Lamentations 1:15
The LORD has trodden under foot all my mighty men in the middle of me: he has called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the LORD has trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a wine press.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Trodden under foot.—Better, hath made contemptible, as those who are weighed in the balance and found wanting.

All my mighty men . . .—The adjective is used elsewhere of bulls (Psalm 22:12; Isaiah 34:7), but stands here for the heroes of Judah, who fell, not in open battle, but ignominiously “in the midst” of the captured city.

He hath called an assembly.—The point of the phrase lies in its being that commonly used for proclaiming a religious festival (Leviticus 23:4). Here the festival is proclaimed, not for Jerusalem, but against her, and is to be kept by those who exult in the slaughter of her youthful warriors.

The Lord hath trodden the virgin . . .—Better, hath trodden the winepress for the virgin . . . For the winepress as the symbol of judgment and slaughter, see Isaiah 63:2; Revelation 14:19; Revelation 19:15.

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.The Lord hath trodden under foot - Or, אדני 'ădonāy has made contemptible (i. e. put into the balance, made to go up as the lighter weight, and so made despicable) "my war-horses" (put metaphorically for heroes).

In the midst of me - They had not fallen gloriously in the battlefield, but remained ignominiously in the city.

Assembly - Or, "a solemn feast;" the word especially used of the great festivals Leviticus 23:2. אדני 'ădonāy has proclaimed a festival, not for me, but against me.

The Lord hath trodden ... - Or, "אדני 'ădonāy hath trodden the winepress for the virgin daughter of Judah." See Jeremiah 51:14 note. By slaying Judah's young men in battle, God is trampling for her the winepress of His indignation.

15. trodden, &c.—Maurer, from Syriac root, translates, "cast away"; so 2Ki 23:27. But Ps 119:118, supports English Version.

in … midst of me—They fell not on the battlefield, but in the heart of the city; a sign of the divine wrath.

assembly—the collected forces of Babylon; a very different "assembly" from the solemn ones which once met at Jerusalem on the great feasts. The Hebrew means, literally, such a solemn "assembly" or feast (compare La 2:22).

trodden … virgin … in a wine-press—hath forced her blood to burst forth, as the red wine from the grapes trodden in the press (Isa 63:3; Re 14:19, 20; 19:15).

Ain.

In the midst of me, may be interpreted either as pleonastical, or as denoting the place in which they lost their valiant men, viz. in the midst of the city during the siege, not in the field.

He hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men; instead of those solemn assemblies that were wont to be called together within Jerusalem by sound of trumpet for the solemn worship of God, God had called an assembly of Chaldeans as adversaries against the city, to crush the inhabitants of it.

The Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a wine-press; God had trodden upon the Jews as men use to stamp grapes in a wine-press, where they use to crush them to pieces to get out the juice, and then they throw the husks, that are good for nothing, upon the dunghills. These are but various expressions to set out the misery into which God had brought this people for their sins. The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me,.... As a causeway is trodden; or as mire is trodden under foot in the streets; so were the mighty and valiant men, the soldiers and men of war, trodden under foot and destroyed by the Chaldeans in the streets of Jerusalem, and in the midst of Judea; the Lord so permitting it:

he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men; the army of the Chaldeans, which were brought against Jerusalem by a divine appointment and call; against whom the choicest and stoutest of them, even their young men, could not stand; but were crushed and broken to pieces by them. The word for "assembly" sometimes signifies an appointed time; a time fixed for solemn festivals, and for calling the people to them; and so the Targum here,

"he hath called or appointed a time to break the strength of my young men;''

the time of Jerusalem's destruction by the Babylonians:

the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress; in the winepress of his wrath; or however in the winepress of the Babylonians, who are compared to one; into whose hands the Jews falling, were like grapes cast into a winepress, and there trodden by men, in order to squeeze and get out the wine; and in like manner were their blood squeezed out of them and shed. The Targum interprets it of the blood of virginity being poured out, as wine in a press; the virgins of Judah being ravished and defiled by the enemy.

