Lamentations 4:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
How the gold has lost its luster, the fine gold become dull! The sacred gems are scattered at every street corner.

New Living Translation
How the gold has lost its luster! Even the finest gold has become dull. The sacred gemstones lie scattered in the streets!

English Standard Version
How the gold has grown dim, how the pure gold is changed! The holy stones lie scattered at the head of every street.

New American Standard Bible
How dark the gold has become, How the pure gold has changed! The sacred stones are poured out At the corner of every street.

King James Bible
How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
How the gold has become tarnished, the fine gold become dull! The stones of the temple lie scattered at the corner of every street.

International Standard Version
How tarnished the gold has become, the finest gold debased! Sacred stones have been scattered at every street corner.

NET Bible
Alas! Gold has lost its luster; pure gold loses value. Jewels are scattered on every street corner.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Look how the gold has become tarnished! The fine gold has changed! The sacred stones are scattered at every street corner.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Aleph How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are scattered through the crossings of every street.

King James 2000 Bible
How has the gold become dim! how has the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.

American King James Version
How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.

American Standard Version
How is the gold become dim! how is the most pure gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Aleph. How is the gold become dim, the finest colour is changed, the stones of the sanctuary are scattered in the top of every street?

Darby Bible Translation
How is the gold become dim! the most pure gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary poured out at the top of all the streets!

English Revised Version
How is the gold become dim! how is the most pure gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the top of every street.

Webster's Bible Translation
How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.

World English Bible
How is the gold become dim! [how] is the most pure gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.

Young's Literal Translation
How is the gold become dim, Changed the best -- the pure gold? Poured out are stones of the sanctuary At the head of all out-places.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-12 What a change is here! Sin tarnishes the beauty of the most exalted powers and the most excellent gifts; but that gold, tried in the fire, which Christ bestows, never will be taken from us; its outward appearance may be dimmed, but its real value can never be changed. The horrors of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem are again described. Beholding the sad consequences of sin in the church of old, let us seriously consider to what the same causes may justly bring down the church now. But, Lord, though we have gone from thee in rebellion, yet turn to us, and turn our hearts to thee, that we may fear thy name. Come to us, bless us with awakening, converting, renewing, confirming grace.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - How is the gold become dim!... the stones of the sanctuary, etc. "Alas for the sad sights of the capture of Jerusalem! The most fine gold has lost its brilliance now that the fire of Nebuzar-adan (2 Kings 25:9) has passed over it, and the precious stones, consecrated to Jehovah, have been cast out into the open street!" Not that the latter part of this description can have corresponded to literal fact. None of the hallowed jewels would have been treated with such indifference. The expression must be as figurative as the parallel one, "to cast pearls before swine," in Matthew 7:6. The precious stones are the "sons of Zion," who are compared to "fine gold" in ver. 2, precisely as they are in Zechariah 9:16 (comp. ver. 13," Thy sons, O Zion") to "the stones of a crown." They are called "stones of the sanctuary," in allusion, perhaps, to the precious stones employed in the decoration of the temple according to 1 Chronicles 29:2 and 2 Chronicles 3:6. But we may also translate hallowed stones, which better suits the figurative use of the phrase. Those, however, who adopt the literal interpretation, explain "the stones of the sanctuary" of the hewn stones of the fabric of the temple, which are described as "costly" in 1 Kings 5:17. But how can even a poet have represented the enemy as carrying these stones out and throwing them down in the street? On the other hand, in an earlier lamentation we are expressly told that the young children "fainted for hunger in the top of every street" (Lamentations 2:19).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

How is the gold become dim!.... Or "covered" (b); or hid with rust, dust, or dirt; so that it can scarcely be discerned:

how is the most fine gold changed! this may be literally true of the gold of the temple; and so the Targum calls it

