Lamentations 2:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Look, LORD, and consider: Whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?

New Living Translation
"O LORD, think about this! Should you treat your own people this way? Should mothers eat their own children, those they once bounced on their knees? Should priests and prophets be killed within the Lord's Temple?

English Standard Version
Look, O LORD, and see! With whom have you dealt thus? Should women eat the fruit of their womb, the children of their tender care? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?

New American Standard Bible
See, O LORD, and look! With whom have You dealt thus? Should women eat their offspring, The little ones who were born healthy? Should priest and prophet be slain In the sanctuary of the Lord?

King James Bible
Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
LORD, look and consider who You have done this to. Should women eat their own children, the infants they have nurtured? Should priests and prophets be killed in the Lord's sanctuary?

International Standard Version
Look, LORD, and take note: To whom have you done this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cuddled? Should priests and prophets be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

NET Bible
Look, O LORD! Consider! Whom have you ever afflicted like this? Should women eat their offspring, their healthy infants? Should priest and prophet be killed in the Lord's sanctuary?

New Heart English Bible
Look, LORD, and see to whom you have done like this. Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"O LORD, look and consider: Have you ever treated anyone like this? Should women eat their own children, the children they have nursed? Should priests and prophets be killed in the Lord's holy place?

JPS Tanakh 1917
See, O LORD, and consider, To whom Thou hast done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, The children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain In the sanctuary of the Lord?

New American Standard 1977
See, O LORD, and look!
            With whom hast Thou dealt thus?
            Should women eat their offspring,
            The little ones who were born healthy?
            Should priest and prophet be slain
            In the sanctuary of the Lord?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Resh Look, O LORD, and consider unto whom thou hast shaken thus. Shall the women eat their fruit, the little ones that they are bringing up? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom you have done this. Shall the women eat their offspring, the children of their tender care? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

American King James Version
Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom you have done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

American Standard Version
See, O Jehovah, and behold to whom thou hast done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Res. Behold, O Lord, and consider whom thou hast thus dealt with: shall women then eat their own fruit, their children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord ?

Darby Bible Translation
See, Jehovah, and consider to whom thou hast done this! Shall the women eat their fruit, the infants that they nursed? Shall priest and prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

English Revised Version
See, O LORD, and behold, to whom thou hast done thus! shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

World English Bible
Look, Yahweh, and see to whom you have done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?

Young's Literal Translation
See, O Jehovah, and look attentively, To whom Thou hast acted thus, Do women eat their fruit, infants of a handbreadth? Slain in the sanctuary of the Lord are priest and prophet?
Study Bible
God's Anger over Jerusalem
19"Arise, cry aloud in the night At the beginning of the night watches; Pour out your heart like water Before the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to Him For the life of your little ones Who are faint because of hunger At the head of every street." 20See, O LORD, and look! With whom have You dealt thus? Should women eat their offspring, The little ones who were born healthy? Should priest and prophet be slain In the sanctuary of the Lord? 21On the ground in the streets Lie young and old; My virgins and my young men Have fallen by the sword. You have slain them in the day of Your anger, You have slaughtered, not sparing.…
Cross References
Exodus 32:11
Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

Deuteronomy 9:26
"I prayed to the LORD and said, 'O Lord GOD, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.

Deuteronomy 28:53
"Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you.

Psalm 78:64
His priests fell by the sword, And His widows could not weep.

Isaiah 22:2
You who were full of noise, You boisterous town, you exultant city; Your slain were not slain with the sword, Nor did they die in battle.

Jeremiah 14:15
"Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them-- yet they keep saying, 'There will be no sword or famine in this land '-- by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end!

Jeremiah 19:9
"I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life will distress them."'

Jeremiah 23:11
"For both prophet and priest are polluted; Even in My house I have found their wickedness," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:12
"Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I will bring calamity upon them, The year of their punishment," declares the LORD.

