Lamentations 2:7
The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.
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(7) Hath cast off . . . hath abhorred.—The two verbs are used in a like context in Psalm 89:38.

His sanctuary.—The word points to the Holy of Holies, and “the walls of her palaces” are therefore those of the Temple rather than of the city.

They have made a noise.—The shouts of the enemies in their triumph, perhaps even the shouts of their worship, had taken the place of the hallelujahs of the “solemn feast.”

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.sanctuary - The holy of holies; "the walls of her palaces" are those of the sacred buildings. 7. they … made a noise in … house of … Lord, as in … feast—The foe's shout of triumph in the captured temple bore a resemblance (but oh, how sad a contrast as to the occasion of it!) to the joyous thanksgivings we used to offer in the same place at our "solemn feasts" (compare La 2:22).



altar and

sanctuary seemeth not to be meant strictly here the places or buildings so called, which are said to be the Lord’s, because he directed the making of them, and they were dedicated to his service, and used for no other use; but the stated worship and communion of the church of the Jews; as altar is taken, 1 Corinthians 10:18. God, by his suffering the place to be destroyed where alone they might sacrifice, seemed to have abhorred his own institutions, as it is said, The prayers of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord. He saith the Lord also had destroyed the most stately of their civil edifices; and the enemies, with their triumphs and blasphemies, had made as great noise, to the reproach and dishonour of God, as before those that sang holy songs, or played on instruments, were wont to make in the temple to the honour and glory of God.

The Lord hath cast off his altar,.... Whether of incense, or of burnt offerings; the sacrifices of which used to be acceptable to him; but now the altar being cast down and demolished, there were no more offerings; nor did he show any desire of them, but the reverse:

he hath abhorred his sanctuary; the temple; by suffering it to be profaned, pulled down, and burnt, it looked as if he had an abhorrence of it, and the service in it; as he had, as it was performed without faith in Christ, love to him, or any view to his glory; see Isaiah 1:13;

he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; both the walls of the sanctuary, and the walls of the houses of the kin, and princes; especially thee former are meant, both by what goes before and follows:

they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast; that is the enemy, the Chaldeans, made a noise in the temple, blaspheming God, that had dwelt in it; insulting over the people of God, that had worshipped there; rejoicing in their victories over them; singing their "paeans" to their gods, and other profane songs; indulging themselves in revelling and rioting; making as great a noise with their shouts and songs as the priests, Levites, and people of Israel did, when they sung the songs of Zion on a festival day. The Targum is,

"as the voice of the people of the house of Israel, that prayed in the midst of it in the day of the passover.''

The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a {g} noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.

(g) As the people were accustomed to praising God to the solemn feasts with a loud voice, so now the enemies blaspheme him with shouting and cry.

7. her palaces] As this word is nowhere else applied to the Temple, it seems best (though parallelism of clauses suggests otherwise) to give the expression its natural sense, as in Lamentations 2:5. Although the text seems to have suffered some corruption, no correction that can claim to be self-evident has appeared.

a noise] the exultant uproar of the enemy’s triumphant soldiery is likened to the tumultuous character belonging to primitive Semitic and other cults. See W. R. Smith (Religion of the Semites, 1894, p. 261), who deduces from this v. that “even at Jerusalem the worship must have been boisterous indeed.” The Targ. identifies it with the sound made in praying at the passover. The v. implies that the writer is of an age to be familiar with pre-exilic worship.