"the gold of the house of the sanctuary;''

with which that was overlaid, and many things in it, 1 Kings 6:21; and was sadly sullied and tarnished with the burning of the temple, and the rubbish of it: its brightness was lost, and its colour changed; but though there may be an allusion to that, it is to be figuratively understood of the people of God; for what is here expressed in parabolical phrases, as Aben Ezra observes, is in Lamentations 4:2 explained in proper and literal ones: godly and gracious men, there called the precious sons of Zion, are comparable to gold, even the most fine gold; partly because of their habit and dress; gold of Ophir; clothing of wrought gold; the rich robe of Christ's righteousness; which, for its brightness and splendour, is like the finest gold; and is as lasting and durable as that; and in which the saints look like a mass of pure gold, Psalm 45:9; and partly because of the graces of the Spirit in them, which are like gold for their purity, especially when tried; for their value, and the enriching nature of them, and their duration; particularly the graces of faith, hope, love, humility, which are like rows of jewels, and chains of gold, and as ornamental as they; see Sol 1:10; as also because of the doctrines of grace received by them, which are more to be desired than gold, than fine gold; and are better than thousands of gold and silver, by reason of their intrinsic worth and value; for their purity and brightness, being tried and purified, and because of their duration, Psalm 19:10; as well as on account of the riches of grace and glory they are possessed of, and entitled to: now this, in either of the senses of it, cannot be lost as to substance, only become dim; may lose its brightness and glory, and like gold change its colour, but not its nature; and; this may be the case of good men, comparable to it; when there is a decline in them, with respect to the exercise of grace; faith in Christ and his righteousness is low, hope not lively, and love waxen cold; when there is a veil drawn over the Gospel, a great opposition to it, and a departure from it; or the doctrines of it are not so clearly and consistently preached; and when there is a failure in a holy walk, and conversation becoming it; all which is matter of lamentation:

the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street; in the literal sense it may regard the costly stones of the temple, which, when that was destroyed, not only lay in heaps; but many of them, at least, were separated and scattered about, and carried into every corner of the city, and the streets of it, and there lay exposed, neglected, and trampled upon; see 1 Kings 5:17; but, in the figurative sense, it designs the people of God; who, though they are taken out of the common quarry and pit of mankind, and are by nature as common stones; yet by the Spirit and grace of God are made living and lively ones, and are hewn and fitted for the spiritual building the church; where they are laid, and are as the stones of a crown, as jewels and precious stones; but when there are animosities, contentions, and divisions among them, so that they disunite, and are scattered from one another, their case is like these stones of the sanctuary; and which is to be lamented. It is by some Jewish writers (c) interpreted of great personages, as princes, and great men of the earth.

(b) "rubigine obducetur", Montanus; "obtectum vel absconditum", Vatablus. So Ben Melech. (c) Vid. R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 50. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER (ELEGY) 4

La 4:1-22. The Sad Capture of Jerusalem, the Hope of Restoration, and the Retribution Awaiting Idumea for Joining Babylon against Judea.

Aleph.

1. gold—the splendid adornment of the temple [Calvin] (La 1:10; 1Ki 6:22; Jer 52:19); or, the principal men of Judea [Grotius] (La 4:2).

stones of … sanctuary—the gems on the breastplate of the high priest; or, metaphorically, the priests and Levites.

Beth.

Lamentations 4:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Distress of Zion
1How dark the gold has become, How the pure gold has changed! The sacred stones are poured out At the corner of every street. 2The precious sons of Zion, Weighed against fine gold, How they are regarded as earthen jars, The work of a potter's hands!…
Cross References
Ezekiel 7:19
"'They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs, for it has caused them to stumble into sin.

Ezekiel 22:18
"Son of man, the people of Israel have become dross to me; all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are but the dross of silver.

Micah 1:6
"Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble, a place for planting vineyards. I will pour her stones into the valley and lay bare her foundations.
Treasury of Scripture

How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.

how is the gold

2 Kings 25:9,10 And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all …

Isaiah 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; …

Isaiah 14:12 How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how …

Ezekiel 7:19-22 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed…

the stones

Lamentations 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour …

Jeremiah 52:13 And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house; and all the …

Matthew 24:2 And Jesus said to them, See you not all these things? truly I say …

Mark 13:2 And Jesus answering said to him, See you these great buildings? …

Luke 21:5,6 And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones …

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