THOMAS AQUINAS
COMMENTARY ON LAMENTATIONS

translated by F.F. Reilly

Use with caution. I corrected a few errors; there are many more.

Prooemium

not translated

Chapter 1: Captive Zion's Sorrows

Verse 1 א

"How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the cities has become a vassal."

As this opening verse states: "She that was great among the nations," that is, once subject to her. As Ezekiel 5:5 declares: "This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the center of the nations."

Then is displayed that the people's glory was once distinguished by their tributes. For: "she that was a princess among the cities has become a vassal" Because, once tributes were made to her. As 2 Samuel 8:2 declares: "and he (David) defeated Moab." And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.

And, King Solomon had divided his kingdom within such glories, as setting forth distinctive projects to single cities. As recorded in I Kings 4:21: "Solomon ruled over all the kingdom from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life." Also Proverbs l2:21 states: "The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor."

Now to this Verse 1 is applied the first letter of the Hebrew, "Aleph", since doctrine is indicated. This Verse 1 points out to the Hebrew people the exact doctrine from God that lacks their observance, within their own knowledge, as people within captivity. This fact the prophet Isaiah 5:13 underscores: "Therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge; their honored men are dying of hunger, and their multitude is parched with thirst."

It must be also known that a fourth place of conquest is applicable in many colors, and in parched places: within this first lamentation.

Now, allegorically, "the city", in Verse 1 is the present church. The phrase: "that was full of people!" is indicative of the various tributes. And: "she was great among the nations" denotes obedi ence to the faith. Finally: "she what was a princess among the cities has become a vassal". This can refer to diversity within the Church, as discerned by a life-style prevailing.

Then again "How lonely sits the city that was full of people." This can indicate a loss of protection and aid from angels. And, "How like a widow has she become ". Namely, as she is taken away from her present spouse. Finally: "has become a vassal". That is, exposed to tyrants.

Morally, the phrase: "sits the city", connotes the human soul. And, the phrase, "that was full of people, indicates people of good affection.

Then, the saying, "great among the nations". Namely, regards corruptions. Also: "princess among the cities". That is, as to the human senses.

Then again: "How lonely": away from suffrages of goods. And, "like a widow". As to embraces of a husband. Finally: "has become a vassal": to corruptions.

Verse 2 ב

"She weeps bitterly in the night, tears on her cheek; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies."

Verse 2 laments the violation of friendship. So, first is indicated the need for friends. As expressed: "She weeps bitterly": as if continuously: Jerusalem. And, "in the night": privately, due to fear of enemies, or as one in adversity. Also: "tears on her cheeks": since there are none who would wipe them away. As Psalm 6:6 states: "every night I flood my bed with tears"

Secondly, as to lack of aid: "among all her lovers she has none to comfort her". That is, offering any aid against her enemies.

For: "all her friends have dwelt treacherously with her". Namely, the Egyptians and all joining with them. As Ecclesiastes 4:1 claims: "Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sum. And behold, the tears of the oppressed and they had no one to comfort them."

Thirdly, all affection is changeable. As said: "all her friends have dwelt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies."

To this second Verse is applied the Hebrew alphabet letter "Beth". This letter can symbolize a "House". For the house of Jacob now weeps, as a third situation for lamenting is pointed out.

Allegorically, the Church weeps over her enemies.

As Verse 2 expresses: "tears on her cheek": on Church prelates. And: "among her lovers": as the holy angels. Also: "she has none to comfort her as one person consoling with divine justice.

Morally, the human soul laments. As said: "she weeps bitterly in the night. That is, for sins.

Then: "tears on her cheek", the conscience by which action of one speaks.

And: "among all her lovers": in her private affections. Also: "she has none to comfort her with any pleasures of perverted affection.

Verse 3 ג

"Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress."

Here in Verse 3 the misery throughout the captivity's periods is exposed, as to its magnitude. Such is twofold: first, the servitude itself is lamented regarding suppression of human kind, second as to its possessions. As expressed further on in Verse 7 ("Zain"): "When her people fell into the hand of the foe, and there was none to help her, the foe gloated over her, mocking at her downfall."

The first part, (servitude itself) is divided twofold. First, misery from oppression is loudly bewailed. Secondly, the reason for this misery is shown. As Verse 8 "Heth", declares: "Jerusalem sinned grievously, therefore she became filthy; all who honored her despise her, for they have seen her nakedness; yea, she herself groans, and turns her face away."

As to misery from oppression there are two more notions: First this misery is bewailed as to a present affliction sustained, second, as to an affliction recalled. As Verse 7 "'Zain" states: "Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness all the precious things that were hers from days of old" etc..

Regarding present affliction there sustained, three further ideas are also presented. First, is the misery itself as to persons fleeing, second as to those remaining. As expressed in Verse 24' "Daleth": "The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her maidens have been dragged away, and she herself suffers bitterly."

Thirdly are those captives, as pointed out in Verse 5: "He": "Her foes have become the head, her enemies prosper, because, the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe."

Regarding the misery of those fleeing three notes are made. First, as to the flight itself, as Verse 3 says: "Judah has gone into exile because of affliction and hard servitude." That is, regarding persons fleeing from the land of Judah to the lands of their neighbors.

And: "because of affliction" (on the people) and hard servitude": through taxes, or tributes. For these persons did suffer on the lands of the Chaldaeans. The prophet Isaiah 16:3 states: "Hide the outcasts, betray not the fugitive; let the outcast of Moab sojourn among you;". Again: Isaiah 2l:l5 declares: "To the thirsty bring water, meet the fugitive with bread, O in habitants of the land of Tema. For, they have fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the press of battle."

Secondly, the imminent straits of those fleeing is bewailed. As Verse 3 says: "she dwells among the nations". That is, among the Moabites and the Ismahelites. Then, "but finds no resting place". For, even there an obstacle was suffered by them. Also, in Deuteronomy 28:65 is asserted: "And among these nations you shall find no ease, and there shall be no rest for the sole of sour foot.

Thirdly, is predicted obstacles in overcoming the power of enemies. As stated in Verse 3: "her pursuers (the Chaldaeans)have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress".

This distress was experienced even towards whom the people fled to, just like in Egypt. As Jeremiah 12:l6 declares: "Then the sword which you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow hard after you to Egypt; and there you shall die."

To this Verse 3 the Hebrew letter "Ghimel" is set forth, which is interpreted as "a plentitude". Because, for a plentitude of their sins the people suffer a plentitude of miseries. As Matthew 23:32 expresses this: "Fill up then the measure of your father". And Luke declares: "For the measure you give will be the measure you get back" (Lk 6:38).

Allegorically, the word "Judah" in Verse 3 refers to the Church, as joined to Christ. The words also in Verse 3: " has gone into exile

because of affliction", connote hostages. And there are hostages among hostages among whom one seeks peace. Then: "but finds no resting place": like one oppressed at will by everyone. Moreover, the word "Judah" in Verse 3 may mean a soul that ought to believe in God.

Then, Verse 3 continues: "has gone into exile," Namely, into corruptions and demons. And: "but finds no resting place": by fleeing such corruptions and demons.

Then is said: "her pursuers". That is, such demons "have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress": in death.

Verse 4 ד

"The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her maidens have been dragged away, and she herself bitterly suffers."

Here in Verse 4 is loudly lamented the misery of persons remaining. First, regarding such persons who frequent pilgrimages. As expressed: "The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts". That is, while they arouse contentions during three feasts: (Psach, Pentecost, and Scenopegia). To such the prophet Isaiah 33:8 refers: "The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceases. Covenants are broken, witnessess are despised, there is no regard for man".

Second, as to those persons remaining, like the leaders, or priests, the city honors. As said: "all her gates are desolate". And the propher Isaiah states: "And her gates shall lament and mourn; ravaged, she shall sit upon the ground." (Is 3:26)

Then: "her priests groan". As the minor propher Joel discloses: "Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep" (Jo 2:17).

Also, regarding maidens and virgins, Verse 4 says: "Their maidens have been dragged away". Namely, they are violated. As Job remarks: "Through want and hard hunger they gnaw the dry and desolate ground; they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes, and to warm themselves the roots of the broom" (Job: 30:3). And: I Maccabees l:11: "He gathered a very strong army and ruled over countries, nations, and princes, and they became tributary to him".

Third, is stated the people who comprise the city: "And she herself (Jerusalem) suffers bitterly". As the Book of Ruth 1:20 declares: Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me".

To Verse 4 is applied the Hebrew letter "Daleth", meaning "troubled". For, the destruction of the Temple (at Jerusalem) is loudly lamented. That is, due to its cedared and gold tablets. As recorded in I Kings, Chapter 6 (Building the House of the Lord") where is listed the eighth period of the people's captivity.

Allegorically, the word "roads" in Verse 4 connotes those ways leading to heaven. And: "to Zion". the place of prophets, and preachers.

Then: "to the appointed feasts". That is, as if within the celestial fatherland, heaven. And: "all her gates are desolate. Namely, the prelates of the Church.

Also: "her priests groan":those who administer sacred functions. And: "her maidens have been dragged away, and she herself suffers bitterly". Namely, those who obtain pre-eminent status within the Church.

All such persons are agitated through sin, as they unite their people together, subdued and filled with bitterness. Hence, the Book of Exodus claims: "And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain." (Ex: 32:19).

Morally, the word "roads" connotes the virtues or powers, of the human soul. And: "the appointed feasts": for contemplation. Also: "all her gates are desolate": morally, the (internal and external) senses.

Verse 4 then concludes: "her priests groan", Namely, those human souls with the sanctity of a divine religion. And: "her maidens have been dragged away, and she herself suffers bitterly". That is, morally, when purity of conscience is broken, leaving human soul troubled, filled with bitterness.

Verse 5 ה

"Her foes have become the head, her enemies prosper, because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe."

Here in Verse 5 is loudly lamented oppression, insofar as to the captives. So, first is bewailed captivity of minor persons, second, of major persons. As further on is said in Verse 6 ("Vau"): "From the daughter of Zion has departed all her majesty."

Regarding minor captives three ideas are advanced. First, is the exaltation of enemies' power like: "Her foes", Namely, the Chaldaeans. And: "have become the head". That is, as if lording over them.

Then, to possessions it refers: "her enemies prosper". As Deuteronomy 28:13 declares: "And the Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall tend upward only, and not downward.

Secondly is assigned from these possessions an exaltation of the enemies' power. As expressed: "because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions", Namely, as if si~ch sentences against herself (Jerusalem) inspire tribes to come forward as Moses foretold. Again: "for the multitude of her transgressions", So, Jeremiah declares: "And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it." (Jer: 18:9).

Third, is a setting forth of this captivity: "her children have gone away, captives before the foe". Namely, as children of the chosen people. Hence Isaiah 5:13 states: "Therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge."

To this Verse 5 is applied the Hebrew letter "He". That is, "judgments", that God spoke to Moses, in the eighth period of the people's captivity.

Hence Verse 5 concludes: "for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe." And such is a first period of an assumed general situation, termed as a "concession".

Allegorically the phrase, "her foes" in Verse 5 denotes "heretics", lacking due knowledge of the Church. So: "have become the head": prevailing over contentions. And: "her enemies prosper": allegorically, by their eloquence. Also, allegorically "because the Lord has made her suffer" permissively. And "her children have gone away": going forth while, "captives before the foe": abducted from the Church.

Morally, the phrase, "her foes" connote demons. And: "have become the head": corrupting all the people's intentions. So, "her enemies prosper": from their many sins.

Again: "because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions". (Verse 5). That is, the Lord permitting this. And: "her children have gone away": both moved and effected. "captives before the foe". Thus, Psalm l3(12):5: "lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him'; lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken".

Verse 6 ו

"From the daughter of Zion has departed all her majesty. Her princes have become like harts that find no pasture; they fled without strength before the pursuer".

Here is loudly lamented the captivity of major persons. Around this idea three notations are made. First is set forth an omission of ornamentations. As stated: "From the daughter of Zion has departed all her majesty." For instance, like vases taken away, and treasures from both leaders and priests around Jehoiachin, nephew of Josiah. (cf: II Kings Chapter 24 ("Nebuchadnezzar Conquers Judah"). So, the prophet Ezekiel declares: "They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your fine jewels." (Ez 23:26).

Secondly, is the necessity for supplies. As said: "Her princes have become like harts that find no pasture". That is, neither for themselves, or for their people. For, even bread is lacking within the city, when besieged at the time of Zedekiah. (cf. Jeremiah, Chapter 31 ("The Lord is Our Righteousness"). And the prophet Isaiah records: "And the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down, her throng and he who exults her." (Is 5:l4).

Thirdly, the captivity of leaders is considered. As stated: "They fled without strength before the pursuers." Namely, they are powerless to resist, as recorded by Jeremiah, Chapter 52. ("The leaders fled into the camp of Jehoiachin, king of Judah". And as said in Psalm 38(37):lO: "My heart throbs, my strength fails me."

Now to this Verse 6 is applied the Hebrew letter "Vau", and interpreted as: "And". That is, as if also these ideas are related to leaders, within a vindication by the Lord God, and within the fifth period of the captivity.

Allegorically, "the daughter of Zion" can refer to the Church, as a celestial Zion. This is exemplified whensoever the phrase is set forth as an ornament of the faith.

And: "Her princes" can refer to prelates who fall into error before a pursuer. For instance, as the devil, or demon, likened to a heretic perverting the faith.

Also: "that find no pasture," as within the Sacred Scriptures. And: "become like harts": in reference to words of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 5 ז

"Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness all the precious things that were hers from days of old. When her people fell into the hand of the foe, and there was none to help her, the foe gloated over her, mocking at her downfall."

Here in Verse 7 is recounted the misery within a memory of past events. First is touched upon the very memory of events in past afflictions. Such, when recalled, excite a weariness. As said: "Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness". That is, during those sins that excite a remorse of conscience.

Then: "all the precious things that were hers from days of old". Namely, as to prosperities causing an arousal of concupiscences. As the prophet Isaiah states: "But what can I say? For he has spoken to me, and he himself has done it. All my sleep has fled because of the bitterness of my soul" (Is: 38:15).

Secondly is pointed out the sufferings from present evils. As is said: "When her people fell into the hand of the foe, and there was none to help her". And as Psalm 22[2]:l says: "Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help."

