Lamentations 3:11
He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) He hath turned aside.—The terror caused by the lion turns the traveller from his path, and there is no other; and then comes the attack by which he is torn in pieces.

He hath made me desolate.—Better, made me astonied, as in Ezra 9:3. The verb (which occurs forty times in Jeremiah’s prophecies and three times in Lam.), paints the stupefaction of terror.

3:1-20 The prophet relates the more gloomy and discouraging part of his experience, and how he found support and relief. In the time of his trial the Lord had become terrible to him. It was an affliction that was misery itself; for sin makes the cup of affliction a bitter cup. The struggle between unbelief and faith is often very severe. But the weakest believer is wrong, if he thinks that his strength and hope are perished from the Lord.The meaning is, "God, as a lion, lying in wait, has made me turn aside from my path, but my flight was in vain, for springing upon me from His ambush lie has torn me in pieces."

Desolate - Or, astonied, stupefied that he cannot flee. The word is a favorite one with Jeremiah.

11. turned aside—made me wander out of the right way, so as to become a prey to wild beasts.

pulled in pieces—(Ho 6:1), as a "bear" or a "lion" (La 3:10).

The same thing is repeated in other phrases which was before said, viz. that God had pleased by his providence to frustrate all the designs and counsels of the Jews, and miserably to destroy them, as a lion or a bear (the wild beasts mentioned before) tear in pieces the beasts they prey upon.

He hath turned aside my ways,.... Or caused me to depart or go back from the way I was in, and so fall into the hand of the enemy that lay in wait, as before. Jarchi interprets the word of thorns, and of scattering the way with thorns, and hedging it up with them, so that there was no passing, Hosea 2:6; the sense seems to be the same with Lamentations 3:9;

and pulled me in pieces: as any creature that falls into the hands of a bear or lion. Jarchi says it signifies a stopping of the feet, so that the traveller cannot go on in his way; and in the Talmudic language it is used for the breaking off of branches of trees, which being strowed in the way, hinder passengers from travelling; and this sense agrees with what goes before:

he hath made me desolate; or brought me into a desolate condition, into ruin and destruction, as the Jews were in Babylon.

He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. He hath driven me from the path, and then sprung upon me and devoured me.

desolate] appalled, stupified. Cp. Lamentations 4:5; akin to the word rendered “astonishment” in Jeremiah 5:30 (mg.), Jeremiah 18:16.

Verse 11. - Hath turned aside my ways; i.e. hath caused me to go astray. Comp. Psalm 146:9, "The way of the ungodly he maketh crooked," i.e. he leadeth them to destruction. Made me desolate; or, made me stunned ("astonied," Ezra 9:3 in our Bible). So Lamentations 1:13, 16. Lamentations 3:11Not merely, however, has God cut off every way of escape for him who here utters the complaint, but He pursues him in every possible way, that He may utterly destroy him. On the figure of a bear lying in wait, cf. Hosea 13:8; Amos 5:19. It is more usual to find enemies compared to lions in ambush; cf. Psalm 10:19; Psalm 17:12. The last-named passage seems to have been present to the writer's mind. The prophets frequently compare enemies to lions, e.g., Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44. - In Lamentations 3:11 the figure of the lion is discontinued; for cowreer דּרכי cannot be said of a beast. The verb here is not to be derived from סרר, to be refractory, but is the Pilel of סוּר, to go aside, deviate, make to draw back. To "make ways turn aside" may signify to make a person lose the right road, but not to drag back from the road (Thenius); it rather means to mislead, or even facere ut deficiant viae, to take away the road, so that one cannot escape. פּשּׁח is ἅπ. λεγ. in Hebrew; in Aramean it means to cut or tear in pieces: cf. [the Targum on] 1 Samuel 15:33, "Samuel פּשּׁח Agag," hewed him in pieces; and on Psalm 7:3, where the word is used for the Heb. פּרק, to tear in pieces (of a lion); here it signifies to tear away (limbs from the body, boughs from trees). This meaning is required by the context; for the following expression, שׂמני שׁומם, does not lead us to think of tearing in pieces, lacerating, but discerpere, plucking or pulling to pieces. For שׁומם, see on Lamentations 1:13, Lamentations 1:16.
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