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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Lamentations 1

 

 

Verse 1

Lamentations 1:1 How doth the city sit solitary, [that was] full of people! [how] is she become as a widow! she [that was] great among the nations, [and] princess among the provinces, [how] is she become tributary!

Ver. 1. How doth the city sit solitary.] Some (a) tell us of Jeremiah’s cave, near to Aceldama, where he sat in sight of the city now destroyed, and made her this epitaph - not altogether unlike that which David once made for his dear Jonathan. [2 Samuel 1:17] There he hath his Echa admirantis et commiserantis, his wondering and condoling. How once, and again, and a third time. [2 Samuel 1:19; 2 Samuel 1:25; 2 Samuel 1:27] And our prophet hath the self-same, in sense at least, three different times in this one verse; whence the Hebrews call the whole book by the name of Echa (How), which is the first word in it, and beginneth with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. For it must be observed here that, for memory’s sake especially, this piece of Holy Writ is most of it made up in order of alphabet, viz., the four first chapters, and all of it with singular artifice in a poetic strain. Take that one passage for a taste, Lamentations 5:16 : Oi na lanu, chi chattanu, which soundeth rhythmically, i.e., woe to us that we have sinned. And whereas other poetry is the luxury of such learning as is in words restrained, in matter usually loose, here it is altogether otherwise; for the prophet or poet, whether id sibi negotii credidit solum dari, maketh it his whole business to set forth his people’s misery in the cause thereof, their sins and excesses, pressing therefore to patience, to repentance, to earnest prayer, and to a confident expectation of a gracious issue, together with a sanctified use of all their sufferings. He had himself been a man of many sorrows all along; and now had his share as deep as any in the common calamity. Besides which he could truly say with Cyprian, Cum singulis pectus meum copulo, maeroris et funeris pondera luctuosa participo: cum plangentibus plango, cum deflentibus defleo, i.e., in St Paul’s words, "Who is weak, and I am not weak? grieved, and I grieve not? offended, and I burn not?" [2 Corinthians 11:29] And this he expresseth in a stately style and figurative terms, full of passion and compassion, as to show his love to his country, so to work upon his hard hearted countrymen, and to excite them to repentance and better obedience.

How doth the city.] Lately a city, yea, the city, the most famous of all the cities of the East, saith Pliny; but now, alas! of a city become a heap. So true is that of Seneca, speaking of a great city burned to ashes, Una dies interest inter magnam civitatem et nullam, There was but one day between a city and no city.

Sit solitary.] Sit on the ground in a mourning posture, as Job did among the ashes, and as Vespasian, after the last destruction of Jerusalem by his son Titus, caused money to be coined, whereon was stamped the picture of Judea in form of a captive woman, sitting sorrowfully under a palm tree.

“How sits this city, late most populous,

Thus solitary! like a widow thus!

Empress of nations, queen of provinces

She was, that now thus tributary is.”

That was full of people.] Full indeed, at the three solemn anniversary feasts especially. Josephus testifieth that at the last destruction of this city by the Romans there were more than eleven hundred thousand people in it. And although Judea was not over two hundred miles long and fifty miles broad, nothing nearly as large as England, yet what huge armies brought they into the field in the days of David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, &c.! Augustine saith there were three million present at that passover, whereof one million one hundred thousand perished by the sword and famine, one hundred thousand were led to Rome in triumph. (b)

How is she become as a widow] Having lost her king, if not her God. Happy if in this last respect she be but quasi vidua, as a widow only, and no more. See 2 Corinthians 6:8. {See Trapp on "2 Corinthians 6:8"} If God at any time should say unto her, as Zechariah 10:6, "She shall be as if I had not cast her off, and I will hear her." Or if she could say of herself as that good widow in the story did, Sola relicta solum Deum sequor, Being left alone, I will follow after God alone.

She that was great among the nations.] So was Athens, once the glory of Greece, for both arts and arms, now a dog hole in comparison. Sparta also, that other eye of Greece, is now a small burrow called Misithra, having nothing to boast of but the fame and thoughts of its former greatness.

And princess among the provinces.] In David’s and Solomon’s days especially, when that state was in the flourish - i.e., the praise of the whole earth, and terror to all nations.

