All your enemies have opened their mouth against you: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All thine enemies.—The exultation of the enemies is expressed by every feature in the physiognomy of malignant hate, the wide mouth, the hissing, the gnashing of the teeth. They exult, as in half-broken utterances, in the thought that they have brought about the misery at which they mock. It is what they had long looked for; they had at last seen it.Lamentations 2:16-17. All thine enemies have opened their mouths against thee — As if they were ready to devour thee: see the margin. Or they have opened them in scoffs, reproaches, and insults. They hiss and gnash their teeth — In scorn and derision. They say, We have swallowed her up — Namely, Jerusalem. They triumph in their success against her, and in the rich prey they have got in making themselves masters of her. Certainly, this is the day we have looked for — Which we have expected and longed to see. Thus the enemies of the church are apt to take its disasters for its ruin, and to triumph in them accordingly; but they will find themselves deceived, for the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The Lord hath done that which he had devised — Our destroyers could have had no power against us, unless it had been given them from above: they were but the sword in God’s hand. And he hath not surprised us by these providences: he gave us notice before hand what he would do if we were disobedient, and he hath done no more than what he threatened long since. He hath fulfilled his word which he had commanded — Hath verified and made good his declarations uttered in days of old — Namely, by Moses, Leviticus 26:16-31; Deuteronomy 28:15-49. He hath set up the horn of thine adversaries — Hath advanced their power and glory.
opened … mouth—as ravening, roaring wild beasts (Job 16:9, 10; Ps 22:13). Herein Jerusalem was a type of Messiah.
gnash … teeth—in vindictive malice.
we have seen it—(Ps 35:21).
they hiss and gnash their teeth; hiss like serpents, and gnash their teeth in wrath and fury; all expressing their extreme hatred and abhorrence of the Jews, and the delight they took in their ruin and destruction:
they say, we have swallowed her up; all her wealth and riches were corns into their hands, and were all their own; as well as they thought these were all their own doings, owing to their wisdom and skill, courage and strength; not seeing and knowing the hand of God in all this. These words seem to be the words of the Chaldeans particularly:
certainly this is the day that we have looked for; we have found, we have seen it: this day of Jerusalem's destruction, which they had long looked for, and earnestly desired; and now it was come; and they had what they so much wished for; and express it with the utmost pleasure. In this verse the order of the alphabet is not observed the letter "pe", being set before the letter "ain", which should be first, according to the constant order of the alphabet; and which was so before the times of Jeremiah, even in David's time, as appears by the ninety ninth Psalm, and others. Grotius thinks it is after the manner of the Chaldeans; but the order of the Hebrew and Chaldee alphabets is the same Dr Lightfoot thinks (y) the prophet, by this charge, hints at the seventy years that Jerusalem should be desolate, which were now begun; the letter "ain", in numbers, denoting seventy. So Mr. Bedford (z), who observes, that the transposition of these letters seems to show the confusion in which the prophet was, when he considered that this captivity should last seventy years. Jarchi (a) says one is put before the other, because they spoke with their mouths what they saw not with their eyes; "pe" signifying the mouth, and "ain" an eye.All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. For the inverted order of the initial letters in the Heb. of this and the next v., see Intr., p. 321.
All thine enemies … against thee] almost identical with Lamentations 3:46. Löhr refers for the expression to Psalm 22:13; Psalm 35:21.
gnash the teeth] in fierce hatred. Cp. Psalm 35:16; Psalm 37:12. For a parallel to the last words of this v., see Psalm 35:21.Verses 16, 17. - On the transposition of the initial letters in these verses, see Introduction. Verse 16. - Have opened their mouth against thee. As against the innocent sufferer of Psalm 22. (ver. 13). Gnash the teeth. In token of rage, as Psalm 35:16; Psalm 37:12. We have seen it (comp. Psalm 35:21). Job 2:8, Job 2:13, and regarding the tokens of sorrow, Job 2:12; Jeremiah 4:8; Jeremiah 6:26, etc. the virgins of Jerusalem have renounced their gaiety and bowed their head, sorrowing, to the ground; cf. Lamentations 1:4.
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