Lamentations 3:15
He has filled me with bitterness, he has made me drunken with wormwood.
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(15) Bitterness.—The Hebrew gives the plural, bitternesses. With these, the sorrows which are as the bitter herbs of life (the same word meets us in Exodus 12:8, and Numbers 9:11), the mourner had been filled even to satiety, even as he had been made drunk with wormwood.

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."He hath" filled me to the full with bitterness, i. e. bitter sorrows Job 9:18.15. wormwood—(Jer 9:15). There it is regarded as food, namely, the leaves: here as drink, namely, the juice.


That is, he hath filled me with severe and bitter dispensations.

Wormwood is a bitter herb, but it is also a wholesome herb, and therefore some think that the Hebrew word should rather be translated henbane, and that it signifies some herb whose juice is intoxicating and poisonous. He hath filled me with bitterness,.... Or "with bitternesses" (m); instead of food, bitter herbs; the allusion perhaps is to the bitter herbs eaten at the passover, and signify bitter afflictions, sore calamities, of which the prophet and his people had their fill. The Targum is,

"with the gall of serpents;''

see Job 20:14;

he hath made me drunken with wormwood; with wormwood drink; but this herb being a wholesome one, though bitter, some think that henbane, or wolfsbane, is rather meant, which is of a poisonous and intoxicating nature; it is no unusual thing for persons to be represented as drunk with affliction, Isaiah 51:17.

(m) "amaritudinibus", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Michaelis, "amaroribus", Cocceius.

He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunk with {f} wormwood.

(f) With great anguish and sorrow he has made me lose my sense.

15. wormwood] See on Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15.Verse 15. - With bitterness; literally, with bitternesses; i.e. bitter troubles. A reminiscence of Job 9:18. With wormwood; i.e. with a drink of wormwood (comp. Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15). We are slightly reminded of Psalm 69:21, "They gave me gall for my meat." In Lamentations 3:9, the idea of prevention from freedom of action is further carried out on a new side. "He hath walled in my paths with hewn stones." גּזית equals גזית אבּני, 1 Kings 5:31, are hewn stones of considerable size, employed for making a very strong wall. The meaning is: He has raised up insurmountable obstacles in the pathway of my life. "My paths hath He turned," i.e., rendered such that I cannot walk in them. עוּה is to turn, in the sense of destroying, as in Isaiah 24:1, not contortas fecit (Michaelis, Rosenmller, Kalkschmidt), nor per viam tortuosam ire cogor (Raschi); for the prophet does not mean to say (as Ngelsbach imagines), "that he has been compelled to walk in wrong and tortuous ways," but he means that God has rendered it impossible for him to proceed further in his path; cf. Job 30:13. But we are not in this to think of the levelling of a raised road, as Thenius does; for נתיבה does not mean a road formed by the deposition of rubbish, like a mound, but a footpath, formed by constant treading (Gerlach).
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