How is she become tributary!] And by that means melted and exhausted, as the Hebrew word importeth. So was England once, when the Pope’s ass. Oh the huge sums that he sucked hence, to the wasting and impoverishing of the land! Of one of his agents here it is recorded, that at his departure he left not so much money in the whole kingdom as he either carried with him or sent to Rome before him. Some of them derive their mass from the Hebrew word mas in the text, signifying tribute; and in some respects well they may - Per eam scilicet pietas omnis liquefacta est et dissoluta, saith Rivet - for it is the bane of men’s souls, and a purge to their purses


Verse 2

Lamentations 1:2 She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears [are] on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort [her]: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

Ver. 2. She weepeth sore.] Heb., Weeping she weepeth - i.e., sadly and soakingly, or as we say, savourly, seeking that way to ease her sorrow, which is so deep and downright.

Expletur lachrymis, egeriturque dolore.

In the night.] When grief may have its full forth, and when widows are most sensible of their solitary and forlorn condition. She weeps when she should sleep.

Iam iacet in viduo squallida facta toro.

And her tears are on her cheeks.] Haerent et perennant, seldom or never are they off. As hinds by calving, so she by weeping, cast out her sorrows. [Job 39:3]

Among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her.] Optimum solarium sodalitium, saith one; and Affert solarium lugentibus suspiriorum societas, saith another father. It was no small aggravation of Jerusalem’s misery, that her confederates proved miserable comforters, and her allies kept aloof off, so that she had none to compassionate her. This is also none of the smallest torments of the damned ghosts, that they are unpitied of their best friends and nearest relations.

All her friends have dealt treacherously with her.] The Edomites and Moabites. Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, &c. Every sinner shall one day take up this lamentation. And why? "They have forsaken the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out broken cisterns, that can hold no water." [Jeremiah 2:13]


Verse 3

Lamentations 1:3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.

Ver. 3. Judah is gone into captivity.] But with no goodwill. God hath driven them out for their cruel oppressions and hard usage of their poor brethren that served them; thus the Chaldee paraphrast, and not amiss. Others (a) thus: Judah, i.e., the inhabitants of the kingdom, goeth away, i.e., willingly leave their country, goods, and dwelling, sc., before the desolation of Jerusalem, because of affliction, i.e., extremity of trouble, and great slavery, &c.

She dwelleth among the heathen.] Where she can get nothing better than guilt or grief.

She findeth no rest.] No more than did the dove in the deluge. [Genesis 8:9]

All her persecutors took her in the straits,] i.e., At the most advantage to mischief her - a term taken from hunters or highwaymen. The Chaldees took the city when it had been first distressed with famine; and then the Jews that went down to Egypt for succour and shelter after Gedaliah’s death, they caught there, as mice in a trap, as this prophet had foretold them (Jeremiah 42:1-22; Jeremiah 43:1-13; Jeremiah 44:1-30), but they would not be warned. Mitsraim proved to be their Metsarim - i.e., Egypt their pound, or prison.


Verse 4

Lamentations 1:4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she [is] in bitterness.

Ver. 4. The ways of Zion do mourn.] So they seem to do because unfrequented, overgrown with grass, and out of their kindly order.

Her priests sigh.] For want of employment.

The virgins were afflicted.] Or, Discomfited. Those that are usually set upon the merry pin, and were wont to make mirth at those festivities,

And she is in bitterness.] Zion is; but for nothing so much as for the decay of religion, and the loss of holy exercises. When this befalleth, all things else are mere Ichabods to good people, (a) See Zephaniah 3:18.


Verse 5

Lamentations 1:5 Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

Ver. 5. Her adversaries are the chief.] Heb, Are for the head. This was threatened. [Deuteronomy 28:13-14; Deuteronomy 28:43-44] This, when it happens, is a great grief to the godly. Therefore the prophet Nahum, for the comfort of God’s Israel, is wholly in setting forth the destruction of their enemies, the Assyrians.

Her enemies prosper.] See Jeremiah 12:1. They prevail, and do what they wish; so that there seemeth to be neither hope of better, nor place for worse.

For the Lord hath afflicted her.] Not so much her adversaries and enemies, or her oppressors and haters, as the words properly signify - that is, those that oppress them in action, and hate them in affection. (a)

Her children are gone into captivity.] Those that were able to go; for the rest were slain. [Lamentations 4:9]

Before the enemy.] Driven before them, as cattle.