Thirdly is set forth a contempt of the foe. As expressed: "The foe gloated over her, mocking at her downfall." Namely, as to things pertaining to the cult of religion. And as I Maccabees 1:39 says: "her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabboths into a reproach, her honor into contempt."

The expositions of the rhetorical position and the mystical sense (of the remaining fifteen Hebrew alphabet letters: "Zain"to "Tau" are touched upon in the "Glosses".

Verse 8 ח

"Jerusalem sinned grievously, therefore she became filthy; all who honored her despise her, for they have seen her nakedness; yea, she herself groans, and turns her face away."

Here in Verse 8 is shown the cause of the misery: Jerusalem. First is indicated its very sinning, secondly, its progress. As said: "she became filthy.

There are two further notions. First sin is referred to as "filthy". Namely, as expressed, "anthonomastically", within infidelity and idolatry. As Proverbs l4:34 declares: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."

Secondly, the effect of sin is set forth. First, is the misery, plus an instability. As said: "all who honored her despise her". Namely, at the time of Jerusalem's prosperity: "despise her, for they have seen her nakedness". That is, her adversity. As Job 29:11 claims: "When the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it approved."

Thirdly, there results a sadness of heart. As said: "yea, she herself groans, and turns her face away." That is, from the prosperity perfected by the Lord God. As Psalm 40 (39):l1 states: "Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt!"

Verse 9 ט

"Her uncleanness was in her skirts; she took no thought of her doom; therfore her fall is terrible, she has no comforter. 'O Lord, behold my affliction', for the enemy has triumphed!" Here is viewed the process for sinning. So, first sin is viewed: "her uncleanness", namely, "was in her skirts", namely, similiar to one�s affection, if progressing within sin.

Then: "she took no thought of her doom as to her death, or the divine judgment. As the Book of Sirach 7:36 admonishes: "In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin."

Secondly, is considered the penalty for sinning. As stated: "therefore her fall is terrible". That is, from a dignified status into an extreme misery. As Psalm 59(58):ll declares: "make them totter by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield!"

Thirdly, divine mercy is displayed. As Verse 9 finally says: "O Lord, behold my affliction for the enemy has triumphed!" And, as Psalm ll9(ll8):l53 declares: "Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget thy law".

Verse 10 י

"The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things; yea, she has seen the nations invade her sanctuary, those whom thou didst forbid to enter thy congregation."

Here is considered captivity, and servitude, relating to the taking of possessions suffered from victorious foes.

First is viewed exploitation of possessions relating to what foes had taken. Second, is calculated the possessions destroyed. As declared: "all her people groan as they search for bread". (Verse 11).

About the above idea two notions are proposed. First is the regard for plundered possessions. As said: "The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things". Namely, the Chaldeans, the victors, stretched out their hands. That is, for the treasures of the house of God, of the royal house, and of all other houses. As the prophet Isaiah reminds: "and all our pleasant places have become ruins". (Is 64:ll).

Secondly is considered the very profanation of the people. As stated: "yea, she has seen the nations invade her sanctuary". Namely, in such an order, so that it can happen that all possessions are taken away, even things within the sanctuary, or temple. As I Maccabees 2:8-9: "Her temple has become like a man without honor; her glorious vessels have been carried into captivity."

Or, otherwise: "yea, she has seen the nations invade her sanctuary." That is, by the Lord God. Also: "the nations invade her sanctuary". Namely, sanctuary priests invade by word, though living nicely, as they possess an idol within their sanctuary.Again: "those whom thou didst forbid to enter thy congregation". The Book of Leviticus records that mankind, even from Aaron's root in whom is a stain, may

not utilize holy things from the Lord God (cf. Leviticus Chapter 22, "Priests Shall be Holy to God"). So since sanctuary priests utilized holy things, they also were led into captivity and servitude. As a result, their fault, or sin, is cause for punishment.

Verse 11 כ

"All her people groan as they search for bread; they trade their treasures for food to revive their strength. Look, O Lord, and behold, for I am despised."

Here is noticed the spoiling of possessions taken away from the people. First is obs~erved the need for withdrawing, as to a deficiency of things needed. As expressed: "All her people groan as they search for bread". Psalm l02(lOl):4 thus remarks: "My heart is smitten like grass, and withered; I forget to eat my bread."

Second is noticed the distraction itself: "they trade their treasures for food". Namely, not to satiate themselves, but, "to revive their strength". That is, from the vile life among the Egyptians. (cf. Genesis Chapter 48: "Israel's Last Days")

Third, is noticed that this vile life moves the Lord God to divine pity. As expressed: "Look, O Lord, and behold, for I am despised." To which the prophet Jeremiah 2:36 refers: "How lightly you (Israel) gad about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria."

This final notice is from the legal personality of the city (Jerusalem).

Or, this tribe which, as if, proposes its own misery. Thus, here one is unable to refrain any further. So, he (the prophet) personally breaks forth in words of lamentation.

Verse 12 ל

"Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon me, which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger."

Here is exposed the captivity of the city. Jerusalem, and the tribe of Judah. First in interpreted these people enduring a severity of judgment, second, the judgment of the enemy's cruelty. As said in Verse 11: "Look, O Lord, and behold, for I am despised."

Regarding a severity of judgment, two further ideas are advanced. First is set forth the severity of judgment in general, second in particular. As beyond said in Verse 15: "The Lord flouted all my mighty men in the midst of me, he summoned an assembly against me to crush my young men.

Regarding the general severity of judgment three more notions are conveyed. First is exposed the very indignation of the Lord God, as to how He vindicates through judgment.

Second is the severity of divine discipline regarding the Lord God educating through punishment. Like the next Verse 13 ("Mem") points out. "From on high he sent fire; into my bones he made it descend; he spread a net at my feet; he turned me back; he has left me stunned, faint all the day long."

Third is proposed the rigor of divine justice, insofar as the office of judge is exercised in punishing. As Verse l~4' states: "My transgressions were bound into a yoke; by his hand they were fastened together.

To the first idea (indignation of the Lord God) three further notions are advanced. First, an invocation is considered. As said in Verse 12: "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like to my sorrow which was brought upon me." That is, along this region of the desert. So Jeremiah says: "And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, 'Why has the Lord dealt thus with this great city?'" (Jer: 22:8)

Second the magnitude of their grief is viewed. Verse 12 says: "Look and see". For, while one considers their grief one does not view anything similar. Also, it was greatest, since everything was taken away. As Jeremiah 8:21 says: "For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me."

Third, such indignation of the Lord God is viewed as to a reason for such grief. For, one will vindicate captivity, as you (the enemy) destroy inhabitants like a sta]k of grape clusters in a vineyard.

For the prophet Isaiah 5:7 states: "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting." And Psalm 80(79):12 says: "Why then hast thou broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?"

Then, Verse 12 concludes: "which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger". That is, which the Lord threatens through his prophets.

Verse 13 מ

From on high he sent fire; into my bones he made it descend; he spread a net for my feet; he turned me back;he has left me stunned, all the day long."

Here is considered the severity of a divine discipline, as the divine master teaches by hard lessons. This severity is done within corrections. As expressed: "From on high he sent fire." That is from a loftiness of counsel, "he sent fire": as an affliction, or by which a city is literally burnt.

Then,"into my bones": into our strengths, and fortifications. And, through heavy blows"he made it descend". As Isaiah declares: "and it will be sheer terror to understnad the message" (Is 28:19).

Second, this severity is displayed in the bewaring of future events. As said: "he spread a net for my feet". That is, as an impediment by which sin is prevented. As Hosea, the prophet, claims: "Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns" (Hos: 2:6).

Third is shown this severity by the taking away of the benefits within consolations. As said: "he turned me back; he has left me stunned, faint all the day long." Which states, as if: there is granted no consolation after blows, like a schoolmaster does after punishing school boys. For, as the prophet Baruch exclains: "God has brought great sorrow upon me" (Bar 4)

Verse 14 נ

"My transgressions were bound into a yoke; by his hand they were fastened together; they were set upon my neck; he caused my strength to fail, the Lord gave me into the hands of those whom I cannot understand."

Here is indicated the rigor in justice of the Lord God, insofar as a divine judge. Around this idea three further notions are proposed.

First is considered a diligent concorn about sin. As said""My transgressions were bound into a yoke. That is, as one diligently considers a yoke of affliction, that must be interpreted as from effects of many sins. For, the prophet Jeremiah declares: "And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Jeremiah, what do you see?' and I said, 'I see a rod of almond" (Jer l:ll).

Second is noticed the severe effect from the punishment. As expressed: "by his hand they were fastened together", Namely, such evils were like a chain, and unbreakable like a bond.

Then: "they were set upon my neck". That is, while one suffers punishments for sins. As Psalm 38(37):4 exclaims: "For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me."

Third, an evasion of time is excluded, due to a weakness. As: "he caused my strength to fail". And, at another time, it was due to the enemy's power. For,"the Lord gave me into the hands of those whom I cannot understand." Namely, the Chaldeans. Thus, Psalm 3l(30):l0 states: "My strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away."

Verse 15 ס

"The Lord flouted all my mighty men in the midst of me; he summoned an assembly against me to crush my young men; the Lord has trodden as in a winepress, the virgin daughter of Judah."

Here is exposed the misery from servitude in particular. First is such servitude under Jehoiachin, King of Judah. (cf Last part, 2 Kings (4 Kings), Chapter 25, "The Exile of Judah").

Second is exposed in particular the captivity of Judah under Sedecias, (Zedekiah, recorded in last chapter, 4 Kings). And in Jeremiah Chapter 52, ("Judah Taken Captive at Babylon"). As expressed in Verse 17 ("Pe"):l: "Zion stretches out her hands but there is none to comfort her.

Regarding the first captivity under King Jehoiachin, two further ideas are exposed. First is lamented the servitude of the people, second, a taking away of consolation. As further on exposed in Verse 16 ("Ain"):l: "For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me."

To lamentations over the people's servitude, three notions are advanced. First, servitude of people concerning those eminent in dignity. As expressed: "The Lord flouted all my mighty men in the midst of me". Namely, those leaders who do great deeds. For, to other men remaining, these were indeed captives. Hence, Isaiah 3:1 declares: "For behold, the Lord of host, is taken away from Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water."

Second, are taken away persons eminent in virtue. As said: "he summoned an assembly against me": those apt for destruction. Also: "to crush my young men". That is, young men eminent in virtue. Thus, Psalm 75(74):2 states: "At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity." And Exodus 32:34 says: "Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them." Also, Ecclesiastes 3:1. claims: "For everything there is a season."

Third, are taken into captivity persons eminent for purity and piety. As said: "The Lord has trodden me as in a wine press, the virgin daughter of Judah." Namely, a literal affliction of a virgin-daughter. Or, of a tribe (of Judah) which, up until then, had been like a captured virgin-daughter. So, Jeremiah exclaims: "The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against the nations." (Jer:25:3l).

Thus, this Verse 15 ought to be literally prescribed, as the "Interlinear Gloss" so asserts. Yet, what is prescribed in the following Verse 16 ("Am") seems better, as it is divided into three parts.

Verse 16 ע

"For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed."

Here in Verse 16 a taking away of consolation is lamented. So first is the bewailing within grief. As stated: "For these things I weep, my eyes flow with tears." And Jeremiah 9:1: "O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears."

Second is the matter of grief itself. As said: "for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage That is, as one, like Egypt, to revive my soul; from the grief itself. Since, I (Jerusalem) suffer away from my pristine prosperity. As Psalm 88(87):8 discloses: "Thou hast caused my companions to shun me."

Third, is the effect upon the city (Jerusalem). As said: "my children are desolate for the enemy has prevailed". For, due to a deficiency of aid, the power of the enemy prevails, and then the captivity of the people. As Jeremiah: 50:6 declares: "My people have beeh last sheep; their shepherdshave led them astray".

Verse 17 פ

"Zion stretches out her hands, but there is none to comfort her; the Lord has commanded against Jacob that his neighbors should be his foes, Jerusalem has become a filthy thing among them."

Here is first a loud lamentation, second, it is due to a captivity during the reign of Sedecias, (Zedekiah, the last king of Judah), when the people were totally captive.

As to this situation three more ideas are proposed. First, is the siege, or blockade, as bewailed, second the captivity itself. As further on said: "The Lord is in the right for I have rebelled against his word." (Verse 18 "Sade").

Third, is the corruption, due to a famine. As further on declared: "I called to my lovers but they deceived me, my priests and elders perished in the city, while they sought food to revive their strength." (Verse 19 "Coph")

Regarding the siege, or blockade, three further notions are made. First is reckoned a lack of friends, who could be of aid in preventing the siege. As declared: "Zion stretches out her hands, but there is none to comfort her" (V 17). That is, as if, seeking aid from the Egyptians. As finally expressed in Chapter 5:6: "We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyris, to get bread enough." Or, also aid from the Lord God. As the prophet Isaiah expresses: "When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you" (Is 1:15).

Second, as to the captivity itself, the arrival of the enemy is considered in Verse 17: "the Lord has commanded against Jacob that his neighbors should be his foes." Namely, like the Chaldeans. As Isaiah 10:6 proclaimed: "and against the people of my wrath I commanded him to take spoil and seize plunder.

Third, the consumption, due to famine, considers the management of the siege. As Verse 17 says finally: "Jerusalem has become a filthy thing among them." That is, against Jerusalem, no one advances in order to defend it. As Jeremiah 2:2 declares: "None who seek her need weary themselves; in her mouth they will find her."

Verse 18 צ

"The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word; but hear, all you peoples; and behold my suffering; my maidens and my young men have gone into captivity.

Here is lamented the captivity itself, and around this idea three propositions are advanced. First is proposed an acknowledgment of the justice from a judge. As expressed: "The Lord is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word." And as the prophet Daniel declares: "for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works which he has done" (Dan 9:14).

Secondly, the benevolence of hearers is viewed, provoking them into compassion. As said: "but hear, all you peoples, and behold my suffering." That is: "But hear: cities of Zion, (Judah)." As Jeremiah exclaims: "they shout against the cities of Judah." (Jer 4:l6).

Thirdly, the misery during captivity is lamented. As Verse 18 concludes: "my maidens and my young men have gone into captivity." That is, due to the strength of their age they evade death through famine, as they have gone into captivity." And as Jeremiah 51:34 states: "he has filled his belly with my delicacies, he has rinsed me out."

