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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 9:17

 

 

Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come; And send for the wailing women, that they may come!

Adam Clarke Commentary

Call for the mourning women - Those whose office it was to make lamentations at funerals, and to bewail the dead, for which they received pay. This custom continues to the present in Asiatic countries. In Ireland this custom also prevails, which no doubt their ancestors brought from the east. I have often witnessed it, and have given a specimen of this elsewhere. See the note on Matthew 9:23. The first lamentations for the dead consisted only in the sudden bursts of inexpressible grief, like that of David over his son Absalom, 2 Samuel 19:4. But as men grew refined, it was not deemed sufficient for the surviving relatives to vent their sorrows in these natural, artless expressions of wo, but they endeavored to join others as partners in their sorrows. This gave rise to the custom of hiring persons to weep at funerals, which the Phrygians and Greeks borrowed from the Hebrews. Women were generally employed on these occasions, because the tender passions being predominant in this sex, they succeeded better in their parts; and there were never wanting persons who would let out their services to hire on such occasions. Their lamentations were sung to the pipe as we learn from Matthew 9:23. See the funeral ceremonies practiced at the burial of Hector, as described by Homer: -

Οἱ δ ' επει εισαγαγον κλυτα δωματα, τον μεν επειτα��<-144 �Τρητοις εν λεχεεσσι θεσαν, παρα δ ' εἱσαν αοιδους,�Θρηνων εξαρχους, οἱ τε στονοεσσαν αοιδην�Οἱ μεν αρ ' εθρηνεον, επι δε στεναχοντο γυναικεςπ .

Il. lib. 24., ver. 719.

"Arrived within the royal house, they stretched

The breathless Hector on a sumptuous bed,

And singers placed beside him, who should chant

The strain funereal; they with many a groan

The dirge began; and still at every close

The female train with many a groan replied."

Cowper.

St. Jerome tells us that even to his time this custom continued in Judea; that women at funerals, with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, endeavored in a modulated voice to invite others to lament with them. The poem before us, from the seventeenth to the twenty-second verse, is both an illustration and confirmation of what has been delivered on this subject, and worthy of the reader's frequent perusal, on account of its affecting pathos, moral sentiments, and fine images, particularly in the twenty-first verse, where death is described in as animated a prosopopoeia as can be conceived. See Lototh's twenty-second Prelection, and Dodd. The nineteenth verse is supposed to be the funeral song of the women.

"How are we spoiled!

We are greatly confounded!

For we have forsaken the land;

Because they have destroyed our dwellings."


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-9.html. 1832.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for the skillful women, that they may come: and let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eye may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters. For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we ruined! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because they have cast down our dwellings. Yet hear the word of Jehovah, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbor lamentation."

This is a dramatic picture of the horrible destruction coming upon Jerusalem at the hands of the invaders. It is represented to readers of the Holy Bible as a destruction yet future at the time Jeremiah penned this prophecy; and we have no respect at all for the "scholars" who would like to make it a description " after the event." Like many another prophecy, this one carries its own imprimature of truth. The thought here is that the people should enlist the aid of the weeping women, not just any weeping women, but "the skilled women," that is, the women who were experts in providing the type of weeping and wailing which the Jews customarily employed upon the occasion of funerals. This custom prevailed down until the times of Christ, as indicated by the hired mourners who were bewailing the death of the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8:40-56). The thought in this paragraph is (1) that a terrible calamity of death and destruction is approaching for Israel, and (2) that the supply of skilled mourners will be insufficient properly to bewail the tragedy; therefore, enlist the skilled mourners and let everyone teach her neighbor in order to help supply the mourners that would be needed!

Now was this an event that had already happened, or was it something Jeremiah prophesied for the future? Suppose, as some of the critics would have us believe, that he was talking about an event that had already happened. Can any intelligent person believe for a moment that, if it had already happened, God's prophet would have been crying so vehemently for the people to train mourners to mourn it? To ask that question is to know the answer! We learned in the minor prophets, especially in Micah, that these great predictive prophecies of the Old Testament carry their own built-in proof of authenticity; and this is another example of the same thing.

