Lamentations 4:21
Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwell in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through to you: you shall be drunken, and shall make yourself naked.
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(21) O daughter of Edom.—The triumph of Edom in the downfall of Zion was, as in Psalms 137, the crowning sorrow of the mourner. But with this sorrow there is a vision of judgment, which is also a vision of hope; the prophet returning to his favourite image of the wine-cup (Jeremiah 25:17). On the “Land of Uz” see Notes on Job 1:1, Jeremiah 25:20.

Shalt make thyself naked.—See Note on Lamentations 1:8, and comp. Nahum 3:5 for a bolder form of the same image.

Lamentations 4:21-22. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom — A sarcastical expression, as if the prophet had said, Rejoice while thou mayest, O Edom, over the calamities of the Jews; but thy joy shall not last long, for in a little time it shall come to thy turn to feel God’s afflicting hand; the cup of affliction shall pass unto thee: see Jeremiah 49:7, &c. The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion, &c. — It was usual for the prophets, when they denounced God’s judgments against any heathen nation, at the same time to give gracious promises to Israel; thereby importing that God would never cast off the Jewish people utterly, as he did other nations, but would in due time extend his mercy toward them. He — Namely, God; will no more carry thee away — Or, rather, suffer thee to be carried; into captivity — “These and such like expressions, if they be understood in a strict, literal sense, must relate to the final restoration of the Jews.” — Lowth. He will discover thy sins — He will manifest how great thine iniquities have been, by the remarkable judgments wherewith he will punish thee. 4:21,22 Here it is foretold that an end should be put to Zion's troubles. Not the fulness of punishment deserved, but of what God has determined to inflict. An end shall be put to Edom's triumphs. All the troubles of the church and of the believer will soon be accomplished. And the doom of their enemies approaches. The Lord will bring their sins to light, and they shall lie down in eternal sorrow. Edom here represents all the enemies of the church. And the corruption, and sin of Israel, which the prophet has proved to be universal, justifies the judgments of the Lord. It shows the need of that grace in Christ Jesus, which the sin and corruption of all mankind make so necessary.The prophet ends his elegy with the language of Messianic hope. The earthly king had fallen Lamentations 4:20; but Israel cannot really perish. First then Edom, the representative of the Church's foes, is ironically told to rejoice. Rejoice she did at the capture of Jerusalem Jeremiah 49:7-22; but her punishment is quickly to follow.21. Rejoice—at our calamities (Ps 137:7). This is a prophecy that Edom should exult over the fall of Jerusalem. At the same time it is implied, Edom's joy shall be short-lived. Ironically she is told, Rejoice while thou mayest (Ec 11:9).

cup—for this image of the confounding effects of God's wrath, see Jer 13:12; 25:15, 16, 21; as to Edom, Jer 49:7-22.


The Edomites were descended from Esau the elder brother of Jacob, and dwelled in a part of Arabia that obtained the name of Uz, probably from Uz the son of Dishan, who descended from Seir, Genesis 36:20,28: they, out of their old hatred to the Jews, rejoiced at their ruin, as we learn from the prophecy of Obadiah, who upon this account was sent to prophesy against them: the prophet here ironically saith,

Rejoice, in the same sense as, Ecclesiastes 11:9, Solomon bids the young man rejoice. But their joy should be but for a little time, for God was dealing out the cup of his fury to more than the Jewish nation, and amongst others to the Edomites; and they should be filled. and intoxicated with it, and make themselves naked, as drunken men sometimes do in their debauches. Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,.... The land of Idumea, and the inhabitants of it, who did indeed rejoice at the destruction of Jerusalem, Obadiah 1:12; and here, in an ironic manner, are bid to go on with their mirth, if they could, like the young man in Ecclesiastes 11:9, as Aben Ezra observes; for it would not last long, their note would soon be changed:

that dwellest in the land of Uz; not the country of Job, which had its name from Uz the son of Nahor, Job 1:1; but a country in Idumea, from whence the whole was so called, and that from Uz the son of Dishan, one of the sons of Seir: or else the sense is, that Edom or Idumea, and the inhabitants of it, dwelt upon the borders of Uz; and so agrees very well with the place of Job's residence, which was near the land of Edom. The Targum, according to R. Elias (o), is,