Verse 6

Lamentations 1:6 And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts [that] find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.

Ver. 6. And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed.] Her glory, {as Isaiah 5:14} that is chiefly the temple, and the service of God in it. It is now Ichabod with her. The beauty and bulwark of a nation are God’s holy ordinances.

Her princes are become like harts,] i.e., Heartless, bereft of courage. They dare not make headway against an enemy.

Before the pursuer.] R. Solomon here observeth that the Hebrew word רורף is written in full, {Hebrew Text Note} so as it is scarcely anywhere else, to note the fulness of the persecution.


Verse 7

Lamentations 1:7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, [and] did mock at her sabbaths.

Ver. 7. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction.] Misery is the best art of memory. Then those privileges we prized not in prosperity, we recount with regret. Bona a tergo formosissima: the worth of good things is best known by the lack of them; (a) and as we see things best at a distance, so here. Afflictions are pillulae lucis, that do notably clear the eyesight.

The adversaries saw her,] sc., With a spiteful and scornful eye.

And did mock at her Sabbaths.] Calling the Jews in contempt, Sabbatarians, and jeering them as those that lost more than a seventh part of their time that way, and telling them, in scorn, that now they might well a while to keep a long Sabbath, as having little else to do. Juvenal thus describeth a Jew -

Cui septima quaeque fuit lux

Ignava, et partem vitae non attigit ullam. ” - Satyr. v.

Paulus Phagius telleth likewise of a black mouthed Egyptian, who said that Christians were a colluvies (b) of most loathsome, lecherous people, that had a foul disease upon them, and were therefore fain to rest every seventh day.


Verse 8

Lamentations 1:8 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward.

Ver. 8. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned.] Perpetuo, assidue, et graviter peccavit. Heb., Hath sinned sin, hath sinned sinningly, doing wickedly as she could, [Jeremiah 3:4] and having many transgressions wrapped up in her sins and their circumstances. [Leviticus 16:21] And this is here acknowledged as the true cause of her calamity. Profane persons lay all the blame in this case upon God, as he in the poet -

O patria, O divum domus Ilium, et inclyta bello

Maenia Dardanidum: ferus omnia Iupiter Argos

Transtulit …

Postquam res Asiae Priamique evertere gentem

Immeritam visum superis, ”& c. - Virg., Aeneid., ii.

Therefore she is removed.] Heb., Therefore is she unto removing or wandering, as Cain was (a) when he went to live in the land of Nod, or as a menstruous woman is separated from the society of others. Nidah for Niddah.

All that honoured her.] When her ways pleased the Lord.

Because they have seen her nakedness.] Her infamous wickednesses, for which she hath done penance, as it were, and is therefore despised. Or else it is a term taken from a naked captive woman.

Yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward,] sc., To hide her nakedness from public view. Or, going into captivity, she looked her last look toward her dear country, and fetched a sigh.


Verse 9

Lamentations 1:9 Her filthiness [is] in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified [himself].

Ver. 9. Her filthiness is in her skirts.] Taxat impudentiam insignem. (a) She rather glorieth in her wickedness, than is any whit abashed of it - a metaphor from a menstruous woman that is immodest. Oh quam Vulgatee hoc hodie malum. Oh how comon this present time of evil. See Isaiah 3:9. But whence this gracelessness

She remembereth not her last end,] i.e., What a black tail of plagues sin draweth after it, and that for all these things she must come to judgment. Memorare novissima is a good preservative from sin; but most men are of Otho the emperor’s mind, who thought it a piece of dastardy to speak or think much of death; (b) whereas Moses assureth us that by keeping out the thoughts of death, we keep our spirits void of true magnanimity, and that one of those that will consider their latter end would chase a thousand. [Deuteronomy 32:30]

Therefore she came down wonderfully.] Heb., With wonderments. Her incogitancy and inconsiderateness, together with the licentious wickedness following thereupon, being more heavy than a talent of lead, [Zechariah 5:7] brought her down with a powder, as we say, ita ut ad miraculum corruerit.