Verse 19 ק

"I called to my lovers but they deceived me; my priests and elders perished in the city, while they sough food to revive their strength."

Here is the consumption of health of those ones killed by the famine during the siege. So, first is indicated deception from friends: "I called to my lovers but they deceived me". That is, just like the Egyptians, since they did not help me, as I (Jerusalem) hoped for. As, Isaiah, the prophet declares: "For Egypt's help is worthless and empty, therefore I have called her 'Rahab who sits still'" (Is:30:7).

Secondly, the consumption from the fact of the situation is considered. As expressed: "my priests and elders," Namely, as regarding the consumption they are considered as an indignity. Also: "perished in the city." As the prophet Isaiah 5:13 states: "Their honored men are dying of hunger, and their multitude is parched with thirst."

Thirdly, a reason for this consumption of health is assigned. As Verse 19 concludes: "while they sought food." That is: " to revive their strength". Namely, to revive themselves, while they cannot find any food.

Again, a reason for their need is assigned. For they (priests and elders) sought food for themselves, and not for their people. As the prophet Ezekiel 3L1':2 declares: "O shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?"

Verse 20 ר

"Behold, O Lord, for I am in distress, my soul is in tumult, my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious. In the street the sword bereaves; in the house it is like death."

Jerusalem begins to be captured by the divine king himself. About this notion three further views are proposed. First is expressed the precise distress, second, Judah (Jerusalem) is accused of faults by enemies. As Verse 21 later declares: "Hear how I groan; there is none to comfort me."

Third, Judah (Jerusalem) seeks vindication. As Verse 2? later on says: "Let all their evil-doing come before thee; and deal with them as thou hast dealt with me because of all my transgressions.

About the precise distress during the captivity there is excited attention. For, this Verse 20 says: "Behold, O Lord, for I am in distress, my soul is in tumult. In reference, Psalm 5l(50):l declares: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions."

As to the accusation of faults by enemies, there is metaphorically expressed a grief that is interior, and a nearness to one's heart. So, Verse 20 says: "my heart is wrung within me because I have been very rebellious." Such is already exposed above. But elsewhere Jeremiah 4:3l says: "For I heard the cry of a woman in travail, anguish as of one bringing forth her first child."

Also, the Book of Ruth 1:20 declares: "She said to them 'Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me!". And, Deuteronomy 32:14 says: "If I whet my glittering sword, and my hand takes hold on judgment.

Verse 21 ש

"Hear how I groan; there is none to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it. Bring thou the day thou hast announced, and let them be as I am."

One is here accused of faults towards others. First, one is faulted for each of aid. As said: "Hear how I groan; there is none to comfort me." Namely, like the Egyptians, or others in whom I can trust. Like the utterance of Jeremiah 31:15: "Thus says the Lord; 'A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentat ion and bitter weeping."

Second, Judah (Jerusalem) is pointed out as a delight to her enemies. As Verse 21 continues: "all my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it." And Psalm l3(l2):4 states: "Lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him'; lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken."

Third, Judah (Jerusalem) is, as if, secure within divine justice. As Verse 21 concludes: "Bring thou the day thou hast announced, and let them be as I am." Namely, you (O Lord) lend them to their destruction, as a surety of comfort to me Judah (Jerusalem), now having like griefs and afflictions. As Isaiah 65:13 states: "Behold my servant shall eat, but you shall be hungry."

Verse 22 ת

"Let all their evil-doing come before thee; and deal with them as thou hast dealt with me because of all my transgressions; for my groans are many and my heart is faint."

Here a vindicated Judah (Jerusalem) is sought. First is recalled the fault within memory. As expressed: "Let all their evil-doing come before thee." That is, from their sins. For, Psalm l09(l08):l4: exclains: "May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!"

Second, a penalty is sought. As said: "and dealwith them as thou hast dealt with me because of my transgressions." And, as said above in Verse 12: "which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger."

Third, a cause is assigned. As Verse 22 concludes: I, for my groans are many and my heart is faint." Namely, due to the evils that I (Judah, Jerusalem), suffer from such enemies. As Jeremiah 8:18: declares: "My grief is beyond healing, my heart is sick within me."

Chapter 2

Verse 1 א

"How the Lord in his anger has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud! He has cast down from heaven to earth the splendor of Israel; he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger."

The destruction of the city, (Jerusalem), the people, and the entire city is lamented.

So, this Verse 1 is divided into two parts. First is deplored destruction itself, second the desperation of the people becomes exclusive. As later expressed in Chapter 3:1: "1 am the.man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath

The idea of destruction itself has two views. First, misery from destruction is lamented, second, the inward destruction to oneself beseeches divine mercy. As the later Verse 18 says: "Cry aloud to the Lord! O daughter of Zion."

On the misery from inward destruction to oneself two more notions are presented. First is lamented destruction in general, second in particular. As Verse 2 states: "The Lord has destroyed without mercy all the habitations of Jacob."

Regarding destruction in general it is wondered at, due to the multiple glory that preceeded it. First the prerogative as to divine knowledge. Since, Psalm (147):20: "He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they donot know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!"

The contrary is within Verse 1: "How the Lord in his anger has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!" Namely, within ignorance and sadness. As Isaiah 59:9 declares: "We look for light, and behold darkness, and for brightnes, but we walk in gloom."

Second is the particular destruction in relation to the power of royal dignity. The Book of I Esdras 4:20 so states: "And mighty kings have been over Jerusalem, who ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom trubute, custom, and toll were paid." Thus, Verse 1 continues: He hast cast down from heaven to earth the splendor of Israel."

Such is the end of royal dignity and power, or heavenly conversation. As Revelation 6:13 declares: "and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale."

Third is the destruction in reference to the cult of divine instruction, or religion. So Psalm l44(l43):15 claims: "Happy the people to whom such blessings fall! Happy the people whose God is the Lord."

In contrary, Verse 1 records: "he has not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger." That is, not remembered in goodness, the footstool of his footstool, within which he (the Lord) is adored, like a king is reverenced around the footstool beneath his feet.

As the prophet Ezekiel 43:7 states: "and he said to me, 'Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel for ever'".

Verse 2 ב

"The Lord has destroyed without mercy all the habitations of Jacob; in his wrath he has broken down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; he has brought down to the ground in dishonor the kingdom of its rulers."

Those events occurring around destruction are viewed here in particular. First, are lamented those events conjoined to the destruction, second, those events following. Onward in Verse 13 such is expressed: "What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem?" etc.

As to events joined to destruction two ideas are advanced. First is bewailed the destruction of common edifices, second, the eminent edifices. As later Verse 6 comments: "He has broken down his booth like that of a garden, laid in ruins the place of his appointed feasts."

Regarding destruction of common edifices two further ideas are proposed. First is bewailed destruction itself, that pertains to the king's might, second, what pertains to the people's use. As further on Verse 4 says: "He has bent his bow like an enemy; with his right hand set like a foe; and he has slain all the pride of our eyes in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he has poured out his fury like fire."

To the very destruction itself of edifices two more notions are set forth. First is bewailed destruction itself, second, the unavailing resistence. As Verse 3 states: "He has cut down in fierce anger all the might of Israel; he has withdrawn from them his right hand in the face of the enemy."

Three more ideas are again proposed as to destruction itself. First is lamented events that relate to decorum and dignity. Verse 2 thus says: "The Lord has destroyed without mercy all the habitations of Jacob." And, the prophet Joel 1:19 declares: "Unto thee, O Lord, I cry. For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness."

Second is lamented events pertaining to fortitude and courage. As Verse 2 continues: "in his wrath he has broken down the strongholds of the daughter of Judah. While the prophet Isaiah 25:12 says: "And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, even to the dust." Also, Jeremiah 33:4 records: "For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah which were torn down to make siege mounds and before the sword."

Third, the violent detriment of the kingdom is ended.

As Verse 2 concludes: "he has brought down to the ground in dishonor the kingdom and its rulers." The prophet Ezekiel 28:8 exclaims: "They shall thrust you down into the Pit, and you shall die the death of the slain in the heart of the seas."

Verse 3 ג

"He has cut down in fierce anger all the might of Israel; he has withdrawn from them his right hand in the face of the enemy; he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob, consuming all around."

Herein Verse 3 is expressed the impotency for resisting. First is excluded human strength, or power. As said: "all the might of Israel." For, Psalm 75(74):10 claims: "All the horns of the wicked he will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted."

Second is excluded any divine power. As Verse 3 continues: "he has withdrawn from them his right hand in the face of the enemy." That is, like any defense by which (the Lord God) came down upon them. Psalm 74(73):ll so refers: "Why dost thou hold back thy hand, why dost thou keep thy right hand in thy bosom?"

Third, Verse 3 concludes regarding the fire of Jacob on the earth. It says: "he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob, consuming all around." Also Isaiah 42:25 records: "it set him on fire round about, but he did not understand; it burned him, but he did not take it to heart."

Verse 4 ד

"He has bent his bow like an enemy, with, his right hand set like a foe; and he has slain all the pride of our eyes in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he has poured out his fury like fire."

Verse 4 laments destruction of possessions pertaining to people's use. First are those things that refer to defense. As Verse 5 later states: "The Lord has become like an enemy, he has destroyed Israel; he has destroyed all its palaces, laid in ruins its strongholds."

Regarding those possessions pertaining to their dignity, or decorum, three more notions are exposed. First is indicated the divine indignation. As said at the beginning of Verse 4: "He has bent his bow like an enemy." That is like to a judgment, or the army of the Chaldeans, as if borne from afar.

And: "set like a foe: in order to strike with his right hand, as he presses near." As Psalm 7:12 asserts: "If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow."

Second, the infliction of punishment is considered. So, Verse 4 continues: "and he has slain all the pride of our eyes." Namely, people's edifices, and other possessions. As Book of Numbers 24:5 asserts: "How fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel!"

Third, the magnitude of the punishment is shown, insofar to the extent without limits. As Verse 4 continues: "in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he has poured out his fury like fire," That is, like harassment. Or, as Deuteronomy 32:22 says: "For a fire is kindled

by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains." Also, Psalm 69(68):24: "Pour out thy indignation upon them, and let thy burning anger overtake them."

Verse 5 ה

"The Lord has become like an enemy, he has destroyed Israel; he has destroyed all his palaces, laid in ruins its strongholds; and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation."

Here is bewailed the destruction of edifices relating to defense. About this idea three further aspects are expressed. First is touched upon the indignation of the Lord God. As asserted: "The Lord has become like an enemy And Isaiah 63:10: "therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them." Also, Psalm 44(43): "For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our body cleaves to the ground."

He has broken down his booth like that of a garden, laid in ruins the place of his appointed feasts; the Lord has brought to an end in Zion appointed feast and sabboth, and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest."

Verse 6 ו

Verse 6 bemoaned the destruction of principal edifices. The first is the temple, second, the royal house or palace. As Verse 8 later says: "The Lord determined to lay in ruins the wall of the daughter of Zion; he marked it off by the line." Regarding the temple two views are set forth. The first views the destruction of the very temple, second, is viewed those possessions within the temple. As Verse 7 states: "The Lord has scorned his altar, disowned his sanctuary."

Three notions are proposed as to the destruction of the temple itself. First is inferred the very destruction of the temple. As Verse 6 begins: "He has broken down his booth": that was made in the desert. In Silah had been placed the tabernacle which Solomom had constructed.

Then, "like that of a garden." That is, what is easily destroyed. As Psalm 78(77):60 states: "He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among men." And, Jeremiah 26:6: "Then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth."

Second, the ending of temple feasts is touched upon. As said: "laid in ruins the place of his appointed feasts; the Lord has brought to an end in Zion appointed feast and sabboth." (Verse 6). As if said: a feast acceptable before. And as Isaiah 1:14 says: "Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates."

Third, is indicated reprobation of ministries. As stated in conclusion: "and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest." Namely, such indignation aims at the king, to whom pertains the defense of the temple, or sanctuary.

Also, aimed at the priest to whom the administration of temple and sanctuary relates. For, Job 12:19 says: "He leads priests away stripped, and overthrows the mighty."

Verse 7 ז

"The Lord 'has scouned his altar, disowned his sanctuary; he has delivered into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; a clamor was raised in the house of the Lord as on the day of an appointed feast."

Here is described the destruction of edifices inside the temple. First as to religion regarding the altar. For, the altar of holocausts: "The Lord has scorned his altar", Namely, handing over the altar for emenies to profane.

Second: "disowned his sanctuary." That is, regarding pleasing sacrifices that were formerly offered. As I Maccabees: 4:38 declares: "And they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates burned."

Then: "he has delivered into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces". So, I Maccabees 2:7 states: "and to dwell there when it was given over to the enemy, the sanctuary given over to aliens?"

Third is indicated the burning of the sanctuary, or temple, by men. As finally Verse 7 says: "a clamor was raised in the house of the Lord as on the day of an appointed feast." Namely, a clamor akin to a blasphemy, or tumult as warlike, that came: "on the day of an appointed feast."

Also, like when temple priests were accustomed to praise the Lord God. As the prophet Isaiah 66:6 proclaims: "Hark an uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, rendering recompense to his enemies!"

Verse 8 ח

"The Lord determined to lay in ruins the wall of the daughter of Zion, he marked it off by the line; he restrained not his hand from destroying; he caused rampart and wall to lament, they languish together."

The destruction of the ark of Zion is here considered. First it is viewed as a divine revelation."The Lord determined to lay in ruins the wall": Namely, as if the Lord, so considering, determines not to fulfill immediately.

Then: "the wall of the daughter of Zion" - That is, as relates to the tabernacle, the ark, or Jerulalem itself. As Isaiah 14:26 says: "This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations."

Second, a last judgment is considered. As: "he marked it off by the line." As if, in order to measure out a just judgment. So that, the penalty would equate with the fault, or sin.

Then: "he restrained not his hand from destroying", Since, nothing is dismissed regarding a just punishment. So, Isaiah 34:11-12 claims: "He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plummet of chaos over its nobles. They shall name it No Kingdom There, and all its princes shall be nothing."

Third, the effect of such divine justice is evaluated. As: "he caused rampart and wall to lament, they languish together." That is, he foresaw destruction that led to such lamentation. As Chapter 1:4 states: "The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the appointed feasts; all the gates are desolate.