The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a {q} winepress.

(q) He has trodden them underfoot as they tread grapes in the winepress.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. hath called a solemn assembly] or, sacrificial banquet. Cp. Jeremiah 46:10; Isaiah 34:6; Ezekiel 39:17 ff.; Zephaniah 1:7 f. The festival is not for Israel but for the enemy, and that which is to be celebrated, the overthrow of the flower of the Jewish army.

hath trodden, etc.] hath trodden the winepress of the virgin daughter of Judah. For treading the winepress, as a phrase to express the wrath of God, cp. Isaiah 63:3; Joel 3:13; Revelation 14:19; Revelation 19:15, and for the virgin (daughter), Jeremiah 14:17; Jeremiah 18:13 (where see note), Jeremiah 31:4. The expression is used to indicate inviolate security, and Zion (the speaker) here identifies it with the people of Judah collectively.Verse 15. - Hath trodden under foot; rather, hath rejected; i.e. hath punished. Comp. Psalm 119:118, 119, where "thou rejectest [same verb as here] all them that wander from thy statutes" is followed by "thou puttest away all the ungodly of the earth like dross," Hath called an assembly; rather, hath proclaimed a festival. When Jehovah summons the instruments of his vengeance, the prophets describe it as the "proclaiming a festival." The Persians or Chaldeans, as the case may be, obey the summons with a holy glee, and destroy the enemies of the true God (comp. Isaiah 13:3). Hath trodden, etc.; rather, hath trodden the winepress for (i.e. to the ruin of) the virgin daughter of Zion. The poet. carries on the figure of the festival. It is a vintage which is to be celebrated, such a vintage as is described in Isaiah 63:3 (comp. Joel 3:13). The choicest youth of Judah are to be cut off like grapes from the vine. "Virgin daughter" is a frequent figure to express inviolate security (so Jeremiah 14:17). In Lamentations 1:9 the figure if uncleanness is further developed. Her uncleanness sticks to the hems or skirts of her garment. טמאה is the defilement caused by touching a person or thing Levitically unclean, Leviticus 5:3; Leviticus 7:21; here, therefore, it means defilement by sins and crimes. This has now been revealed by the judgment, because she did not think of her end. These words point to the warning given in the song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:29 : "If they were wise, they would understand this (that apostasy from the Lord brings heavy punishment after it), they would think of their end," i.e., the evil issue of continued resistance to God's commands. But the words are especially a quotation from Isaiah 47:7, where they are used of Babylon, that thought she would always remain mistress, and did not think of the end of her pride; therefore on her also came the sentence, "Come down from thy glory, sit in the dust," Isaiah 47:1, cf. Jeremiah 48:18.

Jerusalem has now experienced this also; she has come down wonderfully, or fallen from the height of her glory into the depths of misery and disgrace, where she has none to comfort her, and is constrained to sigh, "O Lord, behold my misery!" These words are to be taken as a sign from the daughter of Zion, deeply humbled through shame and repentance for her sins. This is required by the whole tenor of the words, and confirmed by a comparison with Lamentations 1:11 and Lamentations 1:20. פּלאים is used adverbially; cf. Ewald, 204, b [Gesenius, 100, 2, b.] There is no need for supplying anything after הגדּיל, cf. Jeremiah 48:26, Jeremiah 48:42; Daniel 8:4, Daniel 8:8,Daniel 8:11, Daniel 8:25, although לעשׂות originally stood with it, e.g., Joel 2:20; cf. Ewald, 122, c [and Gesenius' Lexicon, s.v. גּדל]. The clause כּי הגדּיל, which assigns the reason, refers not merely to the sighing of Jerusalem, but also to the words, "and she came down wonderfully." The boasting of the enemy shows itself in the regardless, arrogant treatment not merely of the people and their property, but also of their holy things.

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