Lamentations 3:51
My eye affects my heart because of all the daughters of my city.
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(51) Affecteth.—Better, harmeth, or causeth grief to.

The daughters of my city.—The words have been understood (1) of the maidens of Jerusalem (comp. Lamentations 1:4; Lamentations 1:18; Lamentations 2:20-21); and (2) of the daughter-towns which looked to it as their metropolis. Of these (1) is preferable.

3:42-54 The more the prophet looked on the desolations, the more he was grieved. Here is one word of comfort. While they continued weeping, they continued waiting; and neither did nor would expect relief and succour from any but the Lord.Or, "Mine eye" causeth pain to my soul, i. e. maketh my soul ache, because of the sad fate of the maidens (Lamentations 1:4, Lamentations 1:18, ...). 51. eye affecteth mine heart—that is, causeth me grief with continual tears; or, "affecteth my life" (literally, "soul," Margin), that is, my health [Grotius].

daughters of … city—the towns around, dependencies of Jerusalem, taken by the foe.


The eye and the ear are those organs of the body, by which the soul exerciseth its senses to bring in all objects, whether pleasant or sad, to the understanding to judge of them, according to the judgment of which upon them it is affected with joy or sorrow, desire or aversation, &c.; and the eye is the chiefest of these, because its evidence is more certain, and less subject to deceit. The prophet and most of the Jews were eye-witnesses to the evils which had befallen the Jews, and which at present were upon them; so as their hearts were the more affected. The word translated

affect is by some noted to signify to waste and consume, which are the effects of a deep affecting the heart with sad and miserable objects. Because of all the daughters of my city: our margin tells us that it may be also read more than all the daughters of my city; according to which the sense is, that he was more affected with the state of Jerusalem than the tenderest woman that had lived in it: but it is as well, if not better, in this place rendered causally, showing the reason of his deep affliction, viz. all those miseries he had seen fall upon all the Jewish nation, or upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Mine eye affecteth mine heart,.... Seeing the desolation of his country; the ruins of the city and temple of Jerusalem; and the multitudes of those that were slain, and carried captive; and the distresses the rest were in; this affected his heart, and filled it with grief; as his heart also affected his eyes, and caused them to run down in rivers of water, as before expressed; or, as the Targum,

"the weeping of mine eyes is the occasion of hurt to my soul or life;''

his excessive weeping endangered his life:

because of all the daughters of my city; not Anathoth, his native place, but Jerusalem; so the Targum,

"of Jerusalem my city.''

The meaning is, that his heart was affected at seeing the ruin of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; or of the towns and cities round about it, which that was the metropolis of. Some, as Jarchi, render it, "more than all the daughters of my city" (p); his heart was more affected with those calamities than those of the most tender sex, even than any or all of them.

(p) "supra cunctas filias civitatis meae"; so some in Vatablus; and Jarchi.

My eye {x} affecteth my heart because of all the daughters of my city.

(x) I am overcome with sore weeping for all my people.

51. affecteth my soul] The inflammation of eyes caused by continual weeping, or, better, the sights of misery on which he looks, add to his mental suffering.

