Lamentations 2:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
What can I say for you? With what can I compare you, Daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you, Virgin Daughter Zion? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?

New Living Translation
What can I say about you? Who has ever seen such sorrow? O daughter of Jerusalem, to what can I compare your anguish? O virgin daughter of Zion, how can I comfort you? For your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?

English Standard Version
What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is vast as the sea; who can heal you?

New American Standard Bible
How shall I admonish you? To what shall I compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? To what shall I liken you as I comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea; Who can heal you?

King James Bible
What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What can I say on your behalf? What can I compare you to, Daughter Jerusalem? What can I liken you to, so that I may console you, Virgin Daughter Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea. Who can heal you?

International Standard Version
What can be said about you? To what should you be compared, fair Jerusalem? To what may I liken you, so I may comfort you, fair one of Zion? Indeed, your wound is as deep as the sea— who can heal you?

NET Bible
With what can I equate you? To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you so that I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?

New Heart English Bible
What shall I testify of you? What shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is great like the sea. Who can heal you?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"What example can I give you? What parallel can I show you, people of Jerusalem? What comparison can I make that will comfort you, beloved people of Zion? Your wounds are as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?

JPS Tanakh 1917
What shall I take to witness for thee? What shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea; Who can heal thee?

New American Standard 1977
How shall I admonish you?
            To what shall I compare you,
            O daughter of Jerusalem?
            To what shall I liken you as I comfort you,
            O virgin daughter of Zion?
            For your ruin is as vast as the sea;
            Who can heal you?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Mem What witness shall I take to thee? Or unto whom shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? Unto whom shall I compare thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is as great as the sea: who shall heal thee?

King James 2000 Bible
What thing shall I take to witness for you? what thing shall I liken to you, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? for your ruin is vast as the sea: who can heal you?

American King James Version
What thing shall I take to witness for you? what thing shall I liken to you, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? for your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you?

American Standard Version
What shall I testify unto thee? what shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Mem. To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? to what shall I equal thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? for great as the sea is thy destruction: who shall heal thee?

Darby Bible Translation
What shall I take to witness for thee? what shall I liken unto thee, daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, virgin daughter of Zion? For thy ruin is great as the sea: who will heal thee?

English Revised Version
What shall I testify unto thee? what shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

Webster's Bible Translation
What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

World English Bible
What shall I testify to you? what shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion? For your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you?

Young's Literal Translation
What do I testify to thee, what do I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What do I equal to thee, and I comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For great as a sea is thy breach, Who doth give healing to thee?
Study Bible
God's Anger over Jerusalem
12They say to their mothers, "Where is grain and wine?" As they faint like a wounded man In the streets of the city, As their life is poured out On their mothers' bosom. 13How shall I admonish you? To what shall I compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? To what shall I liken you as I comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea; Who can heal you? 14Your prophets have seen for you False and foolish visions; And they have not exposed your iniquity So as to restore you from captivity, But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.…
Cross References
2 Kings 19:21
"This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: 'She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem!

Isaiah 37:22
this is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: "She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem!

Jeremiah 8:22
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?

Jeremiah 14:17
"You will say this word to them, 'Let my eyes flow down with tears night and day, And let them not cease; For the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow, With a sorely infected wound.

Jeremiah 30:12
"For thus says the LORD, 'Your wound is incurable And your injury is serious.

Lamentations 1:12
"Is it nothing to all you who pass this way? Look and see if there is any pain like my pain Which was severely dealt out to me, Which the LORD inflicted on the day of His fierce anger.

Daniel 9:12
"Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem.
Treasury of Scripture

What thing shall I take to witness for you? what thing shall I liken to you, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? for your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you?

shall I take

Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you that pass by? behold, and see if there …

Daniel 9:12 And he has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against …

for

2 Samuel 5:20 And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, …

Psalm 60:2 You have made the earth to tremble; you have broken it: heal the …

Jeremiah 14:17 Therefore you shall say this word to them; Let my eyes run down with …

Ezekiel 26:3,4 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Tyrus, …

who can

Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then …

Jeremiah 30:12-15 For thus said the LORD, Your bruise is incurable, and your wound is grievous…

Jeremiah 51:8,9 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm …

(13) What thing shall I take to witness . . .--Practically the question is the same as that which follows, and implies that there was no parallel to the sufferings of Zion in the history of the past. Had there been, and had it been surmounted, it might have been cited in evidence, and some consolation might have been derived from it. As it was there was no such parallel, no such witness. Her "breach," i.e., her ruin, was illimitable as the ocean, and therefore irremediable.

Verse 13. - What thing shall I take to witness for thee? rather, What shall I testify unto thee? The nature, of the testifying may be gathered from the following words. It would be a comfort to Zion to know that her misfortune was not unparalleled: solamen miseris socios habuisse malorum. The expression is odd, however, and, comparing Isaiah 40:18, A. Krochmal has suggested, What shall I compare? The correction is easy. Equal; i.e. compare (comp. Isaiah 46:5) What thing shall I take to witness for thee?.... What argument can be made use of? what proof or evidence can be given? what witnesses can be called to convince thee, and make it a clear case to time, that ever any people or nation was in such distress and calamity, what with sword, famine, pestilence, and captivity, as thou art?

what thing shall I liken thee to, O daughter of Jerusalem? what kingdom or nation ever suffered the like? no example can be given, no instance that comes up to it; not the Egyptians, when the ten plagues were inflicted on them; not the Canaanites, when conquered and drove out by Joshua; not the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, and Syrians, when subdued by David; or any other people:

what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for this is one way that friends comfort the afflicted, by telling them that such an one's case was as bad, and worse, than theirs; and therefore bid them be of good heart; bear their affliction patiently; before long it will be over; but nothing of this kind could be said here; no, nor any hope given it would be otherwise; they could not say their case was like others, or that it was not desperate:

for thy breach is great like the sea; as large and as wide as that: Zion's troubles were a sea of trouble; her afflictions as numerous and as boisterous as the waves of the sea; and as salt, as disagreeable, and as intolerable, as the waters of it: or her breach was great, like the breach of the sea; when it overflows its banks, or breaks through its bounds, there is no stopping it, but it grows wider and wider:

who can heal thee? it was not in the power of man, in her own power, or of her allies, to recover her out of the hands of the enemy; to restore her civil or church state; her wound was incurable; none but God could be her physician. The Targum is,

"for thy breach is great as the greatness of the breach of the waves of the sea in the time of its tempest; and who is the physician that can heal thee of thy infirmity?'' 13. What thing shall I take to witness—What can I bring forward as a witness, or instance, to prove that others have sustained as grievous ills as thou? I cannot console thee as mourners are often consoled by showing that thy lot is only what others, too, suffer. The "sea" affords the only suitable emblem of thy woes, by its boundless extent and depth (La 1:12; Da 9:12).

Nun.2:10-22 Causes for lamentation are described. Multitudes perished by famine. Even little children were slain by their mother's hands, and eaten, according to the threatening, De 28:53. Multitudes fell by the sword. Their false prophets deceived them. And their neighbours laughed at them. It is a great sin to jest at others' miseries, and adds much affliction to the afflicted. Their enemies triumphed over them. The enemies of the church are apt to take its shocks for its ruins; but they will find themselves deceived. Calls to lamentation are given; and comforts for the cure of these lamentations are sought. Prayer is a salve for every sore, even the sorest; a remedy for every malady, even the most grievous. Our business in prayer is to refer our case to the Lord, and leave it with him. His will be done. Let us fear God, and walk humbly before him, and take heed lest we fall.
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