Lamentations 1:19
"I called to my lovers, but they deceived me; My priests and my elders perished in the city While they sought food to restore their strength themselves.
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom you have done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

consider

Exodus 32:11 And Moses sought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why does your …

Deuteronomy 9:26 I prayed therefore to the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not …

Isaiah 63:16-19 Doubtless you are our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and …

Isaiah 64:8-12 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our …

Jeremiah 14:20-21 We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: …

shall the women

Lamentations 4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they …

Leviticus 26:29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters …

Deuteronomy 28:53-57 And you shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons …

2 Kings 6:28,29 And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, This woman …

Jeremiah 19:9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh …

Ezekiel 5:10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the middle of you, and …

of a span long or swaddled with their hands. shall the priest

Lamentations 1:19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: my priests and my elders …

Lamentations 4:13,16 For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, …

Psalm 78:64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.

Isaiah 9:14-17 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch …

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their …

Jeremiah 14:15-18 Therefore thus said the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy …

Jeremiah 23:11-15 For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in my house have I …

Ezekiel 9:5,6 And to the others he said in my hearing, Go you after him through …

(20) To whom thou hast done this--i.e., not to a heathen nation, but to the people whom Jehovah Himself had chosen.

Shall the women eat their fruit.--Atrocities of this nature had been predicted in Leviticus 26:26; Deuteronomy 28:57; Jeremiah 19:9. They were, indeed, the natural incidents of a besieged city reduced to starvation, as in the case of Samaria (2Kings 6:28), and the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans (Jos., B. J. v. 12), and had been witnessed, as the words show, in that by the Chaldans. (Comp., as to the famine, Ezekiel 4:16-17; Ezekiel 5:16.)

Shall the priest . . .--Stress is laid on this as being the next element of horror. The very Holy of Holies was profaned with the blood of the priests and prophets of Jehovah.

Verse 20. - To whom thou hast done this; viz. to Israel, the chosen people. And children; rather, (even) children. The children are the "fruit" referred to. Comp. the warnings in Leviticus 26:26; Deuteronomy 28:56; and especially Jeremiah 19:9; also the historical incident in 2 Kings 6:28, 29. Of a span long; rather, borne in the hands. The word is derived from the verb renders to swaddle" in ver. 22 (see note). Behold, O Lord, and consider to whom thou hast done this,.... On whom thou hast brought these calamities of famine and sword; not upon thine enemies, but upon thine own people, that are called by thy name, and upon theirs, their young ones, who had not sinned as their fathers had: here the church does not charge God with any injustice, or complain of hard usage; only humbly entreats he would look upon her, in her misery, with an eye of pity and compassion; and consider her sorrowful condition; and remember the relation she stood in to him; and so submits her case, and leaves it with him. These words seem to be suggested to the church by the prophet, as what might be proper for her to use, when praying for the life of her young children; and might be introduced by supplying the word "saying" before "behold, O Lord", &c.

shall the women eat their fruit; their children, the fruit of their womb, as the Targum; their newborn babes, that hung at their breasts, and were carried in their arms; it seems they did, as was threatened they should, Leviticus 26:29; and so they did at the siege of Samaria, and at the siege of Jerusalem, both by the Chaldeans and the Romans:

and children of a span long? or of a hand's breadth; the breadth of the palms of the hand, denoting very little ones: or "children handled", or "swaddled with the hands" (c); of their parents, who are used to stroke the limbs of their babes, to bring them to; and keep them in right form and shape, and swaddle them with swaddling bands in a proper manner; see Lamentations 2:22; and so the Targum,

"desirable children, who are wrapped in fine linen.''

Jarchi (d) interprets it of Doeg Ben Joseph, whom his mother slew, and ate:

shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord? as very probably some were, who fled thither for safety when the city was broken up; but were not spared by the merciless Chaldeans, who had no regard to their office and character; nor is it any wonder they should not, when the Jews themselves slew Zechariah, a priest and prophet, between the porch and the altar; of whom the Targum here makes mention; and to whom Jarchi applies these words.

(c) "parvulos qui educantur", Pagninus; "parvulos educationum", Montanus; "educationis", Calvin; "infantes palmationum, sive tractationis palmarum", Michaelis; "pueros palmis tractatos", Cocceius. (d) E Talmud Bab. Yoma, fol. 38. 2.20. women eat … fruit—as threatened (Le 26:29; De 28:53, 56, 57; Jer 19:9).

children … span long—or else, "children whom they carry in their arms" [Maurer].

Schin.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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