Lamentations 1:10
The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things: for she has seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom you did command that they should not enter into your congregation.
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(10) Upon all her pleasant things . . .—The use of a like phrase in 2Chronicles 36:10; 2Chronicles 36:19, of the vessels of the Temple, leads us to think primarily or them; but the word itself has a wider range, and includes all works of art and ornamentation.

Whom thou didst command.—Stress is laid on the profanation rather than the plunder of the sanctuary. Ammonites and Moabites were excluded from the congregation in Deuteronomy 23:3, and yet they and other heathen nations now rushed even into the Holy of holies, which none but the High Priest might enter.

Lamentations 1:10-11. The adversary hath — Or rather, did, spread his hand upon all her pleasant things — Hebrew, מחמדיה, her desirable things, namely, her riches, and what else she most desired to preserve. She hath seen the heathen entered into her sanctuary, &c. — She saw heathen nations, whom thou hadst forbidden even to be admitted into thy congregation, (as being uncircumcised,) enter into the sanctuary farther than ever her own people themselves were permitted to go. The Chaldeans entered into the inmost part of the sanctuary, even into the holy of holies, into which none of the Jews, except the high-priest, were ever allowed to enter. All her people sigh, they seek bread — He probably refers to the time of the invasion of the country by the Chaldeans, and the siege of Jerusalem, when the whole body of the people were in a sad condition, and, in a land that ordinarily flowed with milk and honey, were at a loss for bread to eat. They have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul — They have parted with their riches and all their desirable things to purchase bread to sustain their lives. See, O Lord, and consider — This is a prayer of Jerusalem to God for relief; for I am become vile — That is, miserable and contemptible.1:1-11 The prophet sometimes speaks in his own person; at other times Jerusalem, as a distressed female, is the speaker, or some of the Jews. The description shows the miseries of the Jewish nation. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave, by reason of the greatness of her sins; and had no rest from suffering. If we allow sin, our greatest adversary, to have dominion over us, justly will other enemies also be suffered to have dominion. The people endured the extremities of famine and distress. In this sad condition Jerusalem acknowledged her sin, and entreated the Lord to look upon her case. This is the only way to make ourselves easy under our burdens; for it is the just anger of the Lord for man's transgressions, that has filled the earth with sorrows, lamentations, sickness, and death.Her pleasant things - Chiefly, the sacred vessels of the temple 2 Chronicles 36:10.

Sanctuary ... congregation - Even a Jew might not enter the innermost sanctuary, which was for the priests only; but now the tramp of pagan soldiery has been heard within its sacred precincts.

10. for—surely she hath seen, &c.

heathen … command … not enter … congregation—for instance, the Ammonites and Moabites (De 23:3; Ne 13:1, 2). If the heathen, as such, were not allowed to enter the sanctuary for worship, much less were they allowed to enter in order to rob and destroy.


Hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things; that is, hath got them into possession. By pleasant things are here to be understood the ornaments of the temple, upon which the enemy had laid violent hands; so this phrase of

spreading out the hand is taken Isaiah 25:11. The things of the sanctuary were always pleasant things to those that feared God; possibly those that little valued them before, now looked upon them in their true notion. We seldom know our mercies till we come to be deprived of them.

The heathen entered into her sanctuary; he means the Ammonites and Moabites, whom the law concerned, Deu 23:3; some of whom probably assisted the Babylonians in the conquest of Judea. The enemy hath spread out his hands on all her pleasant things,.... Meaning not the wealth and riches, the goods and substance, or the rich furniture in their own houses; but the precious things in the house of God, the ark, the table, the altar, the priests garments, and vessels of the sanctuary, and the gifts of the temple, and everything valuable in it; these the enemy stretched out his hands and seized upon, and claimed them as his own; took them as a booty, prey, and plunder. Jarchi (w) interprets the enemy of the Moabites and Ammonites, who seized upon the books of the law, in which are things more desirable than gold and silver, and burnt them; because there was a law in them that forbid them entering into the congregation of Israel; but the Targum better explains it of Nebuchadnezzar the wicked; for he and the Chaldean army are doubtless meant; who plundered and ransacked the temple of all its pleasant, precious, and valuable things:

for she hath seen that the Heathen entered into her sanctuary; not into the land of Israel only, the holy land; but into the temple, the sanctuary of the Lord; but called hers, because it was built for her use, that the congregation of Israel might worship the Lord in it; into this with her own eyes, though forced to it, and sore against her will, and to her great grief and trouble, she saw the Chaldeans enter, and ravage and spoil it:

whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation; these Jarchi interprets of the Moabites and Ammonites again; and so does the Targum here; paraphrasing them thus,