O Lord, behold mine affliction.] If not me, as utterly unworthy, yet mine affliction, as thou once didst Hagar’s; [Genesis 16:13] and if I may obtain no favour, yet why should the enemy insult to thy dishonour [Deuteronomy 32:27 Psalms 35:26; Psalms 38:16 Jeremiah 48:26; Jeremiah 48:42 Zephaniah 2:10]


Verse 10

Lamentations 1:10 The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen [that] the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command [that] they should not enter into thy congregation.

Ver. 10. The adversary.] The common enemy both of God and us, out of hatred of the truth and the professors thereof.

Hath spread out his hand.] His plundering and sacrilegious hand.

Upon her pleasant things.] But especially those that were consecrated to the service of God in the temple. The Rabbis here by pleasant or desirable things understand principally the book of the law, which, say they, the Moabites and the Ammonites sought for in the temple, that they might burn it, because therein was forbidden their admission into the Church for ever.


Verse 11

Lamentations 1:11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: see, O LORD, and consider; for I am become vile.

Ver. 11. All her people sigh.] And so think to ease their grief.

They shall seek bread.] The staff of life, which, without repair by nutrition, would be soon extinct so in the spiritual life, which made Job prefer the Word before his "necessary food." There is a "famine of the Word" which is much worse; [Amos 8:11 Isaiah 6:9-10] pray against it, and prevent it.

They have given their pleasant things for meat.] Which must be had at any rate; much more must the food of the soul. Our forefathers gave five marks, or more, for a good book; a load of hay for a few chapters of St James, or of St Paul, in English, saith Mr Foxe. (a) The Queen of Castile sold her jewels to furnish Columbus for his discovering voyage to the West Indies, when he had showed his maps, though our Henry VII, loath to part with money, slighted his proffers, and thereby the golden mines were found and gained to the Spanish crown. (b) Let no man think much to part with his pleasant things for his precious soul, or to sacrifice all that he hath to the service of his life, which, next to his soul, should be most dear unto him. Our ancestors in Queen Mary’s days were glad to eat the bread of their souls in peril of their lives.

To relieve the soul.] Heb., To make the soul come again; for A nimantis cuiusque vita in fuga est, Life must be fetched again by food when it is fainting away.

See, O Lord, and consider.] Quam delicata epulatrix facta sim; to what hard meat I am held, to how strait an allowance; see it, and be sensible of my prisoner’s pittance, and how I have made many a meal’s meat upon the promises when I have wanted bread, as that good woman once said.


Verse 12

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger.

Ver. 12. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by the way?] Siste viator. Stay, passenger, hast not a tear to shed? &c. Sanchez thinks that this is Jerusalem’s epitaph, made by herself, as to be engraven on her tomb to move compassion. The Septuagint have οι προς υμας, Hei, id vos subaudite, clamo, Woe and alas, cry I to you; make ye nothing of my misery? I wish the like may never befall you - Ne sit super vos - for so some render the words.

Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.] What we see in the water seemeth greater than it is, so in the waters of Marah. See Lamentations 3:1. It is sure that "no temptation, taketh us but what is human, or common to man." [1 Corinthians 10:13] But what did the man Christ Jesus suffer! All our sufferings are but chips of his cross, saith Luther, not worthy to be named in the same day, &c.

Wherein the Lord hath afflicted me.] This was yet no small allay to her grief, that God had done it. The Stoics, who held that all came by destiny, were noted for their patience, or rather tolerance, and equanimity in all conditions.


Verse 13

Lamentations 1:13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate [and] faint all the day.

Ver. 13. From above hath he sent fire into my bones.] Like as when the marrow and natural moisture is dried up by a violent fever; or rather, as when the solid parts of bodies below are lightning-struck from above, and scorched by these sulphurous flames that pierce into them.

And it prevailed against them.] Or, And he ruled it - viz., the fire; i.e., He directed and disposed it.

He hath spread a net for my feet.] And so hampered me, an unruly creature, ut constricta fuerim in ruinam, that there is no escaping from him; yea, the more I strive to get out, the faster I stick.

He hath turned me back.] Laid me on my back.

He hath made me desolate and faint.] My calamities come thick, one in the neck of another; words are too weak to utter them; and yet here is very great copia and variety of words, so that Paschasius saith this book may well be called, The Lamentations of Lamentations; like as Solomon’s Song is called for its excellence, The Song of Songs.