Green, quoting Skinner, in the Broadman Commentary, identified this passage as, "Perhaps the most brilliant example of a prophetic elegy which the Old Testament contains!"[20]


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jeremiah-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, consider ye,.... The punishment that was just coming upon them, as Kimchi; or the words that the Lord was about to say unto them; as follows:

and call for the mourning women, that they may come; the same with the "praeficae" among the Romans; persons that were sent for, and hired by, the relations of the dead, to raise up their mourning; and who, by their dishevelled hair, naked breasts, and beatings thereon, and mournful voice, and what they said in their doleful ditties in praise of the dead, greatly moved upon the affections of the surviving relatives, and produced tears from them. This was a custom that early prevailed among the Jews, and long continued with them; and was so common, that, according to the Misnic doctorsF3Miss. Cetubot, c. 4. sect. 4. , the poorest man in Israel, when his wife died, never had less than two pipes, and one mourning woman; See Gill on Matthew 9:23. Now, in order to show what a calamity was coming on them, and what mourning there would be, and what occasion for it; the Lord by the prophet, not as approving, but deriding the practice, bids them call for the mourning women to assist them in their lamentations:

and send for cunning women, that they may come; such as were expert in this business, and could mimic mourning well, and had the art of moving the affections with their voice and gestures.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for n the skilful women, that they may come; and send for skilful [women], that they may come:

(n) Seeing you cannot lament your own sins, call for those foolish women, whom of a superstition you have to lament for the dead, that they by their feigned tears may provoke you to some sorrow.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-9.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

mourning women — hired to heighten lamentation by plaintive cries baring the breast, beating the arms, and suffering the hair to flow disheveled (2 Chronicles 35:25; Ecclesiastes 12:5; Matthew 9:23).

cunning — skilled in wailing.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-9.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:

Women — Who were hired to tear their hair, and beat their breasts, with other mourning postures, a foolish custom which has obtained in most ages and countries.

Cunning — Such as are most skilful in it.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-9.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

In this passage, as in many others, the Prophet endeavors by a striking representation really to touch the hearts of his people, for he saw that they were extremely refractory, insensible, and secure. Since then the threatenings of God were either wholly despised, or had not sufficiently moved the hearts of the people, it was necessary to set forth God’s judgments as present. Therefore the Prophet gives a striking description of what takes place in times of mourning. At the same time he seems to condemn indirectly the Jews for not knowing, through God’s word, that there was a calamity at hand: for God’s word ought indeed to be like a mirror, by which men ought to see God’s goodness in his promises and also his judgment in his threatenings. As then all prophecies were deemed as fables by the people, it was not without some degree of derision that he addressed them in this manner, —

Hearken ye, and call for mourners, that they may come An absurd and a foolish custom has prevailed almost in all ages to hire women as mourners, whom they called proeficoe; they were employed to mourn for others. Heirs no doubt hired these foolish women, in order to shew their reigned piety; they spoke in praise of the dead, and shewed how great a loss was their death. The Prophet does not commend this custom; and we ought to know that Scripture often takes similes from the vices of men, as from filth and dirt. If then any one concludes from these winds of Jeremiah, that lamentations at funerals are not to be condemned, this would be foolish and puerile. The Prophet, on the contrary, does here reprove the Jews, because they heedlessly disregarded all God’s threatenings, and were at the same time soft and tender at those foolish exhibitions, and all mourned at the sight of those women who were hired to lament; as the case is at this time, when a faithful teacher reprobates the prevailing folly of the Papists. For when the unprincipled men, who occupy the pulpits under the Papacy, speak with weeping, though they produce not a syllable from God’s word, but add some spectacle or phantom, by producing the image of the Cross or some like thing, they touch the feelings of the vulgar and cause weeping, according to what actors do on the stage. As then the Papists are seized as it were with an insane feeling, when their deceivers thus gesticulate, so a faithful teacher may say to them, “Let any one come and set before your eyes the image of a dead man, or say, that you must all shortly die and be like the earcase shewn to you, and ye will cry and weep; and yet ye will sot consider how dreadful God’s judgment is, which I declare to you: I shew to you faithfully from the law, from the prophets, and from the Gospel; how dreadful is God’s vengeance, and set before you what ye deserve; yet none of you are moved; but my doctrine is a mockery to you, and also my reproofs and threatenings: go then to your prophets, who shew you pictures and the like trumperies.” So the Prophet says now, “I see that I can do you no good; the Lord will therefore give you no teachers but women.” Of what sort? Even such, he says, as lament, or are hired to mourn.