"whom thou didst command by the hand of Moses the prophet, concerning Ammon and Moab, that they were not worthy to enter into thy congregation;''

and concerning whom there is an express law forbidding it, Deuteronomy 23:1; and it may be there were Moabites and Ammonites in the Chaldean army, assisting in the taking of Jerusalem; and who entered into the temple when it was taken.

(w) E Talmud. Bab. Yebamot, fol 16. 2.

The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the nations entered into her sanctuary, whom {m} thou didst command that they should not enter into thy congregation.

(m) God forbids the Ammonites and Moabites to enter into the congregation of the Lord, and under them he comprehends all enemies, De 23:3.

10. pleasant] lit. desirable, precious, with special reference to the Temple treasures (2 Chronicles 36:10; Jeremiah 52:19; 2 Kings 25:15). For the whole v. cp. Isaiah 64:10 f.; also Psalms 74, 79.

the heathen are entered into her sanctuary] Those who were forbidden, at any rate as nations, ever to enter into a religious covenant with Israel (e.g. Ammonites and Moabites, Deuteronomy 23:3 f., cp. Ezekiel 44:9), as part of the invading host have entered the very Holy of Holies for plunder. No worse humiliation could befall a Jew than this.Verse 10. - Her pleasant things; or, her precious things; that is, the treasures of the palaces of Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:19), and still more those of the temple (2 Chronicles 36:10); comp. Isaiah 64:11). For she hath seen; rather, yea, she hath seen. The heathen entered, etc. In Deuteronomy 23:3 only the Ammonites and Moabites are excluded from religious privileges; but in Ezekiel 44:9 the prohibition is extended to all foreigners. Zion (i.e., Jerusalem, as the holy city) is laid waste; feasts and rejoicing have disappeared from it. "The ways of Zion" are neither the streets of Jerusalem (Rosenmller), which are called חוּצות, nor the highways or main roads leading to Zion from different directions (Thenius, who erroneously assumes that the temple, which was situated on Moriah, together with its fore-courts, could only be reached through Zion), but the roads or highways leading to Jerusalem. These are "mourning," i.e., in plain language, desolate, deserted, because there are no longer any going up to Jerusalem to observe the feasts. For this same reason the gates of Zion (i.e., the city gates) are also in ruins, because there is no longer any one going out and in through them, and men no longer assemble there. The reason why the priests and the virgins are here conjoined as representatives of the inhabitants of Jerusalem is, that lamentation is made over the cessation of the religious feasts. The virgins are here considered as those who enlivened the national festivals by playing, singing, and dancing: Jeremiah 31:13; Psalm 68:26; Judges 21:19, Judges 21:21; Exodus 15:20. נגות (Niphal of יגה) is used here, as in Zephaniah 2:13, of sorrow over the cessation of the festivals. Following the arbitrary rendering, ἀγόμενοι, of the lxx, Ewald would alter the word in the text into נהוּגות, "carried captive." But there is no necessity for this: he does not observe that this rendering does not harmonize with the parallelism of the clauses, and that נהג means to drive away, but not to lead captive.

(Note: See, however, 1 Samuel 20:2, with Keil's own rendering, and Isaiah 20:4, with Delitzsch's translation. - Tr.)

והיא, "and she (Zion) herself" is in bitterness (cf. Ruth 1:13, Ruth 1:20), i.e., she feels bitter sorrow. In Lamentations 1:6, Lamentations 1:7, are mentioned the causes of this grief.

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