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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Lamentations 3:27

 

 

It is good for a man that he should bear The yoke in his youth.

Adam Clarke Commentary

That he bear the yoke in his youth - Early habits, when good, are invaluable. Early discipline is equally so. He who has not got under wholesome restraint in youth will never make a useful man, a good man, nor a happy man.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/lamentations-3.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Either the yoke of the commandments, as the Targum; or of correction, as Aben Ezra; of afflictions, as fatherly chastisements; both senses may be retained. It is good to bear the yoke of the moral law, or the commandments of God, as they are in the hands of Christ, a rule of walk and conversation; a yoke obliging all mankind, and especially saints; it is the duty of all to submit their necks to this yoke; it is but their reasonable service to love the Lord their God, and their neighbour as themselves; as must be judged by all but sons of Belial, who are without this yoke, having cast it off; and especially it is "good" to bear the yoke of Christ, to embrace his doctrines, and profess them, and submit to his ordinances, since his yoke is easy, and leads to true rest, Matthew 11:29; it is commendable so to do; since it is a following Christ, and those who through faith and patience have inherited the promises; and, besides, is both pleasant and profitable, being the means of increasing spiritual strength, light, and joy: and it is right to do this "in youth"; which is the choices, time of life, and most acceptable to Christ, and when a man is capable of doing him most service; and especially, if men do not take upon them this yoke in the day of their espousals, and while their first love lasts, it is much if they ever do it after, and therefore should not neglect it: and so it is good to bear the yoke of afflictions, though disagreeable to flesh and blood, to take up the cross, and bear it after Christ, willingly, and cheerfully, and patiently; this is "good", for hereby souls are brought to a sense of sin, to be humbled for it, and confess it; it is a means of purging from it, and preventing it; hereby the graces of the Spirit are tried, exercised, and become brighter; saints are instructed in many useful lessons in the word of God, in humility faith, and fear; herein they enjoy much of the presence of God, and all work for their good, spiritual and eternal. And as there is a close connection between a profession of faith in Christ, and submission to his ordinances, and suffering reproach and persecution for the same; it is good for a than to bear the one, as well as the other, "in his youth"; this will serve to keep him humble, and hide pride from him, which youth are addicted to; to wean him from the world, the lusts and pleasures of it, which are ensnaring to that age; to prevent many sins and evils such might be tempted to go into; and to inure them to hardships, and make them good soldiers of Christ.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/lamentations-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

[It is] good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his m youth.

(m) He shows that we can never begin too soon to be exercised under the cross, that when the afflictions grow greater, our patience also by experience may be stronger.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/lamentations-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

yoke — of the Lord‘s disciplinary teaching (Psalm 90:12; Psalm 119:71). Calvin interprets it, The Lord‘s doctrine (Matthew 11:29, Matthew 11:30), which is to be received in a docile spirit. The earlier the better; for the old are full of prejudices (Proverbs 8:17; Ecclesiastes 12:1). Jeremiah himself received the yoke, both of doctrine and chastisement in his youth (Jeremiah 1:6, Jeremiah 1:7).


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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 Lamentations 3:27". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/lamentations-3.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Bear — Quietly and patiently to bear what afflictions God will please to lay upon us. And if God tame us when young, by his word or by his rod, it is an unspeakable advantage.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/lamentations-3.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

This verse admits of two meanings; for the word yoke may be explained as signifying teaching, or the scourges of God. We, indeed, undertake or bear in two ways the yoke of God, even when we are taught to receive his doctrine, or when we are resigned when he chastises us, when we are not obstreperous, but willingly submit to his corrections. As then some take the word עול, for the yoke of instruction, and others for the yoke of chastisement, two explanations, as I have said, are given; and both are admissible. It is indeed truly said, that it is good for man to be accustomed from his youth to God’s corrections; but Jeremiah seems rather to speak of that obedience generally, which the faithful render to God when they submit to his will. It is then our true happiness when we acknowledge that we are not our own, and allow God, by his sovereign power, to rule us as he pleases. But we ought to begin with the law of God. Hence, then, it is, that we are said to bear the yoke of God, when we relinquish our own judgment, and become wise through God’s word, when, with our affections surrendered and subdued, we hear what God commands us, and receive what he commands. This, then, is what Jeremiah means by bearing the yoke.

