this book are truly the sentiments of the people. However, while writing down their sentiments for the informatlon. of succeeding generations, Jeremiah Is giving release for his own persona! grief over the sorrowful plight of his beloved countrymen. Fail with tears means he had shed so many tears that his eyes were exhausted. Bowels are troubled denotes that his affections were stirred up over his concern for the nation. Liver is used figuratively and refers to the heavy load of worry that was agitating the prophet, caused by the fainting con­dition of the people, especially as it affected the children who were de­pendents.

Verse 12

Lam 2:12. Where is corn and. wine was a literal plea the children were making with their mothers. Nothing could be any more pitiable than the sight of hungry children and the sound of their cry for food. These children were so undernourished that they became prostrated in the streets where they had been the victims of famine.

Verse 13

Lam 2:13. Jeremiah is without words to express fully his anxiety for his people or to say anything that would cause them to be consoled. Thy breach refers to the great gap that had been made in the defences and general pro­visions of security. Who can heal it indicates that nothing can be done for the present to head off the calam­ity facing the nation. It will be well for the reader to see the long note produced at 2Ki 22:17, volume 2 of this Commentary,

Verse 14

Lam 2:14. Thy prophets refers to the false prophets among the people who offered lying assurances of peace for them. (See Jer 6:14.) By thus deliv­ering these flattering visions they prevented the people from feeling any fear of disaster, and consequently they did not make the reformation in their lives that might have turned away their captivity if they had started in time; now it was too late.

Verse 15

Lam 2:15. Tile central thought in this verse is the impression that was made on the nations of the world when they passed by and saw the situation. To wag their head was a gesture of mingled surprise and contempt over the downfall of such a wonderful na­tion that had so great a fame in the civilized world.

Verse 16

Lam 2:16. An outstanding charac­teristic of most nations is pride, hence the ‘'face-saving" movements that we often hear of on the part of great na­tional leaders. When a nation meets with some misfortune, especially one in the nature of a disgrace, it is nat­ural that others will express them­selves on the situation. Some may do so out of friendly sympathy, but usually it is prompted by a motive of exultation. It is always from this last named motive when coming from enemies as is the case at hand. Judah lias been terribly defeated and the Babylonians rejoice over it, even boasting that it had been their inten­tion of causing such a day to arrive. But they will some day learn by sad experience that the Lord had suffered them to accomplish this end only be­cause His people needed some chastise­ment.

Verse 17

Lam 2:17. The first clause of this verse confirms the closing portion of the preceding paragraph. Caused enemy to rejoice means that God caused the situation that gave Babylon the occasion for her rejoicing. How­ever, that was not the motive the Lord had in the affair, therefore the exulting nation will finally suffer for her attitude toward Judah. Set up the horn means the Lord had given Babylon the power to accomplish her work against the corrupt nation in Palestine.

Verse 18

Lam 2:18. The misfortunes which the Lord suffered to come on Zion caused her to cry unto Him. The wall means the defences of Zion which had been demolished, and they are per­sonified as being able to weep for themselves over the sorrowful situa­tion. Apple . . . not cease. The eye is used in weeping and the figure means for the apple (or forces) of the eye to use its strength in weeping for the distressful situation.

Verse 19

Lam 2:19. The unfortunate nation is bidden to make its complaint before the Lord day and night. The special motive for the prayer indicated in this verse is the distressing condition of the children who were starving.

Verse 20

Lam 2:20. This verse Is still on the subject of the condition in a famine and indicates that the people were in the depths of want and despair. It was feared that if it got worse or continued longer, the women would he forced to eat their own babies. Such a tragedy had been done in the past (2Ki 6:29), and it was predicted that it would be done again (Deut, 28: 53; Eze 5:10). The word and after fruit is not. in the original and is out of place in the translation for there is no call for a conjunction. The phrase that begins with children is merely explanatory of the one that ends with fruit. Also, span long is from tippucu, which Strong defines with the single word “nursing.” The clause should therefore read, "Shall women eat their nursing children?” The same mad hunger might induce some to slay the holy men who were engaged in the services of religious devotions.

Verse 21

Lam 2:21. The pain of destitution is still the subject of the prophet. So many of the homes had been burned that the occupants had to lie in the streets. The young men had been pushed to the front in the wars and had been slain by the enemy. Thou hast slain means God had brought the enemy army against the land of Judah to punish the people for their trans­gressions.

Verse 22

Lam 2:22. Jeremiah uses the first person in forming his sentences of address to God. but he is speaking on behalf of the nation whose people are so very near to the prophet. Called as in a solemn day refers to the call that God had made for the enemy to come into His service of punishing the disobedient nation. The terrors round about were those that the Baby­lonians had brought against Jerusa­lem. Those that I have swaddled is a figurative reference to the rising gen­erations of the kingdom of Judah. They had become the victims of the enemy which means the Babylonian army.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Lamentations 2". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/lamentations-2.html. 1952.
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