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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Lamentations 3

 

 

Verse 1

Lamentations 3:1 I [am] the man [that] hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.

Ver. 1. I am the man.] Here Jeremiah, in the name and place of all the Jewish people, setteth forth his sufferings very passionately and elegantly. Oυδεν γαρ του παθοντος ρητορικοτερον, saith Synesius; for nothing is more rhetorical than a man in misery. See on Lamentations 1:12.

By the rod of his wrath,] i.e., Of God’s wrath, whom yet he nameth not prae magnitudine affectus, (a) but referreth to him all his sufferings; and he alludeth here, say some, to that rod. [Jeremiah 1:11]


Verse 2

Lamentations 3:2 He hath led me, and brought [me into] darkness, but not [into] light.

Ver. 2. He hath led me and brought me into darkness.] Perstat semper in metaphora a pastoritia, say some, who by rod in the foregoing verse understand God’s shepherd’s wand, wherewith, when he is displeased, he driveth his unruly sheep into dark and dangerous places. [Psalms 23:3-4 Micah 7:9]


Verse 3

Lamentations 3:3 Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand [against me] all the day.

Ver. 3. Surely against me is he turned.] Metaphora a colaphizantibus. A metaphor from buffeters, who double their blows, beating their adversaries on both sides, as the smith doth his red hot iron upon the anvil till he hath shaped it. (a)


Verse 4

Lamentations 3:4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.

Ver. 4. My flesh and my skin hath he made old.] Withered it and wanzed it, so that I am not like myself; facta videbor anus, as she said. See Psalms 32:3.

He hath broken my bones.] Decayed and impaired, and that with greatest torment, as befalleth when bones are broken.


Verse 5

Lamentations 3:5 He hath builded against me, and compassed [me] with gall and travail.

Ver. 5. He hath builded against me.] Bulwarks and batteries.

And compassed me with gall and travel.] Or, With venom and vexation. See Jeremiah 8:14. In these and the like hyperbolic expressions we must note that words are too weak to utter the greatness of the saints’ grief, when they lie under the sense of God’s wrath and heavy displeasure.


Verse 6

Lamentations 3:6 He hath set me in dark places, as [they that be] dead of old.

Ver. 6. He hath set me in dark places.] Dungeons haply, which are a kind of graves, and where poor prisoners lie as forgotten. The Persians called their prisons ληθας, oblivions. And Ezekiel saith that Babylon was to the Jews as a grave, where they lay for dead till those dead bones lived again. [Ezekiel 37:1-14]

As they that be dead of old.] Free among the dead and forgotten. It may be said of a saint, in some cases, that

Vivit, et est vitae nescius ipse sum.


Verse 7

Lamentations 3:7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.

Ver. 7. He hath hedged me about.] Sorrounded me with troubles, brought me into straits inextricable and importable.


Verse 8

Lamentations 3:8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

Ver. 8. Also when I cry and shout.] As poor prisoners use to do for relief and release.

He shutteth out my prayer.] Or, Shutteth his ear to my prayer. This was very grievous to any good heart; more than it could be to Cicero, a stranger to the true God, who yet bewaileth the matter to his brother in these words, I would pray to the gods for those things; but that, alas! they have given over to hear my prayers.


Verse 9

Lamentations 3:9 He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.

Ver. 9. He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone,] i.e., Most strongly and closely, so that none can come at me.

He hath made all my paths crooked.] So that all things go cross with me; and although they were never so well devised, yet still they sort out unto the worst.


Verse 10

Lamentations 3:10 He [was] unto me [as] a bear lying in wait, [and as] a lion in secret places.

Ver. 10. He was unto me as a bear lying in wait.] So that if I do but offer to stir, or seek to make escape, I am in danger to be devoured.

And as a lion in secret places.] God hath many ways and means to bemeet with sinners. He can stop them in their course, as he did Balaam, Jonah, and others.


Verse 11

Lamentations 3:11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.

Ver. 11. He hath turned aside my ways.] As Lamentations 3:9.