Verse 9 ט

Verse 9 thus refers: "Her gates have sunk into the ground", That is, the ground filled with tribulations, and so unable to be torn up. Psalm 69(68):2 thus states: I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold." Again: "her gates", That is, the kings for whom there is the power of a judge who is exercised at the gates, (of the city, Jerusalem). Also: "he has ruined and broken her bars." That is by capturing and leading her into captivity. So: "her bars", namely princes in whom the kingdom is entrusted regarding its gates and bars.

Then is declared: "her king and princes are among the nations." For, Psalm l07(106):l6 claims: "For he shatters the doors of bronze, and cuts into the bars of iron." Besides, Isaiah 3:26 asserts: "And her gates shall lament and mourn; ravaged, she shall sit upon the ground."

Second, regarding humankind's dignity, spiritual princes like priests, are referred to. Then is said: "the law is no more". That is, through the teachings of priests. Like the prophet Malachi 2:7 proclaims: "For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts."

Finally Verse 9 states: "and her prophets obtain no vision from the Lord." And as Psalm 74(73):9 declares: "We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long."

Verse 10 י

"The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground in silence; they have cast dust on their heads and put on sackcloth; the maidens of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground."

The destruction of the miserable is mouxtned, due to reverence for their status. First, regarding elders who: "sit on the ground in silence." Namely, as signs of great sadness. Like Job: 2:13: "And they set with him on the ground seven days and nights and no one spoke a word for him, for they saw thatt his suffering was very great."

Second, the destruction of virgins is mourned. As Verse 10 finally claims: "the maidens of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground." That is, the maidens around the ark of the covenant, or tabernacle, as daughters of the temple priests. Again: "have bowed their heads to the ground." That is, as a sign of sadness. And as "maidens of Jerusalem": insofar as they dwell in this city. Also: "They have cast dust on their heads and put on sackcloth," That is, in their confusion and fear.

Then: "the maidens of Jerusalem". Namely, and those maidens who dwell elsewhere throughout the kingdom. For Isaiah 3:24 states: "Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a girdle, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness."

Verse 11 כ

"My eyes are spent with weeping; my soul is in tumult; my heart is poured out in grief because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because infants and babes daint in the streets of the city."

Here, miserable persons, due to defect of age, are mourned. First is indicated the death of such persons, second, the order of their death. As verse 12 says: "They cry to their mothers, 'Where is bread and wine?" And as Jeremiah 9:1 expresses it: "O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears." Namely, from a commotion of vital parts, around the heart.

Then: "my heart is poured out in grief," As if, only I grieve, like the heart's commotion within grief. Or, as if one arrives to the very intimacies of the heart. Jeremiah 31:20 so saying: "Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord."

Regarding effusion of the human liver on human passions, Verse 11 refers: "because of the destruction of the daughter of my people," That is, as I grieve, as if the city would be destroyed.

Or, since my love for the plight (of the city) within destruction. That is, as if thrown to the earth, those prostrate, whom I loved. The prophet Hosea 13:8 thus states: "and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rend them."

Second, (as to the death of such persons) mercy is from compassion. As Verse 11 concludes: "because infants and babies faint in the streets of the city." Namely, the city of Jerusalem, since it has become vile, or from any other condition. As Jeremiah 51:22 says: "with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth; with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth; with you I break in pieces the young man and the maiden."

Verse 12 ל

"They cry to their mothers, 'Where is bread and wine?' as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out on their mothers' bosom."

The order of death is here exposed,as it excites mercy. First is a prayer to mothers as said: "They cry to theri mothers, 'Where is bread and wine?'". As if wine is lacking, so give to us bread. For Lamentations 4:4 claims: "the children beg for food, but no one gives to them."

Second, there is the necessity for praying. As Verse 12 continues: "as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city." That is, they perish by the famine: "in the streets of the city". As if by avoiding everything, since they are unable to render any aid or remedy. For Jeremiah 21:7 says: "and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine."

Third, is the most bitter death. Verse 12 thus concludes: "as their life is poured out on their mothers' bosom." Thus the Book of Kings: "And when, he had lifted him, and brought him to his mother, the child sat on her lap till noon, and then died." (2 Kings (4 Kings): 4:20).

Verse 13 מ

"What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For vast as the sea is your ruin; who can restore you?"

The consequences of destruction is accounted for. Namely the events accustomed to occur after prolonged negotiation. So, first is excluded cure for the plague, second, the wonders of witnessing the plague are considered. Thus, Verse 15 declares: "All who pass along the way clap their hands at you; they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem."

Third, is the condemnation of the divine judge, who instituted a vindication. As Verse 17 says: "The Lord has done what he purposed, has carried out his threat."

On the cure for this plague, two more ideas are proposed. First is shown the incurable plague itself, second, a cause is assigned. As Verse 14 states: "Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes."

On the incurable plague itself two further notions are advanced. First is shown what cannot be lessened by human compassion with mere comparison to other plagues. For instance, human consolation for those afflicted.

Verse 13 thus states: "What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem?" Here a similitude is more than just a comparison. For, whatsoever distances of such reason are comparable, they are not distant "ad infinitum".

Nor, are such distances similiar, if contained within a like quality. Or, that all things have qualities, but only of those things of which one participating does not exceed the quality of another thing.

Now, pains within other situations exceed in the fact regarding what is missing in both temporal and spiritual glory, that other nations, or peoples lack. As Verse 13 continues: "What can I liken to you, that I may confort you, O Virgin daughter of Zion?"

This states, as if: there is nothing worse, or similar to other persons, to what things suffered by you. For Chapter 1:21 says in conclusion: "Bring thou the day thou has announded, and let them be as I am."

Second, is shown what cannot be cured medicinally, due to its magnitude. As verse 13 concludes: "For vast as the sea is your ruin; who can restore you?" Namely, the sea which is most wide and restless. For, Jeremiah 30:15 says: "Why do you cry out over your hurt? Your pain is incurable."

Verse 14 נ

"Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive Visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles false and misleading."

A reason for the incurable pain is here assigned. For, doctors, in their practice, neglect to cure, just as do prophets. So, first is shown the falseness of prophets, while they foretell false ideas. As Verse 14 states: "Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions." That is they claim seeing what are proven," false and deceptive visions.

Now, it had been stupid to believe the Lord God would not punish sinners. As the prophet Ezekiel 22:28 declares: "And her prophets have daubed for them with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies for them." And, St Peter, the Apostle writes: "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you" (2 Peter 2:1).

Then, as to the above ideas prophets were silent. So Verse 14 continues: "they have not exposed your iniquities to restore your fortunes". Just like the prophet Isaiah 58:1 exclaims: "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins."

Second, false visions, prophets see and are exposed. As Verse 14 concludes;"but have seen for you oracles false and misleading". Namely, like pressing burdens, like any burden from on high quite restricts anyone. For, Michah, the prophet states: "Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry 'Peace' when they have something to eat." (Mic 3:5).

Regarding."oracles false and misleading" are false freedoms. As Jeremiah 28:11 says: "And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, 'Thus says the Lord: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations within two years'." Or: "oracles": that the Lord God will bring you to himself, "misleading", that he will cast your enemies aside.

Verse 15 ס

"All who pass along the way clap their hands at you; they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem. 'Is this the city which was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of all the earth?'

The wonders of seeing are here exposed. First, as to seeing friends, second as to enemies. There: "All your enemies rail against you; they hiss, they gnash their teeth, they cry: 'We have destroyed her'" (Verse 16).

Regarding friends their compassion is expressed by four signs. First, by the clap of hands: "all who pass along the way clap their hands at you." Namely, along the way upon the earth, seeing the earth's vastness.

Then,"they hiss" by a movement of their head. And,"wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem".

Then so, by word: "Is this the city which was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of all the earth?"

Because, in both spiritualities and temporalities (Jerusalem) was: "the joy of all the earth". For peoples assembled there in solemnities. And Psalm 48(47):2 declares: "beautiful in elevation is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great king."

Verse 16 פ

"All your enemies rail against you; they hiss, they gnash their teeth, they cry: 'We have destroyed her! Ah, this is the day we longed for; now we have it; we see it!".

Here a reviling from enemies is exposed. There: "All your enemies rail against you." That is, the Idumeans, the Moabites, and other enemies rail by accusing.

Then: "they hiss" by detracting. "they gnash their teeth" by threatening. Also: "they cry: 'We have destroyed her!'" by insulting her. As Psalm 22 (21):13 states: "They open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion." Also, Jeremiah 51:34 asserts: "Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me." And Psalm 35 (34): 21 reports: "They open wide their mouths against me; they say, 'Aha, Aha! our eyes have seen it'."

Verse 17 ע

"The Lord has done what he purposed, has carried out his threat; as he ordained long ago, he has demolished without pity; he has made the enemy rejoice over you, and exalted the might of your foes."

The condemnation of the divine judge (the Lord God), is considered. First is exposed the constancy of the proposal. As said: "The Lord has done what he purposed." And as Isaiah 14:24 states: "and as I have purposed, so shall it stand!"

Second, is shown what is true in words. As: "he carried out his threat". For, the Lord God prescribed destruction of his people: "as he ordained long ago" (cf Deuteronomy, Chapter 28: "Consequences of Disobedience").

Or, such is even exposed by the very first prophets. As said in Numbers 23:19: "Has he said, and will not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?"

Then, the condemnation itself is indeed shown. So Verse 17 ends: "he has demolished without pity, he has made the enemy rejoice over you and exalted the might of your foes". For, Psalm 89 (88): 43 declares: "and thou hast not made him stand in battle."

"Cry aloud to the Lord! O daughter of Zion! Let tears stream down like a torrent day and night! Give yourself no rest, your eyes no respite!"

Here one turns toward seeking divine justice through prayer. First, one is invited to pray, second to consider the prayer itself. As Verse 20 says: "Look, O Lord, and see! With whom hast thou dealt thus?"

Regarding an invitation to pray, two notions are proposed. First, one is taught to prepare a place for prayer through tears; second, one will be taught a manner of praying. As Verse 19 states: "Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches."

Around the place prepared for prayer three ideas are set forth. First, the reason for wailing, or lementing is exposed. As said: "Cry aloud to the Lord! O daughter of Zion!" Namely, regarding enemies.

Verse 18 צ

Then also: "Cry aloud" like blaspheming the Lord. That is, against the Lord God and against the walls. As if the destruction of the city (Jerusalem) could be an occasion for blasphemy. Also, as if the Lord God was not powerful enough to defend (such walls). As Exodus: 16:8 asserts: "Your murmurings are not against us but against the Lord."

Again: "Cry aloud to the Lord! O daughter of Zion!" Namely, the Jewish people, just like one is taught to set forth their grief of heart in tearful prayer. Like Psalm 119 (118):145 declares: "With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!"

Second, one is invited to a multitude of tears. As Verse 18 continues: "Let tears stream down like a torrent day and night!" For, Jeremiah 9:1 says: "O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears."

Third, one is invited to a continuance of the struggle. As: "day and night! Give yourself no rest, your eyes no respite!" That is, both within prosperities and adversities. Or, literally, at all times in action, or habit. Since Jeremiah 14:17 states: "You:shall say to them this word: "Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease".

Verse 19 ק

"Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street."

A manner of prayer is here taught, and about this two notations are proposed. First, the manner is taught, as to time. As expressed: "Arise, cry out in the night": that is, from sleep. "Cry out ": namely, praise the Lord God. Then: "in the night ": whence time is rather vacant and quiet, due to nighttime.

Also: "at the beginning of the watches". As vigils, or watches, within nighttime are so divided as to the guard of watchmen over the city. For, the Song of Solomon: 3:3 declares: "The watchmen found me, as they went about the city."

Now, there were four watches during the nighttime. The first watch: "Canticunium" (between cock-crowing and the dawn of day) is when the fire nightlamp is extinguished.

The second watch is termed: "Intempestum". It refers to the middle of the night. Such time is not opportune for action. For, among the ancients: "what is 'timely', is a opportunely'."

The third watch is called the "Crow", or song of the cock. Finally, the fourth watch Is: "Antehicanum". That is, at the first vigil or watch, or at the beginning of any of the four watches. For Isaiah claims: "My soul yearns for thee in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks thee." (Is: 26;9).

To devotion to one's heart Verse 19 declares: "pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!" Namely, as one's heart liquifies thru love and devotion, as if once congealed, or frozen. As Psalm 42 (41):4 says: "These things I remember, as I pour out my soul".

Moreover, there is another sign of devotion as Verse 19 continues: "lift your hands to him". Because, as I Timothy 2:8 says: "I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling."

Second, the matter of prayer is viewed, as said: "for the lives of your children", That is, like to a separation of souls from bodies, as life itself in concerned.

Then, Verse 19 concludes: "at the head of every street." That is, like to the four ways of prayer that concur in one way. For, Chapter 2:11 Lamentations states: "because infants and babes faint in the streets of the city."

Verse 20 ר

"Look, O Lord, and see! With whom hast thou dealt thus? Should women eat their offspring, the children of their tender care?"

Prayer in itself here is viewed. First, divine mercy is called forth, as to an inhumanity in punishment; second, as to its universality. Verse 21 later so states: "In the dust of the streets lie the young and the old."

Third, prayer is called forth regarding possibility of escape. Thus, Verse 22 says: "Thou didst invite as to the day of an appointed feast my terrors on every side."

Regarding inhumanity in punishment two more ideas are proposed. First, is the attention: "with whom thou hast dealt thus?" This states, as if, no other person except me, for they are elected from the fathers, or elders. For Chapter 1:12 says: "which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger."

Second is considered inhumanity of punishment counter to national piety. Since, Verse 20 asks: "should women eat their offspring, the children of their tender care?" This asks, as if, will you (O Lord) ever sustain this (situation). For, it is read that such a situation is fulfilled in the blockade of the Romans against Joseph (son of Jacob and Rachel) of Egypt. (cf: Also, Chapters 5-7, Book of 2 Kings (4 Kings), ("The Siege of Samaria by the Syrians."). Also, it is stated in Chapter 4:10: "The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people."

Then, there is inhumanity even counter to honesty, and integrity of religion itself. So expressed in Verse 20: "Should priest and prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?" Which states, as if: Will you ever sustain what is murdered? And, as the prophet Ezekiel 9:6 declares: "but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary."

