Lamentations 3:12
He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
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(12) He hath bent his bow.—(Comp. Job 16:12.) The figure is changed, but there is a natural sequence of thought. The lion suggests the huntsman. but he appears on the scene not to save the victim, but to complete the work of destruction.

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.This new simile arises out of the former one, the idea of a hunter being suggested by that of the bear and lion. When the hunter comes, it is not to save him.12. (Job 7:20).


He hath prepared himself for acts of vindicative justice, and he hath made me the object of it. He hath bent his bow,.... Which is put for all the instruments, of war; the Chaldeans were archers, and shot their arrows into the city:

and set me as a mark for the arrow; as a target to shoot at; signifying that God dealt with him, or his people, as enemies, the object of his wrath and indignation; and if he directed his arrow against them, it must needs hit them; there was no escaping his vengeance; see Job 7:20.

He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
12, 13. Jehovah is now likened not to the beast of prey, but to the hunter. Cp. Job 16:12 f.Verse 12. - Set me as a mark. Precisely as Job complains of Jehovah, "He hath set me up for his mark" (Job 16:13). Lamentations 3:6 is a verbatim reminiscence from Psalm 143:3. מחשׁכּים is the darkness of the grave and of Sheol; cf. Psalm 88:7. מתי עולם does not mean "the dead of antiquity" (Rosenmller, Maurer, Ewald, Thenius, etc.), but, as in Psalm 143:3, those eternally dead, who lie in the long night of death, from which there is no return into this life. In opposition to the explanation dudum mortui, Gerlach fittingly remarks, that "it makes no difference whether they have been dead long ago or only recently, inasmuch as those dead and buried a short time ago lie in darkness equally with those who have long been dead;" while it avails nothing to point to Psalm 88:5-7, as Ngelsbach does, since the special subject there treated of is not those who have long been dead.
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