|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:13-20 Nothing ripens a people more for ruin, nor fills the measure faster, than the sins of priests and prophets. The king himself cannot escape, for Divine vengeance pursues him. Our anointed King alone is the life of our souls; we may safely live under his shadow, and rejoice in Him in the midst of our enemies, for He is the true God and eternal life.
Verse 14. - They; i.e. the prophets and priests. Wandered as blind men. The leaders of the people are blinded by ignorance, for they know not the only true way of averting calamity, and by passion, for they have not that "eye" of the soul (Matthew 6:22, 23) which alone enables a man to see the good and the right course for himself individually, The" wandering," or, rather, "staggering" (comp. Psalm 107:27, Authorized Version), however, may also refer to the panic stricken condition of those self. deceived deceivers when overtaken by God's punishment; comp. "wine of reeling" (Authorized Version, "astonishment"), Psalm 60:3; also the prophecies in Deuteronomy 28:28, 29; Jeremiah 23:12. The doubt is whether "have wandered" refers to some period before the final catastrophe, or to the consternation produced by that awful surprise. The latter view seems the more probable. They have polluted themselves, etc. Their acts of violence have been continued to the very end of their term of power. Their garments are still stained with blood when the summons to depart into exile reaches them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They have wandered as blind men in the streets,.... That is, the false prophets and wicked priests; and may be understood either literally, that when the city was taken, and they fled, they were like blind men, and knew not which way to go to make their escape, but wandered from place to place, and could find no way out; or spiritually, though they pretended to great light and knowledge, yet were as blind men, surrounded with the darkness of ignorance and error, and were blind leaders of the blind:
they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments; or, "could not but touch it with their garments" (c); or, "might not" (d); it was not lawful for them to do it: the sense is either, that, which way soever these men took to make their escape, they found so many dead carcasses in the streets, and such a profusion of blood by them, that they could not but touch it with their garments; or being besmeared with it, were so defiled, that others might not touch them, even their garments; or these men had defiled themselves with the shedding of the blood of righteous persons; so that they were odious to men, and they shunned them as they would do anything that by the law rendered them in a ceremonious sense unclean, and therefore said as follows:
(c) "quem non possunt, quin tangent vestimentis suis", "Junius & Tremellius. (d) "Tangebant eum (nempe sanguinem) vestibus eorum quem non potuerunt", i.e. "jure", Gataker.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. blind—with mental aberration.
polluted … with blood—both with blood of one another mutually shed (for example, Jer 2:34), and with their blood shed by the enemy [Glassius].
not touch … garments—as being defiled with blood (Nu 19:16).
Lamentations 4:14 Parallel Commentaries
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