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THE

LA MENTATIONS

OF JEREMIAH.

as

a

that

was

CHAPTER I.

like harts that find no pasture, and they are | The miserable estate of Jerusalem by reason of gone without strength before the pursuer.

7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her sin. 12 She complaineth of her grief, 18 and

her affliction and of her miseries all her confesseth God's judgment to be righteous.

°pleasant things that she had in the days of O W doth old, when her people fell into the hand of the city sit the enemy, and none did help her : the adsolitary, that versaries saw her, and did mock at her sabwas full of baths. people! how 8 Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; is she be therefore she is removed: all that honoured come

her despise her, because they have seen her widow! she nakedness : yea, she sigheth, and turneth

backward. great among

9 Her filthiness is in her skirts; she rethe nations, membereth not her last end; therefore she and princess came down wonderfully: she had no comamong the forter. O Lord, behold my affliction : for

provinces, the enemy hath magnified himself. how is she 10 The adversary hath spread out his become tri- hand upon all her opleasant things : for she

butary! hath seen that the heathen entered into her 2 She 'weepeth sore in the 'night, and sanctuary, whom thou didst command that her tears are on her cheeks: among all her they should not enter into thy congregalovers she hath none to comfort her: all her tion. friends have dealt treacherously with her, 11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they are become her enemies.

they have given their pleasant things for 3 Judah is gone into captivity because of meat to relieve the soul: see, O Lord, and affliction, and because of great servitude: consider; for I am become vile. she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth 12 "Is it nothing to you, all ye that no rest : all her persecutors overtook her be- pass by ? behold, and see if there be any tween the straits.

sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done 4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted none come to the solemn feasts: all her me in the day of his fierce

anger. gates are desolate : her priests sigh, her vir- 13 From above hath he sent fire into my gins are afflicted, and she is in bitterness. bones, and it prevaileth against them: he

5 Her adversaries are the chief, her ene hath spread a net for my feet, he hath mies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted turned me back: he hath made me desolate her for the multitude of her transgressions : and faint all the day. her 'children are gone into captivity before 14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound the enemy:

by his hand : they are wreathed, and come 6 And from the daughter of Zion all her up upon my neck : he hath made my strength beauty is departed : her princes are become to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into

I Jer. 13. 17. 2 Job 7.3. 3 Heb. for the greatness of servitude. * Deut. 28. 13, 14. s Jer. 52. 28. 6 Or, desirable. i Heb. is become e remoring, or, vandering. & Or, desirable. . Deut. 23.3. 10 Or, to make the soul to come again. 110r, It is nothing

19 Heb. pass by the way.

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rise up

18 Isa. 16. 11. Jer. 48. 36.

their hands, from whom I am not able to row: my virgins and my young men are

gone into captivity. 15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all 19 I called for my lovers, but they demy mighty men in the midst of me: he hath ceived me: my priests and mine elders gave called an assembly against me to crush my up the ghost in the city, while they sought young men: the LORD hath trodden the their meat to relieve their souls. virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a wine- 20 Behold, O LORD ; for I am in distress : press.

my bowels are troubled; mine heart is 16 For these things I weep; "mine eye, turned within me; for I have grievously remine eye runneth down with water, because belled : abroad the sword bereaveth, at home the comforter that should 'Srelieve my soul there is as death. is far from me: my children are desolate, 21 They have heard that I sigh: there is because the enemy prevailed.

none to comfort me: all mine enemies have 17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and heard of my trouble ; they are glad that thou there is none to comfort her: the Lord hath hast done it: thou wilt bring the day that commanded concerning Jacob, that his ad- thou hast "called, and they shall be like versaries should be round about him : Jeru- unto me. salem is as a menstruous woman among them. 22 Let all their wickedness come before

18 | The Lord is Brighteous ; for I have thee; and do unto them, as thou hast done rebelled against his "commandment: hear, unto me for all my transgressions : for I pray you, all people, and behold my sor- my sighs are many, and my heart is faint. 13 Or, the wine-press of the virgin, &c. 14 Jer. 13. 17, and 14. 17. Chap. 2. 18. 15 Heb. bring back. 18 Dan. 9.7. 17 Heb. mouth.

