|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 17. - As for us, our eyes, etc.; rather (correcting the reading of the first word), Our eyes were still wasting away (as we looked) for our help in vain. To the very last the Jews leaned on "that broken reed," Egypt (Isaiah 36:6); how vain that hope would be Jeremiah had already told them (Jeremiah 37:7, 8). In our watching; i.e. earnestly and continually; or, on our watchtower.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help,.... Or, "while we were yet" (h); a nation, a people, a body politic, in our own land, before the city of Jerusalem was taken, we were looking for help, as was promised us; but it proved a vain help, none was given us; for which we kept looking to the last, till our eyes failed, and we could look no longer; no help appeared, nor was there any prospect or probability of it, and therefore gave all up:
in our watching we watched for a nation that could not save us; not the Romans, as the Targum, but the Egyptians; these promised them help and relief, and therefore in their watching they watched, or vehemently watched, and wistfully looked out for it, but all in vain; for though these made an attempt to help them, they durst not proceed; were obliged to retire, not being a match for the Chaldean army, and so could not save them, or break up the siege, and relieve them.
(h) "quum adhuc essemus", Munster: Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. As for us—This translation forms the best antithesis to the language of the heathen (La 4:15, 16). Calvin translates, "While as yet we stood as a state, our eyes failed," &c.
watched for a nation that could not save us—Egypt (2Ki 24:7; Isa 30:7; Jer 37:5-11).
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