Lamentations 3:65
Give them sorrow of heart, your curse to them.
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(65) Sorrow of heart—Literally, covering, with a sense like that of the “veil upon the heart” of 2Corinthians 3:15, and so signifying the blindness of obstinacy. The imperatives in both Lamentations 3:65-66 are better rendered as futures—Thou shalt give; Thou shalt persecute.

3:55-66 Faith comes off conqueror, for in these verses the prophet concludes with some comfort. Prayer is the breath of the new man, drawing in the air of mercy in petitions, and returning it in praises; it proves and maintains the spiritual life. He silenced their fears, and quieted their spirits. Thou saidst, Fear not. This was the language of God's grace, by the witness of his Spirit with their spirits. And what are all our sorrows, compared with those of the Redeemer? He will deliver his people from every trouble, and revive his church from every persecution. He will save believers with everlasting salvation, while his enemies perish with everlasting destruction.Give them sorrow of heart - Or, "Thou wilt give them" blindness "of heart."65. sorrow—rather, blindness or hardness; literally, "a veil" covering their heart, so that they may rush on to their own ruin (Isa 6:10; 2Co 3:14, 15). The word translated

sorrow of heart is found no where else in holy writ, which makes a certain particular explication of it to be difficult, and hath given interpreters a strange liberty in translating it shield, sorrow, and grief, obstinacy or hardness of heart, perplexity, abjection or breaking of heart; the best guides we have to direct us in the sense of it are,

1. The other things joined with it; persecution, destruction, a recompence according to their works, so that some afflictive evil of a heavy nature is certainly signified by it.

2. The analogy of faith, which restraineth us from wishing or praying for spiritual or eternal evils against our worst enemies; it therefore probably signifies such perplexity and breakings of mind as commonly attend a state of great affliction. Give them sorrow of heart,.... That which will cause sorrow of heart; such judgments and punishments as will be grievous to them. Some have observed a likeness between the word here used and that translated "music", Lamentations 3:63; and think some respect may be had to it; that whereas the people of God had been matter of mirth and music to them, God would give them music, but of another sort; a song, but a doleful one. The Septuagint version renders it, "a covering of the heart"; the word (a) having the signification of a shield, which covers; and may signify blindness, hardness, and stupidity of heart, that they might not see the evils coming upon them, and how to escape them. A modern learned interpreter, Christianus Benedictus Michaelis, would have it compared with the Arabic word , "ganan", which signifies "to be mad", and from whence is "muganah", "madness"; and so the sense be, give them distraction of mind:

lay curse unto them: and what greater curse is there than to be given up to judicial blindness and hardness of heart, or to madness and distraction? it may include all the curses of the law denounced against transgressors.

(a) , "tegumentum cordis", Montanus, Vatablus; "obtegumentum cordis", Stockius, p. 199. so Ben Melech; "scutum cordis", V. L. "clypeum cordis", Munster.

Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them.
65. hardness] or, as mg. blindness, Heb. covering. Cp. 2 Corinthians 3:15.

thy curse unto them] dependent on “wilt give,” or meaning, thy curse shall be unto them. Either of these explanations is more in accordance with the context than to make the clause an imprecation, May thy curse be upon them!Verse 65. - Sorrow of heart; rather, a covering of the heart; spiritual blindness, like the "veil upon the heart" in 2 Corinthians 3:15. Thy curse unto them. This should rather form a separate interjectional clause, "Thy curse upon them!"