And pulled me in pieces.] As a bear or lion doth the silly sheep that falleth into their paws. Carnali quadam intemperie haec effusa sunt. The Vulgate hath it, Confregit me. He hath broken me in pieces; scil., Attempting to leap over his hedge; [Lamentations 3:7] his stone wall. [Lamentations 3:9] In the year 1590, Nicolas Frischlin, that famous poet, orator, and philosopher, attempting to escape out of prison, was so broken, a capite ad talos, a cute ad ossa. from the head to the heels, from the skin to the bones. (a)


Verse 12

Lamentations 3:12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

Ver. 12. He hath bent his bow.] Lamentations 2:4.

And set me as a mark.] Which he is sure to hit. The Benjamites, [ 20:16] the Parthians, Alcon the Cretan, Domitian the Emperor, were excellent archers; but

Non semper feriet quodcunque minabitur arcus;

God’s arrow never misseth the mark.


Verse 13

Lamentations 3:13 He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.

Ver. 13. He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.] (a) Heb., The sons of his quiver, by a Hebraism. So Horace hath -

Pharetram gravidam sagittis. ” - Lib, ii. od. 21.

“Full quiver of arrows.”

Job hath many like complaints. [Job 7:20; Job 8:4; Job 16:12-13]


Verse 14

Lamentations 3:14 I was a derision to all my people; [and] their song all the day.

Ver. 14. I was a derision, to all my people.] Or, To all peoples. Our Saviour suffered all this and much more for us.

And their song all the day.] Or, Their lute, or kit, whom they played on at pleasure, and desired no better sport.


Verse 15

Lamentations 3:15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.

Ver. 15. He hath filled me with bitterness.] Heb., Bitternesses: (a) alluding, as some think, to that ius seu embamma in quo intingebant agnum Paschalem, sauce of bitter herbs wherewith they did eat the Passover - the juice of them expressed - to mind them of the bitter afflictions which they suffered in Egypt.

He hath made me drunk with wormwood.] Or, Hensbane, or wolfsbane rather, succo cicutae.


Verse 16

Lamentations 3:16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.

Ver. 16. He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones.] Comminuit scrupis dentes meos - i.e., With gritty bread. See Proverbs 20:17.

He hath covered me with ashes.] The Greek and Latin have it, He hath fed me with ashes, which was worse than that bread made most of sawdust, wherewith they fed the martyrs in the Marian times.


Verse 17

Lamentations 3:17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.

Ver. 17. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace.] Prosperity and I are twain; we are utterly unacquainted.


Verse 18

Lamentations 3:18 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD:

Ver. 18. And I said.] But not so wisely. I was even almost tumbling into the pit of desperation. I was straddling over it, as it were, but God preserved me.

My strength and my hope is perished.] My strength to bear these miseries, and my hope to be ever freed of them.


Verse 19

Lamentations 3:19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

Ver. 19. Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall,] i.e., The bitterness that was in it, but of mine own commingling. Impatiens quisque bis affligitur, Impatience redoubleth an affliction.


Verse 20

Lamentations 3:20 My soul hath [them] still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

Ver. 20. My soul hath them still in remembrance.] But it is not good to plod overly much in this case. Such bitter pills should be swallowed whole, and not chewed upon, unless it be for our further humiliation.


Verse 21

Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

Ver. 21. This I recall to my mind.] This? What? God’s infinite mercies, that cape of good hope; see Lamentations 3:22, Psalms 119:56; "This I had" - that is, this comfort, or this ability to keep thy precepts.


Verse 22

Lamentations 3:22 [It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Ver. 22. It is of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed.] That we are yet on this side hell. This sentence was much in the mouth of that famous Maria Aegyptiaca, and should be in all our minds and mouths for a lenitive.

Because his compassions fail (a) not.] Or, Are not spent, wasted, but, as the oil in the cruse, as the spring ever runneth, the sun ever shineth, &c. This should ever shine in our hearts as the sun doth in the firmament.


Verse 23

Lamentations 3:23 [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.

Ver. 23. They are new every morning.] Yea, every moment. We have continual experiments.

