|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-11 The prophet sometimes speaks in his own person; at other times Jerusalem, as a distressed female, is the speaker, or some of the Jews. The description shows the miseries of the Jewish nation. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave, by reason of the greatness of her sins; and had no rest from suffering. If we allow sin, our greatest adversary, to have dominion over us, justly will other enemies also be suffered to have dominion. The people endured the extremities of famine and distress. In this sad condition Jerusalem acknowledged her sin, and entreated the Lord to look upon her case. This is the only way to make ourselves easy under our burdens; for it is the just anger of the Lord for man's transgressions, that has filled the earth with sorrows, lamentations, sickness, and death.
Verse 2. - In the night. Not only by day, but even in the season of rest and unconsciousness. Her lovers... her friends; i.e. the neighbouring peoples, with which Judah had formed alliances, such as Egypt (Jeremiah 2:36), Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon (Jeremiah 27:3). This is a favourite phrase of Jeremiah's (comp. Jeremiah 3:1; Jeremiah 4:30; Jeremiah 22:20, 22; Jeremiah 30:14), but also of Hosea (Hosea 2:5, 7, 10, 12, 13; Hosea 8:9) and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16:33, 36, 37; 23:5, 9, 22). The national God was conceived of as the Husband of the nation; and the prophets retained this idea and elevated it, just as they did circumcision and many other Eastern traditions.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
She weepeth sore in the night,.... Or, "weeping weeps" (i); two weepings, one for the first, the other for the second temples (k); and while others are taking their sleep and rest; a season fit for mourners, when they can give their grief the greater vent, without any interruption from others; and it being now a night of affliction with her, which occasioned this sore weeping. Jarchi observes, that it was in the night that the temple was burnt:
and her tears are on her cheeks; continue there, being always flowing, and never wholly dried up; which shows how great her grief was, and that her weeping was without intermission; or otherwise tears do not lie long, but are soon dried up, or wiped off:
among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her; as the Assyrians formerly were, Ezekiel 23:5; and more lately the Egyptians her allies and confederates, in whom she trusted; but these gave her no assistance; nor yielded her any relief in her distress; nor so much as spoke one word of comfort to her:
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies; those who pretended great friendship to her, and were in strict alliance with her, acted the treacherous part, and withdrew from her, leaving her to the common enemy; and not only so, but behaved towards her in a hostile manner themselves; for "the children of Noph and Tahapanes", places in Egypt confederate with the Jews, are said to "have broken the crown of their head", Jeremiah 2:16. The Targum interprets the "lovers" of the "idols" she loved to follow, who now could be of no use unto her by way of comfort.
(i) "plorando plorat", Vatablus; "plorando plorabit", Pagninus, Montanus. (k) T. Sanhedr. ib. Colossians 2.
Lamentations 1:2 Parallel Commentaries
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