Jeremiah 9:19
For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.
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(19) We have forsaken.—Better, we have left. The English version suggests a voluntary abandonment, which is not involved in the Hebrew.

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.Forsaken - Or, left: forced to abandon the land.

Because our dwellings ... - Rather, "because they have east down our dwellings." The whole verse is a description of their sufferings. See 2 Kings 25:1-12.

19. The cry of "the mourning women."

spoiled—laid waste.

dwellings cast us out—fulfilling Le 18:28; 20:22. Calvin translates, "The enemy have cast down our habitations."

Is heard out of Zion, i.e. Jerusalem, spoken in the present tense, after the prophetical style, being a frequent way of the prophet’s expressing the certainty of a thing. How are we spoiled! how great is our misery! or, how come we to be in such a desolate condition? possibly expressions of the artificial mourners, or rather their real sense of it, now it is all too late.

We are greatly confounded: whether this be the complaint of the country people forced to flee from their habitation to Jerusalem for shelter, or of Jerusalem itself, that could expect no less, it filled them with great consternation, that they who thought their houses should have continued for ever, because of God’s promise, Psalm 132:10, &c., must now forsake them, Leviticus 18:25; either their persons carried out into captivity, or have them utterly demolished by the enemy. For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion,.... Out of the fortress of Zion, out of the city of Jerusalem, which was thought to be inexpugnable, and could never be taken; but now a voice is heard out of that, deploring the desolation of it:

how are we spoiled? our houses destroyed, and we plundered of our substance:

we are greatly confounded: filled with shame, on account of their vain confidence; thinking their city would never be taken, and they were safe in it:

because we have forsaken the land; the land of Judea, being obliged to it, the enemy carrying them captive into other countries:

because our dwellings have cast us out; not suffering us to continue there any longer, as being unworthy of them; or enemies have cast down our habitations to the earth, as Jarchi; and so the Targum, "for our palaces are desolate"; the principal buildings in Jerusalem, as well as the houses of the common people, were thrown down to the ground, or burnt with fire, and particularly the temple; so that the whole was in a most ruinous condition, and a fit subject of a mournful song.

For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we laid waste! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings {o} have cast us out.

(o) As though they were weary of us, because of our iniquities, Le 18:28,20:22.

19. Co. considers that the v. is a gloss as breaking the connexion between the summons to the wailers and the words which they are bidden to use.

have forsaken] a prophetic perfect, meaning must forsake. Exile is regarded as inevitable.Verse 19. - Forsaken; rather, left. Our dwellings have cast us out; rather, they hare cast down our dwellings. 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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