Verse 21 ש

In the dust of the streets die the young and the old; my maidens and my young men have fallen by the sword; in the day of thy anger thou hast slain them, slaughtering without mercy."

Here is proclaimed a universality of punishment. About this three more views are advanced. First is viewed common punishment for everyone. As said: "in the dust of the streets", That is, the dead: "the young and the old," Namely, the strong ones, inside and outside the city. For, Jeremiah 51:22 declares: "with you I break in pieces man and woman; with you I break in pieces the old man and the youth; with you I break in pieces the young man and the maiden."

Second, the indignation of the person punishing is reckoned. For, it says: "In the day of thy anger thou hast slain them, slaughtering without mercy." Namely, by thy authority, yet by the ministry of the Chaldeans. Since, Isaiah 63:3 says: "I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath."

Third, any idea of mercy, or pity, is excluded. As stated: "slaughtering without mercy." And as Deuteronomy 32:39 states: "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." Also, Job 5:19 says: "He will deliver you from six troubles; in seven there shall no evil touch you."

Verse 22 ת

"Thou didst invite as to the day of an appointed feast my terrors on every side; and on the day of the anger of the Lord none escaped or survived; those whom I dandled and reared my enemy destroyed."

The impossibility of escaping is set forth here. To this idea three more notions are presented. First, is the siege, as Verse 22 begins: "Thou didst invite as to the day of an appointed feast my terrors on every side." Namely, like to the Jewish people accustomed to come to a solemn feast day. So, that, by you, (Lord) inspiring, they come to obey you. For, Isaiah 29:3 declares: "And I will encamp against you round about, and I will besiege you with towers and I will raise siegeworks against you."

Second, the impossibility of escaping is noticed. As stated: "and on the day of the anger of the Lord none escaped or survived." And Isaiah 41:25 declares: "I stirred up one from the north, and he has come, from the rising of the sun, and he shall call on my name."

Third, the destruction of those persons understanding is evaluated. Since Verse 22 concludes (this Chapter II): "those whom I dandled and reared my enemy destroyed." For, Baruch: 4:11 claims: "With joy I nurtured them, but I sent them away with weeping and sorrow."

Chapter 3

Verse 1 א
"I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath".
Verse 2 א
"He has driven and brought me into darkness without any light".
Verse 3 א

"Surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long".

After an enumeration of many penalties (in Chapter 2) the despair of the people is excluded. Such exclusion is divided twofold.

First, despair is considered by appeals, second, is the argument for a fidelity that must be acceptable. As Verse 19 later states: "Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall." Third, an assumed faithfulness turns the people to prayer for (divine) mercy. Like expressed further on in Verse 37: "Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it?"

On despair on appeals three ideas are conveyed. First is set forth affliction itself, second a reprobation is assumed. As later Verse 17 says: "My soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is".

Third, despair is concluded in Verse 18: "So I say, 'Gone is my glory, and' my expectation from the Lord'."

To the first idea (affliction itself) two further notions are added. First, the affliction is considered which people sustained through pressure of their hands. And second, the manner of this very affliction is viewed. Like Verse 4 says: "He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones

Third, a remedy for their escape is left out. Verse 7 so says: "He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me."

To the affliction sustained by the pressure of hands, three more ideas are advanced. First indignation is noticed of the person pressing hands. Verse 1 then states: "I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath." Jeremiah himself here is speaking in his own person, for he himself has been afflicted like other persons, concerning whom he repudiates their misery. For, Revelations 3:17 claims: "For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, piteable, poor, blind and naked." Thus allegorically such can be expressed about Christ and his Church. Morally, it can refer to human souls.

Second, a subtraction of consolation is viewed. Verse 2 so states: "He has driven and brought me into darkness without any light." Since, after blows, no consolation is offered in the accustomed manner. Thus, Job 3:23 asks: "Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, whom God has hedged in?"

Third is the condition for the blows, stated in Verse 3: "Surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long". Namely, there follows a sequence of affliction that considers such blows alone.

Verse 3 again: "Surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long." That is, striking blows again and again. Hence, Isaiah 9:12: "For all this, his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still."

Verse 4 ב
"He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones."
Verse 5 ב
"He has besieged and enveloped me with butterness and tribulation;"
Verse 6 ב
"He has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago."

Verse 4 views the effect of divine blows. It is like a livid spot on a person's body, the effect from a rod inflicting blows. So, about this are three more views.

First is the weakening of powers of an entire people. For: "He has made my flesh": 'by which people eternally existing: ftand my skin waste away": in which are delicate bones. Also: "my bones": in which are a strong warrior people. So, the Book of Baruch 3:10 says: "Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies that you are growing old in a foreign country?"

Second is the siege of those people already weakening. Since Verse 5 reports: "He has besieged and enveloped me," Namely, the besieging army: "with bitterness and trubulation." That is, by an army that inflicts labor and bitterness on me. As Job 7:12 asks: "Am I the sea, or a sea monster, that thou settest a guard over me?"

Third, the imprisonment of those persons captured is considered. As expressed in Verse 6: "He has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago." And Psalm 143 (l42):3 says: "he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead."

Thus, these ideas canbe referred to the prophet Jeremiah himself. Since, he himself has been confined by many obstacles, and also against his own body, and hidden in a prison.

Verse 7 ג
"He has walled me about so that I cannot excape; he has put heavy chains on me;"
Verse 8 ג
"Though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer,"
Verse 9 ג
"He has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked."

A remedy for an escape from enemies' siege is cut off. So, Verse 7 states: "He has walled me about so that I cannot excape." That is, by the besieging army.

"He has put heavy chains on me." This indicates that I (Jeremiah) am besieged just like those persons who are sent to prison and cannot escape. Thus, Psalm 88(87):8 claims: "I am shut in so that I cannot escape." And Job 13:27 says: "Thou puttest my feet in the stocks, and watchest all my paths."

Second, is cut off a remedy for escape, due to an exclusion of prayer. For Verse 8 states: "Though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer." And, as Psalm 22(2l):2 says: "O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest."

Third, a remedy for escape is cut off due to a hinderance in counselling. As Verse 9 so expresses: "He has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked", Namely, he has blocked counsels for escaping: "with hewn stones": like to heavy impediments. The

prophet Hosea thus claims: "Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns; and I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths." (Hosea 2:6).

Verse 10 ד
"He is to me like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding;"
Verse 11 ד
"He led me off my way and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate;"
Verse 12 ד
"He bent his bow and set me as a mark for his arrow."

The manner for afflicting is stated here. First the manner is insidious, second, it is open. Verse 12 then says: "He bent his bow and set me as a markfor his arrow."

Third, the manner for afflicting is widespread. Verse 15 so states: "He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood."

Regarding the insidious manner for afflicting two more ideas are presented. First is the insidious action of enemies. So Verse 10 says: "He is to me like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding." Just like Nabuchodonosor fighting against me (Jeremiah), from ambush (cf. Old Babylon Empire; around 1140 B.C; or Ruler of New Babylon Empire, around 605-562 B.C.).

Then, Verse 10: "He is to me like a bear": cruel, and "like a lion": in which is designated the above ruler (Nabuchodonosor). As the prophet Hosea relates: "So I will be to them like a lion, like a leopard I will lurk beside the way" (Hos 13:7).

Second, ambushes, or plots of such enemies whom they would repell. As Verse 11: "He led me off my way and tore me to pieces." As expressed in Chapter 1:13 "he has left me stunned, faint all the day long."

Then Verse 12: "He bent his bow and set me as a mark for his arrow." Here is displayed what is publicly and openly added to the very manner.

About this above idea three more notions are added. First is exposed the proposal: "He bent his bow and set me." Namely, like to a judgment, or to an army of enemies. For Psalm 7:12 states: "he has bent and strung his bow". And Job: 16:12: "he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces; he set me up as his target."

Verse 13 ה
"He drove into my heart the arrows of his quiver;"
Verse 14 ה
"I have become the laughing stock of all peoples, the burden of their songs all day long."
Verse 15 ה
"He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood."

Here secondly the affliction of penalty says: "He drove into my heart." Namely, by which the luxury of a people is indicated.

Then: "the arrows of his quiver". That is, difference of penalties issuing forth from his governance. As Job 30:11 states: "Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me, they have cast off restraint in my presence."

Third, the delusion of those persons punished is exposed: "I have become the laughing stock of all peoples, the burden of their songs all day long." As elsewhere said: "I have become a laughing stock all the day; every one mocks me." (Jer: 20:7). That is, just as people are accustomed to be derided by others.

Verse 15 then adds: "He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood." Thus is shown how wide is such, and first as to the multitude of penalties. Namely, "he has filled me with bitterness": by different obstacles which is afflicted abundantly (cf. Chapter 41: Jeremiah: "Ishmael and Johanan").

Then, secondly as in Verse 15: "he has sated me with wormwood", That is, regarding the number punished.

Verse 16 ו
"He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;"
Verse 17 ז
"My soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is;"
Verse 18 ו
"So I say, 'Gone is my glory, and my expectation from the Lord".

The afflictions are here pursued. As claimed: "He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes." That is, like to the warriors by whom defended, and like to teeth of beasts on gravel. So, nothing remains except"in ashes as if worthless. And since Psalm 102 (lOl):9 declares; "For I eat ashes like bread, and mingle tears with my drink."

Verse 17 then states: "My soul is bereft of peace." Here is assumed a rejection: My soul is bereft": of God's divine mercy. Like Psalm 89(88)':39 declares: "Thou has renounced the covenant with thy servant; thou hast defiled his crown in the dust."

Verse 17 concludes: "I have forgotten what hap piness is". Namely, due to the experience of evils. For, Sirach 11:27 claims: "The misery of an hour makes one forget luxury."

Verse 18 states: "So I say, 'Gone is my glory and my expectation from the Lord". That is, like one who concludes in desperation. Also, like one who would claim: since I am amidst obstacles, and the Lord rejects me, He does not aid me. Again: "so, I say": within my heart, like a person in desperation. Thus, in conclusion is said: "Gone is my glory, and my expectation from the Lord".

Such states, as if: I do not accomplish what I had expected. And as Jeremiah 2:25 asserts: "But you said, 'It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.'" Also, Malachi 3:14: "You have said 'It is vain to serve God. What is the good of our keeping his

charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts?'"

Verse 19 ז
"Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall!"
Verse 20 ז
"My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me";
Verse 21 ז
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope."

Here is indicated arguments to wipe out despair. First, by divine mercy, second, be divine justice. As expressed in Verse 34: "To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth." Third, by divine power. Which Verse 37 expresses: "Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it?"

To the exclusion of despair by divine mercy, two further ideas are exposed. First, isshown mercy regarding a collection of benefits, second regarding a relaxation of punishments. As Verse 31: "For the Lord will not cast off forever."

Referring to divine mercy towards the collection of benefits three more notions are advanced. First is the memory of past benefits, second, the experience of present benefits. Verse 22 so states: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases." Third, is the expectation of future benefits. Verse 25 thus states: "The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him."

For the memory of past benefits three more ideas are referred to. First, the memory induces prophets towards God, as to a due consideration of evils encountered. While saying: O Lord God you seem dissimulating while forgetting us. So, "remember my affliction": freeing us from affliction, as to loss of possessions. And: "my bitterness": as to my fault that is the cause of so much misery. Also: "the wormwood and the gall," an affliction upon humankind.

Second, memory reduces itself to the benefits the people received. For Verse 20 states: "My soul continually thinks of it", the benefits.

And: "is bowed down within me". That is, memory fails from admiration, or desire. As Psalm 42 (41):4 says: "These things I remember, as I pour out my soul."

Third, memory results regards faithfulness. For Verse 21 claims: "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope." Hence Sirach 51:8 says."Then I remembered thy mercy, O Lord, and thy work from of old."

Verse 22 ח
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;"
Verse 23 ח
"They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness."
Verse 24 ח
"The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him".

Presently the experience of divine mercy is exposed. First, to the recognition of divine mercy itself; "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end." That is, not punishing, as if unmerciful. Since the Lord punished worthily, not reducing his creations backwards to extinction, or nothingness. Thus, Jeremiah 10:24 declares: "Correct me, O Lord, but in just measure; not in thy anger, lest thou bring me to nothing."

Second, an approbation from the Lord's divine mercy is indicated. For, Verse 23 says: "They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." Namely, as I, the Lord God, openly approve. Again: "great is their faithfulness". That is, regarding Jeremiah, who, among your suppliants, acknowledge you. For, the Apostle Matthew reports: "Then Jesus answered her, 'O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire'." (Mt: 15:28).

Third, there is an intended conclusion: "The Lord is my portion": my soul says: "Therefore I will hope in him". Namely, since I (Jeremiah) choose his divine mercy in portions while others despise it. As said in Psalm 16 (15):5: "The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot."

Verse 25 ט
"The Lord is good to those who wait for him; to the soul that seeks him;"
Verse 26 ט
"It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,"
Verse 27 ט
"It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth."

Divine mercy is here designated as to expectation of future events. First, the expectation itself, second, to the condition of such expectation. As Verse 28: "Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him."

Regarding this expectation of future events three ideas are proposed. First is the result of such an expectation:

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him." That is, as if spreading proper posessions. Since, Psalm 73 (72):l claims: "Truely God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart."

Second, the manner of this expectation is noticed. As said: "It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." Namely, patiently, and without a murmur. For Isaiah 30:15 asserts: " in quietness and c in trust shall be your strength."

Third, the time of this expectation is examined: "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." That is, a fear of the Lord, and love for the Lord in his youth. Since, as the ardor of time is lessened, and youth is more easily led towards virtue. Like Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Verse 28 י
"Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him;"
Verse 29 י
"Let him put his mouth in the dustthere may yet be hope;"
Verse 30 י
"Let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults."

The condition of the person expecting is evaluated. First, regarding a height for contemplation: "Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him." Namely, that he be not impeded by turmoil within thought. Since, through such turmoil,"he had laid it on him." That is, for a consideration of divine favors. As Hosea, the prophet concludes: "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her." (Hos: 2:14). Besides, there is displayed turmoil through a rejection of the person expecting, while such a one awaits. It says: "Let him sit alone in silence." Since, cast aside: "when he has laid it on him."

Second, the condition of the person expecting refers to humbleness of location. Saying: "Let him put his mouth in the dustthere may yet be hope." Namely, while humbly speaking. Since Isaiah 29:4 reflects: "Then deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come."