19 Or, proclaimed. LAMENTATIONS.- - An opinion has been entertained that these Lamentations are the same which are mentioned, in 2 Chron. xxxv. 25, as having been composed upon occasion of the death of king Josiah. But these compositions appear most clearly not to refer to the death of any one person, but to lament the ruin of a city and a people. The more general and probable impression on the subject is that which is conveyed in the title which we find prefixed to the Lamentations in the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Arabic versions:—" And it came to pass, after that Israel had been carried away captive, and Jerusalem laid waste, that Jeremiah sat weeping, and lamented with this lamentation over Jerusalem, and said,” &c. That this is also the impression retained in the East appears from the fact that, at Jerusalem, Jews, Christians, and Moslems concur in regarding with veneration a certain grotto, at the foot of a large quarry, a little to the north of the present town, beyond the Damascus gate, with which they associate the name of Jeremiah, believing that it was some time the residence of the prophet. The grot is large, and on one side of it, about eight feet from the ground, is a rocky shelve, which is alleged to have been his bed. Near this is also pointed out the spot where he is supposed to have composed his Lamentations over the holy city. At present it is in the exclusive possession of the Turks, and is usually shut up.

Bishop Lowth speaks largely of the Lamentations in his 22nd Lecture. They are evidently written in metre, and consist of a number of plaintive effusions which, in his opinion, are composed upon the plan of the funeral dirges-all upon the same subject, and uttered without connection, as they arose in the mind in a long course of separate stanzas; and which were afterwards put together and formed into a collection or correspondent whole. The nature and design of the poem neither required nor admitted a methodical and artificial arrangement and sequence of ideas. “In the character of a mourner,” says Lowth, the prophet celebrates in plaintive strains the obsequies of his ruined country. Whatever presented itself to his mind in the midst of desolation and misery, whatever struck him as particularly wretched and calamitous, whatever the instant sentiment of sorrow dictated, he pours forth in a kind of spontaneous effusion. He frequently pauses, and, as it were, ruminates upon the same object; frequently varies and illustrates the same thought with different imagery, and a different choice of language ; so that the whole assumes the appearance rather of an accumulation of corresponding sentiments, than an accurate and connected series of different ideas, arranged in the form of a regular treatise.” He afterwards adds:-“In my opinion there is not extant any poem, which displays such a happy and splendid selection of imagery in so concentrated a state.” Blayney says, “We cannot too much admire the full and the graceful flow of that pathetic eloquence in which the prophet pours forth the effusions of a patriotic heart, and piously weeps over the ruins of his venerable country.”. Dr. South also, in his own peculiar manner, says of this book :-"One would think that every letter was wrote with a tear, every word the sound of a breaking heart; that the author was a man compacted of sorrows, and disciplined to grief from his infancy; one who never breathed but in sighs, nor spoke but in a groan."

The Lamentations are very properly divided into five chapters. The original marks this as the proper division; the four first chapters being acrostical, so that the termination of the alphabet completes the poem, while the distinction of initials naturally divides each into twenty-two distinct periods, according to the number of letters contained in the Hebrew alphabet. In the two first chapters, each period begins with its proper initial, and consists of a triplet (as appears even in our translation), except in the seventh period of the first chapter, and the nineteenth of the second, which have each a supernumerary line. In the third chapter every period contains three verses which have all the same initial letter, so that the acrostical series comprehends sixty-six verses. The fourth chapter resembles the three former in metre, but the periods are only couplets. The fifth chapter, which is not acrostical, also consists of couplets, but the measure is considerably shorter.

11. " They have given their pleasant things for meat."--A striking illustration of this is given by Mr. Roberts :-“The people of the East retain their little valuables, such as jewels and rich robes to the last extremity. To part with that which has perhaps been a kind of heir-loom in the family, is like parting with life. Have they sold the last wreck of their other property ; are they on the verge of death?—the emaciated members of the family are called together, and some one undertakes the heart-rending task of proposing such a bracelet, or armlet, or car-ring, or pendant of the fore

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head, to be sold. For a moment all are silent, till the mother or daughters burst into tears, and then the contending feelings of hunger, and love for their pleasant things, alternately prevail

. In general the conclusion is to pledge, and not to sell their much-loved ornaments; but such is the rapacity of those who have money, and such the extreme proury of those who have once fallen, that they seldom regain them." ("Oriental Illustrations, p. 483.) Under such circumstances, and particularly in times of public calamity, it often happens that jewels and other property of the most valuable description, are disposed of for the merest trifle, that a little bread may be obtained to relieve the soul."

