Lamentations 2:3
He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(3) All the horn of Israel . . .—The horn, as elsewhere (1Samuel 2:1; Psalm 92:10; Psalm 112:9), is the symbol of strength, aggressive or defensive, and may therefore stand here for every element of strength, warriors, rulers, fortresses.

He burned against Jacob.—Better, And He kindled a burning; i.e., was as one who applies the torch.

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.Since the horn is the symbol of power, the cutting off of every horn means the depriving Israel of all power of resistance. The drawing back of God's right hand signifies the withdrawal of that special Providence which used to protect the chosen people.

And he burned ... - Or, "and" he kindled a fire in Jacob: as the active enemy of "Jacob," Himself applying the torch.

3. horn—worn in the East as an ornament on the forehead, and an emblem of power and majesty (1Sa 2:10; Ps 132:17; see on [1011]Jer 48:25).

drawn back … fight hand—(Ps 74:11). God has withdrawn the help which He before gave them. Not as Henderson, "He has turned back his (Israel's) right hand" (Ps 89:43).


He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel; that is, the beauty and strength of Israel, so horn signifieth by a usual metaphor in Scripture, Psalm 74:4 Jeremiah 48:25, &c., the horn being much the beauty of the beast, as also that member by which the beast puts forth its strength in assaulting its adversary.

He hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy; either God hath drawn back his assistance which he was wont to give the Jews against their enemies; or Israel, through God’s leaving of them, hath drawn back his right hand; but it seems rather to be understood of God’s weakening the Israelites’ right hands, so as they were not able to hold them up (as before) against their enemies.

He burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about; God had consumed them, not in this or that part, but round about, as a fire seizing a house or heap of combustible matter at once, on all sides.

He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel,.... All its power and strength, especially its kingly power, which is often signified by a horn in Scripture; see Daniel 7:24; this the Lord took away in his fierce anger, and left the land destitute of all relief, help, defence and protection; whether from its king and princes, or from its men of war or fortified places; all being cut off and destroyed:

he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy; either his own right hand, with which he had used to fight for his people, and protect them, but now withdrawing it, left them to the mercy of their enemies; or Israel's right hand, which he so weakened, that they had no power to resist the enemy, and defend themselves:

and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire which devoureth round about; that is, his wrath was like a burning flaming fire, which consumes all around, wherever it comes; thus the Lord in his anger consumed Jacob, and left neither root nor branch.

He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the {d} horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his {e} right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth on every side.

(d) Meaning the glory and strength, as in 1Sa 2:1.

(e) That is, his comfort which he was wont to send us, when our enemies oppressed us.

3. Jehovah has (a) cut off the mighty ones of Israel, (b) withdrawn His own protection from His people, (c) taken the offensive against them.

all the horn] mg. every horn, the horn being the symbol of power.

burned up Jacob] He has carried destruction into the heart of the nation.