the daughters of my city] either those whose untoward fate has been already lamented (Lamentations 1:4; Lamentations 1:18, Lamentations 2:10; Lamentations 2:21), or the villages, daughter towns of Jerusalem. For this sense cp. (with mg.) Numbers 21:25; Joshua 17:11. In Psalm 48:11 “daughters” has the same sense.Verse 51. - Affecteth mine heart; rather, paineth me; literally, paineth my soul, the soul being mentioned as the centre of the feelings and emotions. The daughters of my city. The sad fate of the virgins of Jerusalem oppressed the spirit of the writer (pomp. Lamentations 1:4, 18; Lamentations 2:10, 21). God has not pardoned, but positively punished, the people for their misdeeds. "Thou hast covered with anger," Lamentations 3:43, corresponds to "Thou hast covered with a cloud," Lamentations 3:44; hence "Thou hast covered" is plainly used both times in the same meaning, in spite of the fact that לך is wanting in Lamentations 3:43. סכך means to "cover," here to "make a cover." "Thou didst make a cover with anger," i.e., Thou didst hide Thyself in wrath; there is no necessity for taking סכך as in itself reflexive. This mode of viewing it agrees also with what follows. The objection of J. D. Michaelis, qui se obtegit non persequitur alios, ut statim additur, which Bttcher and Thenius have repeated, does not hold good in every respect, but chiefly applies to material covering. And the explanation of Thenius, "Thou hast covered us with wrath, and persecuted us," is shown to be wrong by the fact that סכך signifies to cover for protection, concealment, etc., but not to cover in the sense of heaping upon, pouring upon (as Luther translates it); nor, again, can the word be taken here in a sense different from that assigned to it in Lamentations 3:44. "The covering of wrath, which the Lord draws around Him, conceals under it the lightnings of His wrath, which are spoken of immediately afterwards" (Ngelsbach). The anger vents itself in the persecution of the people, in killing them unsparingly. For, that these two are connected, is shown not merely in Lamentations 3:66, but still more plainly by the threatening in Jeremiah 29:18 : "I will pursue them with sword, and famine, and pestilence, and give them for maltreatment to all the kingdoms of the earth." On "Thou hast slain, Thou hast not spared," cf. Lamentations 2:21. In Lamentations 3:44, לך is further appended to סכּותה: "Thou makest a cover with clouds for Thyself," round about Thee, so that no prayer can penetrate to Thee; cf. Psalm 55:2. These words form the expression of the painful conclusion drawn by God's people from their experience, that God answered no cry for help that came to Him, i.e., granted no help. Israel was thereby given up, in a defenceless state, to the foe, so that they could treat them like dirt and abuse them. סחי (from סחה, Ezekiel 26:4), found only here as a noun, signifies "sweepings;" and מאוס is a noun, "disesteem, aversion." The words of Lamentations 3:45, indeed, imply the dispersion of Israel among the nations, but are not to be limited to the maltreatment of the Jews in exile; moreover, they rather apply to the conduct of their foes when Judah was conquered and Jerusalem destroyed. Such treatment, especially the rejection, is further depicted in Lamentations 3:46. The verse is almost a verbatim repetition of Lamentations 2:16, and is quite in the style of Jeremiah as regards the reproduction of particular thoughts; while Thenius, from the repetition, is inclined to infer that chs. 2 and 3 had different authors: cf. Gerlach on the other side. The very next verse might have been sufficient to keep Thenius from such a precipitate conclusion, inasmuch as it contains expressions and figures that are still more clearly peculiar to Jeremiah. On פּחד ופחת, cf. Jeremiah 48:43; השׁבר is also one of the favourite expressions of the prophet. hashee't is certainly ἅπ. λεγ., but reminds one of בּני , Numbers 24:17, for which in Jeremiah 48:45 there stands בּני שׁאון. It comes from שׁאה, to make a noise, roar, fall into ruins with a loud noise, i.e., be laid waste (cf. Isaiah 6:11); and, as Raschi has already observed, it has the same meaning as שׁאיּה, "devastation," Isaiah 24:12. It is incorrect to derive the word from the Hiphil of נשׁא (J. D. Michaelis and Ewald), according to which it ought to mean "disappointment," for the ה does not form an essential portion of the word, but is the article, as והשׁבר shows. Still more erroneous are the renderings ἔπαρσις (lxx, from נשׂא) and vaticinatio (Jerome, who has confounded השּׁאת with משּׂא).

Over this terrible calamity, rivers of tears must be shed, until the Lord looks down from heaven on it, Lamentations 3:48-51. The prophet once more utters this complaint in the first person, because he who has risked his life in his endeavour to keep the people in the service of God must feel the deepest sympathy for them in their misfortunes. "Rivers of water" is stronger than "water," Lamentations 1:16, and "tears like a stream," Lamentations 2:18; but the mode of expression is in the main like that in those passages, and used again in Psalm 119:136, but in a different connection. The second member of the verse is the same as in Lamentations 2:11.

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