Lamentations 3:7
He has hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he has made my chain heavy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) He hath hedged.—From the darkness of Hades we pass to that of the prison-house, in which the mourner is “hedged” or confined, bound with a heavy chain (literally, brass).

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.The prophet feels as if enclosed within walls, and fettered. 7-9. hedged—(Job 3:23; Ho 2:6).

chain—literally, "chain of brass."

The use of a hedge about an enclosed field is twofold:

1. To keep out other beasts which belong not to the owner of the ground; in this sense God set a hedge sometimes about Canaan, Isaiah 5:5.

2. To keep in those beasts that are within; thus God had now hedged them in, into a barren place where they had no pasture, but were continually pushed at by other beasts with whom they were mixed, and who were stronger than they, and they could not get out. God had dealt with them as with grievous malefactors, who are loaded with heavy chains. He had made their affliction heavy and insupportable. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot go out,.... When in prison, or in the dungeon, or during the siege of Jerusalem; though the phrase may only denote in general the greatness of his troubles, with which he was encompassed, and how inextricable they were; like a hedge about a vineyard, or a wall about a city, which could not easily be got over:

he hath made my chain heavy; his affliction intolerable. It is a metaphor taken from malefactors that have heavy chains put upon their legs, that they may not make their escape out of prison: or, "my brass" (g); that is, chains, or a chain made of brass; so the Targum,

"he hath made heavy upon my feet fetters of brass.''

(g) Sept. "aes meum, vel chalybem meum", Piscator.

He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Cp. Job 19:8; so with Lamentations 3:8, Job 19:7; Job 30:20, and we may perhaps add with Lamentations 3:5, Job 19:12.Verses 7-9. - Three figures, interrupted by a literal statement of the ill success of prayer. A traveller who finds himself suddenly caged up by a high thorn hedge (comp. Job 3:23; Hosea 2:6). A prisoner with a heavy chain. Again, a traveller suddenly shut up by solid stone walls (comp. Hosea 2:8). Verse 7. - My chain; literally, my brass (comp. Judges 16:21; 2 Kings 25:7). Lamentation over grievous sufferings. The author of these sufferings is not, indeed, expressly named in the whole section, but it is unmistakeably signified that God is meant; moreover, at the end of Lamentations 3:18 the name יהוה is mentioned. The view thus given of the sufferings shows, not merely that he who utters the complaint perceives in these sufferings a chastisement by God, but also that this chastisement has become for him a soul-struggle, in which he may not take the name of God into his mouth; and only after he has given vent in lamentations to the deep sorrow of his soul, does his spirit get peace to mention the name of the Lord, and make complaint to Him of his need. Nothing certain can be inferred from the lamentations themselves regarding the person who makes complaint. It does not follow from Lamentations 3:1-3 that he was burdened with sorrows more than every one else; nor from Lamentations 3:14 that he was a personage well known to all the people, so that one could recognise the prophet in him. As little are they sufferings which Jeremiah has endured alone, and for his own sake, but sufferings such as many godly people of his time have undergone and struggled through. Against the Jeremianic authorship of the poem, therefore, no argument can be drawn from the fact that the personality of him who utters the complaint is concealed.

Lamentations 3:1

In the complaint, "I am the man that saw (i.e., lived to see) misery," the misery is not specified; and we cannot, with Rosenmller, refer עני (without the article) to the misery announced by the prophet long before. "The rod of His wrath," as in Proverbs 22:8, is the rod of God's anger; cf. Job 21:9; Job 9:34; Isaiah 10:5, etc. The suffix in עברתו is not to be referred, with Aben Ezra, to the enemy.

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