Great is thy faithfulness.] God’s mercy moved him to promise; his truth to perform. See 2 Samuel 7:18; 2 Samuel 7:21. {See Trapp on "2 Samuel 7:18"} {See Trapp on "2 Samuel 7:21"}


Verse 24

Lamentations 3:24 The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Ver. 24. The Lord is my portion.] And that is enough for me, should I never have more. {See Trapp on "Psalms 16:5"} That which giveth content in any portion is (1.) The favour and presence of God; (2.) That it is from the hand of a Father; (3.) That it comes to us in the covenant of grace; (4.) That it is the purchase of Christ’s blood; (5.) That it is an answer of prayers, and a blessing from above on honest endeavours, &c. Vide autem, pie Lector, saith an expositor: See here, good reader, how this prophetic lamentation beginneth to be a guide to godliness. For it doth not, after the manner of silly women, throw out empty words without wisdom; but teacheth all along, either overtly or covertly, that all things here below, how highly soever esteemed, are vanity and soon lost; but the grace of God is solid and stable; (a) Christum tollere nemo potest. Christ is a portion unlosable, as one (b) once answered to those that asked him why he was still merry and cheerful.

Said my soul.] (c) Not my mouth only; but I speak it from my very heart, which rejoiceth in God my portion more than the many do in the increase of their grain and wine. [Psalms 4:7]

Therefore will I hope in him.] Expectabo ut teneam per speciem, quem teneo per spem.


Verse 25

Lamentations 3:25 The LORD [is] good unto them that wait for him, to the soul [that] seeketh him.

Ver. 25. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him.] Which few can skill of, and I have somewhat to do to hit on, but would not now have missed of for all the world. (a)

To the soul that seeketh him.] Not giving over till he findeth him.


Verse 26

Lamentations 3:26 [It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

Ver. 26. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait.] Heb., Be silent: not with a pythagoric or monastic silence, ut non liceat loqui locis et horis certis, but with a humble submission to God’s holy will, a patient and peaceable behaviour under his hand; waiting for a good use thereof, and a gracious issue in the best time - to frame the heart whereunto, Aurea his subnectitur sententia.


Verse 27

Lamentations 3:27 [It is] good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Ver. 27. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke from his youth.] The yoke of God’s law, and the discipline of afflictions: it is good to be betime in God’s nurturing house, and remain a good while there, that he be trained up in the school of afflictions, that he be a well-beaten soldier to the cross. (a) The description of such a one followeth.


Verse 28

Lamentations 3:28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne [it] upon him.

Ver. 28. He sitteth alone.] Sessio solitaria, as being much in meditation, according to that counsel of the preacher, "in the day of adversity consider."

And keepeth silence.] When God’s hand is upon his back, his hand is upon his mouth. See on Lamentations 3:26.

Because he hath borne it upon him.] Or, When he hath taken it upon him; taken up his cross, as being active in suffering.


Verse 29

Lamentations 3:29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.

Ver. 29. He putteth his mouth in the dust.] He lieth low at God’s feet: putting himself into the hands of justice, yet in hope of mercy. See 1 Corinthians 14:25.

If so be there may be hope.] Heb., Peradventure there is hope - q.d., doubtless there is; however, I will try, since I have lost many a worse labour.


Verse 30

Lamentations 3:30 He giveth [his] cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.

Ver. 30. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him.] Humility, the product of affliction sanctified, is still at her lesson, or rather practising what she hath learned. David, having suffered by Absalom, can well enough bear with Shimei’s tongue smitings; and the apostles, after they had been in prison, departed from the council, rejoicing that they were so far graced as to be disgraced for the name of Jesus. [Acts 5:41]

He is filled full of reproach.] He can bravely bear all contumelies and contempts for his conscience, taking them as crowns and confirmations of his conformity to Christ.


Verse 31

Lamentations 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever:

Ver. 31. For the Lord will not cast off for ever.] No, not at all, however he may seem to some so to do. Non deserit etiamsi deserat, saith a father: He doth not put his people far from him, as the word here signifieth.


Verse 32

Lamentations 3:32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.

Ver. 32. For though he cause grief.] As sometimes he doth "in very faithfulness," and that he may be true to his people’s souls.

Yet he will have compassion.] He will repent and return, and leave a blessing behind him, that is certain. [Joel 2:14]


Verse 33

Lamentations 3:33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

Ver. 33. For he doth not afflict willingly.] Heb., From the heart. (a) Non nisi coactus, as that emperor said when he sealed a writ for execution of a condenmed person: I would not do it but upon necessity. It goeth as much against the heart with God as it can do against the hair with us:

Ille dolet quoties cogitur esse ferox.