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CHAPTER II.

he stood with his right hand as an adversary,

and slew 'all that were pleasant to the eye 1 Jeremiah lamenteth the misery of Jerusalem. 20

in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion : He complaineth thereof to God.

he poured out his fury like fire. How hath the LORD covered the daughter 5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all down from heaven unto the earth the beauty her palaces : he hath destroyed his strong of Israel, and remembered not his footstool holds, and hath increased in the daughter in the day of his anger!

of Judah mourning and lamentation. 2 The Lord hath swallowed up all the 6 And he hath violently 'taken away his habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: | 'tabernacle, as if it were of a garden : he he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong hath destroyed his places of the assembly: holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath the Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and 'brought them down to the ground: he hath sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath polluted the kingdom and the princes despised in the indignation of his anger the thereof.

king and the priest. 3 He hath cut off in his fierce anger all 7 The LORD hath cast off his altar, he the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath 'givea right hand from before the enemy, and he up into the hand of the enemy the walls of burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, her palaces; they have made a noise in the which devoureth round about.

house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn 4 He hath bent his bow like an enemy: | feast. * Heb, made to touch 2 Heb, all the desirable of the eye. * Psal. 80.12, and 89. 40. Isa. 5. 5. * Or, hedge. Heb. shut up

8 The Lord hath purposed to destroy the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the wall of the daughter of Zion : he hath city that men call "The perfection of beauty, stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn The joy of the whole earth? his hand from destroying : therefore he 16° All thine enemies have opened their made the rampart and the wall to lament. mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the they languished together.

teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: 9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; certainly this is the day that we looked for; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her we have found, we have seen it. xing and her princes are among the Gen- 17 The LORD hath done that which he tiles: the law is no more; her 'prophets had devised; he hath fulfilled his word also find no vision from the LORD.

that he had commanded in the days of old : 10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: upon the ground, and keep silence: they and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice have cast up dust upon their heads; they over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine have girded themselves with sackcloth : the adversaries. virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads 18 Their heart cried unto the Lord, O to the ground.

wall of the daughter of Zion, ''let tears run 11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels down like a river day and night: give thyare troubled, my liver is poured upon the self no rest; let not the apple of thine eye earth, for the destruction of the daughter of cease. my people; because the children and the 19 Arise, cry out in the night : in the sucklings swoon in the streets of the beginning of the watches pour out_thine city.

heart like water before the face of the Lord : 12 They say to their mothers, Where is lift up thy hands toward him for the life of corn and wine? when they swooned as the thy young children, that faint for hunger in wounded in the streets of the city, when the top of every street. their soul was poured out into their mothers' 20 Behold, O LORD, and consider to bosom.

whom thou hast done this. Shall the wo13 What thing shall I take to witness for men eat their fruit, and children "of a span thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, o long ? shall the priest and the prophet' be daughter of Jerusalem ? what shall I equal slain in the sanctuary of the LORD? to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin 21 The young and the old lie on the daughter of Zion? 'for thy breach is great ground in the streets : my virgins and my like the sea : who can heal thee?

young men are fallen by the sword; thou 14 Thy 'prophets have seen vain and hast slain them in the day of thine anger; foolish things for thee: and they have not thou hast killed, and not pitied. discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy 22 Thou hast called as in a solemn day captivity; but have seen for thee false bur- my terrors round about, so that in the day dens and causes of banishment.

of the Lord's anger none escaped nor re15 All that pass by clap their hands at mained: those that I have swaddled and thee; they hiss and wag their head at the brought up hath mine enemy consumed. . Heb. swallowing up.