We now then perceive why the Prophet speaks of hired women. Attend ye, he says; and why? They ought indeed to have been attentive to or to understand (for בן ben, means properly to understand, and in Hithpael it signifies to consider) his words; but as he saw that he was ridiculed or despised, and that all the threatenings which proceeded from God were esteemed as fables, he now says, “Consider ye and call for your lamenters: — as I see such perverseness in you, be taught at least by those women who are commonly invited to lament, and who sell their tears!” Send, he says, for the skilfu1, that they may come By these words he intended more clearly to express, that the calamity which the people feared not was not far distant.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-9.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 9:17 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning [women], that they may come:

Ver. 17. Consider ye.] Intelligentes estote. Is not your hard heartedness such as that ye need such a help to do that wherein you should be forward and free hearted? The Hollanders and French fast, saith one, (a) but, without exprobration be it spoken, they had need to send for mourning women, that by their cunning they may be taught to mourn.

And call for the mourning women.] In planetum et omne pathos faciles, (b) such as could make exquisite lamentation, and cunningly act the part of mourners at funerals, so as to wring tears from the beholders. These the Latins called Praeficas, quia luctui praeficiebantur, because they had the chief hand in funeral mournings; for the better carrying on whereof they both sang doleful ditties, {see 2 Chronicles 35:25} and played on certain heavily sounding instruments, [Matthew 9:23] whence the poet -

Cantabit maestis tibia funeribus. ” - Ovid.

“He will play with the pipe by a gloomy funeral.”


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 9:17. Consider ye, &c.— The first lamentations for the dead consisted only in the sudden bursts of insuppressible grief, like that of David over his son Absalom, 2 Samuel 19:4. But, as men grew refined, it was not deemed sufficient for the surviving relation to vent his sorrows in these natural and artless expressions of woe; but, unsatisfied with the genuine language of sighs and tears, he endeavoured not only to vent his sorrow by terms of grief, but likewise joined others as partners in his sorrow, and strove to extort tears from the surrounding crowd. This was practised by David in his lamentation for Abner, 2 Samuel 3:32-34. This ostentation of grief gave rise to the custom of hiring persons to weep at funerals, which the Phrygians and Greeks borrowed from the Hebrews. Women were generally employed on these occasions, either because it was an office more suitable to the softness of a female mind, or because, the tenderer passions being predominant in that sex, they succeeded better in their parts; nor were there ever wanting artists well instructed in the discipline of mourning, and ready to hire out their lamentations and tears on any emergency. It is the chief excellence of other arts to imitate nature; it was likewise esteemed so in this. Their funeral dirges, therefore, were composed in imitation of those which had been poured forth by genuine and sincere grief. Their sentences were short, querulous, pathetic, simple, and unadorned; somewhat laboured indeed, because they were composed in metre, and to be sung to the pipe, as we learn from Matthew 9:23 and from Homer, where, speaking of Hector's funeral, he says,

A melancholy choir attend around, With plaintive sighs, and music's solemn sound: Alternately they sing, alternate flow Th' obedient tears, melodious in their woe. See POPE'S ILIAD, Book 24. ver. 900 and the Note.

