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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Lamentations 3:8

 

 

Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Shout - i. e. call for help.

Shutteth out - Or, “shutteth in.” God has so closed up the avenues to the place in which he is immured, that his voice can find no egress.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/lamentations-3.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Also when I cry and shout,.... Cry, because of the distress of the enemy within; "shout", or cry aloud for help from others without; as persons in a prison do, to make them hear and pity their case: thus the prophet in his affliction cried aloud to God; was fervent, earnest, and importunate in prayer; and yet not heard:

he shutteth out my prayer; shuts the door, that it may not enter; as the door is sometimes shut upon beggars, that their cry may not be heard. The Targum is,

"the house of my prayer is shut.'

Jarchi interprets it of the windows of the firmament being shut, so that his prayer could not pass through, or be heard; see Lamentations 3:44. The phrase designs God's disregard, or seeming disregard, of the prayer of the prophet, or of the people; and his shutting his ears against it. Of this, as the Messiah's case, see Psalm 22:2.


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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/lamentations-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my c prayer.

(c) This is a great temptation for the godly when they do not see the fruit of their prayers and causes them to think that they are not heard, which thing God uses so that they might pray more earnestly and often.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/lamentations-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

shutteth out — image from a door shutting out any entrance (Job 30:20). So the antitype. Christ (Psalm 22:2).


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

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The Prophet describes here the extremity of all evils, that it availed him nothing to cry and to pray. And yet we know that we are called to do this in all our miseries.

“The strongest tower is the name of the Lord, to it will the righteous flee and shall be safe.” (Proverbs 18:10.)

Again,

“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
(
Joel 2:32.)

And Scripture is full of testimonies of this kind; that is, that God graciously invites all the faithful to himself:

“He shall call upon me, and I will hear him.” (Psalms 91:15.)

“In the day when I call, answer me speedily.”
(
Psalms 102:2.)

“Before they call, I will answer.” (Isaiah 65:24.)

In short, there is no need to collect all the passages; but we may be content with this one thing, that when God claims to himself this prerogative, that he answers prayers, he intimates that it is what cannot be separated from his eternal essence and godhead; that is, that he is ready to hear prayer. And hence the Psalmist concludes,

“To thee shall all flesh come.” (Psalms 65:3.)

When, therefore, Jeremiah complains that his prayers were in vain, and without any fruit or effect., it seems strange and inconsistent. But we know that God holds the faithful in suspense, and so hears as to prove and try their patience, sometimes for a long time. This is the reason why he defers and delays his aid.

It is no wonder, then, that God did not hear the prayers of his servant, that is, according to the judgment of the flesh. For God never rejects his own, nor is he deaf to their prayers and their sighs; but the faithful often speak according to what the flesh judges. As, then, the Prophet found that he obtained nothing by prayer, he says that his prayer was shut out, or that the door was closed against him, so that his prayer did not come to God.

Now, this passage is worthy of special notice; for except God immediately meets us, we become languid, and not only our ardor in prayer is cooled but almost extinguished. Let us, then, bear in mind, theft though God may not help us soon, yet our prayers are never repudiated by him; and since we see that the holy fathers experienced the same thing, let us not wonder, if the Lord at this day were to try our faith in the same manner. Let us, therefore, persevere hi calling on Him; and should there be a longer delay, and our complaint be that we are not heard, yet let us proceed in the same course, as we shall see the Prophet did. It follows, —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/lamentations-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/lamentations-3.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In the condition I am in, I cannot help myself, no creatures can help me, I have no hope but in God. I take the ordinary course in that case, which is prayer, I pray fervently and aloud, as those that are serious and importunate for what they desire (for shouting here signifies no more than making a loud noise, not a loud noise of joy and rejoicing, as it mostly signifies); but he deals with me as great persons that have no mind to listen to suitors, and shut their gates against them, he shutteth out my supplications: which made their case wholly desperate and remediless.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/lamentations-3.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Lamentations 3:8. Also when I cry and shout — When, under a conviction that, in my present distressed condition, I cannot deliver myself, and that no creature can deliver me, I make application to God in prayer for deliverance, and am serious, fervent, and importunate in my addresses to him; he shutteth out my prayer — Refuses to hearken to it, or give me any ease or relief; Hebrew, שׂתם, the same as סתם, he hath obstructed my prayer; “hath barred my prayer from approaching him.” — Blaney. Thus sometimes God seems to be angry even against the prayers of his people, Psalms 80:5. And their case is deplorable indeed when they are denied, not only the benefit of an answer, but the comfort of acceptance.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/lamentations-3.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Prayer. God would not allow him to pray for the people, chap. vii. 16.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/lamentations-3.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) He shutteth out my prayer—i.e., stops it so that it does not reach the ear of Jehovah; and it is Jehovah himself who does this.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/lamentations-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.
44; Job 19:7; 30:20; Psalms 22:2; 80:4; Habakkuk 1:2; Matthew 27:46