10 Heb. by the way.

7 Psal. 74.9. 8 Or, faint. 18 Lev. 26. 16. Deut. 28. 15.

11 Psal. 48...

9 Jer. 2.8, and 5. 31, and 14. 14, and 23. 16.
13 Jer. 14. 17. Chap. 1. 16. 14 Or, swaddled with their hands.

Verse 11. « My liver is poured upon the earth."-Among the Hebrews the liver not less than the heart was regarded as the seat of the passions and affections. This shows the sense in which such passages as the present are to be understood. Here, as with regard to many other of the bodily organs as mentioned in Scripture, there is not only a literal sense capable of univocal interpretation, but a metaphorical import that cannot be communicated by any literal version, unless when the same metaphorical signification happens to exist also in the language into which the translation is made. Dr. J. M. Good touches on this subject in the preface to his translation of the Song of Songs, and is disposed to contend that such allusions, in order to convey their real signification, should be rendered not literally but equivalently; and we so far agree with him as to think, that the force and delicacy of many passages must be necessarily impaired and their true meaning lost, when the name merely is given, in a language where that name does not involve the same metaphorical idea. Pursuing the subject, Dr. Good says: “In Psalm xvi. 9, 'My heart is glad and my glory rejoiceth,' as it occurs in our common version, is literally, · My heart is glad and my liver rejoiceth. Yet who could behold such an interpretation without a smile? or who, if he were to behold it, would admit that the original was fairly translated ?" Among ourselves, in like manner, the spleen is supposed to be the region of disappointment and melancholy. But were a Jew to be told, in his own tongue, that the inimitable Cowper had long, laboured under the spleen. he would be ignorant of the meaning of his interpreter ; and, when at last informed of it, might justly tell him, that although he had literally rendered the words, he had by no means conveyed the idea. 18. The apple of thine eye.”—There is a distinct word to denote the pupil, or “apple," of the eye; and that is not here used. The original is, literally, “ the daughter of thine eye,” which it is certainly better to understand of a tear than of the pupil of the eye. It is quite in unison with Oriental usage to call the daughter of the eye” the tear which issues from it; and so taken in this place, the expression not only seems more poetical, but conveys a clearer meaning, equivalent to, "Let not thy tears cease."

out my prayer.

CHAPTER III.

are not consumed, because his compassions

fail not. 1 The faithful bewail their calamities. 22 By the mercies of God they nourish their hope. 37 They 23 They are new every morning: great is acknowledge God's justice. 55 They pray for de- thy faithfulness.

liverance, 64 and vengeance on their enemies. 24 The LORD is my 'portion, saith my I am the man that hath seen affliction by soul; therefore will I hope in him. the rod of his wrath.

25 The Lord is good unto them that wait 2 He hath led me, and brought me into for him, to the soul that seeketh him. darkness, but not into light.

26 It is good that a man should both 3 Surely against me is he turned; he hope and quietly wait for the salvation of turneth his hand against me all the day.

the LORD. 4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; 27 It is good for a man that he bear the he hath broken my bones.

yoke in his youth. 5 He hath builded against me, and com

28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, passed me with gall and travel.

because he hath borne it upon him. 6 He hath set me in dark places, as they 29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if that be dead of old.

so be there may be hope. 7 He hath hedged me about, that I can- 30 He giveth his cheek to him that not get out: he hath made my chain heavy.smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. 8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth

31 For the LORD will not cast off for

ever : 9 He hath inclosed my ways with hewn 32 But though he cause grief, yet will he stone, he hath made my paths crooked. have compassion according to the multitude

10 He was unto me as a bear lying in of his mercies. wait, and us a lion in secret places.

33 For he doth not affict ''willingly nor 11 He hath turned aside my ways, and grieve the children of men. pulled me in pieces : he hath made me de- 34 To crush under his feet all the prisonsolate.

ers of the earth, 12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as

35 To turn aside the right of a man bea mark for the arrow.

fore the face of the most High, 13 He hath caused the 'arrows of his qui

36 To subvert a man in his cause, the ver to enter into my reins.

LORD 'approveth not. 14 I was a 'derision to all my people; and 37 Who is he "That saith, and it cometh their song all the day.

to pass, when the LORD commandeth it 15 He hath filled me with 'bitterness, he not? hath made me drunken with wormwood. 38 Out of the mouth of the most High

16 He hath also broken my teeth with proceedeth not 'evil and good ? gravel stones, he hath covered me with 39 Wherefore doth a living man "scomashes.

plain, a man for the punishment of his sins ? 17 And thou hast removed my soul far 40 Let us search and try our ways, and off from peace: I forgat 'prosperity. turn again to the Lord.

18 And I said, My strength and my hope 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands is perished from the LORD :

unto God in the heavens. 19 'Remembering mine affliction and my 42 We have transgressed and have remisery, the wormwood and the gall.

belled: thou hast not pardoned. 20 My soul hath them still in remem

43 Thou hast covered with anger, and perbrance, and is Thumbled in me.

secuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not 21 This I 'recall to my mind, therefore pitied. have I hope.

44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, 22 li is of the Lord's mercies that we that our prayer should not pass through. * Hleb, seas. 2 Jer. 20. 7. 3 Heb. bitternesses.

5 Heb. good. s Heb. wake to reurn to my heart.

To Heb. from his heart.

Jl Or, a superior, 12 Or, seeth not.

• O1, remember,

7 Heb. howed.

4 Or, rolled me in the ashes,
» Psal 16, 5, and 73. 26, and 119.57. Jer. 10. 16.
13 Psal. 33.9.

14 Amos 3,6

15 Or, en mur.

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