Jeremiah 9:18
And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Take up a wailing for us.—There is in all such figures of speech an inevitable blending of metaphors. The mourners wail for the dead nation, and yet the members of the nation are sharers in the obsequies, and their eyes run down with tears.

9:12-22 In Zion the voice of joy and praise used to be heard, while the people kept close to God; but sin has altered the sound, it is now the voice of lamentation. Unhumbled hearts lament their calamity, but not their sin, which is the cause of it. Let the doors be shut ever so fast, death steals upon us. It enters the palaces of princes and great men, though stately, strongly built, and guarded. Nor are those more safe that are abroad; death cuts off even the children from without, and the young men from the streets. Hearken to the word of the Lord, and mourn with godly sorrow. This alone can bring true comfort; and it can turn the heaviest afflictions into precious mercies.Take up a wailing for us - i. e., for the nation once God's chosen people, but long spiritually dead.18. (Jer 14:17). Let them make haste: as by the calling for their artificial mourners he did intimate the greatness of the misery that was coming upon them, that with all, their art they could not sufficiently bewail it; so here, by making haste, he intimates the near approach of it, that it was even at the doors.

Take up a wailing for us; pitch upon some form of mourning that may be suitable to our condition.

Our eyelids gush out with waters: this and the former are each of them a hyperbolical expression, and yet are too little to bewail the greatness of the judgment, which suits with the prophet’s lamentation, Jeremiah 9:1. The prophet would herein intimate that they that were so stupid as to hear the prophets denouncing their judgments with dry eyes, though he wished them to have been fountains of tears, shall now suddenly feel that they shall have cause enough to send for all the helps, not only real, but artificial, to stir up their mournings. And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us,.... Deliver out a mournful song, as the Arabic version; setting forth their miseries and distresses, and affecting their minds with them. The prophet puts himself among the people, as being a party concealed in their sufferings, and sympathizing with them, as well as to show the certainty of then and how soon they would be involved in them:

that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters; or balls of the eye, as the Targum and Kimchi; these hyperbolical expressions are used to express the greatness of the calamity, and that no mourning was equal to it; see Jeremiah 9:1.

And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 18. - That our eyes may run down, etc.; a justification of this artificial system-The piercing notes of the hired mourners are to relieve the sorrow of the afflicted by forcing for it a vent. Jerusalem is to become stone-heaps, where only jackals dwell. תּנּים is jackals (canis aureus), in Isaiah 13:22 called איּים from their cry; see on Isa. l.c., and Gesen. thes. s. v. מבּלי יושׁב as in Jeremiah 2:15; Jeremiah 4:7. - That such a judgment will pass over Judah every wise man must see well, and every one enlightened by God is to declare it; for universal apostasy from God and His law cannot but bring down punishment. But such wisdom and such spiritual enlightenment is not found in the infatuated people. This is the idea of Jeremiah 9:11-13. The question: Who is the wise man? etc., reminds us of Hosea 14:9, and is used with a negative force: unhappily there is none so wise as to see this. "This" is explained by the clause, Wherefore doth the land, etc.: this, i.e., the reason why the land is going to destruction. The second clause, "and to whom," etc., is dependent on the מי, which is to be repeated in thought: and who is he that, etc. Jeremiah has the false prophets here in view, who, if they were really illumined by God, if they had the word of God, could not but declare to the people their corruptness, and the consequences which must flow from it. But since none is so wise...Jeremiah proposes to them the question in Jeremiah 9:11, and in Jeremiah 9:12 tells the answer as given by God Himself. Because they have forsaken my law, etc. נתן לפני, to set before; as in Deuteronomy 4:8, so here, of the oral inculcation of the law by the prophets. "Walketh therein" refers to the law. The stubbornness of their heart, as in Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 7:24. After the Baals, Jeremiah 2:23. The relative clause, "which their fathers," etc., refers to both clauses of the verse; אשׁר with a neuter sense: which their fathers have taught them.
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