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first child; the voice of the daughter of Zion that groans, that spreads forth her hands: Alas for me now, for my soul succumbs to murderers!
V. 1. Go ye to and fro in the streets cf Jerusalem, and see now and observe and search in its highways, if you can find a man, or if there is one, who practises right, who concerns himself about fidelity—then I would forgive her. 2. But although they say, "As truly as Yahveh lives," they nevertheless swear deceitfully. 3. O Yahveh, thy eyes—are they not upon fidelity? Thou hast smitten them, but they discerned not; thou hast wasted them, they refused to receive correction; they made their face harder than rock, they refused to turn. 4. I thought indeed: These are only the poor; they behave foolishly, because they know not the way of Yahveh,
according to the context, part. act. fem. of ^in for rbn, Ges. § 72. a. 1.
Ver. 1. iBBic, Dikduke Hatcamim (Strack and Baer, 1879), p. 14. 22. Bic, Pil., to wander round in zealous search, as in Amos viii. 12.—The trK prefixed is supplemented by the following attributes. — 'k cp3D, one striving after fidelity (see on ver. 3), diligent in it. Ver. 2. DM intimates that there are still serious men who by such oaths acknowledge Yahveh, or that it is done in the most serious moments; nevertheless even then truthfulness is wanting: they nevertheless swear falsely. p? here exceptionally in adversative sense: for all this, despite this. Ver. 3. LXX rightly, ci iip6a\fio! aou us vianv, thine eyes are directed to faithfulness, desire to see it (otherwise Hitzig, Ewald: Are not thine eyes faithful, trustworthy ?). nJiDK, stedfast, loyal disposition of heart, expressing itself in intercourse with men as honesty, justice, in relation to God as unreserved believing obedience, see Hab. ii. 4. God made known His displeasure unmistakeably by chastisements, which, however, bore no fruit. "bn with tone drawn back instead of ^n, from r6n, here not to be sick, but to feel pain. Cf. Micah vi. 13, and Delitzsch on Prov. xxiii. 35. Dn^3, of course, to be understood in limited sense. They made their countenance harder than rock, i.e. showed an insolent front; God's punishments left no trace of shame and sorrow on their face. Cf. Ezek. iii. 7 f. Ver. 4. The prophet for a the law of our God. 5. I will yet go to the great ones and speak with them; for they are acquainted with Yahveh's way, with the law of their God. But they had altogether broken the yoke, burst asunder the fetters! 6. Therefore the lion from the wood shall slay them, the wolf of the desert destroy them, the panther lies in wait against their cities: whoever comes forth from them shall be torn in pieces. For their offences are many, their unfaithfulnesses exceeding great. 7. "Wherefore then should I forgive thee? Thy children have forsaken me and sworn by no-gods; and when I made them swear, they committed adultery and crowded together in the
long time comforted himself with the thought, that it was only the poor, uneducated, and therefore less capable of reflection among the people, to whom God's sentence of rejection applied; but he was soon made to feel that the higher classes were thoroughly godless, because with their better knowledge they rejected the divine yoke more deliberately. D'Vr, properly, the faint, hence needy — here a social class, opposite of wbiJ. ro5>t» to be read after Dikduke, p. 41. 19. Only the needy (petty) are they (Dn) of whom that statement holds good. They act foolishly, because . . . i^6*l3, from bit? = Sk, to be foolish, whence 7W, iv. 22. The passage shows that an important difference existed between the classes in regard to religious culture. The common people were not taught at all. I3bcd, discipline, as teaching, ordinance, system. Ver. 5. DmK — for DFiK, see on i. 16. iK, but these have broken all together. Knowledge is not wanting here, but the chief matter. nnDiD refers to divine fetters also in Ps. ii. 3. Ver. 6. n3n, prophetic perfect. The savage beasts point to bloodthirsty, booty-loving foes. DT1C5», imperf. Kal for Dw;; cf. vnC, xlix. 28; Ges. § 20. 1. the tone advancing to the last syllable, Ges. § 67. a. 12; Eng. § 66. Ver. 7. mfo properly, where—for this? The '8 gives to such demonstratives a simply interrogative force, therefore = wherefore, synonymous with nab. m^DK, Kethib, fuller; Keri, usual form. Swearing by "no-gods" (unreal fictions of their imagination) was a denial of the true God Yahveh. jTCKto, LXX, Vulg., Syr. and many codd. and editions with fc': I filled them to the full, which is unsuitable to the solemnity of the context; rather: I made them swear, namely, the covenant with me at Sinai and often afterwards (cf. under Josiah, 2 Kings xxiii. 3), yet they broke this harlot's house. 8. Well-fed horses, they roamed about, every one neighed after his neighbour's wife. 9. Should I not visit for these things, is Yahveh's oracle, or should not my soul take vengeance on a nation like this?
