|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-20 The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging part of his experience, and how he found support and relief. In the time of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was an affliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup of affliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faith is often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if he thinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord.
Verse 16. - He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones; i.e. he hath (unnatural as it may seem in Israel's Father) given me stones instead of bread (comp. Matthew 7:9). The Jewish rabbi commonly called Rashi thinks that a historical fact is preserved in these words, and that the Jewish exiles were really obliged to eat bread mixed with grit, because they had to bake in pits dug in the ground. So too many later commentators, e.g. Grotius, who compares a passage of Seneca ('De Benefie.,' 2:7), "Beneficium superbe datum simile est pani lapidoso." He hath covered me with ashes; rather, he hath pressed me down into ashes. A figurative expression for great humiliation. So in the Talmud the Jewish nation is described as "pressed down into ashes" ('Bereshith Rabba,' 75).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones,.... With gritty bread, such as is made of corn ground with new millstones, the grit of which mixes with the flour; or with stony bread, as Seneca (n) calls a benefit troublesome to others; with bread that has little stones mixed with it, by eating of which the teeth are broken, as Jarchi observes: the phrase signifies afflictions and troubles, which are very grievous and disagreeable, like gravel in the mouth, as sin in its effects often proves, Proverbs 20:17;
he hath covered me with ashes; as mourners used to be; the word rendered "covered" is only used in this place. Aben Ezra renders it, "he hath defiled me"; and Jarchi and Ben Melech, from the Misnah, "he hath pressed me", without measure; see Luke 6:38; and so the Targum,
"he hath humbled me:''
but the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, render it, "he hath fed me with ashes"; which version is defended by Castel (o) and Noldius (p), and best agrees with the preceding clause; the sense is the same with Psalm 102:9.
(n) "Pane lapidoso", Seneca De Beneficiis, l. 7. (o) Lexic. Polyglott, col. 1791. (p) Concordant. Ebr. Part. p. 168. No. 763.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16-18. gravel—referring to the grit that often mixes with bread baked in ashes, as is the custom of baking in the East (Pr 20:17). We fare as hardly as those who eat such bread. The same allusion is in "Covered me with ashes," namely, as bread.
Lamentations 3:16 Parallel Commentaries
Lamentations 3:16 NIV
Lamentations 3:16 NLT
Lamentations 3:16 ESV
Lamentations 3:16 NASB
Lamentations 3:16 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible