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15 (D) 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.
16 (J7) For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye run
neth down with water, Because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me:
My children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.
17 (£5) Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to
The Lord hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his
adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them.
15. hath trodden under foot all my mighty men] rather, hath made of no account all my strong ones. Compare Ps. cxix. 118, where the same word ("hast trodden down," Eng. Vers.), should be rendered hast made light of. The verb means properly to lift up, and hence that which can be easily lifted, which is easily outweighed, here, e.g. by the Chaldaeans when they are placed as it were in the opposite scale.
hath called an assembly] hath summoned a solemn assembly. This is the ordinary application of the substantive, which primarily means an appointed time and hence a solemn assembly, or festival. The festival is for the enemy, and that which is to be celebrated, the overthrow of the flower of the Jewish army.
hath trodden..?] hath trodden the wine press for the virgin daughter of Judah. For treading the winepress, as a phrase to express the wrath of God, compare Is. Ixiii. 3; Rev. xiv. 19, xix. 15, and for the virgin daughter of Judah, Jer. xiv. 17.
16. For these things] The particulars rehearsed in the last three verses open again the floodgates of tears.
mine eye, mine eye] This repetition is quite in Jeremiah's style. Compare Jer. iv. 19, vi. 14 (and again, viii. 11), xxii. 20, xxiii. 25.
mine eye runneth down with water] See iii. 48, and compare the phrase "to weep one's eyes out."
relieve my soul] Compare ver. 11.
17. spreadeth forth her hands] in supplication. Compare Exod. ix. 29; 1 Kings viii. 38, etc.
that his adversaries should be round about him] those who are about him are his adversaries. The neighbouring nations look upon Jerusalem at once with hatred, and, as the last words express, with contempt.
Of) 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, (p) 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.
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. (£J>) 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. (Jl) Let all their wickedness come before thee; And do unto them, as thou hast done unto me for all my
18. / have rebelled against his commandment] This confession of sin is an anticipation of that which is so prominent in the next chapter. Compare, in the next verse but one, "I have grievously rebelled."
19. for my lovers] to my lovers.
to relieve their souls] Compare ver. 11. The Septuagint add (but unnecessarily, as it is sufficiently understood from the context), and found it not.
20. my bowels] the vital parts (specially the heart), as the seat of the emotions.
are troubled] literally, are red, inflamed (with sorrow); a strong figure.
is turned] cannot rest, is violently agitated.
at home there is as death] As violent death is imminent for those who stir abroad, so even those who remain within are like to die of famine and pestilence. See Jer. ix. 21.
21. thou wilt bring] thou bringest. The day here spoken of is the day of punishment for Judah, but viewed as involving also the punishment of her enemies. This is shewn by the last words of the verse. Compare Jer. xxv. 17—26, in which passage Jerusalem and the neighbouring nations are all united in the same figure, as drinking in common of the cup of God's wrath.
For my sighs are many, and my heart it faint.
Chap. II. 1—22. God's judgments upon the city.
2 (X) How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion
And remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!
» (3) The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of
Jacob, and hath not pitied:
daughter of Judah;
polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.
22. for my sighs are many] The connexion is, I have had my punishment. Do thou then proceed to inflict upon them their share.
Chap. II. 1—22. God's Judgments uroN The City. LamentaTion. Supplication.
This chapter may be subdivided as follows. Verses r—10 describe in detail the punishment sent upon Jerusalem, 11—17 bewail the same together with the cruelty of the lookers on, 18, 19 call upon the city to address herself to God, and 20—22 gives us the supplication which she accordingly offers. In this chapter we have not simply a renewed setting forth of miseries, but rather the same viewed now more in the light of a judgment sent from God, and therefore as the consequences of sin.
1. How] See note on chap. i. 1.
the beauty of Israel] possibly the Temple, as in Is. lxiv. 11, but more naturally, Jerusalem herself.
his footstool] here again either the city or the Temple may be meant, or thirdly, the ark, which is actually called God's "footstool" in 1 Chron. xxviii. 2. In Ps. cxxxii. 7, the word seems used of the sanctuary (compare Is. lx. 13).
2. habitations] The word is that which is used for the dwellings and pasture grounds of shepherds, and thus refers to the country parts of Judaea, as opposed to the fortresses, 'strongholds', that follow.
hath polluted] By their fall they have been deprived of that sanctity which has hitherto' been their character. Compare Ps. lxxxix. 39, where the original word ("hast profaned ") is the same as here.
(J) He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of 3 Israel:
He hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy,
And he burned against Jacob like a flaming Are, which
devoureth round about. (H) He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with 4
his right hand as an adversary, And slew all that were pleasant to the eye, In the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured
out his fury like fire.
(H) The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up 5 Israel,
He hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed
his strong holds, And hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning
(I) And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as 6
3. all the horn] every horn, every means of defence, the horn being the symbol of power.
He hath drawn back his right hand] God has withdrawn His aid from His people.
burned against Jacob] burned amidst Jacob. He carries destruction into the heart of the nation.
4. with his right hand] that which has hitherto been the symbol of His help.
all that were pleasant] This suggests persons only, whereas inanimate things are doubtless meant as well. Therefore, we had best translate all that was pleasant.
in the tabernacle...] This belongs to the third division of the verse, and therefore there should be a stop after eye, while the colon which follows 'Zion' should be removed.
tabernacle] the city, daughter being, as is usual in such a connexion, a noun of multitude.
5. The stops do not accord with the threefold division of the verse, as rightly made in the text above. The Heb. on the other hand is correctly stopped.
her palaces...his strong holds] Jeremiah, in the former case, was thinking of the city, in the second of the people at large; hence the change in the gender of the pronouns.
mourning and lamentation] groaning and moaning, if we are to keep up the similarity of the original words, w hich are substantives from the same root, like our tribulation and trouble.
6. The comparison in the earlier part of the verse, as it stands in
if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly:
The Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to
be forgotten in Zion, And hath despised in the indignation of his anger the
king and the priest. (T) The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred
He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces;
They have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in
the day of a solemn feast.
The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the
daughter of Zion: He hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his
hand from destroying: Therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament;
they languished together. (t3) Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath
destroyed and broken her bars: Her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the
law is no more; Her prophets also find no vision from the Lord.
the Eng. Vers., is of the Temple (called the tabernacle) to a pleasure booth in a garden, and this is perhaps the most natural sense of the Heb., although it leaves something to be supplied. If we take the more literal as a garden, we get the thought that the Temple was destroyed and broken up with as much ease as a garden that had failed to please its owner. The Septuagint, misreading the Heb., have "And he scattered his tabernacle as a vine".
his places of the assembly] his festivals. The same word in the Heb. as that which is immediately afterwards rendered solemn feasts. These were the annual, as the sabbaths the weekly, solemnities.
7. her palaces] her high buildings, according to the primary meaning of the word, which, as the context shews us here, refers to the Temple.
8. He hath stretched out a line] The Lord has used as much precision in the destruction of the place, as a builder shews in construction.
9. are sunk into the ground] have disappeared as completely as though actually swallowed up.
the law is no more] The overthrow of Jerusalem involved the cessation of the legal ritual, as the sacrifices could not be carried on elsewhere.