|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-16 Is any afflicted? Let him pray; and let him in prayer pour out his complaint to God. The people of God do so here; they complain not of evils feared, but of evils felt. If penitent and patient under what we suffer for the sins of our fathers, we may expect that He who punishes, will return in mercy to us. They acknowledge, Woe unto us that we have sinned! All our woes are owing to our own sin and folly. Though our sins and God's just displeasure cause our sufferings, we may hope in his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, and his kind providence. But the sins of a man's whole life will be punished with vengeance at last, unless he obtains an interest in Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree.
Verse 16. - The crown is fallen, etc.; rather, the crown of our head is fallen. The Jewish people is compared to a rich man at a banquet, crowned with a diadem (comp. Isaiah 28:1). Jeremiah has a similar phrase in his prophecies (Jeremiah 13:18). It evidently expresses figuratively the prosperity and honour formerly enjoyed by the now vanquished people.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The crown is fallen from our head,.... Or, "the crown of our head is fallen" (a); all their honour and glory as a nation were gone; the glory of their kingdom and priesthood, to both which a crown or mitre belonged; the glory of church and state. Aben Ezra interprets it of the temple, the place of the divine Majesty. Sanctius thinks there is an allusion to the crowns they wore upon their heads at their feasts and festivals; and so the words have a close connection with what goes before:
woe unto us that we have sinned! which had brought all these evils upon them: this is not to be considered as an imprecation or denunciation of misery; but as a commiseration of their case; calling upon others to it, and particularly God himself, to have mercy upon them; for, alas for them! they had sinned, and justly deserved what was come upon them; and therefore throw themselves at the feet of mercy, and implore divine compassion.
(a) "cecidit corona capitis nostri", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. The crown—all our glory, the kingdom and the priesthood (Job 19:9; Ps 89:39, 44).
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