Third, the condition of the person expecting can refer to their patience in tribulation. As expressed: "Let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults." That is, be prepared to give: "his cheek to the smiter". For the Apostle Matthew states: "but if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Mt: 5:39). Also: "and be filled with insults". Namely, a person should delight, as if being spared some fault by his own action. For, St Paul exclaims to the Romans: "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance". (Rorn: 5:3). And Isaiah 50:6 asserts: "I gave my 'back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard."

Verse 31 כ
"For the Lord will not cast off forever;"
Verse 32 כ
"But, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of ~his steadfast love."
Verse 33 כ
"For he doe's not willinglyafflict or grieve the sons of men."

The divine mercy regarding relaxation of punishments is displayed. So first is considered an absolution from penalities: "For the Lord will not cast off forever". Since, the Lord does not forever punish. Because Psalm 94 (93):14 claims: "For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage." And Isaiah 28:28 remarks: "Does one crush bread grain? No, he does not threst it forever."

Second, divine mercy, in relation to divine piety as to reason, is considered. For, though the Lord causes grief, he will have compassion according "to the abundance of his steadfast love", because, it from such a portion of divine piety (of God the Father) that one punishes in order to correct, then one comforts. For, the Book of Tobit 4:21 states: "Do not be afraid, my son, because we have become poor. You have great wealth, if you fear God and refrain from every sin and do what is pleasing in his sight." Therefore, out of love for humankind is said: "For he does not willingly afflict or grieve the Sons of men." That is, he apportions from his divine love. Since Psalm 36 (35):7 declares: "The children of men take refuge in the shadow of thy wings."

Verse 34 ל
"To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth;"
Verse 35 ל
"To turn aside the right of a man in the presence of the Most High;"
Verse 36 ל
"To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord does not approve."
A contention from divine justice is here advanced. First is eliminated a tyrannical oppression from divine justice. As stated: "To crush under foot": like a tyrant, who externally opposes any judgment. Then: "all the prisoners of the earth". Namely, all those afflicted. To which Psalm 69 (68):33 can refer: "For the Lord hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds."

Second, perversity of a judge is excluded: "to turn aside the right of man in the presence of the Most High". That is, from rectitude. Add to Verse 36: "the Lord does not approve." And, Job: 34:12: "Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice."

Third, a perverse 1ntention within divine justice is also excluded. Like to those judges, under a guise of justice, intend to oppress some persons. As said: "To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord does not approve." That is, from judgment: "the Lord does not approve." As Proverbs 4:27 admonishes: "Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil."

Verse 37 מ
"Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it?"
Verse 38 מ
"Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come?"
Verse 39 מ
"Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?"

Here arguments are proposed from divine powers by which everything is governed and provided for. First, such is applied against those persons who derogate divine providence, faithless through blasphemy. Verse 37 thus says: "Who has commanded and it came to pass, unless the Lord has ordained it?"

Within this context, heresy is excluded from those who contend God's providence extends itself to universal ideas, and incorporeal things, as celestial bodies. And even up to human kind, due to a conformity of human nature to God, (the Creator).

As Rabbi Maimonides asserts: "here and now, each and all particulars the Lord God does not actually acknowledge". (cf. Moses ben Maimon, (1135-1204 C.E.: Torah and Talmud exegete, author: "More Nebukim, Dalalat al hairin: Guide for the Perplexed).

Then, Verse 38 asks: "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and evil come?" Namely from good results prosperity, from bad results adversity. For, in such an idea is excluded the error of those persons who claim everything happens from chance, like Cicero, the Roman philosopher (Marcus Tullius, 106-43 B.C.). However, the apostle and evangelist John 1:3 asserts: "All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that was made." And the prophet Isaiah 45:7: asserts the Lord God: "I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the Lord, who do all these things."

Second, arguments are advanced regarding divine power against persons who deride the above ideas, through impatience within inurmurings. As: "Why should a living man complain; a man, about the punishment of his sins?" Namely, as to his known sins, from which he now suffers. For, Wisdom 1:11 declares: "Beware then of useless murmuring, and keep your tongue from slander."

Verse 40 נ
"Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!"
Verse 41 נ
"Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven;"
Verse 42 נ
"We have transgressed and rebelled, and thou hast not forgiven."

Faith being restored, one now turns to divine mercy. Two further ideas are added to this idea. First, a preparation for prayer is considered, second, the prayer itself. As said: "We have transgressed and rebelled, and thou hast not forgiven" (Verse 42).

On preparation for prayer, a place is afforded through change of life. As remarked: "Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord." That is, by searching out our past sins. Again: "Let us test and examine our ways." Namely, as to the Lord God, in a desire of our heart seeking divine aid. Then, accepting such one can return to the Lord God by doing good deeds. Since, Jeremiah claims: "know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God" (Jer: 2:19).

Second, a place for prayer is prepared through devotion. As said: "Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven." For, Paul the Apostle beseeches: "I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling" (I Tim: 2:8).

Verse 42 then states: "We have transgressed and rebelled, and hast not forgiven." Here prayer begins, first accenting benevolence, second, the fault. Later Verse 59 thus says: "Thou hast seen the wrong done to me, O Lord; judge thou my cause."

Third, a place for prayer is prepared, by seeking vindication. For Verse 64 later states: "Thou wilt requite them, O Lord, according to the work of their hands."

As to an accent on benevolence three futher ideas are proposed. First, benevolence is accented thru their own person, and conquered people; second, as to enemies. For, Verse 46 says: "All our enemies rail against us."

Third, is the person of the judge. As Verse 55 states: "I called on thy name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit."

Here Verses 40-42 take into account a benevolence of their own person and people, setting forth their harassments. First, afflictions of people are considered, second compassion. Verse 49 thus says: "My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite."

Regarding afflictions of people are two further ideas. First, is conferred their fault, lest following punishment, a discretion of a judge is directed. For, Verse 42 claims: "we have transgressed and rebelled, and thou has't not forgiven." Namely, by sinning against our neighbor. Also: "and rebelled": by sinning against God.

And then: "and thou hast not forgiven". Since, you, Lord God, are inflexible towards our prayers. Thus, Jeremiah says: "As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I do not hear you" (Jer: 7:16). Also, the apostle John points out: "We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God, and does his will, God will listen to him" (Jo 9:31).

Second, regarding the people's afflictions, their sins are exposed.

Verse 43 ס
"Thou hast wrapped thyself with anger and pursued us, slaying without pity."
Verse 44 ס
"Thou hast wrapped thyself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through;"
Verse 45 ס
"Thou hast made us offscouring and refuse among the peoples."

So Verse 43 says: "Thou hast wrapped thyself with anger and persued us." That is, first by diverse tribulations. And finally: "slaying without pity". For, Proverbs 6:34 claims: "For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge."

Second, is a refusal from prayer of a person sinning. Verse 44 thus says: "Thou hast wrapped thyself with a cloud", Namely, regarding such sins displaying faults against prayer. Thus, Isaiah 59:2 claims: "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God."

Third, the dispersion of persons is exposed: "Thou hast made us offscouring and refuse among the peoples." Namely, like eradicating persons from a firm protection. So, Wisdom 4:4 declares: "and by the violence of the winds they will be uprooted."

Verse 46 פ
"All our enemies rail against us."
Verse 47 פ
Panic and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction;"
Verse 48 פ
"My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of the daughter of my people."

Benevolence on the enemy's part, excitement against indications of evil inflicted by the enemy, are here viewed. First is noticed the preparation for capturing, second, the captivity itself. Thus, Verse 52 states: "I have been hunted like a bird by those who were my enemies without cause."

To the idea, preparation for capturing, three more references are made. First is the enemies' preparation: "All our enemies rail against us". (Verse 46). That is, as if to devour us. So Psalm 22 (21):l3 says: "They open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion."

Second, there is a description of prophets whom they ought to be protected against their enemies. Since Verse 47 says: "panic and pitfall have come upon us, devastation and destruction." That is, sheer panic, as cause of fear before captivity. And, "pitfall": within such captivity.

Then: "devastation": after the captivity and "destruction": from false prophets. For Isaiah 24:17 says: "Terror, and the pit, and the snare are upon you, O inhabitants of the earth!"

Third, compassion is considered. As: "My eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of the daughter of my people." Namely, as one imploring, due to singular miseries. Thus Psalm 119 (118): 136 expresses: "My eyes shed streams of tears, because men do not keep thy law."

It must 'be observed here that the three Verses 46-48 (according to some scriptural exegetes) ought to be placed before the Verses 43-45. So then the Hebrew letter "Phe" would be placed before the letter "Am", according to an accustomed order.

Verse 49 ע
"My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite;"
Verse 50 ע
"Until the Lord from heaven looks down and sees;"
Verse 51 ע
"My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the maidens of my city."

The compassion of the prophet is here exposed. First is the exterior lamentation: "My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite." Namely, crying: "without ceasing,": from tears: "without respite": from tribulation for the people. For Jeremiah 9:18-19 asserts: "And our eyelids gush with water. For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion."

There is then a final lamentation: "Until the Lord of heaven looks down and sees." Namely, with his eyes of divine mercy. Since Psalm 102 (l0l):l9 says: "That he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth."

Second is the compassion of the prophet, due to the sting from interior grief: "My eyes cause me grief at the fate of all the maidens of my city." That is: "my eyes," seeing the depredation upon the earth,"cause me grief". That is, spoiling the earth from delight. Or, lamenting exteriorily, the prophet gives himself up to a total grief within his own heart.

Verse 52 צ
"I have been hunted like a bird by those who were my enemies without cause;"
Verse 53 צ
"They flung me alive into the pit and cast stones on me;"
Verse 54 צ
"Water closed over my head; I said, 'I am lost'."
The affliction into which people fall is now evaluated. First, the people's captivity itself is reckoned: I have been hunted like a bird." That is, as if by cunning enemies, operating with powers.

Then, enemies (the Chaldeans) are: "without cause". For, I (Jeremiah) could, in no manner, harm them, since they, in no way approach me. So, Isaiah 52:4 says: "and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing." Elsewhere, Jeremiah declares: "and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill". (Jer: 16:16).

Second, the imprisonment of the captives is ecplained: "They flung me alive into the pit". That is, my life into a prison of captivity. For, Psalm 88 (87):6 states: "Thou hast put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep."

Third, the very imprisonment of those imprisoned is exposed: "Water closed over my head; I said, 'I am lost'". Namely, the waters of tribulations are multiplied. Again: "I said, 'I am lost'". That is, desperately and impatiently. As the prophet Jonas reports: "All

thy waves and thy billows passed over me" (Jonas 2:3).

Verse 55 ק
"I called on thy name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit;"
Verse 56 ק
"Thou didst hear my plea, 'Do not close thine ear to my cry for help';"
Verse 57 ק
"Thou didst come near when I called on thee; thou didst say, 'Do not fear'."

The benevolence, on the part of the person, the judge, is displayed here. First is shown his mercy towards miserable people, second, the justice of the judge. Verse 58 thus says: "Thou hast taken up my cause, O Lord, thou hast redeemed my life."

Regarding mercy toward miserable people, three more ideas are set forth. First is a prayer for such miserable persons: "I called on thy name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit." Namely, like one existing with difficulties.

And: "from the depths of the pit". Just like the greatest tribulation in Egypt, as recorded in the Book of Judges. Also, as Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:10 declares: "I appealed to the Lord, the Father of my Lord, not to for- sake me in the days of affliction."

Second, the mercy from prayer is then referred to: "Thou didst hear my plea, 'Do not close thine ear to my cry for help'."

Third, the consolation from the prayer heard is remembered: "Thou didst come near when I called on thee; thou didst say, 'Do not fear'." Namely, confirming me (Jeremiah) by thy divine aid (O Lord God), then, as now. For Job 17:3 declares: "Lay down a pledge for me with thyself; who is there that will give surety for me?"

Verse 58 ר
"Thou hast taken up my. cause, O Lord, thou hast redeemed my life."
Verse 59 ר
"Thou hast seen the wrong done to me, O Lord; judge thou my cause;"
Verse 60 ר
"Thou hast seen all their vengeance, all their devices against me."

Here the judge and his justice is commended: "Thou hast taken up my cause, O Lord, thou hast redeemed my life." That is, during past times. As concurs Psalm 43 (42):l: "Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people."

Then Verse 59 continues: "Thou hast seen the wrong done to me, O Lord; judge thou my cause." The benevolence of the divine judge is here accounted for.

Besides, an accusation regarding the adversary is proposed. So, first is an accusation against the evil within the deed. Thus is said: "Thou hast seen the wrong done to me, O Lord." This states as if: they are unable to deny what is known to thee, (O Lord God). For, Lamentations 1:22 makes known: "Let all their evil doing come before thee; and deal with them as thou hast dealt with me."

Second, an accusation, as to the fury in the enemy's heart is underscored: "Thou hast seen all their vengeance, all their devices against me." For Jeremiah 18:18 reports: "Then they said 'Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet."

Third, is an accusation regarding sin from their mouth: "Thou hast heard their taunts, O Lord, all their devices against me."

Verse 61 ש
"Thou hast heard their taunts, O Lord, all their devices against me."
Verse 62 ש
"The lips and thoughts of my assailants are against me all the day long."
Verse 63 ש
"Behold their sitting and their rising; I am the burden of their songs."

The people here are accused of their sins. First, regarding the affliction in their shame: "Thou hast heard their taunts, O Lord, all their devices against me." Which declares, as if: there is no need for proof. For the prophet Daniel 9:16 asserts: "And for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people have become a byword among all who are round about us.

Second, such is insofar as to threats: "The lips and thoughts of my assailants are against me all the day long." As Psalm 38 (37):l2 says: "those who seek my hurt speak of ruin, and meditate treachery all the day long."

Third, (their shame) is, insofar as to derision, and insult: "Behold their sitting and their rising; I am the burden of their songs." For, they sit in council, in order to destroy me by: "their rising". And: "I am the burden of their songs". Since, they compose derisive songs against me."

All the above notions can be understood in the person of the prophet, or the people themselves, as first mentioned. For, Job 30:9 declares: "And now I have become their song, I am a byword to them." Also, Psalm: 69 (68):l2: "and the drunkards make s ongs about me."