And he says, in youth. For they who have lived unrestrained throughout their life, can hardly bear to be brought into any order. We indeed know, that, the aged are less tractable than the young; nay, whether we refer to the arts or to the liberal sciences, the youthful age is the most flexible. The aged are also much slower; and added to this is another evil, they are very obstinate, and will hardly bear to be taught the first rudiments, being imbued with a false notion, as though they must have lived long in vain. As, then, the disposition in the old is not easily changed, the Prophet says that it is good for us to be formed from childhood to bear the yoke. And this is also seen in brute animals; when a horse is allowed full liberty in the fields, and not in due time tamed, he will hardly ever bear the curb, he will be always refractory. The oxen, also, will never be brought to bear the yoke, if they be put under it in the sixth or eighth year. The same is found to be the case with men. Jeremiah, then, does not say, without reason, that it is good for every one to be trained from his youth in the service of God; and thus he exhorts children and youth not to wait for old age, as it is usually the case. For it has been a common evil, in all ages, for children and youth to leave the study of wisdom to the old. “Oh! it will be time enough for me to be wise, when I arrive at a middle age; but some liberty must be given to childhood and youthful days.” And for this reason, Solomon exhorts all not to wait for old age, but duly to learn to fear God in childhood. So also our Prophet declares that it is good for one to bear the yoke in his childhood. It then follows. —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/lamentations-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/lamentations-3.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Lamentations 3:27

I. It is good for a man to bear in his youth the yoke of subjection to authority. If he does not learn this lesson early, he will suffer for it by-and-by.

II. It is good for a man to bear in his youth the yoke of self-restraint. It is not enough to be under the rule of others. Let such authority be ever so great, there is still a sphere to which it cannot extend, and in which there is scope for a man's own conscience to assert its command. There are, with all of us, desires and tendencies which we have sternly to resist, and the denying of which is part of the training by which we are fitted for a noble and useful life.

III. It is good for a man to bear in his youth the yoke of difficulty and toil. It is good for us all to have to work for our bread. Our Creator intended us for labour, not for indolence. Even before the fall, man had his physical work assigned to him. God placed him not in a "sleeping hollow" to fatten in idleness; but in a large garden, to dress it and to keep it.

IV. It is good for a man to bear in his youth the yoke of living godliness. It is to this that our blessed Saviour invites us when He says, "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me." It is good for a man to become a decided Christian in early life.

V. It is good for a man to bear in his youth the yoke of a public Christian profession. The first thing is to be a Christian; the next thing is to avow it.

VI. It is good for a man to bear in his youth the yoke of Christian service. It will help your own faith wonderfully to be engaged in some real labour for the Lord.

VII. It is good for a man to bear in his youth the yoke of personal affliction. There is a marked want about those Christians who have never suffered. You will rarely see piety of a rich and mellow tone in a man who has known nothing of sorrow.

J. Thain Davidson, Forewarned—Forearmed, p. 19.


I. There is, first, the yoke of home. Woe to that home which lays no yoke upon its inmates. That is the very office of the family toward its young and inexperienced members. To turn the current of the young life into a right channel—to make good habitual by use, and (to that end) to insist upon conformity to a good rule—to require, as the condition of maintenance, as the condition of protection, as the condition of life, that this and not that shall be the conduct and the speech and the temper, and (down to very minute particulars) the mode of living,—this is the duty of a home, in order that it may bring after it God's assigned and certain blessing. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth—the yoke of home.

II. But the home must at last send out its sons and its daughters into a rougher school of experience, and the half-way house on this journey is first the school with its discipline, and then the more special training for a particular profession or trade. Here too there is a yoke, and a yoke-bearing, or else a refusal of the yoke, with many sad consequences of sorrow and shame.

III. Many persons suffer seriously throughout their life by not having borne in their youth the yoke of a church.

IV. There is One who uses this very figure concerning His own Divine office. "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me."