St. Jerome tells us, that even to his time this custom continued in Judaea; that women at funerals, with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, endeavoured in a modulated voice to unite others in lamentation with them. There are several traces of this custom to be met with among the prophets, who frequently delivered their predictions of approaching calamities, not without a singular elegance, in the form of funeral dirges. The poem before us, from this to the 22nd verse, is both an illustration and confirmation of what has been delivered upon this subject, and worthy of the reader's frequent perusal, on account of its affecting pathos, moral sentiments, and fine images; particularly in the 21st verse, where death is described in as animated a prosopopoeia as can be conceived. See Lowth's 22nd Prelection, and Calmet.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-9.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Consider ye; either in how sad a condition you are, what circumstances you are under; or rather, bethink yourselves what course to take: and therefore he puts them upon mourning and bewailing their condition, intimated by the following expression.

The mourning women; a sort of persons, and principally women, as more apt for passions in this kind, which they had among them, 2 Chronicles 35:25; whose work it was, either to compose funeral elegies, or panegyrics in praise of the dead, and to act them in some mournful manner, as tearing their hair, and beating their breasts, with other mourning postures, or to sing them in some doleful tone, thereby artificially to provoke and excite both passions and expressions of grief in the friends of the deceased, rather wringing out tears than shedding them, in which probably they made greater seeming lamentations than those that did really mourn, as being most concerned; not that God calls upon them to do this as approving the formality, (though this foolish custom had obtained in most ages and countries,) any more than other customs that were made use of by way of illustration; as the Olympic games, and possibly that practice mentioned 1 Corinthians 15:29; but makes use of it, as being customary, either to excite them to and put them upon true repentance, or to convince them hereby that they were not able themselves sufficiently to bewail so great calamities as were coming upon them, intimating hereby that he would give them occasion for the most unfeigned weeping and lamentation.

Cunning women; such as are most skilful in it, Amos 5:16; wisdom being taken for skill in any arts, as Exodus 31:3, and elsewhere.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-9.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17. Because they have forsaken my law — Thus far the challenge to attention: now follows the formal and fearful statement of the people’s sin and misery. They had openly and wilfully and persistently disobeyed the laws of Jehovah. They had deliberately prostituted themselves to the service of Baalim, (see Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 2:23,) and hence the penalty threatened in the law (Leviticus 26:33) will be inflicted.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-9.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord instructed Jeremiah to summon the professional mourners (Heb. meqonenoth) to come forward.

"In the Middle East even today, on the occasion of deaths or calamities, mourning is carried out by professional women who follow the funeral bier uttering a high-pitched shriek. Some of the Egyptian tomb paintings depict boatloads of professional mourners with their hair and garments disheveled accompanying a corpse on its way to a burial." [Note: Thompson, p316.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-9.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Jeremiah 9:17. Consider ye, and call for the mourning women — Consider the evil circumstances you are in, which call for mourning and lamentation: and since you yourselves are not sufficiently affected with the dangers that threaten you, send for those women whose profession it is to mourn at funerals, and upon other sorrowful occasions, and let their lamentations excite true sorrow in you. The prophet seems here to compare the Jewish state to a person dead, and going to be buried, and therefore calls upon the people to send for those who used to be hired to make lamentations and wailings at funerals. The reader will observe, “it was an ancient custom of the Hebrews, at funerals, and on other like occasions, to make use of hired mourners, whose profession it was to exhibit in public all the signs and gestures of immoderate and frantic grief, and by their loud outcries and doleful songs to excite a real passion of sorrow in others. Women were generally employed in this office, either because it was an office more suitable to the softness of a female mind, or because the more tender passions being predominant in that sex, they succeeded better in their parts; nor were there ever wanting those artists well instructed in the discipline of mourning, and ready to hire out their lamentations and tears on any emergency. It was the chief excellence of other arts to imitate nature; it was likewise esteemed so in this; their funeral dirges, therefore, were composed in imitation of those which had been poured forth by genuine and sincere grief. Their sentences were short, querulous, pathetic, simple, and unadorned; somewhat laboured indeed, because they were composed in metre, and to be sung to the pipe, as we learn from Matthew 9:23; and from Homer,” where, speaking of Hector’s funeral, he says, — — παρα δεισαν αοιδους,

θρηνων εξαρχους, οιτε σονοεσσαν αοιδην,

οι μεν αρεθρηνεον, επι δε σεναχοντο γυναικες. ILIAD, ω. 720.

