Lamentations 1:14
The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, and come up on my neck: he has made my strength to fall, the LORD has delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.
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(14) Is bound by his hand . . .—The verb is not found elsewhere, but was probably a technical term for the twisting of the thongs by which the yoke was fastened, the “yoke” in this case being the transgressions of Judah, which were as a sore burden too heavy to be borne.

He hath made.—Better, it hath made; i.e., the yoke which was above her strength to bear.

The Lord.—It is noticeable that here, and in thirteen other passages in this book, the word Adonai is used instead of the more usual Jehovah, as though the latter, the covenant Name of the God of Israel, was less appropriate in the lips of one who was under His condemnation.

1:12-22 Jerusalem, sitting dejected on the ground, calls on those that passed by, to consider whether her example did not concern them. Her outward sufferings were great, but her inward sufferings were harder to bear, through the sense of guilt. Sorrow for sin must be great sorrow, and must affect the soul. Here we see the evil of sin, and may take warning to flee from the wrath to come. Whatever may be learned from the sufferings of Jerusalem, far more may be learned from the sufferings of Christ. Does he not from the cross speak to every one of us? Does he not say, Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Let all our sorrows lead us to the cross of Christ, lead us to mark his example, and cheerfully to follow him.Bound by his hand - As the plowman binds the yoke upon the neck of oxen, so God compels Judah to bear the punishment of her sins.

They are wreathed, and ... - Or, they are knotted together, "they come up" etc. Judah's sins are like the cords by which the pieces of the yoke are fastened together Jeremiah 27:2; they are knotted and twined like a bunch upon the neck, and bind the yoke around it so securely that it is impossible for her to shake it off.

He hath made ... - Or, it hath made "my strength" to stumble. The yoke of punishment thus imposed and securely fastened, bows down her strength by its weight, and makes her totter beneath it.

The Lord - The third distich of the verse begins here, and with it a new turn of the lamentation. The title Adonai (properly, my Lord) is in the Lamentations used by itself in fourteen places, while the name Yahweh is less prominent; as if in their punishment the people felt the lordship of the Deity more, and His covenant-love to them less.

14. yoke … is bound by his hand—(De 28:48). Metaphor from husbandmen, who, after they have bound the yoke to the neck of oxen, hold the rein firmly twisted round the hand. Thus the translation will be, "in His hand." Or else, "the yoke of my transgressions" (that is, of punishment for my transgressions) is held so fast fixed on me "by" God, that there is no loosening of it; thus English Version, "by His hand."

wreathed—My sins are like the withes entwined about the neck to fasten the yoke to.

into their hands, from whom—into the hands of those, from whom, &c. Maurer translates, "before whom I am not able to stand."


Still the prophet eyeth God in all, and acknowledgeth his justice while he calls their afflictions the yoke of their transgressions, that is, which was put upon their neck, upon the same account that yokes are put about the necks of beasts that use to break hedges, &c. and bound to keep them fast. My punishments are twisted as cords, to make them more strong; I have a complication of judgments upon me, sword, famine, pestilence, captivity; they are not only prepared for my neck, but they are already put upon it. All my valiant men, the strength of my nation is broken; and I am so fallen, that I am not able to rise again. The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand,.... That is, the punishment of her sins was laid upon her by the Lord himself; his hand was in it; it came from him; the Chaldeans were only instruments; and a heavy yoke this was. So the Targum renders it,

"the yoke of my rebellions is made heavy by his hand:''

they are wreathed, and come upon my neck; or, "twisted together" (b); as lines to make a cord; or as several cords to make a rope; or as branches of trees or withes are implicated and entwined; and so the Targum,

"they are twisted together as the branches of a vine.''

It denotes the complication of judgments upon the Jewish nation for their sins, with which they were holden as with cords; and which were like ropes about their necks, very heavy and distressing to them, and from which they could not deliver themselves. Mr. Broughton thinks the apostle has reference to this passage; and explains it by the sin that easily besets, or cunningly wraps about, Hebrews 12:1;

he hath made my strength to fall; by the weight of punishment laid upon her, which she could not stand up under, but sunk and fell: this may be understood of her strong and mighty men; her men of valour and courage, who yet stumbled and fell:

the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up; meaning the Chaldeans; nor were the Jews at last delivered from them by their own strength, but by the means of Cyrus the Persian conquering Babylon.

(b) "involutae", Vatablus; "perplexae", Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin; "contortae", Piscator, Grotius, Michaelis.

The {p} yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are knit together, and come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise.

(p) My heavy sins are continually before his eyes as he that ties a thing to his hand for a reminder.

14. is bound] The manifold sins of the people are likened to a complication of cords, attaching a yoke to the neck of a beast of burden, and keeping it secure in its place. Cp. note on “bands and bars” of Jeremiah 27:2. The Heb. verb, however, occurs here only, and the reading may be corrupt. The LXX (and so Vulg.), by the slightest possible change in reading the Heb. verb (involving only the transference of a diacritical mark), render “watch has been kept over mine iniquities,” obtaining the latter part of their rendering by taking the word pointed in MT. to mean yoke (‘ol) as though it were the preposition upon (‘al). We must then, for the sake of metrical division, take “by his hand” in connexion with “they are knit together,” and, as this leaves the next line (in the MT.) too short, Budde there inserts “a yoke” before “upon,” rendering, “They have come up as a yoke upon my neck; they have made my strength to fail.”Verse 14. - Is bound...are wreathed. The transgressions of Jerusalem are likened to a heavy yoke. So numerous are they that they are said to be "wreathed," or twisted together, like ropes. Into their hands. The Hebrew has simply "into hands;" following a suggestion of the Septuagint. Budde would read, "Into the hands of adversaries." But Jerusalem has brought this unutterable misery on herself through her grievous sins. חטאה is intensified by the noun חטא, instead of the inf. abs., as in Jeremiah 46:5. Jerusalem has sinned grievously, and therefore has become an object of aversion. נידה does not mean εἰς σάλον (lxx), or instabilis (Vulgate); nor is it, with the Chaldee, Raschi, and most of the ancient expositors, to be derived fromנוּד: we must rather, with modern expositors, regard it as a lengthened form of נדּה, which indeed is the reading given in twenty codices of Kennicott. Regarding these forms, cf. Ewald, 84, a. נדּה (prop. what one should flee from) signifies in particular the uncleanness of the menstrual discharge in women, Leviticus 12:2, Leviticus 12:5, etc.; then the uncleanness of a woman in this condition, Leviticus 15:19, etc.; here it is transferred to Jerusalem, personified as such an unclean woman, and therefore shunned. הזּיל, the Hiphil of זלל (as to the form, cf. Ewald, 114, c), occurs only in this passage, and signifies to esteem lightly, the opposite of כּבּד, to esteem, value highly; hence זולל, "despised," Lamentations 1:11, as in Jeremiah 15:19. Those who formerly esteemed her - her friends, and those who honoured her, i.e., her allies - now despise her, because they have seen her nakedness. The nakedness of Jerusalem means her sins and vices that have now come to the light. She herself also, through the judgment that has befallen her, has come to see the infamy of her deeds, sighs over them, and turns away for shame, i.e., withdraws from the people so that they may no longer look on her in her shame.
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