C. J. Vaughan, Pulpit Analyst, vol. iv., p. 432.


References: Lamentations 3:27.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. v., p. 205; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1291. Lamentations 3:31-33.—J. Burton, Christian Life and Truth, p. 368.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/lamentations-3.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Lamentations 3:27. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth We observed in the introduction to this book, that there are some commentators, and Michaelis among the rest, who conceive "that it was composed upon the death of king Josiah." They allege, that on an attentive perusal it will be found, that there is nothing in this book which might not have been written on the death of Josiah, which was a great calamity to his country: for Jerusalem, together with her new king, fell into the hands of the victor about three months after this misfortune, and was obliged to submit to a foreign prince, and to receive a tributary king from him; all which cannot be supposed to have passed without a siege, and the ruin of the walls of Jerusalem. The author of the second book of Chronicles expressly asserts, 2 Chronicles 35:25 that Jeremiah lamented the death of Josiah, together with other poets; and that his Lamentations and their elegies were reserved for the use of posterity. Why should we therefore doubt that this book contains those identical lamentations which are mentioned by the author of the book of Chronicles? Or, what reason is there for referring them to another calamity, which, it does not appear, or at least we are not sure, that he ever celebrated? To this we may add, that there are some things in the book of Lamentations which do not seem reconcileable to the time of Nebuchadrezzar, and to the time of the conflagration of the city and temple; especially when he attempts to beguile or sooth his troubles, in the words of the present verse, It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. This expression is proper only for a young man, not for one who was advanced in years, as Jeremiah was in the 11th year of Zedekiah. As for the complaint, chap. Lamentations 5:7. Our fathers have sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities, Jeremiah could not have made use of it in the person of those who lived in the time of Zedekiah, without impeaching his piety; for that race was far more vicious and depraved than their progenitors, and being deservedly punished for their personal crimes, there was no necessity to trace their calamities so far backward. This expression might with some justice, if ever it could, have been made use of by the Jews in the reign of Josiah, who was a very pious king, a reviver of true religion, and who brought back his people to the worship of Jehovah, who had been offended by the sins of their forefathers, especially by those of Manasseh. In confirmation of this opinion, the reader is desired to refer to 2 Kings 23:25-26. Such are the proofs by which Michaelis and others support their opinion. The reader will consider what has been advanced on the other side, and judge for himself. We shall take notice of chap. Lamentations 5:7 when we come to it. As to the present verse, the argument drawn from it does not appear to carry great weight. The plain meaning of it seems to be, that it is useful and advantageous for a man to have been inured, even from his earliest days, to those restraints which arise from the sense of the duty we owe to God, and of the obedience we ought to pay to his laws, as well as to those afflictions which are the school of virtues holiness, and piety.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/lamentations-3.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Good here must be expounded in the same sense as in the foregoing verse. It is not pleasant, but it is profitable, it is honourable, what becomes us, and is our duty, quietly and patiently to bear what afflictions God will please to lay upon us, to restrain our wild and wanton spirits when they are most prone to be too brisk and lascivious. Some by yoke understand the law of God, called a

yoke, ( because indeed it is so to flesh and blood,) Matthew 11:29. It is not so easy to bend a neck stiffened with age, or change a heart made hard by custom. Solomon bids us to train up one in their youth in the way we would have them to walk; and whether God will tame us when young by his word or by his rod, it is of advantage to a man. It is also laudable, and what becomes a man, early to bear the yoke of God’s law, or to bear afflictive providences, to have his heart betimes humbled to the will and feet of God.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/lamentations-3.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Likewise shouldering the heavy burden of God"s revealed will in one"s youth is a good thing.

"Early discipline begets mature dependability." [Note: Price, p699.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/lamentations-3.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Yoke. Afflictions endured for justice sake ensure a blessing. (Haydock) --- All may derive great benefit from suffering.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/lamentations-3.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(27) Bear the yoke in his youth.—The words have been pressed “with a strange literalism” in favour of the view that the Lamentations were written in the youth of Jeremiah and on the death of Josiah. It may fairly be contended, on the other hand, that the tone of the maxim is that of one who looks back from the experience of age on the passionate complaints of his earlier years (Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 20:7-18).


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/lamentations-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
bear
Psalms 90:12; 94:12; 119:71; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Matthew 11:29,30; Hebrews 12:5-12

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/lamentations-3.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

