All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Lamentations 2:16. The Targum adds, All our enemies have opened their mouths against us.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)46. On the peculiarity of the alphabetic arrangement here see Intr., p. 321, and for this v. cp. ch. Lamentations 2:16.Verses 46-48. - Here occurs a break in the alphabetic order, as these three verses begin, not, as they should, with ayin, but with pe (see Introduction). Verse 46. - This verse is almost a verbal repetition of the first line of Lamentations 2:16. Lamentations 3:40-42. The acknowledgment of guilt implies to prayer, to which also there is a summons in Lamentations 3:40, Lamentations 3:41. The transitional idea is not, "Instead of grumbling in a sinful spirit, let us rather examine our conduct" (Thenius); for the summons to examine one's conduct is thereby placed in contrast with Lamentations 3:39, and the thought, "let every one mourn over his own sins," transformed into a prohibition of sinful complaint. The real transition link is given by Rosenmller: quum mala nostra a peccatis nostris oriantur, culpas nostras et scrutemur et corrigamus. The searching of our ways, i.e., of our conduct, if it be entered on in an earnest spirit, must end in a return to the Lord, from whom we have departed. It is self-evident that עד יהוה does not stand for אל יי, but means as far as (even to) Jahveh, and indicates thorough conversion - no standing half-way. The lifting up of the heart to the hands, also, - not merely of the hands to God, - expresses earnest prayer, that comes from the heart. אל־כּפּים, to the hands (that are raised towards heaven). "To God in heaven," where His almighty throne is placed (Psalm 2:4), that He may look down from thence (Lamentations 3:59) and send help. With Lamentations 3:42 begins the prayer, as is shown by the direct address to God in the second member. There is no need, however, on this account, for supplying לאמר before the first member; the command to pray is immediately followed by prayer, beginning with the confession of sins, and the recognition of God's chastisement; cf. Psalm 106:6; Daniel 9:5. נחנוּ is contrasted with אתּה. "Thou hast not pardoned," because Thy justice must inflict punishment.
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