Lamentations 2:2
The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.
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(2) The habitations of Jacob . . .—The term is used primarily for the dwellings of shepherds, and it accordingly stands here for the open unwalled villages as contrasted with the fortified towns that are here mentioned.

He hath polluted the kingdom.—See Psalm 89:39. The term involves the thought that it had been a consecrated thing. It had become unclean, first through the sins, and then through the defeat and degradation, of its rulers.

Lamentations 2:2-4. The Lord hath swallowed up the habitations, &c. — Without showing any pity or concern for them. He hath thrown down the strong holds, &c. — Hath suffered the enemies to batter down their fortifications to the ground. He hath polluted the kingdom, &c. — “He hath shown no regard for the kingdom which himself had settled upon the family of David, but involved the royal family in one common destruction with the rest of the people. The expression is much the same with that of Psalm 89:39, Thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.” — Lowth. He hath cut off, &c., all the horn of Israel — Namely, their strength and glory, and especially their kingly dignity. He hath drawn back his right hand, &c. — He hath withdrawn his wonted assistance, and given us up into the hands of our enemies. Or, as Blaney rather thinks, the right hand of Israel may be here intended, namely, his exertions of strength represented as rendered ineffectual by God, or turned away from obstructing the progress of the enemy; “just as God says, Jeremiah 21:4, that he would turn aside the weapons of war that were in the hands of the Jews, so as to prevent their hindering the Chaldean army from entering the city.” He burned against Jacob round about — God hath consumed them, not on this or that part merely, but everywhere, as a fire which seizes a house, or a heap of combustible matter, on all sides at once. He hath bent his bow like an enemy, &c. — God, whom by their sins they had provoked, and made their enemy, behaved himself as such toward them, bending his bow, as it were, and stretching out his right hand to destroy them. And slew all that were pleasant to the eye — The chief in worth and dignity; those who were in the flower of their age, the joy and delight of their parents. He poured out his fury like fire — Which devours all before it, without any discrimination.

2:1-9 A sad representation is here made of the state of God's church, of Jacob and Israel; but the notice seems mostly to refer to the hand of the Lord in their calamities. Yet God is not an enemy to his people, when he is angry with them and corrects them. And gates and bars stand in no stead when God withdraws his protection. It is just with God to cast down those by judgments, who debase themselves by sin; and to deprive those of the benefit and comfort of sabbaths and ordinances, who have not duly valued nor observed them. What should they do with Bibles, who make no improvement of them? Those who misuse God's prophets, justly lose them. It becomes necessary, though painful, to turn the thoughts of the afflicted to the hand of God lifted up against them, and to their sins as the source of their miseries.Habitations - The dwellings of the shepherds in the pastures Jeremiah 49:19. These are described as swallowed up by an earthquake, while the storm itself throws down the fortified cities of Judah.

Polluted - i. e. profaned it, made common or unclean what before was holy.

2. polluted—by delivering it into the hands of the profane foe. Compare Ps 89:39, "profaned … crown."


The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied; as he hath had no respect to his own house, so he hath had much less respect to the common habitations of the Jews.

He hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; their military fortifications have been of no use to them, he hath made them to touch the ground, i.e. suffered the enemies to batter them to the earth.

He hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof; that is, either delivered them into the hands of pagans, whom to touch they judged a legal pollution, or else dealt with them as with a polluted thing, east them off, or brake them in pieces. All this is made the effect of God’s wrath, and his work; for as a man is said to do that which he encourageth others to do, and assists them in doing; so God is said to have done this, because he did not only suffer the Chaldeans to do it, but used them as a rod in his hand, inclining them to do it, and assisting them in the execution of his wrath.

The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied,.... As he regarded not his own habitation the temple, nor the ark his footstool, it is no wonder he should be unconcerned about the habitations of others; as of the inhabitants of the land of Judea and of Jerusalem, particularly of the king, his nobles, and the great men; these the Lord swallowed up, or suffered to be swallowed up, as houses in an earthquake, and by an inundation, so as to be seen no more; and this he did without showing the least reluctance, pity, and compassion; being so highly incensed and provoked by their sins and transgressions:

he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; not only the dwelling houses of the people, but the most fortified places, their castles, towers, and citadels:

he hath brought them down to the ground; and not only battered and shook them, but beat them down, and laid them level with the ground; and all this done in the fury of his wrath, being irritated to it by the sins of his people; even the daughter of Judah, or the congregation thereof, as the Targum:

he hath polluted the kingdom, and the princes thereof; what was reckoned sacred, the kingdom of the house of David, and the kings and princes of it, the Lord's anointed; these being defiled with sin, God cast them away, as filth to the dunghill, and gave them up into the hands of the Gentiles, who were reckoned unclean; and thus they were profaned. Jarchi interprets these princes of the Israelites in common, who were called a kingdom of priests; and makes mention of a Midrash, that explains them of the princes above, or of heaven.

The LORD hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.
2. Löhr restores the triple metre by some condensation and transposition.

habitations] The word is that which is used for the dwellings and pasture grounds of shepherds, and thus refers to the country parts of Judaea, as opposed to the fortresses, “strong holds,” that follow.

hath profaned] By their fall the king’s princes have been deprived of that sanctity which has hitherto been their character. For the discussion of the origin of this conception of sanctity as pertaining to kings and in a somewhat less degree to all others of royal blood Pe. refers to Frazer’s Golden Bough, pt. 1. ‘The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings’ (1911).

Verse 2. - Habitations; rather, pastures; The word properly means the settlements of shepherds in green, grassy spots, but here designates the country parts in general, distinguished from the "strongholds" of Judah. Hath polluted. So Psalm 89:39, "Thou hast profaned [same word as here] his crown [by casting it] to the ground." The wearer of a crown was regarded in the East as nearer to divinity than ordinary mortals; in some countries, indeed, e.g. in Egypt, almost as an incarnation of the deity. To discrown him was to "pollute" or "profane" him. Lamentations 2:2The Lord has destroyed not merely Jerusalem, but the whole kingdom. בּלּע, "to swallow up," involves the idea of utter annihilation, the fury of destruction, just in the same way as it viz. the fury is peculiar to עברה, the overflowing of anger. "He hath not spared" forms an adverbial limitation of the previous statement, "unsparingly." The Qeri ולא, instead of לא, is an unnecessary and unpoetic emendation. כּל־נאות, all the pastures of Jacob. According to its etymology, נוה means a place where shepherds or nomads rest, or stay, or live; here, it is not to be understood specially of the dwellings as contrasted with, or distinguished from the pasture-grounds, but denotes, in contrast with the fortresses (מבצרים), the open, unfortified places of the country in which men and cattle enjoy food and rest. "The strongholds of the daughter of Judah" are not merely the fortifications of Jerusalem, but the fortresses generally of the country and kingdom of Judah; cf. Jeremiah 5:17; Jeremiah 34:7. הגּיע לארץ, "to cast down to the ground" (used of the pulling down of walls, cf. Isaiah 25:12), is an epexegesis of חרס, as in Exodus 13:14, and is not to be joined (in opposition to the accents) with what succeeds, and taken figuratively. For neither does חלּל need any strengthening, nor does הגּיע לארץ suitably apply to the kingdom and its princes. The desecration of the kingdom consisted in its being dishonoured by the disgraceful conduct of its rulers; cf. Psalm 89:40.
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