Lamentations 1:10
The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom thou didst command that they should not enter into thy 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. Lamentations 1:10This is specially mentioned in Lamentations 1:10. The enemy has spread out his hand over all her jewels (מחמדּיה, the costly treasures of Jerusalem which were plundered), and even forced into the sanctuary of the Lord to spoil it of its treasures and vessels. C. B. Michaelis, Thenius, Gerlach, Ngelsbach, etc., would restrict the meaning of מחמדּיה to the precious things of the sanctuary; but not only are there no sufficient reasons for this, but the structure of the clauses is against it. Neither does the expression, "all our precious things," in Isaiah 69:10, signify merely the articles used in public worship on which the people had placed their desire; nor are "all her pleasant vessels" merely the sacred vessels of the temple. In the latter passage, the suffix in מחמדּיה refers to Jerusalem; and inasmuch as the burning of all the palaces of the city (ארמנתיה) has been mentioned immediately before, we are so much the less at liberty to restrict "all her precious vessels" to the vessels of the temple, and must rather, under that expression, include all the precious vessels of the city, i.e., of the palaces and the temple. And Delitzsch has already remarked, on Isaiah 64:10, that "under מחמדּיה may be included favourite spots, beautiful buildings, pleasure gardens; and only the parallelism induces us to think especially of articles used in public worship." But when Thenius, in the passage now before us, brings forward the succeeding words, "for she hath seen," as a proof that by "all her pleasant things" we are to understand especially the vessels and utensils of the temple, he shows that he has not duly considered the contents of the clause introduced by כּי (for). The clause characterizes the enemy's forcing his way into the sanctuary, i.e., the temple of Jerusalem, as an unheard of act of sacrilege, because גּוים were not to enter even into the קהל of Jahveh. The subject treated of is not by any means the robbing of the temple - the plundering of its utensils and vessels. The prohibition against the coming, i.e., the receiving of foreigners into the "congregation," is given, Deuteronomy 23:4, with regard to the Ammonites and Moabites: this neither refers to the jus connubii (Grotius, Rosenmller), nor to the civil rights of Jewish citizens (Kalkschmidt), but to reception into religious communion with Israel, the ecclesia of the Old Covenant (קהל יהוה). In Deuteronomy 23:8, the restriction is relaxed in favour of the Edomites and Egyptians, but in Ezekiel 44:7, Ezekiel 44:9, in accordance with the ratio legis, extended to all uncircumcised sons of strangers. Hence, in the verse now before us, we must not, with Rosenmller and Thenius, restrict the reference of גּוים to the Ammonites and Moabites as accomplices of the Chaldeans in the capture of Jerusalem and the plundering of the temple (2 Kings 24:2); rather the גּוים are identical with those mentioned in the first member of the verse as צר, i.e., the Chaldeans, so called not "because their army was made up of different nationalities, but because the word contains the notice of their being heathens, - profane ones who had forced into the sanctuary" (Gerlach). But if we look at the structure of the clauses, we find that "for she saw," etc., is parallel to "for the enemy hath boasted" of Lamentations 1:9; and the clause, "for she saw nations coming," etc., contains a further evidence of the deep humiliation of Jerusalem; so that we may take כּי as showing the last step in a climax, since the connection of the thought is this: For the enemy hath boasted, spreading his hand over all her precious things, - he hath even forced his way into the sanctuary of the Lord. If this is mentioned as the greatest disgrace that could befall Jerusalem, then the spreading out of the hands over the precious things of Jerusalem cannot be understood of the plundering of the temple. The construction ראתּה גּוים בּא is in sense exactly similar to the Latin vidit gentes venisse, cf. Ewald, 284, b; and on the construction צוּיתה לא יבאוּ, cf. Ewald, 336, b. בּקהל לך does not stand for בּקהלך (lxx, Pareau, Rosenmller), for הקהל is not the congregation of Judah, but that of Jahveh; and the meaning is: They shall not come to thee, the people of God, into the congregation of the Lord.
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