Verse 34

Lamentations 3:34 To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth,

Ver. 34. To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth,] i.e., All those that are in misery, to lay more load upon them, and so to crush them to pieces, yea, to grind them to powder. This he could as easily do as bid it be done: but he takes no such delight in severity and harshness.


Verse 35

Lamentations 3:35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,

Ver. 35. To turn aside the right of a man.] To wrest his right by false witness and corrupt means, as wicked men use to do before the face of the Most High, or of a superior under colour of law. God liketh none of all this, though again for excellent ends he allows it so to be, and orders it when so it is.


Verse 36

Lamentations 3:36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.

Ver. 36. To subvert a man in his cause.] By sleight of hand to tilt the balance of justice on one side.

The Lord approveth not.] Heb., Seeth not. Non videt - i.e., non ei visum est, it seemeth not good unto him; he liketh it not.


Verse 37

Lamentations 3:37 Who [is] he [that] saith, and it cometh to pass, [when] the Lord commandeth [it] not?

Ver. 37. Who is he?] Tam imprudens et imperitus? Can any one be so simple as to think that the enemy could do aught against us but by the divine permission and appointment? God, as he made all by his power, so he manageth all by his providence. This the Egyptians hieroglyphically set forth by painting God, (1.) As blowing an egg out of his mouth - that is, as making the round world by his word; (2.) To compassing about that orb with a girdle - that is, keeping all together, and governing all by his providence.


Verse 38

Lamentations 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

Ver. 38. Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good?] i.e., Prosperity and adversity; q.d., Who doubteth of that? [Amos 3:5 Isaiah 45:7] Talk not then of fate and blind fortune.


Verse 39

Lamentations 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

Ver. 39. Wherefore doth a living man complain?] Mourn immoderately, or murmur causelessly. 1. If he mourn, let him mourn for his sin as the cause of his suffering; let him revenge upon that. 2. If he be tempted to murmur, let him remember that he is yet alive, and that is more than his part cometh to, since it is the Lord’s mercy that he is not consumed, and sent packing hence to hell. Life in any sense is a sweet mercy, even that which to the afflicted may seem a lifeless life. {as Proverbs 15:15} Let this patient us, that we are yet alive.

A man for the punishment of his sins.] Heb., Man for his sin. For sin doth as naturally draw and suck punishments to it as the loadstone doth iron or turpentine fire; wherefore also the same word in Hebrew signifieth both.


Verse 40

Lamentations 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

Ver. 40. Let us search and try our ways,] i.e., Make accurate inquiry into them; so shall we soon find ourselves to be a whole newly found world of wickedness. Search we therefore, and do it thoroughly. Many either search not at all (they cannot endure these domestic audits: it is death to them to reflect and recognise what they have done), or as though they desired not to find. They search as men do for their bad money; they know they have it, but they would gladly have it to pass for current among the rest. Heathens will rise up in judgment against such, for they prescribed and practised self-examination: Pythagoras once a day;

Non prius in dulcem declines lumina somnum,

Quam prius exactae reputaveris acta diei, ”& c.

Phocylides thrice a day, if Stobaeus {a} may be believed.

And turn again to the Lord.] Let self-examination end in reformation, else sin will be thereby but emboldened and strengthened, as idle vagrants and lawless subjects are, if questioned only, and not punished and restrained. Of turning again to the Lord; {See Trapp on "Zechariah 1:2"}


Verse 41

Lamentations 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with [our] hands unto God in the heavens.

Ver. 41. Let us llft up our hearts with our hands.] Holy hearts, pure hands. Instead of wrangling with God, {as Lamentations 3:39} let us wrestle with him in prayer; this is the only way to get off with comfort. Nazianzen saith, that the best work we can put our hands unto is, in coelos eas extendere, ad precesque expandere, to lift them up to God in prayer. But then it must be with a true heart. [Hebrews 10:22] See Job 11:13. {See Trapp on "Job 11:13"}


Verse 42

Lamentations 3:42 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.

Ver. 42. We have transgressed and have rebelled.] We have committed evil and omitted good, and failed in the manner, and are therefore justly punished. Let God hear such words fall from our mouths, set to work by our hearts, and then we may have anything.


