Lamentations ii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Obscurity. He continues to bewail the misery of Jerusalem. — Heaven, the highest glory, Isaias xiv. 12. — Stool; the temple, and the land. The ark fell not into the hands of the enemy. (Calmet) — The punishment which the Lord permits, is justly ascribed to Him. (Worthington)

Ver. 2. Unclean, or treated it as such. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “he hath accounted profane the kings.” (Haydock) — Joakim, Jechonias, Sedecias, and the royal family, were exposed to the greatest ignominy and sufferings. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. Horn: beauty and power, (Haydock) the two kingdoms, the fortresses, (Calmet) and all their strength, denoted by horns. (Worthington) — Hand; refusing us protection, and aiding the Chaldeans.

Ver. 5. Women, suffering them to be abused, chap. v. 11, 13.

Ver. 6. Tent: the temple, with the same indifference as if it had been a hut, built to guard the fruit of a garden, Isaias v. 5., and Psalm lxxix. 13. — Sabbaths. The Jews rested, but could offer no sacrifices in captivity. — Priest. Saraias was slain, and Sedecias imprisoned, &c., chap. lii. 10. (Calmet)

Ver. 7. Cursed, or suffered it to be polluted, (Worthington) as he looked on it with horror, after it had been profaned by Achaz, &c. — Towers. Septuagint, “palaces;” bareon. — Feast. What a contrast! The temple used to resound with songs of praise and music: the Chaldeans fill it with insolent shouts of victory.

Ver. 8. Line, to level it with the ground, (Isaias xxxiv. 11.; Calmet) or to treat it with just severity. (Theodoret) — Bulwark. Literally, “the first wall,” (Haydock) or ditch, lined with palisades. Alexander [the Great] ordered the towers to be levelled, and the horses’ manes to be cut, when Hephæstion died, to denote the general sorrow.

Ver. 9. Among, as slaves, or in prison. — Law has been neglected; and now it cannot be observed, as to the ceremonial part. There are no public instructions. — No vision. When Jeremias was consulted, he had to pray for ten days, chap. xlii. 7.

Ver. 10. Ancients, even magistrates. (Calmet) — Canitiem multo deformat pulvere. (Virgil, Æneid x.)

Ver. 11. Earth, by an overflowing of the bile, occasioned by grief, Job xvi. 14. (Calmet)

Ver. 13. Sea. This is an hyperbole, to express the greatness of sorrow, as the sea surpasses all other waters. (Worthington)

Ver. 14. Revelations. Hebrew Masoth, “burdens” for the enemy. This sentence ought to come before and they, &c., as it is in the Vulgate. (Haydock)

Ver. 16. Mouth, with scorn, Isaias lvii. 4., and Psalm xxxiv. 21.

Ver. 17. Old, by Moses, (Deuteronomy xxviii. 15, 49., and Leviticus xxvi. 14.) Micheas, (chap. xxvi. 18.) Holda, &c. (Calmet)

Ver. 18. Upon. Hebrew and Septuagint, “O wall,” &c., ver. 8. (Haydock)

Ver. 19. Watches. Jerusalem is here represented in the midst of danger and misery. (Calmet)

Ver. 20. Dealt. Literally, “gathered grapes,” chap. i. 12. (Haydock) — Long; quite small, Psalm xxxviii. 9. This has been denounced, chap. xix. 9., and Deuteronomy xxviii. 53. (Calmet) It took place at Samaria, and in the last siege of Jerusalem, (Josephus, Jewish Wars vii., and viii.; Worthington) as well as at this time. (Haydock)

Ver. 21. Killed. Literally, “stricken” (Haydock) with unusual severity. (Worthington)

Ver. 22. About. The troops of the enemy resemble those multitudes, which come from all parts to Jerusalem. Many kings could not raise such an army. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references: 1

 Aleph. How hath the Lord covered with obscurity the daughter of Sion in his wrath! how hath he cast down from heaven to the earth the glorious one of Israel, and hath not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.

Beth. The Lord hath cast down headlong, and hath not spared all that was beautiful in Jacob: he hath destroyed in his wrath the strong holds of the virgin of Juda, and brought them down to the ground: he hath made the kingdom unclean, and the princes thereof.

Ghimel. He hath broken, in his fierce anger, all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he hath kindled in Jacob, as it were a flaming fire, devouring round about.

Daleth. He hath bent his bow as an enemy; he hath fixed his right hand as an adversary; and he hath killed all that was fair to behold in the tabernacle of the daughter of Sion; he hath poured out his indignation like fire.

He. The Lord is become as an enemy: he hath cast down Israel headlong, he hath overthrown all the walls thereof: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath multiplied in the daughter of Juda the afflicted, both men and women.

Vau. And he hath destroyed his tent as a garden, he hath thrown down his tabernacle: the Lord hath caused feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Sion: and hath delivered up king and priest to reproach, and to the indignation of his wrath.

Zain. The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath cursed his sanctuary: he hath delivered the walls of the towers thereof into the hand of the enemy: they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast.

Heth. The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Sion: he hath stretched out his line, and hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: and the bulwark hath mourned, and the wall hath been destroyed together.

Teth. Her gates are sunk into the ground: he hath destroyed, and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more, and her prophets have found no vision from the Lord.

10 Jod. The ancients of the daughter of Sion sit upon the ground, they have held their peace: they have sprinkled their heads with dust, they are girded with haircloth, the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

11 Caph. My eyes have failed with weeping, my bowels are troubled: my liver is poured out upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people, when the children, and the sucklings, fainted away in the streets of the city.

12 Lamed. They said to their mothers: Where is corn and wine? when they fainted away, as the wounded in the streets of the city: when they breathed out their souls in the bosoms of their mothers.

13 Mem. To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? to what shall I equal thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? for great as the sea is thy destruction: who shall heal thee?

14 Nun. Thy prophets have seen false and foolish things for thee: and they have not laid open thy iniquity, to excite thee to penance: but they have seen for thee false revelations and banishments.

15 Samech. All they that passed by the way have clapped their hands at thee: they have hissed, and wagged their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: Is this the city of perfect beauty, the joy of all the earth?

16 Phe. All thy enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they have hissed, and gnashed with the teeth, and have said: We will swallow her up: lo, this is the day which we looked for: we have found it, we have seen it.

17 *Ain. The Lord hath done that which he purposed, he hath fulfilled his word, which he commanded in the days of old: he hath destroyed, and hath not spared, and he hath caused the enemy to rejoice over thee, and hath set up the horn of thy adversaries.

18 Sade. Their heart cried to the Lord upon the walls of the daughter of Sion: *Let tears run down like a torrent day and night: give thyself no rest, and let not the apple of thy eye cease.

19 Coph. Arise, give praise in the night, in the beginning of the watches: pour out thy heart like water, before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands to him for the life of thy little children, that have fainted for hunger at the top of all the streets.

20 Res. Behold, O Lord, and consider whom thou hast thus dealt with: shall women then eat their own fruit, their children of a span long: shall the priest, and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 Sin. The child and the old man lie without on the ground: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: thou hast slain them in the day of thy wrath: thou hast killed, and shewn them no pity.

22 Thau. Thou hast called, as to a festival, those that should terrify me round about, and there was none in the day of the wrath of the Lord that escaped and was left: those that I brought up, and nourished, my enemy hath consumed them.



17: Leviticus xxvi. 14.; Deuteronomy xxviii. 15.

18: Jeremias xiv. 17.; Lamentations i. 16.