"rejoice, O wicked Rome;''

but, in the king of Spain's Bible, it is,

"rejoice and be glad, O Constantine (that is, Constantinople), the city of wicked Edom, which art built in the land of Armenia;''

and Jarchi says that Jeremiah prophesies concerning the destruction of the second temple, which the Romans destroyed; but in other copies, and according to Lyra, his words are, Jeremiah here prophesies concerning the destruction of the Roman empire, because that destroyed the temple; and it is usual with him, and other Rabbins, to interpret Edom of Rome;

the cup also shall pass through unto thee; the cup of God's wrath and vengeance; which, as it had come to the Jews, and was passing from one nation to another, in its turn would come to these Edomites; see Jeremiah 25:15;

thou shall be drunken, and shall make thyself naked; be overcome by it; as persons with wine, or any strong drink, reel to and fro, and fall; and be utterly destroyed, lie helpless and without strength: "and be made naked" (p), as it may be rendered; stripped of their riches and wealth; or they should strip themselves of their clothes, and behave indecently, and expose those parts which ought to be covered, as drunken persons the sense is, they should be exposed, or expose themselves, to shame and contempt. The Septuagint version is, "and thou shalt be drunken, and pour out" (q); that is, vomit, as drunken men do; and so Jarchi and Abendana interpret the word of vomiting; and the Targum is,

"and thou shalt be emptied.''

(o) In Tishbi, p. 227. (p) "nudaberis", V. L. (q) , Sept. "et eris vomens", Pagninus, Vatablus.

Rejoice and be glad, {n} O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through to thee: thou shalt be drunk, and shalt make thyself naked.

(n) This is spoken by derision.

21. Rejoice and be glad] Enjoy thy shortlived triumph, while thou mayest.

that dwellest in the land of Uz] See on Jeremiah 25:20.

The cup] For this, as a figure for Jehovah’s wrath, cp. Jeremiah 25:15 ff.

thou shalt be drunken, etc.] a figurative way of saying, thou shalt be exposed in the eyes of the world to the contempt which attends upon disaster (cp. Lamentations 1:8 and Habakkuk 2:15 f.).

21, 22. For the fierce vengeance which is to come on Edom cp. Jeremiah 49:7-22; Psalm 137:7; Isaiah 34 specially Lamentations 4:5-17; Ezekiel 25:12 f., 35; Obadiah 1:10-15.Verse 21. - Rejoice and be glad. An ironical address to Edom, who is bidden to enjoy her malicious triumph, but warned that it will be but short lived. How ungenerously the Edomites behaved at the fall of Jerusalem we are repeatedly told (see on Jeremiah 49:7). In the land of Uz. As to the situation of Uz, see on Jeremiah 25:20. The cup; one of Jeremiah's images (see Jeremiah 25:15). "Yea, they (people) address to them the warning cry with which, according to Leviticus 13:45, lepers were obliged to warn those whom they met not to come near." Such is the language in which Gerlach has rightly stated the connection between Lamentations 4:14 and Lamentations 4:15. קראוּ למו is rendered by many, "people shouted out regarding them," de iis, because, according to Leviticus 13:45, it was the lepers who were to shout "Unclean!" to those they met; the cry therefore was not addressed to the unclean, but to those who, being clean, were not to defile themselves by touching lepers. But though this meaning may be taken from the language used (cf. Genesis 20:13; Psalm 3:3), yet here, where the call is addressed to persons, it is neither probable nor necessary. For it does not follow from the allusion to the well-known direction given to lepers, that this prescription is transferred verbatim to the present case. The call is here addressed to the priests, who are staggering towards them with blood-stained garments. These must get out of the way, and not touch those they meet. The sing. טמא .gni is accounted for by the allusion to Leviticus 13:45, and means, "Out of the way! there comes one who is unclean." The second half of the verse is variously viewed. נצוּ, as Milra, comes from נצה, which in Niphal means to wrangle, in Hiphil to stir up strife. The Vulgate, accordingly, translates jurgati quippe sunt, and Ewald still renders, "yet they quarrelled, yet they staggered." But this view is opposed by these considerations: (1.) כּי...גּם can neither introduce an antithesis, nor mean "yet...yet." (2.) In view of the shedding of blood, wrangling is a matter of too little importance to deserve mention. Luther's rendering, "because they feared and fled from them," is a mere conjecture, and finds no support whatever from the words employed. Hence Gesenius, in his Thesaurus, has rightly explained נצוּ, after נצא, Jeremiah 48:9, "to fly, flee, or take to flight." Following him, the moderns translate: "because they had fled, they also staggered about." It is better to render כּי by quum, "when they fled," sc. to other nations, not specially to the Chaldeans. נעוּ is selected with reference to what precedes, but in the general meaning of roaming restlessly about. The idea is as follows: Not merely were they shunned at home, like lepers, by their fellow-countrymen, but also, when they wished to find a place of refuge beyond their native land, they were compelled to wander about without finding rest; for they said among the nations, "They shall no longer sojourn among us." Thus the curse came on them, Deuteronomy 28:65.
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