Verse 43

Lamentations 3:43 Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.

Ver. 43. Thou hast covered with anger.] Overwhelmed us with thy judgments. None out of hell have ever suffered more than the saints: they have felt the sad effects of displeased love.


Verse 44

Lamentations 3:44 Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that [our] prayer should not pass through.

Ver. 44. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud.] Hid thy face from us, and secreted thyself as a judge doth when he hath passed sentence upon a malefactor, that he may not be solicited to reverse it.

That our prayers should not pass through.] The veil of the temple was of no debarring matter, but thin and pervious, that the incense might easily pass through it into the Holy of holies: but now it was otherwise; God had set a bar between him and his people.


Verse 45

Lamentations 3:45 Thou hast made us [as] the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people.

Ver. 45. Thou hast made us as the offscouring.] Eradicationem, saith the Vulgate; rasuram potius, not the rooting out, but the scrapings off. As the Jews did rather extrinsecus radere peccata quam intrinsecus eradicare, (a) shave off their sins outwardly, than root them out from within: so God made them as despicable as the parings of a pavement, or of a leprous house.

And refuse.] See 1 Corinthians 4:13. {See Trapp on "1 Corinthians 4:13"}


Verse 46

Lamentations 3:46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.

Ver. 46. All our enemies have opened their mouths against us,] i.e., Reviled and derided us. See Lamentations 2:16.


Verse 47

Lamentations 3:47 Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction.

Ver. 47. Fear and a snare is come upon us.] Heb., A pit; great terror, and no way to escape. See Isaiah 24:17-18.


Verse 48

Lamentations 3:48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Ver. 48. Mine eye runneth down.] Heb., Mine eye descendeth; i.e., falleth, as it were, wholly away. See Lamentations 1:16; Lamentations 2:18.


Verse 49

Lamentations 3:49 Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission,

Ver. 49. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not.] Put fire under the still, and water droppeth from roses. Fiery afflictions cause drops of repentance; and repentance, like the philosopher’s stone, maketh golden afflictions. [1 Peter 1:7]


Verse 50

Lamentations 3:50 Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.

Ver. 50. Till the Lord look down.] Let God but see the rainbow of sound repentance in our hearts, and he will soon shine forth, and cause it to clear up.


Verse 51

Lamentations 3:51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

Ver. 51. Mine eye affecteth my heart.] Iisdem quibus videmus oculis flemus, We see and weep with the same eyes. But Pliny (a) wondereth where that humour is at other times that floweth out of the eyes so readily and plentifully in case of grief.

Because of all the daughters of my city.] Or, Prae omnibus filiabus, ‘More than all the daughters,’ &c.; more than the most passionate women use to weep when they are most grieved.


Verse 52

Lamentations 3:52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

Ver. 52. Mine enemies chased me sore.] In a most eager and extreme manner, with utmost cruelty and craft.

As a bird.] Beaten from bush to bush.

Without cause.] Jeremiah and the godly party might say so; but not Zedekiah and other perfidious ones.


Verse 53

Lamentations 3:53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.

Ver. 53. They have cut off my life in the dungeon.] Where I led a lifeless life; such as did Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, in King Stephen’s time, who sustained such miseries in prison, ut vivere noluerit, mori nescierit, that live he would not, and yet die he could not.

And cast a stone upon me.] As they did upon the mouths of dens, dungeons, or sepulchres, to make sure work. The Chaldee hath it, They stoned me.


Verse 54

Lamentations 3:54 Waters flowed over mine head; [then] I said, I am cut off.

Ver. 54. Waters flowed over mine head.] Many and great miseries have overwhelmed and oppressed me, both in body and soul. These are frequently compared to waters.

Then I said, I am cut off,] sc., From the land of the living; but God was better to me than my hopes.


Verse 55

Lamentations 3:55 I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon.

Ver. 55. I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.] See Psalms 130:1, Jonah 2:1. {See Trapp on "Psalms 130:1"} {See Trapp "Jonah 2:1"}


Verse 56

Lamentations 3:56 Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.

Ver. 56. Thou hast heard my voice.] Seem a man’s case never so desperate, if he can but find a praying heart, God will find a pitying heart. Prayer is the best lever at a dead lift.