Verse 64 ת
"Thou wilt requite them, O Lord, according to the work of their hands,"
Verse 65 ת
"Thou wilt give them dullness of heart; thy curse will be on them."
Verse 66 ת
"Thou wilt pursue them in anger and destroy them from under thy heavens, O Lord."

Vindication from adversaries is here sought. This is due to a security from' prayers heard, and vindication considered. Such is also from their foretelling, than their praying.

Thus, two more notions are given: "Thou wilt requite them, O Lord, according to the work of their hands." Namely, as to their penalties. For, Psalm 28 (27):24 states: "Requite them according, to their work, and according to the evil of their deeds."

Second, a determination of their penalty is evaluated. First, regards its duration: "Thou wilt give them dullness of heart; thy curse will be on them." Namely, the sin by which they made you labor.

Besides, Isaiah 1:14 claims: "I am weary of bearing them." That is, since you (O Lord) restore a shield against their sins from their heart. So that, they are not to be penetrated by arrows of divine grace, and the sword of thy word (O Lord). Hence Job 41:15 can say: "His back is made of rows of shields, shut up closely as with a seal."

Third, the determination of penalty to their 'body is accounted for: "Thou wilt pursue them in anger and destroy them from under thy heavens, O Lord." That is, through different afflictions."

Finally, is considered up to the time you (O Lord) destroy them by death, and eternal damnation. That is" under thy heaven O Lord. Namely, those persons who would desire to reside in these heavens. For, Jeremiah elsewhere declares: "Bring upon them the day of evil; destroy them with double destruction!" (Jer 17:18). And Psalm 83 (82):l5: "So do thou pursue them with thy tempest and terrify them with thy hurricane."

Chapter 4

Verse 1 א

"How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street."

Here the misery of the siege is principally lamented, which is considered in two ways. In the first way the misery of the people is bewailed, in the second way the joy of those deriding is laid bare. As said in Verse 21: "Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, dweller in the land of Uz; but to you also the cup shall pass; you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare."

As to the misery of the people there are two further notions. First the affliction of the people themselves is bewailed, second their lack of power to resist. As said in Verse 17: "Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save."

The first notion (the people's affliction bewailed) has two more ideas. in the first idea is bewailed the misery of people in general, and this idea is followed out twofold. As said in Verse 3: "Even the jackals give the breast and suckle their young, but 'the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness."

As to the misery of people in general there are two ideas. First is expressed a metaphor, second, it is explained. As there in Verse 2: "The precious sons of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold, how they are reckoned as earthen pots, the work of a potter's hands!" Since, there were eminent Jews in certain tribes with subtle knowledge of the divine. As Psalm (l47):20: "He has not dwelt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!" Thus is said in Verse 1: "How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed!" And as Proverbs: 20:15 says: "There is gold, and abundance of costly stones; but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." Again: "How the gold has grown dim". Namely, by the shame of infidelity. As Isaiah 5:13 states: "Therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge."

Secondly, 'some persons were eminent in the beauty of their honesty. As Sirach 44:6 states: "rich men furnished with resources, living peaceably in their habitation". Thus is said in Verse 1: "how the pure gold is changed!" That is, as if it is changed like to a blackness of sin, and sadness. As 2 Maccabees 3:16 says: "for his face and the change in his color disclosed the anguish of his soul."

Thirdly, some persons were eminent in the cult of their religion. As Verse 1 concludes: "The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street." That is, the precious sons of different tribes, or nations. As I Maccabees: 4:43 states: "And they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place."

Verse 2 ב

"The precious sons of Zion, worth their weight in fine gold, how they are reckoned as earthen pots, the work of a potter's hands!"

Here is exposed what was said above in Verse 1. So, "The precious Sons": since, as a kind of saints. And "worth their weight in fine gold." That is, of the best, like to wisdom. As Wisdom 7:9 says: "Because all gold is but a little sand in her sight ('Wisdom) and silver will be accounted as clay before her."

Then in Verse 2: "How they are reckoned as earthen pots, the work of a potter's hands." Namely, the fragile and vile people. As Isaiah 64:8 says: "Yet, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou art our potter; we are all the work of thy hand."

Verse 3 ג

"Even the jackals give the breast and suckle their young, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness."

Here is set forth the peoples' misery in parts. First is viewed the affliction of thei~siege, as to their famine, second, as to the capture and destruction of their city. As said in Verse 11: "The Lord cave full vent to his wrath, he poured out his hot anger; and he kindled a fire in Zion, which consumed its foundations." Thirdly is viewed the derision toward the captured citizens as said in Verse 15: "Away! Unclean! men cried at them; 'Away! Away! Touch not!'"

As to the first view (affliction from their famine) there are four notions. First is indicated the famine among the youth, second, among the delicate and weak. As expressed in Verse 5: "Those who feasted on dainties perish in the streets; those who were brought up in purple lie on ash heaps."

Thirdly is viewed the famine of those consecrated to the Lord God. As said in Verse 7: "Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, the beauty of their form was like sapphire."

Fourthly, is viewed the immense famine among mothers, as expressed in Verse 10: "The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they 'became their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people."

As to the first, (famine among the youth) are two further ideas. First is the famine among nursing babies, second among the youth, or adolescents. As there in Verse 4: "the children beg for food, but no one gives to them."

Around the first notion (famine among nursing babies) are two more ideas. First is a deficiency of milk, second the effect of such deficiency. As there: "The tongue of the nursling cleaves to the roof of its mouth for thirst" (Verse 4).

"Even the jackals" (Verse 3) display certain possessions from famine bodies; horselike feet, said to be from laceration, since, they lacerate their own offspring. Concerning which Job 39:16 declares: "She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear." So, to such women are the women of Jerusalem compared, not due to cruelty of the affection, but due to the similarity of their action, which was from a deficiency of nutrition.

Verse 4 ד

"The tongue of the nursling cleaves to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives to them."

Here in Verse 4 is considered an effect, namely, the thirst of children. As said here in Verse 4: "The tongue of the nursling cleaves to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children be~ for food but no one gives to them." That is, due to dryness. And,"the children beg for food". Namely, those who are growing could use solid food. As the prophet Amos claims: "In that day fair virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst." And also above in Chapter 2:12: "They cry to their mothers, 'Where is bread and wine?'" as they faint like wounded men in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out'on their mothers' bosom" (Amos: 8:13)

Verse 5 ה

"Those who feasted on dainties perish in the street, those who were brought up in purple lie on ash heaps."

Here is considered famine as to dainties of nutritions. First is noticed the affliction from that famine, second, the comparison. As there in Verse 6: "For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, on hand being laid on it."

Such famine is indicated by two signs. One sign is death, as expressed in Verse 5: "Those perish in the streets." And by vile foods by those who were brought up in purple." As by expelling foods from their mouth: "lie on ash heaps." That is, they avidly devour vile foodstuffs. As literally expressed in 4 Kings, Chapter 7 (The Syrians flee). As said in Job 6:7: "My appetite refuses to touch them; they are as food that is loathsome to me."

Verse 6 ו

"For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, no hand being laid on it."

Here is exaggerated a punishment in comparison to the punishment of the Sodomites. As said in Verse 6: "For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater than the punishment of Sodom." And greater their fault was, due to their ingratitude, and the profanation of holy things. So, greater the punishment was, since the city is no longer. As the prophet Ezekiel says: "And your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters." (Ezek: 16:46). And the Apostle Matthew reports: "But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." (Matt: 11:24). And also Job 9:23: "When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent."

The "Gloss" has: "Morally this concerns the sin of simulation, because it is a sin far greater than the Sodomites." And the opposite is claimed in Chapter 3, Isaiah; (The Lord's Judgrnent). As said in Isaiah: 3:9: "they proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it." Also, in the"Gloss" it says: "A second plank to hide a sin, after a shipwreck."

Now, as to this situation, it is claimed there is an alleviating condition to sin secretly. Indeed, a sin of simulation is the greater, since in this way deception and glory regarding others is sought out. So, such a situation is regarded the greater sin, not just simply, but even insofar as the effect of deception. Or, insofar as the matter a persons' sins: sins as to spiritualities. For such a person, who invents a falsehood, is much more blameable than one who counterfeits a coin. The philosopher (Aristotle) claims such.

Verse 7 ז

"Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, the beauty of their form was like sapphire."

Here is viewed the knowledge of those consecrated to God, namely, the Nazarites, concerning whose consecration Numbers 6:13, and following, reports.

So, first is spoken of their beauty, second, their knowledge and subsequent shame. As said in Verse 8: "Now their visage is blacker than soot, they are not recognised in the streets; their skin has shriveled upon their bones, it has become as dry as wood." Thirdly, a comparison is considered as to punishment, as next said in Verse 9: "Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger, who pined away, stricken by want of the fruits of the field."

As to corporal beauty, a decent appearance is required, by which is a countenance of joyulness. As Verse 7 says: "Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk; their bodies were more ruddy than coral, the beauty of their form was like sapphire."

Also, an old dual color is required, namely,"red". As Verse 7 says: "their bodies were more ruddy than coral." And also as "white". Again, as Verse 7 states: "Her princes were purer than snow, whiter than milk". Now, the philosopher (Aristotle) claims, the color "white" is exceedingly receptive to other colors. It is befitting that "white" be minus any stain. As Verse 7 refers to this idea: "whiter than milk".

So, such are extreme statements, howsoever false. For, they are figures of speech in which another idea is referred to, as sigiified. So literally such persons were adorned, due to cleanness, and abstinences of their life. As reported of the prophet Daniel, and his ssociates. Also as reported in Deuteronomy: 33:16: "with the best gifts of the earth and its fulness, and the favor of him that dwelt in the bush. Let these come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the head of him that is prince among his brothers."

Verse 8 ח

"Now their visage is blacker than soot, they are not recognized in the streets; their skin has shriveled upon their bones, it has become as dry as wood."

Here is considered the shame following from their knowledge, as to a change of color, or complexion. As expressed in Verse 8: "Now their visage is blacker than soot, they are not reco~ized in the streets; their skin has shriveled upon their bones, it has become as dry as wood." That is, due to a deprivation as to a shriveling of their skin, as said: "their skin has shriveled upon their bones."

As the prophet Nahum declares: "anguish is on all loins, all faces grow pale! Where is the lions' den, the cave of the young lions where the lion brought his prey, where his cubs were, with none to disturb?" (Nah: 2:10-11). And Job says: "my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh." (Job: 7:5).

Verse 9 ט

"Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger, who pined away, stricken by want of the fruits of the field."

Here in Verse 9 is considered a comparison. As said: "Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger, who pined away, stricken by want of the fruits of the field." That is, they were cast down, as soon as they were afflicted. As the Book of Sirach says: "Death is better than a miserable life, and eternal rest than chronic sickness" (Sir 30:17).

Verse 10 י

"The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became 'their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people."

Here is considered the immense hunger of mothers, who eat their own children, through an excessive hunger. As said above in Chapter 2:20: "Should women eat their offspring, the children of their tender care?"

Verse 11 כ

"The Lord gave full vent to his wrath, he poured out his hot anger; and he kindled a fire in Zion, which consumed its foundations."

Here is bewailed the captivity, and destruction of the city, (Jerusalem). So, first is considered the destruction itself, second,'the wonder from this fact. As said in Verse 12: "The kings of the earth did not believe, or any of the inhabitants of the world, that foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem."

Thirdly, is assigned the reason for such destruction. As said in Verse 13: "This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous." That is, leading toward the punishment: "the Lord gave full vent to his wrath." (Verse 11). And: "he poured out his hot anger", due to a determination for a punishment. For, the city, (Jerusalem) was "burnt" in fire which consumed its foundations." That is, evensoever by force, or even up to the very foundations each house was destroyed. As said in Deuteronomy 32:22: "For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol."

Verse 12 ל

"The kings of the earth did not believe, or any of the inhabitants of the world, that foe or enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem."

Here is shown the fact (of the destruction) to be awesome. Since, first it was incredible. As said: "The kings of the earth did not believe or any of the inhabitants of the world," That is, since there had been powerful kings over this city, (Jerusalem). And: "that foe": openly violent, or "enemy": falsely hidden. As Isaiah 23:1 states: "The oracle concerning Tyre. 'Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for Tyre is laid waste, without house or haven! From the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them." And also Isaiah 30:13: "whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant."

Verse 13 מ

"This was for the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in the midst of her the blood of the righteous."

Here is assigned a reason for the destruction. As a result, wonder would cease. And first, as to fault of prelates: "for the sins of prophets and the iniquities of her priests." Namely, those who ought to govern the people. As the Prophet Daniel 13:5 says: "In that year two elders from the people were appointed as judges.

Concerning them the Lord had said: "Iniquity came forth from Babylon, from elders who were judges, who were supposed to govern the people."

Verse 14 נ

"They wandered, blind, through the streets, so defiled with blood that none could touch their garments."

Here is secondly considered the insufficient correction. For, abstaining only from an entering into the temple, they believed themselves to make satisfaction. As said: "They wandered, blind, through the streets," That is, scattering through the streets blindly. As Wisdom 2:21 records: "for their wickedness blinded them." And: "so defiled with blood that none could touch their garments." Namely, the temple (like their garments), being cut garments, (in the manner of mirthful persons, as clowns), and repeatedly torn into strips. By this is shown that they did not cease from their pleasures, or non-sensible human behavior.

Or, according to another literal sense, "as lascivorous", which is plainer. As said in Isaiah 59:3: "For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity."

Moreover, such can be explained as to those persons corporeally blinded, when captured by enemies. Such were unable to enter dwellings by themselves, unless they attach themselves to the garments of a leader, as they follow.

Verse 15 ס

"'Away! Unclean!' men cried at them; 'Away! Away! Touch not!' So they' became fugitives and iwanderers; men said among the nations, 'They shall stay with us no longer."

Here is considered the derision of captured citizens by their enemies. So, first the profanation of holy things was blamed on these enemies. As said: "Away! Unclean!' men cried out to them." Namely, enemies cried out against the Jews, as ones unclean from their own places.

Then: "Away! Away! Touch not!" That is, you Jews, unclean as to holy things. As Leviticus 21:16-17 states: "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron, none of your descendants throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God.'"

Secondly, was blamed on the Jews the indignation of their Lord God, insofar as to a destruction of divine aid.

So Verse 15 continues: "so they became fugitives and wanderers." Namely, as enemies blaming each other (as Jews); and by chiding and grieving among themselves.