A melancholy choir attend around, With plaintive sighs, and music’s solemn sound; Alternately they sing, alternate flow Th’ obedient tears, melodious in their wo. See POPE’S IL., book 24. ver. 900.

Jerome tells us, in his comment on this verse, that the practice was continued in Judea down to his days; “That women, at funerals, with dishevelled hair, and naked breasts, endeavoured, in a modulated voice, to unite others in lamentation with them.” Frequent allusions to this custom are to be met with in Scripture, particularly 2 Chronicles 35:25, where the singing men and singing women are said to have made it a constant rule, after King Josiah’s death, to commemorate that excellent prince in all their future dirges or lamentations, as one in whom the public in general had sustained an irreparable loss. Such were the mourners, mentioned Ecclesiastes 12:5, and said to go about the streets; and those whom Amos calls, יודעי נהי, skilful of lamentation; Amos 5:16. And such no doubt were the minstrels and the people making a noise; οχλον θορυβουμενον, whom our Saviour found in the house of the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter was just dead; who, St. Mark says, wept and wailed greatly, κλαιοντας και αλαλαζοντας πολλα, Mark 5:38. There are especially several traces of this custom to be met with in the prophets, who frequently delivered their predictions of approaching calamities in the form of funeral dirges. The poem before us, from Jeremiah 9:19-22, is both an illustration and confirmation of this, and worthy of the reader’s frequent perusal, on account of its affecting pathos, moral sentiments, and fine images; particularly in Jeremiah 9:21, where death is described in as animated a prosopopœia as can be conceived. See Lowth’s Prelec., Calmet, and Blaney.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-9.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Wise, in composing or singing the Nænia, or mournful songs, recording the praises of the deceased. (Calmet) --- "This custom still subsists in Judea: women go about with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, with mournful tunes, exciting all to tears." (St. Jerome) --- Music was also used, Matthew ix. 23. Thus feigned tears, at least, would supply the want of real ones.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Thus saith, &c. This (verses: Jeremiah 9:17-20) develops the calamity, for which this chapter gives the reason.

mourning women. A class still hired for the purpose. Compare 2 Samuel 1:24. 2 Chronicles 35:25. Ecclesiastes 12:5. Matthew 9:23. Mark 5:38.

cunning = skilful (in this business).


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:

Mourning women - hired to heighten lamentation by plaintive cries, baring the breast, beating the arms, and suffering the locks to flow dishevelled (as in their mourning for Josiah, 2 Chronicles 35:25; Ecclesiastes 12:5; Matthew 9:23).

Cunning - skilled in wailing.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Mourning women . . . cunning women.—Eastern funerals were, and are, attended by mourners, chiefly women, hired for the purpose. Wailing was reduced to an art, and they who practised it were cunning. There are the “mourners” that “go about the streets” (Ecclesiastes 12:5), those that “are skilful of lamentation” (Amos 5:16), those that mourned for Jehoiakim (Jeremiah 22:18), those that “wept and wailed greatly” in the house of Jairus (Mark 5:38). They are summoned as to the funeral, not of a friend or neighbour, but of the nation.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:
call
2 Chronicles 35:25; Job 3:8; Ecclesiastes 12:5; Amos 5:16,17; Matthew 9:23; Mark 5:38
the mourning women
Those whose office it was to sing mournful dirges, and make public lamentations at funerals.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 9:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-9.html.

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