Hide not thine ear at my breathing.] As breathing is a proof of animal life, so is prayer, though never so weak, of spiritual. If therefore you cannot speak, weep - fietu saepe agitur non affatu, tears also have a voice; [Psalms 39:12] if you cannot weep, sigh - a storm of sighs may do as much as a shower of tears; if you cannot sigh, yet breathe, as here. God feels breath; and happy is he that can say, In te spero et respiro, In thee I hope, Lord, and after thee I breathe or pant.


Verse 57

Lamentations 3:57 Thou drewest near in the day [that] I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.

Ver. 57. Thou drawest near.] This thou hast done, and this I hope thou yet wilt do. Experience breedeth confidence.


Verse 58

Lamentations 3:58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.

Ver. 58. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul.] Whereof those Babylonians were no just judges.

Thou hast redeemed my life.] It is the life, nay, the soul of the saints, that the wicked hunt after, though they do not always profess so to do.


Verse 59

Lamentations 3:59 O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause.

Ver. 59. O Lord, thou hast seen my wrong.] Thou hast seen it and art sensible of it; that is my comfort; for

εχει θεος εκδικον δμμα.

Judege thou my cause.] As Psalms 43:1.


Verse 60

Lamentations 3:60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance [and] all their imaginations against me.

Ver. 60. Thou hast seen all their vengeance.] See on Lamentations 3:59. The saints fare the better for their enemies’ spite and cruelty; and they may very well plead and present it to God in prayer.


Verse 61

Lamentations 3:61 Thou hast heard their reproach, O LORD, [and] all their imaginations against me;

Ver. 61. Thou hast heard their reproach.] Their spiteful speeches and taunting terms have come into thine ears.

And all their imaginations.] Heb., Their contrivements. As the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers, [Psalms 34:15] so he both seeth the ill carriage and heareth the ill language of graceless persons against the godly.


Verse 62

Lamentations 3:62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.

Ver. 62. The lips of those that rose up.] See on Lamentations 3:61.


Verse 63

Lamentations 3:63 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I [am] their musick.

Ver. 63. Behold their sitting down, and their rising up.] Or, At their both sitting down (to eat), and at their rising up (from eatting). I am their music master, their table talk, and the matter of their mirth; they make sport with us, as the Philistines did with Samson. David complaineth of the like evil dealing. [Psalms 35:15-17]


Verse 64

Lamentations 3:64 Render unto them a recompence, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.

Ver. 64. Render unto them a recompense.] Call them to an account, and requite them. Let their music be marred, and the meal once ended, send them in a reckoning.


Verse 65

Lamentations 3:65 Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them.

Ver. 65. Give them sorrow of heart.] In place of their mad mirth and sinful music; turn their psalm - as the Vulgate rendereth the word music in the foregoing verse - into a black santis, as they call it, ferale carmen, a doleful ditty. Dabis eis scutum cordis, saith the Vulgate. And, indeed, the word rendered sorrow signifieth a shield or cover. It noteth, saith one, the cardiaca passio, (a) whereby the heart is so oppressed, and there is such a stopping, that it is as it were covered sicut scute, as with a shield; there is a lid, as it were, put over the heart to keep off the most refreshing cordials, and so the heart is suffocated with sorrow. (b) It is as if he should say, Put them into such a condition that no creature may yield them the least refreshment. Spira was in this condition.

Thy curse upon them.] All the curses written and unwritten in thy book. This is not more a prayer than a prophecy. How effectual Christ’s curse is, may be seen in the withered fig tree in the Gospel, presently dried up by the roots.


Verse 66

Lamentations 3:66 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD.

Ver. 66. Persecute and destroy them in anger.] Since they are thine and our implacable and irreformable enemies, be thou, Lord, implacably bent against them, to their utter destruction; and since they think us not worthy to breathe in the common air - whom thou hast made heirs of the world together with faithful Abraham our progenitor - destroy them from under these heavens of thine, in the compass and cope whereof thou reignest and rulest all.

From under the heavens of the Lord.] Do thou, O Christ - to whom the Father hath committed all judgment - root them out from under the heavens of thy heavenly Father. Thus some paraphrase the words, and observe therehence the mystery of the Trinity; like as they do from Genesis 19:24.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/lamentations-3.html. 1865-1868.

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