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". "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

"When I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer."— Lamentations 3:8

God wants more than prayer from his creatures, when that prayer is limited to mere asking, or to the expression of a beggar"s desires. Prayer may be but a religious form of selfishness. This notion of prayer must be driven out of our thought if ever we are to realise what is meant by prayer as it is used in New Testament speech and exemplified in New Testament suppliants. Asking must, of course, enter into prayer: every day brings its need; life indeed is one succession of necessities: all this is of course understood; but what is prayer in its widest and most enduring acceptation? It is communion with God, submission to the divine will, patient waiting for the incoming of heavenly influence, tender and affectionate expectation of deliverance to be effected, not in men"s way, but in God"s own method and at God"s own time. When we omit the element of communion from prayer we degrade ourselves and our prayers to the level of selfishness. When our prayer is so degraded it is shut out from heaven; it does no good to the suppliant, it never reaches the skies, it never returns with a leaf or a bud from the tree of life. Sad beyond all imagination is the condition of the man to whom his prayers are returned. Think of the picture! The man supposed that he had sent; up his prayers to heaven, and he expected them to come back in the form of answers; and lo, he finds their, all lying dead around the very altar whence they started! There is no mystery in this. Let us always understand that we are accepted, not because of our formality, but because of our sincerity and earnestness and importunity. Good men in all ages have had experience of this exclusion of prayer from heaven, and sometimes they have misjudged it. Job exclaimed, "I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not." What an entire misconception of the relation of the soul to God is presented in these words! Yet probably no other conception was then possible to Job"s thought; the whole horizon was loaded with thunderclouds, and the whole sky of heaven gleamed with lightning: what else then could Job say? He seemed to be crying into emptiness, and not to be favoured even with the echo of his own voice; this was the very solitariness of solitude, the very loneliness of orphanhood. Again, the Psalmist used a similar expression when he said, "O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent." This is a most pathetic representation. It is as if the Psalmist had resolved to find God if he searched for him every hour in the twenty-four that make the little circle of the day: he cried in the morning, and there was no answer; he cried at noonday, and no reply was returned; he sought for God in the shadows of the twilight, but no figure of a friend appeared; at midnight he lifted up his voice in anguish, and yet the heavens were silent. It is well to have such experiences, terrible as they are at the moment of their realisation; they chasten the spirit, they are full of theological teaching, they drive us back to first principles, they constrain us to ask the most serious and penetrating questions. God will not allow such experiences to be unduly prolonged, for he knows that the extension of such trial would end in despair or madness. The Lord can take us very near to the brink, but he will not let us fall over; a sight of that awful abyss which lies beyond may be full of happy influence to us, if we rightly accept its teaching; let us realise that even whilst we walk along the precipice the Everlasting Arms are round about us, and none of our steps shall slide.


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Bibliography
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Lamentations 3:8". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/lamentations-3.html. 1885-95.

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