10. Mount ye up on her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end! Tear away her tendrils, for they are not Yahveh's. 11. For they have acted faithlessly to me, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, is Yahveh's oracle. 12. They have denied Yahveh, and said: "It is not he, and calamity will not come on us, we shall see neither sword nor famine. 13. And the prophets shall become wind, and he that speaks is not in them; so shall they themselves fare." 14. Therefore thus
solemnly-sworn marriage-covenant. Hitzig suggests the actual marriage-covenant which God caused husband and wife to swear (Mal. ii. 14). But the primary subject is the relation between God and the nation. Yet unchastity actually went hand in hand with religious apostasy; hence the next verse mentions it . The harlot's house, in which they crowded together, may have been the temple of the false god, which in many cases deserved the name literally as well as religiously, since the worship often encouraged this vice. Ver. 8. In their brutish heat, which they cannot restrain, they are compared to horses. wiW, Kethib of pT. Aramaic, to nourish, feed: wellnourished horses, haughty and wanton; LXX, 6ri\vfiaviTt, lewd horses, Keri from JP, superfluous. D'3t?D, from roC, to roam about (cf. ruC), part. Hiphil here only. Ver. 9, like ver. 29, ix. 8. Ver. 10. niiC, according to the versions = walls, thus = nvw, to be explained as contraction of nhiB\ TftWi are tendrils (from CB3, to stretch out), in xlviii. 32 of the vine; cf. Isa. xviii . 5. The idea is that of a vine (not a vineyard) running on a wall. But the city walls suggest the figure.; they are represented as a protecting wall, on which the living vine (the population) hangs; cf. also Isa. xviii. 5. Ver. 12. Kin vh, not quite=Kin pK: he exists not; but they deny God in His special revelation through the prophets, deny that He speaks through them. ton xb, antithesis to Kin Ver. 13. The prophets become wind, they disappear with their message, they prove themselves worthless. "©'in, finite verb with article. He who professedly speaks in them is not in them. "So shall it happen to them" many refer to the becoming wind, better to sword and hunger, the judgment in general which they preach to us. Ver. 14. In reference to the energy of the prosays Yahveh, the God of hosts: Because you speak this word, behold I I make my words in thy mouth fire, and this nation wood, that it may consume them. 15. Behold, I bring upon you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, is Yahveh's oracle; it is an indestructible nation, it is a nation of ancient date; a nation whose language thou knowest not, nor understandest thou what it says. 16. Its quiver is an open grave; they are all heroes. 17. And it shall devour thy harvest and thy bread, devour thy sons and thy daughters, devour thy sheep and thy cattle, devour thy vine and thy fig tree; it shall lay in ruin thy fenced cities, in which thou trustest, with the sword. 18. But even in those days, is Yahveh's oracle, I will not make a full end of you. 19. And it shall come to pass, when you shall say: Why has Yahveh, our God, done all this to us? thou shalt say to them: Like as you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land which is not your own.
20. Declare ye this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah: 21. Hear ye this now, O simple people, and without understanding, who have eyes and see not, have ears and hear not! 22. Will you not fear me, is Yahveh's oracle, nor tremble in my presence, who have set the sand as a limit to the sea, an everlasting boundary, which it oversteps not? Its
phet's words, cf. i. 10, and the figure Obad. 18. Ver. 15 f. On the people here described, cf. Introd. p. 16. Deut. xxviii. 49-52 is the basis. Ver. 16. His quiver an open grave swallowing up everything, Ps. v. 9. Ver. 17. to eat up, consume, used first in the proper sense, then more generally. Ver. 18 f. See on iv. 27. Here '3 nCy is construed with DK = cum (cf. Judg. xi. 27), which might also make cases like xlvi. 28 doubtful, where it seems to be accusative. Yet the latter passage is assured by Nah. i. 8; Neh. ix. 31. Ver. 19 concludes, justifying the punishment by communicating God's righteous sentence, — i. 16. nnn elsewhere in place of something, here in return for something. When was their guilt of such magnitude, that so fearful a doom must repay it? To this the Lord replies, intimating in the form that guilt and punishment exactly correspond. Ver. 20. New opening like iv. 5. Ver. 21 like Ezek. xii. 2; cf. Deut. xxix. 3; Isa. vi. 10. Ver. 22. CM, to push; Hithp. to push each other, crowd, wave to and fro. By mere sand the Lord keeps the tossing, roaring sea in check. waves surge to and fro and prevail nothing; they roar and cannot pass over. 23. But this nation has an obstinate and rebellious heart; they have backslidden and gone away; 24. and they said not in themselves: Let us now fear Yahveh, our God, who gives rain, early and latter rain, in its season: He will reserve for us the firmly-fixed weeks of harvest. 25. Your transgressions have thrown these into disorder, and your sins have kept back good from you. 26. For villains are found among my people; they lurk, as fowlers crouch; they have set a trap, they catch men! 27. As a cage is full of birds, their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and rich. 28. They became fat, yea plump; they excelled in wickedness: right they never procure, the right of the orphan,—that they should prosper; and the cause
Ver. 23. miDi "TOD as in Deut. xxi. 18, 20. They will not see, and thus are defiant and rebellious. Ver. 24. Properly, "the weeks of the (Hitzig, Graf: the in apposition) terms of harvest" = firmly fixed harvest-weeks. The weeks between the Passover and Pentecost are meant, when according to law the harvest was to proceed, which, of course, made it necessary that God Himself should preserve these terms. Ver. 25. IBn is usually taken in the sense of "turn away," like ij»D; but it is rather to be understood after the analogy of BBcD nBn: your transgressions have made God's order totter, properly = altered its normal state. r6K thus applies to the fixed modes of blessing. In later times this normal course was much disturbed, and by the failure of rain the harvest was delayed and greatly injured. Ver. 26 assigns the reason for this. :]c, infin. constr., Ges. § 67. a. 3; Eng. § 66. The persons compared to fowlers contrive what causes destruction, as fowlers set traps, and take men like helpless birds! This nWD seems to have been a technical term in bird-catching for the trap or some part of it. Ver. 27. 3^3, basket woven of willows (Amos viii. 1); then cage for birds, scarcely trap for catching them (LXX, iraylf etpwrap'fvTi), rather one which fowlers bring for sale. The figure alludes indeed to ver. 26, but is new. Their houses are so full of deceit, i.e. of goods deceitfully obtained. p by, therefore, i.e. because they practise deceit. Ver. 28. incy, properly, to shine, refers here to fatness and well-fed appearance. VOS, as to bad things, they go beyond, exceed all measure therein (according to others: overflow with evil). The divine limits, which even the sea acknowledges, they regard not, allow not even the