Verse 14

Lamentations 1:14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, [and] come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into [their] hands, [from whom] I am not able to rise up.

Ver. 14. The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand.] Compactum est. Or, Is bound upon his hand; that is, the Lord carrieth them in his continual remembrance.

They are wreathed.] Wrapped and wreathed together as a strong cord. My sins are twisted together, saith one, and sadly accented; so are the punishments of my sins, saith the Church here, neither can I get free, but as the heifer, by wriggling against the yoke, galleth her neck, so do I

And come up upon my neck.] Praeclarum scilicet monile, et torques, mearum virtutum index, et insigne.

He hath made my strength to fall.] Heb., He hath caused my power to stumble i.e., so to stumble as to fall; for he who stumbleth and yet falleth not, getteth ground.

From whom I am not able to arise.] Only God can raise me; and it is a work worthy of God, who

Deiecit ut relevet: premit ut solaria praestet.


Verse 15

Lamentations 1:15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty [men] in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, [as] in a winepress.

Ver. 15. The Lord hath trodden underfoot.] As unsavoury salt; that is, he hath covered with the greatest contempt.

All my mighty men.] Vulgate, My magnificos, or gallants, in whom I too much trusted.

In the midst of me.] In the very bosom of their mother; as Caracalla killed his brother Geta, consecrating the sword wherewith he so killed him.

He hath called an assembly against me.] Vocant adversum me tempus, so the Vulgate version hath it; and Calvin to the same purpose, He hath called the time against me - i.e., a set time wherein to destroy my strong ones. Howbeit one (a) maketh this inference from the words, for the very time which we have condemned, we shall be condemned; and for every day which we have spent idly, we shall be shent severely. This is true, but little to the present purpose; like as Hushai said, Ahithophel’s counsel was good, but not now.

The Lord hath trodden her as in a winepress.] By another like metaphor, God is said to have threshed Babylon as a threshingfloor. [Jeremiah 51:33]


Verse 16

Lamentations 1:16 For these [things] I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.

Ver. 16. For these things I weep.] I, Jerusalem; {as Lamentations 1:2} or, I, Jeremiah.

Nam faciles motus mens generosa capit. ” - Ovid.

Mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water.] Continuitatem significat: imo emphasin dicit. Niobe like, I weep excessively and without intermission. God would not have the wounds of a godly sorrow to be ever so healed up but that they may bleed afresh again upon all good occasion. As for worldly sorrow, there must be a stop put to it, lest what we have overly wept, we be forced to unweep again.

Because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me.] This was very sad, and made both eyes run down with water. God stood aloof off; men were slack to shore up a poor sinking soul. This was a condition and complaint not unlike that of Saul, "I am sore distressed; for the Philistines are upon me, and God is departed from me." [1 Samuel 28:15]


Verse 17

Lamentations 1:17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, [and there is] none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, [that] his adversaries [should be] round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.

Ver. 17. Zion spreadeth forth her hands.] But to whom? To God? She should have done it sooner - namely, while he stretched out his hands to her all the day long. To the Babylonian? At barbarus nil nisi iras spirat, but his tender mercies are mere cruelties. God will not take the wicked by the hand, saith Bildad; [Job 8:20] men may not, whenas God will not. No better course can be taken in this case than that prescribed, Lamentations 3:40-41; then God will repent, and men shall relent, toward a distressed creature.

And there is none to comfort her.] See Lamentations 1:16. This is oft complained of as a most heavy affliction.

The Lord hath commanded.] What marvel, then, that their hearts were so set off from him, Who had been so careless of keeping God’s commands?

Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.] Or, As an abomination, tanquam quisquiliae, vel tanquam foetidae aliquae sordes. God’s people are more shamefully slighted and reproached in the world than any else, and the godliest most of all.


Verse 18

Lamentations 1:18 The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.

Ver. 18. The Lord is righteous.] Whatever I suffer, or say haply in my passion, that may seem to sound to the contrary. Righteous art thou, O Lord, and just are thy judgments, said David; [Psalms 119:137] and after him Mauricius the emperor, when deposed by the traitor Phocas; and the noble Duplessis, when he heard of the death of his only son, slain in the Low Countries.