Verse 3. - All the horn; rather, every horn; i.e. all the means of defence, especially the fortresses. He hath drawn back his right hand; i.e. he hath withdrawn his assistance in war. He burned against; rather, he burned up. Lamentations 2:3In Lamentations 2:3 and Lamentations 2:4, the writer describes the hostile conduct of the Lord towards Israel, by which the kingdom of Judah was destroyed. Thenius utterly mistakes the poetic character of the description given, and evidently finds in it the several events that occurred up to the taking of the city, all mentioned in their natural order; according to this, the perfects would require to be translated as preterites. But this view can be made out only by giving an arbitrary meaning to the several figures used; e.g., it is alleged that "every horn" means the frontier fortresses, that the expression "before the enemy" refers to the time when the latter turned his face against Jerusalem, and so on. The three members of Lamentations 2:3 contain a climax: deprivation of the power to resist; the withdrawal of aid; the necessary consequence of which was the burning like a flame of fire. "To cut down the horn" means to take away offensive and defensive power; see on Jeremiah 48:25. "Every horn" is not the same as "all horns," but means all that was a horn of Israel (Gerlach). This included not merely the fortresses of Judah, but every means of defence and offence belonging to the kingdom, including men fit for war, who are neither to be excluded nor (with Le Clerc) to be all that is understood by "every horn." In the expression ימינו...השׁיב, the suffix, as in קשׁתּו, Lamentations 2:4, refers to Jahveh, because the suffix joined to יד always points back to the subject of the verb השׁיב; cf. Psalm 74:11. God drew back His hand before the enemy, i.e., He withdrew from the people His assistance in the struggle against the enemy. Such is the meaning given long ago by the Chaldee: nec auxiliatus est populo suo coram hoste. ויּבער בּיעקב does not mean "He consumed Jacob;" but He burned (i.e., made a conflagration) in Jacob; for, in every passage in which בּער is construed with בּ, it does not mean to "burn something," but to burn in or among, or to kindle a fire (cf. Job 1:16, where the burning up is only expressed by ותּאכלם, Numbers 11:3; Psalm 106:18), or to set something on fire, Isaiah 42:25. The burning represents devastation; hence the comparison of יבער with "like fire of flame ( equals flaming, brightly blazing fire, cf. Isaiah 4:5; Psalm 105:32) that devours round about." The subject of יבער is Jahveh, not ira Jovae (Rosenmller), or להבה (Neumann), or the enemy (Gerlach). The transition from the perfect with ו consec. does not cause any change of the subject; this is shown by Lamentations 2:4 and Lamentations 2:5, where also the second clause is connected with the first by means of ו consec. But the statement of Gerlach - that if Jahveh and not the enemy be the subject, then the consecutive sentence (the burning among Jacob as the result of the withdrawal of Jahveh's hand before the enemy) would be inexplicable - gives no evidence of its truth. The kindling or making of the fire in Jacob is, of course, represented as a result of what is previously stated, yet not as the consequence merely of the withdrawal of his hand, but also of the cutting off of every horn. In both of these ways, God has kindled in Jacob a fire which grows into a destructive conflagration. - In Lamentations 2:4 the idea is still further developed: God not merely delivered up His people to the enemy, leaving them defenceless and helpless, but also came forward Himself to fight against them as an enemy. He bent His bow like a warrior, showing Himself, in reference to His claims, as an adversary or oppressor. The specification "His right hand" is added, not so much for the purpose of defining more exactly the activity of the right hand (using it to shoot the arrows or wield the sword; cf. Deuteronomy 32:41., Psalm 7:13.), as rather with the view of expressing more precisely the hostile attitude of God, since the right hand of God is at other times represented as the instrument of help. The expression "and He slew," which follows, does not require us to think of a sword in the right hand of God, since we can also kill with arrows. God slew as an enemy; He destroyed everything that was precious in men's sight, i.e., to merely omnes homines aetate, specie, dignitate conspicuos (C. B. Michaelis, Rosenmller, Thenius); for, in Psalm 78:47, חרג is also used with reference to the effect of hail on the vine; and the arrows shot from the bow are merely named by synecdoche, and by way of specification, as instruments of war for destruction. Still less can מחמדּי־עין signify omnia ea templi ornamenta, quibus merito gloriabatur populus (Kalkschmidt), since it is not till Lamentations 2:6. that the temple is spoken of. "The word is to be taken in its widest generality, which is indicated by 'all;' accordingly, it comprehends everything that can be looked upon as dear," including children (cf. Ezekiel 24:25) and the sanctuary, though all these do not exhaust the meaning of the word (Gerlach). Upon the tent of the daughter of Zion He poured out His fury in fire. The daughter of Zion means the inhabitants of Jerusalem: her tent is not the temple (Kalkschmidt, Ewald), which is never called the tent of the daughter of Zion, but only that of Jahveh (1 Kings 2:28, etc.); but her house, i.e., the city as a collection of dwellings. The figure of the outpouring of wrath is often used, not only in Jeremiah 6:11; Jeremiah 10:25; Jeremiah 42:18, etc., but also in Hosea 5:10; Zephaniah 3:8; Psalm 69:25; Psalm 76:6, etc.
Lamentations 2:3 Interlinear
Lamentations 2:3 Parallel Texts

Lamentations 2:3 NIV
Lamentations 2:3 NLT
Lamentations 2:3 ESV
Lamentations 2:3 NASB
Lamentations 2:3 KJV

Lamentations 2:3 Bible Apps
Lamentations 2:3 Parallel
Lamentations 2:3 Biblia Paralela
Lamentations 2:3 Chinese Bible
Lamentations 2:3 French Bible
Lamentations 2:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Lamentations 2:2
Top of Page
Top of Page