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

From this reference it would appear as if man must of necessity at some period of life undergo the discipline of the yoke. The prophet speaks as if it were commonly known by himself and his contemporaries. Here is no long explanatory introduction, but an immediate use of something with which the people were well acquainted. By "yoke" we are to understand discipline, trial, education, every incident that teaches us the limit of our strength, and the proper range of our ambition. Every man is at some period of life to be mortified, disappointed, humbled, thrown down, and made to feel that he is only a man. The question arises, At what time shall this experience take effect in human life? The prophet has no hesitation in answering the inquiry, for he instantly fixes youth as the period at which discipline shall be undergone. This would appear to be reasonable: are there not compensations in youth which make the yoke-bearing less irksome than it otherwise would be? Youthful spirit soon returns even after humiliation. A kind of collateral life runs along the current of youth,—may we not call it a species of alternate life?—so that youth can change from one position to another, or from one set of circumstances to another, insomuch that youth can be crying and laughing, groaning and rejoicing, even within the compass of one little day. Besides, is it not important that every man should get his education at the right end of life? We adopt the principle of yoke-bearing in youth in the matter of intellectual education: why not in the matter of the higher moral training and chastening? Who puts off the learning of the alphabet until he is well advanced in life? Who at middle life could begin to commit to memory the things which almost seem to grow up in the mind of childhood and to abide there for ever? Yet the child must be constrained to undergo the discipline needful to the acquisition of elementary knowledge. His play must be curtailed, his inclinations must be rebuked, his indolence must be overcome; it is for the child"s good that his parents should insist upon the acceptance of the yoke, otherwise the child will grow up to be an ignorant man. Is it not also true that in youth passion is most violent, and might hurry the young life into the uttermost excesses were it not curbed or cooled or in some degree restrained? Hence it is important that young life should be filled with work, should be almost exhausted at times by long-continued labour. The profit is not seen in the labour alone; behind all the labour there are moral advantages which can hardly be described in words: passion is subdued, pride is mortified, the energy of the will is turned into the right direction, and labour so treated becomes in the end pleasant, as music is pleasant, and easy as breathing is easy. We know what all this is with regard to the learning of a language: how hard at first, how minute the distinctions, how pedantic the regulations, how obstinate and perverse the irregularities and exceptions! Yet after a certain point all things settle down into a happy adjustment, conversation becomes possible, and by the exchange of sentiments friendship is established, and the medium through which this end was attained becomes itself an object of pride and pleasure, and has assigned to it marks of the highest value. What may be expected from one who has borne the yoke well in his youth? I lay special emphasis upon the fact that the yoke must have been borne well. From such a man we expect chastened but not extinguished energy. God does not intend to destroy the passion or the enthusiasm of youth, but to chasten it, sanctify it, and turn it to the highest uses. Paul the Apostle must be as energetic as was Saul of Tarsus, but the energy must be expressed along different lines. Mature saints are not expected to be demure, exhausted, feeble, indolent, or lacking in interest in the pursuits and ambitions of youth: they are expected to take a right view of those pursuits and ambitions, to set a proper estimate upon them, and where the men are wise they will encourage those who are in the very agony of life"s race to persevere, because at the end a crown awaits the successful winner. No man has borne his own yoke well who has lived without sympathy for those who are still feeling the burden. The man who has overcome the irksomeness of moral discipline should know exactly where every young man is. He need not explain himself in words, but he should watch the development of the struggle, the increase of the pain, and going back upon his own record he will be able to advise according to his own experience. A word fitly spoken, how good it will be to the young struggler! It need not, and must not, come in the form of a lecture; it must be dropped as it were incidentally, it may even be dropped thoughtlessly, to the observation of the young yoke-bearer himself, but it will not be dropped without calculation on the part of the speaker; he will remember just what he himself wanted to hear at that particular time, and the young man will be surprised that the older one could speak so exquisitely, tenderly, and seasonably upon the very point that was irritating his own life: out of this sympathy will come a corresponding patience with those who are unaccustomed to the yoke. The man will say of the boy, Presently he will be better, he will see the whole matter in the right light; he must not be hurried or driven now, because he is in a state of high sensitiveness, and every word that is spoken to him will come with double weight, and every misunderstanding that is created will come with double aggravation: suspend intercourse, or regulate it, or bring to bear upon the life some sudden and unexpected compensation, and in a hundred wisely devised ways show that more is not expected than can be given; in this way will experience be wisely expended. The right use of this text would renew the life of the world. Foolish parents spare the young, saying, There will be trouble enough by-and-by, let there be lightness and laughter now; and saying again, The old ones must work, and the young ones must play. All this seems to be kind—it is indeed set down as generosity—and the speakers of these sophisms are looked upon as tender-hearted and considerate. All this estimate must be changed; we must ask ourselves seriously what is the end of all such laxity of discipline. By discipline we must never mean cruelty; by discipline we must never mean the glorification of those who impose it: we must understand by discipline a necessary process of life, something that must really and actually at one time or another take place in the education of every soul. What is the end of trifling with young life? The end of it is bitterness and reproach, and it may be such a recollection of parental names and kind deeds as will awaken in the soul of the sufferer a real and just resentment. On the other hand, discipline carefully administered and wisely regulated, though painful in its immediate operation, may result in many an expression of thanks to God that such parents had charge of the young life. In all these things we need the wisdom of the Holy Ghost; we must pray mightily to God to show us what each child can best endure, what is best for each child; and we must vary the administration of discipline so as to suit it to every temperament and every faculty and even every combination of peculiarities.


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Bibliography
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:27". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/lamentations-3.html. 1885-95.

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