Lamentations 3:17
And you have removed my soul far off from peace: I forgot prosperity.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Thou hast removed my soul far off from peace.—The verb is found in this sense in Psalm 88:14. By some critics it is taken as passive, and in the 3rd person feminine. My soul loathes peace, i.e., has lost even the desire of better things; or, My soul is despised of peace, i.e., is shut out from it. But the Authorised version is preferable.

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.Prosperity - literally, as in the margin, i. e. I forgot what good was, I lost the very idea of what it meant.17. Not only present, but all hope of future prosperity is removed; so much so, that I am as one who never was prosperous ("I forgat prosperity"). Peace here signifieth prosperity, rather than a freedom from war. Though during the siege they were far from peace in a strict sense, yet in their captivity they had that peace; but both their minds were far off from quiet, and their persons from prosperity: the prophet owneth God as the cause of this. They had in Canaan lived prosperously, but now they thought of it no more, nor understood what such a thing meant. And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace,.... From the time the city was besieged by the Chaldeans, and now the people was carried captive; who could have no true peace, being in a foreign land, in an enemy's country, and out of their own, and far from the place of divine worship; nor could the prophet have any peace of soul, in the consideration of these things, the city, temple, and nation, being desolate, though he himself was not in captivity.

I forgat prosperity; or "good" (q); he had been so long from the enjoyment of it, that he had lost the idea of it, and was thoughtless about it, never expecting to see it any more.

(q) "bonorum", V. L. "boni", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.

And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. thou hast removed (mg. cast off) my soul] The change to the second person is abrupt. LXX have “he has thrust away,” the Syr. (and so Targ.) “my soul is thrust away,” but, as Pe. remarks, this is improbable in view of Lamentations 3:31. The writer there, however, need not be the same as here; see intr. note. By adopting the 3rd person we should avoid the introduction of a direct address to God, which seems not to come earlier than Lamentations 3:19.Verse 17. - Thou hast removed my soul; rather, thou hast rejected my soul. The words look like a quotation from Psalm 88:14 (Hebrew, 15), where they are undoubtedly an address to Jehovah. But there is another rendering, which grammatically is equally tenable, and which avoids the strangely abrupt address to God, viz. My soul is rejected (from peace). Not 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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