Verse 7. - Her palaces; i.e. those of the daughter of Zion, especially "high buildings" (this is the true meaning of 'armon) of the temple. They have made a noise, etc. Comp. Psalm 74:3, "Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy place of meeting." The passages are parallel, though, whether the calamities referred to are the same in beth, cannot a priori be determined. The shouts of triumph of the foe are likened to the festal shouts of the temple worshippers (comp. Isaiah 30:29; Amos 5:24). Lamentations 2:7In Lamentations 2:6 and Lamentations 2:7, mention is made of the destruction of the temple and the cessation of public worship. "He treated violently (cruelly)," i.e., laid waste, "like a garden, His enclosure." שׂך (from שׂוּך equals שׂכך, to intertwine, hedge round) signifies a hedge or enclosure. The context unmistakeably shows that by this we are to understand the temple, or the holy place of the temple; hence שׂך is not the hedging, but what is hedged in. But the comparison כּגּן has perplexed expositors, and given occasion for all kinds of artificial and untenable explanations. We must not, of course, seek for the point of the comparison in the ease with which a garden or garden-fence may be destroyed, for this does not accord with the employment of the verb חמס; but the garden is viewed as a pleasure-ground, which its owner, if it does not suit its purpose, destroys or gives up again, without much hesitation. The emphasis lies on the suffix in שׂכּו, "His own enclosure," God's enclosure equals the sacred enclosure (Gerlach), the sanctuary protected by Himself, protected by laws intended to keep the sanctity of the temple from profanation. The second clause states the same thing, and merely brings into prominence another aspect of the sanctity of the temple by the employment of the word מועדו. This noun, as here used, does not mean the "time," but the "place of meeting;" this is not, however, the place where the people assemble, but the place of meeting of the Lord with His people, where He shows Himself present, and grants His favour to the congregation appearing before Him. Thus, like אהל מועד, the word signifies the place where God reveals His gracious presence to His people; cf. Exodus 25:22, and the explanation of נועדתּי given in that passage. In the first member of the verse, the temple is viewed as a place sacred to God; in the second, as the place where He specially manifests His gracious presence in Israel. With the destruction of the temple, Jahveh (the covenant God) caused feast and Sabbath, i.e., all public festivals and divine service, to be forgotten. The destruction of the sacred spots set apart for the worship of the Lord was attended with the cessation of the sacred festivals. Thereby it became evident that the Lord, in His fierce anger, had rejected king and priest. The singulars, festival, Sabbath, king, and priest, are used in unrestricted generality. King and priest are regarded as the divinely chosen media of the covenant graces. The abolition of public worship practically involved that of the priesthood, for the service of the priests was connected with the temple. Expositors are much divided in their views regarding the object for which the king is here mentioned in connection with the priest. There is no special need for refuting the opinion of Thenius, that king and priest are named as the two main factors in the worship of God, because the seat of the king was upon Zion as well as that of the priesthood; for the seat of the priests was as little on Mount Zion as the king's palace was on the temple mount. Moreover, the words do not treat of the destruction of the royal palace and the dwellings of the priests, but declare that royalty and the priesthood will be rejected. The mention of the king in connection with the priests implies a close connection also of royalty with the temple. Ngelsbach, accordingly, is of opinion that the kings also belong to the number of those summoned to celebrate the feasts, and were not merely Jehovah's substitutes before the people, but also "representatives of the people before God;" for he adopts the remark of Oehler (in Herzog's Real Enc. viii. S. 12), that "the Israelitish kingdom (especially in David and Solomon) bears a certain sacerdotal character, inasmuch as the king, at the head of the people and in their name, pays homage to God, and brings back again to the people the blessing of God (2 Samuel 6:17.; 1 Kings 3:4; 1 Kings 8:14., 55ff., 62ff., 1 Kings 9:25; 1 Chronicles 29:10.; 2 Chronicles 1:6, compared with Ezekiel 46:1.)." This sacerdotal character of royalty, however, was but the outcome of the sacerdotal character of the people of Israel. In view of this, the king, because of his position as the head of the people in civil matters (for he was praecipuum ecclesiae membrum), fully brought out the relation of the people to the Lord, without, however, discharging any peculiarly sacerdotal function. The complaint in the present verse, - that, with the destruction of the temple, and the abolition of the service connected with it, Jahveh had rejected king and priest, - implies that royalty in Israel stood in as intimate connection with the temple as the priesthood did. This connection, however, is not to be sought for so much in the fact that it was the incumbent duty of the theocratic king, in the name and at the head of the people, to pay homage to God, and to see that the public worship of Jahve was upheld; we must rather seek for it in the intimate relation instituted by God between the maintenance of the Davidic monarchy and the building of the house of God. This connection is exhibited in the promise made by God to David, when the latter had resolved to build a house for the Lord to dwell in: He (Jahveh) shall build a house to him (David), viz., raise up his seed after him, and establish his kingdom for ever; and this seed of David shall build a house to His name (2 Samuel 7:12.). This promise, in virtue of which Solomon built the temple as a dwelling for the name of Jahveh, connected the building of the temple so closely with the kingdom of David, that this continued existence of the temple might be taken as a pledge of the continuance of David's house; while the destruction of the temple, together with the abolition of the public ministrations, might, on the other hand, serve as a sign of the rejection of the Davidic monarchy. Viewing the matter in this light, Jeremiah laments that, with the destruction of the temple and the abolition of the public festivals, Jahveh has rejected king and priest, i.e., the royal family of David as well as the Levitical priesthood.

In Lamentations 2:7, special mention is further made of the rejection of the altar, and of the sanctuary as the centre of divine worship. The verbs זנח and נאר are used in Psalm 89:39-40, in connection with the rejection of the Davidic monarchy. "The sanctuary," mentioned in connection with "the altar," does not mean the temple in general, but its inner sanctuary, - the holy place and the most holy place, as the places of worship corresponding to the altar of the fore-court. The temple-building is designated by "the walls of her palaces." For, that by ארמנותיה we are to understand, not the palaces of the city of David, the royal palaces, but the towering pile of the temple, is unmistakeably evident from the fact that, both before and after, it is the temple that is spoken of, - not its fortifications, the castles specially built for its defence (Thenius); because ארמון does not mean a fortified building, but (as derived from ארם, to be high) merely a lofty pile. Such were the buildings of the temple in consequence of their lofty situation on Moriah. In the house of Jahveh, the enemy raises a loud cry (נתן קול, cf. Jeremiah 22:20), as on a feast-day. The cry is therefore not a war-cry (Pareau, Rosenmller), but one of jubilee and triumph, as if they had come into the temple to a festival: in Psalm 74:4, the word used is שׁאג, to roar as a lion.

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