For I have rebelled against his commandments.] Heb., Against his mouth, and have therefore deserved thus to feel the weight of his hand; to hear the rod, and who hath appointed it, because I would not hear the Word and who preached it. I have imbittered his mouth, as some render the Hebrew text, and therefore am worthily imbittered by him.

Hear, I pray you, all people.] See Lamentations 1:12. But how agreeth this with that of David in 2 Samuel 1:20, "Tell it not in Gath?" It is answered that David there would not have that slaughter in Gilboa to be reported as the hand of the Philistines, but of God.

My virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.] Are carried out of this land, the sign of God’s favour, and of heaven itself. And here lay the pinch of their grief. Let young ones and maids - quibus hodie fraena laxari solent - obey God, unless they had rather perish.


Verse 19

Lamentations 1:19 I called for my lovers, [but] they deceived me: my priests and mine elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they sought their meat to relieve their souls.

Ver. 19. I called for my lovers, but they deceived me.] My confederates, idols, and other sweethearts, never yet true to any that trusted them. See Jeremiah 22:20; Jeremiah 30:14.

My priests and mine elders, &c.] What then became of poor folk? and how gracious was God to Jeremiah in the provision made for him by the king, who yet loved him not!


Verse 20

Lamentations 1:20 Behold, O LORD for I [am] in distress: my bowels are troubled; mine heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaveth, at home [there is] as death.

Ver. 20. Behold, O Lord, for I am in distress.] Thus ever and anon she is lifting up her soul to God, by a holy apostrophe, in some short yet pithy expressions. And surely if a long look toward God speedeth, [Psalms 34:4-5 Jonah 2:4; Jonah 2:7] how much more a hearty ejaculation, as here!

My bowels are troubled.] Lutulant, bulliunt, vel intumescunt: non solum fluctuant, aut strepunt, ut alibi. My bowels boil and bubble, or are thick and muddy, as waters are after and in a tempest: or it is a metaphor from mortar made by mingling water with lime and sand. She was in a great perturbation, and sought ease by submitting to God’s justice, and imploring his mercy.

Mine heart is turned within me.] Or, Turneth itself upside down. See Hosea 11:8.

For I have grievously rebelled.] This was the right way to get ease and settle all within - viz., to confess sin with aggravation, putting in weight, laying on load.

Abroad the sword bereaveth, at home there is as death.] Famine especially, which is worse than the sword. [Lamentations 4:9]

Et plurima mortis imago.

“Even the most intense image of death.”

R. Solomon interpreteth it of evil angels.


Verse 21

Lamentations 1:21 They have heard that I sigh: [there is] none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done [it]: thou wilt bring the day [that] thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me.

Ver. 21. They have heard that I sigh,.] My friends have, and yet they pity me not: this was a great vexation, and is much complained of. See Lamentations 1:2; Lamentations 1:16-17; Lamentations 1:19.

All mine enemies have heard of my trouble: they are glad.] This επιχαιρεκακια is the devil’s disease: the wicked compose comedies out of the saints’ tragedies, and revel in their ruins. But God’s people, in this case, have a double comfort: (1.) That God hath done it, and not the enemy; that he hath a holy hand in all the troubles that befall them. (2.) That their enemies shall not escape scot-free, but be soundly punished.

That thou hast done it.] Or, But thou hast done it; and sure we are thou wilt not overdo.

Thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called.] The dismal day of vengeance that thou hast threatened Babylon with, especially by Isaiah and Jeremiah.

And they shall be like unto me.] Their future desolation is my present consolation.


Verse 22

Lamentations 1:22 Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my transgressions: for my sighs [are] many, and my heart [is] faint.

Ver. 22. Let their wickedness come before thee.] God had pronounced Babylon’s destruction, and therefore the Church might safely pray it: think the like of spiritual Babylon. God seemeth to forget the insolencies of his enemies, and deliverance of his people; we must mind him, and then it will be done. Only let us see to it, that our fire of zeal for God’s glory burn clear, without the smoke of self-ends and of private revenge.

As thou hast done unto me for my transgressions.] This was it that put a sting into all her sufferings; but then she had this to support her, that her sighs for her sins were many, and that her heart was faint or heavy through fear of wrath; yet not without hope of mercy, which made her thus to repair unto him by prayer. Qui nihil sperat, nihil orat.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 1:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/lamentations-1.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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