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. Jeremiah 9:18Jeremiah 9:18 gives the reason why the mourning women are to be called: Loud lamentation is heard out of Zion. Ew. takes "out of Zion" of the Israelites carried away from their country - a view arbitrary in itself, and incompatible with Jeremiah 9:20. "How are we spoiled!" cf. Jeremiah 4:13; brought utterly to shame, because we have left the land, i.e., have been forced to leave it, and because they (the enemies) have thrown down our dwellings! השׁליך, cast down, overthrow, Job 18:7, cf. Ezekiel 19:12, and of buildings, Daniel 8:11. Kimchi and Hitz., again, take "our dwellings" as subject: our dwellings have cast us out, and appeal to Leviticus 18:25 : The land vomited out its inhabitants. But the figurative style in this passage does not justify us in adopting so unnatural a figure as this, that the dwellings cast out their occupants. Nor could the object be omitted in such a case. The passages, Isaiah 33:9; Micah 2:4, to which Hitz. appeals, are not analogous to the present one. The subject, not expressed, acc. to our view of the passage, is readily suggested by the context and the nature of the case. The "for" in Jeremiah 9:19 gives a second reason for calling the mourning women together. They are to come not only to chant laments for the spoiling of Zion, but that they may train their daughters and other women in the art of dirge-singing, because the number of deaths will be so great that the existing number of mourning women will not be sufficient for the task about to fall on them. This thought is introduced by a command of God, in order to certify that this great harvest of death will without fail be gathered. אזנכם and בּנתיכם have masc. suffixes instead of feminine, the masc. being often thus used as the more general form; cf. Ew. 184, c. In the last clause the verb "teach" is to be supplied from the preceding context.
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