As Verse 15 concludes: "Men said among the nations, 'They shall stay with us no longer'." That is, as if, God depended on the Jews. As Psalm 71 (70):ll states: "And say, 'God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him; for there is none to deliver him.'"

Verse 16 פ

"The Lord himself has scattered them, he will regard them no more; no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders."

So, as far as the infliction of punishment Verse 16 states: '"The Lord himself", by his fore-knowledge, "has scattered them." That is, he disperses (Jews) among nations. As Psalm 55 (54):22 says: "Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."

Thirdly, an irreverence for their elders was blamed on them (the Jews), and their enemies regarded such irreverence. As said: "No honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders." As Isaiah 3:5 says: "the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the base fellow to the honorable." Or these can be words of the prophet against enemies (of the Jews).

Verse 17 ע

"Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save."

Here is excluded a tendency for excluding four things which could be evaded. First, is the aid of friends. As was said: "Our eyes failed, ever watching": as we would expect,"vainly for help": from the Egyptians. As Isaiah 30:3 says: "Therefore shall the protection of Pharoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation."

Verse 18 צ

"Men dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets; our end drew near; our days were numbered; for our end had come."

Secondly is excluded their own strengths. As said: "Men dogged our steps, so that we could not walk in the streets a" That is, as if we were unable to stand upright, due to our weakness, as if the streets were dark and slippery. As Psalm 35 (34): 6 says: "Let their way he dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them." And Jeremiah 23:12: says: "Therefore their way shall be to them like slippery paths in the darkness

Then, Verse 18 concludes: "Our end drew near; our days were numbered; for our end had come." Namely, our end within captivity and our death, since"our days were numbered, for our end had come." As Exekiel 7:6 says: "An end has come, the end has come; it has awakened against you. Behold, it comes."

Verse 19 ק

"Our pursuers were swifter than the vultures in the heavens; they chased us on the mountains, they lay in wait for us in the wilderness."

Here thirdly a remedy in flight is excluded. Here is touched upon the account in the last part of Jeremiah: (Chapter 52: "Judah Taken Captive at Babylon"). Then the Chaldeans captured Zedekiah (King of Judah) fleeing on a path to a wilderness, or solitude. As in the hyperbolic langage of Habakkuk 1:8 states: "they fly like an eagle swift to devour."

Verse 20 ר

"The breath of our nostrils, the Lord's anointed, was taken in their pits, he of whom we said, 'Under his shadow we shall live among the nations."

Fourthly, is excluded a protection from kings. As said: "The breath of our nostrils, the Lord's anointed That is, by which we were breathed through narrow places; as: "the Lord's anointed". Like Josiah (16th King of Judah, son of Amon and Jedidah: 2 Kings 22:1): "was taken in their pits." That is, was killed by the Egptians (cf. 2 Kings, Chapter 24,"Nebuchhadnezzar Conquers Judah"), Namely, while that king Josiah was a just king.

Such also can be exposed as to King Zedekiah (of Judah), as to the consequence of his reign. Or it even can be referred to Christ. As the prophet Isaiah foretold: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities." (Is: 53:5).

Then, as Verse 20 concluded: "he of whom was said, "Under his shadow we shall live among the nations." Namely, under the Lord's protection. As the Song of Solomon 2:3 expresses it: "With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."

Verse 21 ש

"Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, dweller in the land of Uz. But to you also the cup shall pass; you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare."

Here those isolated, and principally the Edomites, are threatened first. Then second, the Jews are comforted. As said in Verse 22: "The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished, he will keep you in exile no longer."

As to the first (the Edomites), joy is excluded. As said in Verse 21: "Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom." That is, be laughingly. As 2 Samuel (2 Kings) 1:20 records: "Tell it not in oath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon." And: "O daughter of Edom". Namely, the people of Edom, dwellers" in the land of Uz".

On the contrary Deuteronomy 2:5 states: "because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession." And also: Hus, (viz, land of Job; located around the Arabian desert, near Edom) was the first born of Nahor (from Milcah). (cf. Genesis: 22:21). Moreover, it must he mentioned that there is no notice as to a person named "Hus", but rather to a land called "Hus";(i.e., near Edom). Such is termed "Ausitides", as another name in the "interlenear Gloss". And also Jeremiah 25:24 says: "All the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed tribes that dwell in the desert." That is, within the boundaries of the Edomites, around the Arabian desert.

Secondly, punishment is threatened. As expressed in Verse 21: "But to you also the cup shall pass." Namely, the wrath of the Lord God.

Then: "you shall become drunk." That is: you will become full of misery. A-nd: "strip yourself bare." Namely, you will be despoiled of all your goods. As Jeremiah 49:12 says: "For thus says the Lord: 'If those who did not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, will you go unpunished?"

Verse 22 ת

"The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished, he will keep you in exile no longer, but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish, he will uncover your sins."

Here in Verse 22 the Jews are consoled. And first, as to their liberation. As said: "The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion": as purged by punishment.

Then: "he will keep you in exile no longer." That is, for past sins, providin~.. you do not repeat such sins. As Isaiah 40:2 declares: "Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned."

Secondly, (the Jews are Comforted) by even the punishment of their enemies. As Verse 22 concludes: "but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish." That is, like a judge, or as one questioning- the very claims: "He will uncover your sins." Namely, showing them through punishments. As Jeremiah 49:8 says: "for I will bring, the calarnnity of Esau upon him, the time when I will punish him."

Chapter 5

Verse 1 א

"Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; behold, and see our disgrace."

Here in Chapter 5, the prophet, after many lamentations, addressed himself for a remedy by prayer. So, he first exposes the people's misery, second, he seeks mercy. As expressed in Verse 19: "But thou, O Lord, dost reign for ever; thy throne endures to all generations."

The first idea (the people's misery) has two aspects. First, the people's misery, in itself is exposed, second, the people's goods that were lost. As said in Verse 14: "The old men have quit the city gate, the young men their music."

Around the first (misery in itself) are two notations. First, in Verse 1 is aroused attention: "Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us;". That is, be attentive to our misery itself. And, as said in Chapter 3:19: "Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall!"

So, Verse 1 says: "Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us."Which states, as if, hold in attention. Then: "behold": with such attention fix your consideration,"and see our disgrace!"

Verse 2 ב

"Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens."

Verse 2 considers the people's affliction. First, in general, second by going down to particular persons. As expressed in Verse 11: "Women are ravished in Zion, virgins in the towns of Judah."

As to the people's affliction in general are two ideas. First is excluded those things by which ~ople are sustained against miseries. Namely, as to their possessions, passed over to enemies control. As Verse 2 states: "Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens." Also, as Chapter 1:10 says: "The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things." And, Jeremiah 6:12 states: "Their houses shall be turned over to others, their fields and wives together."

Verse 3 ג

"We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows,"

Regarding divine protection Verse 3 declares: "We have become orphans, fatherless;". That is, we are destitute of divine direction, like to a paternal consolation. And: " our mothers are like widows." Since definite security is called for. As the prophet Isaiah asserts: "Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and, has not compassion on their fatherless and widows, for everyone is godless and' 'an evil doer, and every mouth speaks folly." (Is: 9:17).

Verse 4 ד

"We must pay for the water we drink, the wood we get must be bought."

Here particular miseries are viewed which the people suffer. As stated: "We must pay for the water we drink," Namely, because of the people's slavery, and due to their affliction. As Verse 9 records: "We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness."

As to the people's slavery are two further notions. First is the slavery in itself, and then its exaggeration. As said in Verse 7: "Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities."

On the people's slavery in itself are two more ideas. One regards the people's slavery as they suffered loss of possessions. As Verse 4 declares: "We must pay for the water we drink, the wood we get must be bought." And as Deuteronomy 2:6 repeats: "and you shall also buy water of them for money, that you may drink."

Verse 5 ה

"With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, are are given no rest."

Then is considered slavery as first forced upon their own person. As said: "~ith a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest." Which proclaims, as if: pressure is upon our necks in a manner we wish not since such pressure binds our neck. Deuteronomy 28:65 is applicable: "and among these nations you shall find no ease, and there shall be no rest for the sole of your foot."

Verse 6 ו

"We have' given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough."

Now, the people's slavery is personal and voluntary, because impelled by no means, people sell themselves to others in slavery. Or, at least for a time, as Verse 6 states: "We have given the hand to Egypt,and to Assyria, to get bread enough." That is, subjugating themselves to them. As I Samuel 2:5 claims: "Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger."

Again: Verse 6: "We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough". That is, by demanding aid. As Jeremiah 2:18 says: "And now what do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drin~c the waters of the Euphrates?"

Verse 7 ז

"Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities."

Here the people's slavery is exaggerated. So, first are viewed the conditions of those enslaved, as they are being punished for the sins of others. As said: "Our fathers sinned, and are no more, and we bear their iniquities." Since our fathers have died: "we bear their iniquities", while sustaining their punishments.

On the contrary, the prophet Ezekiel claims: "The word of the Lord came to me again: 'What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel,"The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge"? (Ezek 18:1-2). Solutions can then be declared. As in Exodus 20:5: "for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation." And Deuteronomy 32:41 asserts: "I will take vengeance on my adversaries, and will requite those who hate me."

Verse 8 ח

"Slaves rule' over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand."

The people's slavery is also exaggerated by the conditions of those enslaving, or dominating. As Verse 8 says: "Slaves rule over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand." Namely, just as the Moabites and the Idumaeans, and other neighbors, by whom they were first dominated.

As Proverbs reminds us: "Under three things the earth trembles; under four it can not bear up: A slave when he becomes king, and a fool when he is filled with food; an unloved woman when she gets a husband, and a maid when she succeeds her mistress." (Prov: 30:21-22-23).

Verse 9 ט

"We eat our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness."

Here is viewed the affliction of hunger. First is shown the people's want; "at the peril of our lives", That is, at a danger to our soul, to our very life. Also, while fleeing into the desert from the face of the sword of Babylon. Or, because, due to loading themselves with foods, they exposed themselves to dangers. As a result, their enemies pursuing them into the desert, would make them flee. As Isaiah 21:14 records: "to the thirsty bring water, meet the fugitive with bread, O inhabitants of the land of Tema."

Verse 10 י

"Our skin is hot as an oven with the burning heat of famine."

Then is considered in Verse 10 the effects of famine. As stated: "our skin is hot as an oven." That is, dried up by hunger. And: "with the burning heat of famine." As if being obsessed, and fleeing the famine, the people suffered a long time. Like the prophet Hosea 7:6 says: "For like an oven their hearts burn with intrigue." And Job: 19:20: "My bones cleave to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.

Verse 11 כ

"Women are ravished in Zion, virgins in the towns of Judah."

Here special persons are viewed. For instance, women ravished in Zion by men corrupting women. As Deuteronomy 28:30 records: "You shall betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her." And further on: '"Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and fail with longing for them all the day." (Deuteronomy 28:32).

Verse 12 ל

"Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders." That is, as if upon a hook, so as displaying their riches. As Deuteronomy 28: 4950 states: "The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you do not understand, a nation of stern countenance, who shall not regard the person of the old or show favor to the young."

Verse 13 מ

"Young men are compelled to grind at the mill; and boys stagger under loads of wood."

Thirdly, as to the youth: "Young men are compelled to grind at the mill; and boys stagger under loads of wood." The prophet Joel 3:3 declares: "And have cast lots for my people, and have given a boy for a harlot, and have sold a girl for wine, and have drunk it."

Verse 14 נ

"The old men have quit the city gate, the young men their music."

Here misery is considered in relation to the people's lost possessions. First, as persons' offices as stated: "The old men have quit the city gate." Namely, exercising their office at the city gate.

Then: "the young men their music": That is, as exercising their office as leaders in chorusing. As I Maccabees 2:9 refers: Her babes have been killed in her streets, her youths by the sword of the foe."

Verse 15 ס

"The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning."

Here reference is made to the exercise of joy: "The joy of our hearts has ceased, our dincing has been turned to mourning." As the propher Amos states: "I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentations." (Amos: 8:10).

Verse 16 ע

"The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!"

Here is indicated the glory of di~nities. First, the glory of a king. As stated: "The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!" As Job 19:9 records: "He has stripped from me my glory, and taken the crown from my head."

Second, is the glory of the temple. Here sadness is placed upon it.

Verse 17 פ

"For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim." That is, due to a multitude of tears. For, as the prophet Jeremiah 8:18 declares: "My grief is beyond healing, my heart is sick within me."

Verse 18 צ

"For Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it."

Here is indeed cause for sadness: "For Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it." That is, where the temple is. And: "jackals prowl over it." As if they were residing in remote desert places. Thus, the prophet Micah reports: "Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height." (Micah: 3:12).

Verse 19 ק

"But thou, O Lord, dost reign forever; thy throne endures to all generations."

Here a person is inclined to beseech the Lord. First is acknowledged the eternity of the divine being, or substance. As said: "But thou, O Lord, dost reign forever." Then is expressed the duration of the divine royal glory: "thy throne endures to all generations." Thus, Psalm 102(101):12 states: "But thou, O Lord, art enthroned forever; thy name endures to all generations."

Verse 20 ר

"Why dost thou forget us forever, why dost thou so long forsake us?"

Then, there is a wondered indigration. As said: "Why dost thou forget us forever, why dost thou so long forsake us?" Just as the prophet Isaiah 49:15 exclains: "Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?"

Verse 21 ש

"Restore us to thyself, O Lord, that we may be restored. Renew our days as of old."

Thirdly, a prayer is prolonged. As stated: "Restore us to thyself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old!" And as the prophet Jeremiah elsewhere proclaims: "bring me back that I may be restored, for thou art the Lord my God." (Jer: 31:18).

On the contrary, the prophet Zechariah 1:3 proclaims: "Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you."

Yet, it must be said that each proclamation is true, due to the fact that a preparation of one's will is demanded for deeds of merits, and for an infusion of divine grace.

Then: "Renew our days as of old!" Thus Job 29:2 exclaims: "Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me."

Verse 2 ת

"Or hast thou utterly rejected us? Art thou exceedingly angry with us?"

Finally, is considered the need for praying. As stated: "Or hast thou utterly rejected us? Art thou exceedingly angry with us?" And as Jeremiah elsewhere states: "Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? Does thy soul loath Zion? Why hast thou smitten us so that there is no healing for us?" (Jer: l4;l9).

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