|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.
Verse 5. - They that did feed delicately, etc. i.e. luxuriously. The rendering has been disputed, but without sufficient ground. "They that did eat at dainties," i.e. pink at their dainty food, is forced. The Aramaic mark of the accusative need not surprise us in Lamentations (comp. Jeremiah 40:2). Brought up in scarlet; rather, borne upon scarlet; i.e. resting upon scarlet-covered couches. The poet speaks of adults, not of children.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets,.... That were brought up in the king's palace, or in the houses of noblemen; or, however, born of parents rich and wealthy, and had been used to good living, and had fared sumptuously and deliciously every day, were now wandering about in the streets in the most forlorn and distressed condition, seeking for food of any sort, but could find none to satisfy their hunger; and so, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it, perished in the ways or streets:
they that were brought up in scarlet: in dyed garments, as Jarchi; clothed with scarlet coloured ones, as was the manner of the richer and better sort of people, Proverbs 31:21; or, "brought up upon scarlet" (o); upon scarlet carpets, on which they used to sit and eat their food, as is the custom of the eastern people to this day: these
embrace dunghills, are glad of them, and with the greatest eagerness rake into them, in order to find something to feed upon, though ever so base and vile; or to sit and lie down upon. Aben Ezra interprets it of their being cast here when dead, and there was none to bury them.
(o) "super coccinum", Pagninus, Montanus; "super coccino", Piscator, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. delicately—on dainties.
are desolate—or, "perish."
in scarlet embrace dunghills—Instead of the scarlet couches on which the grandees were nursed, they must lie on dunghills.
embrace—They who once shrank sensitively from any soil, gladly cling close to heaps of filth as their only resting-place. Compare "embrace the rock" (Job 24:8).
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