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. Jeremiah 9:19Jeremiah 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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