"Thou hast heard my voice" expresses the full assurance of faith from which the request comes: "Cover not Thine ear from my sighing." רוחה, "breathing out again;" in Ezekiel 8:11, mitigation of oppression, yet not here respiratio, relaxatio (C. B. Michaelis, Rosenmller, etc.), - since the asyndetic לשׁועתי does not accord with such an interpretation, - but a relieving of oneself by means of deeply-drawn sighs, as in Job 32:20; hence "sighing," as Luther has already rendered it, following the Vulgate: ne avertas aurem tuum a singultu meo (Thenius, Gerlach, etc.). - In Lamentations 3:57 and Lamentations 3:58, the writer still more fully expresses his confidence that the Lord will accept him. "Thou art near on the day when I call on Thee" is a sentence found in Psalm 145:18, and uttered as the experience of all believers. "Thou sayest, Fear not," i.e., Thou assurest me of Thine assistance; cf. Jeremiah 1:8, Jeremiah 1:17, etc. "Thou dost conduct the causes (Ger. Streitsachen) of my soul" (ריבי נפשׁי), i.e., not merely "my lawsuits," but causas quae vitam et salutem meam concernunt (C. B. Michaelis). This is shown by the parallel member, "Thou redeemest my life," sc. from the destruction which threatens it; cf. Lamentations 3:53., Psalm 103:4. With this is connected the request in Lamentations 3:59, "Thou dost certainly see my oppression" (עוּתה from עוּת, to bend, oppress), the oppression which I suffer; "judge my cause," i.e., help me in my cause, cf. Jeremiah 5:28. The suppliant bases this request, Lamentations 3:60-62, on the recollection that God, as the Omniscient One, knows the plans and intentions of his opponents. "Thou seest all their plans for revenge." נקמה is not here the outcome of revenge, but the thought of revenge cherished in the heart; it does not, however, mean desire of revenge, or revengeful disposition, but simply the thinking and meditating on revenge, which certainly has the spirit of revenge for its basis, but is not identical with this. Their thoughts are the plans of vengeance. ,ליdat. incomm., "to my hurt;" the reading עלי of some codices is simply a correction after Lamentations 3:61. This revenge they express in reproaches and invectives. שׂפתי, "lips," for utterances of the lips; and קמי as in Psalm 18:40, Psalm 18:49 equals קמים עלי, Psalm 4:3, etc. שׂפתי קמי corresponds to חרפּתם, and חגיונם to מחשׁבתם, Lamentations 3:61; and the whole of Lamentations 3:62 still depends on "Thou hearest," without any need for supplying היוּ, as Rosenmller does. Thenius and Ngelsbach would combine Lamentations 3:62 with 63, and make the former dependent on הבּיטה; but this is unsuitable, nor do they consider that utterances or words are not seen (הבּיט), but heard (שׁמע). With this proposed combination there falls to the ground the further remark of Thenius, that "by lips, devising, sitting, rising up, are meant the conversation and consultation of the enemies one with another." Sitting and rising up have nothing in common with speaking about any subject, but merely form a circumlocution for action generally: cf. Psalm 139:2; Deuteronomy 6:7; Deuteronomy 11:19; Isaiah 37:28. The form מנגּינה for נגינה occurs nowhere else: Ewald considers it a form that has been lengthened for the purpose of designating a mocking song - "Sing-song." This supposition has at least more to recommend it than the ingenious but worthless idea of Bttcher, that מנגּינה is contracted from מה־נגינה, "what a stringed instrument am I to them;" but it also is improbable. מנגּינה is the subject of the נגינה, as words formed with מ often express merely the subject of the idea contained in a noun or verb; cf. Ewald, 160, b, 3. After this statement of the hostile treatment which the speaker has to suffer, there follows the renewed and further extended request that God may reward the foes according to their deeds. תּשׁיב, "Thou shalt return," is a confident expression of the request that God would do this; hence the optative תּתּן follows in Lamentations 3:65. In Lamentations 3:64 is condensed the substance of what is contained in Psalm 28:4. מגנּת לב, covering (veil) of the heart, - an expression analogous to the κάλυμμα ἐπὶ τὴν καρδίαν, 2 Corinthians 3:15, - is not obduration, or hardening, but blinding of the heart, which casts into destruction; but it can scarcely signify "madness" (Delitzsch, Bibl. Psychology, Clark's translation), since the Arabic majannat, insania, furor, has probably received this meaning from jinn, genius, daemon; cf. Gesenius, Thes. s. v., and Rosenmller, ad h. l. "Thy curse to them!" is not to be viewed as dependent on "give," but to be explained in accordance with Psalm 3:9, "Thy blessing [be] upon Thy people!" - thus, "May Thy curse be their portion!" The curse of God is followed by destruction. "Destroy them from under Jahveh's heaven!" i.e., not merely ut non sint amplius sub caelis (C. B. Michaelis), because יהוה is not considered in this latter rendering. The heaven of Jahveh is the whole world, over which Jahveh's authority extends; the meaning therefore is, "Exterminate them wholly from the sphere of Thy dominion in the world," or, Thy kingdom.
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