Lamentations 4:22
The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.
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(22) Is accomplished.—The mourner shares in the Messianic hopes of Isaiah 40:2, and expresses it nearly in the same words.

He will no more carry thee away.—Interpreted by later history, the words take their place in the list of unfulfilled prophecies, for, like all promises, they were dependent upon implied conditions, and in the rejection of the Christ by the Jews of His time there was a sin which involved a forfeiture of the blessing, and made the chastisement of a prolonged guilt necessary. For five centuries, however, the prophet’s words held good, and there was no thorough “dispersion” of the Jews till after the Roman conquest.

He will discover thy sins.—To cover sins is to forgive them (Psalm 32:1; Psalm 32:5; Psalm 85:2; so to dis or un-cover sins is, therefore, to punish them.

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 punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished - literally, Thy iniquity is ended. This is the result of Judah having borne her punishment. And as it is not just to punish twice for the same thing, therefore Jeremiah adds, "He will not send thee again into captivity;" not meaning that under all circumstances Judah would have immunity from exile; - for that would depend upon her future conduct: but that her present guilt being expiated, she would have nothing to fear on its account.

He will discover thy sins - See the margin. As Edom rejoices when the Church is chastised, so is the day of the Church's triumph that also on which the wicked meet with retribution.

22. (Isa 40:2). Thou hast been punished enough: the end of thy punishment is at hand.

no more carry thee … into captivity—that is, by the Chaldeans. The Romans carried them away subsequently. The full accomplishment of this prophecy must therefore refer to the Jews' final restoration.

discover—By the severity of His punishments on thee, God shall let men see how great was thy sin (Jer 49:10). God "covers" sin when He forgives it (Ps 32:1, 5). He "discovers," or "reveals," it, when He punishes it (Job 20:27). Jer 49:10 shows that Margin is wrong, "carry captive" (this rendering is as in Na 2:7; compare "discovered," Margin).

O Judea, thy punishment is past, but the punishment of Edom is yet to come. The Jews were to abide many years in captivity, but they were now suffering their last punishment from the Chaldeans, they were only for some years to continue in that state of captives.

He will no more carry thee into captivity; after thy term of captivity shall be expired, thou shalt not for thy old sins suffer any more punishment. Not that their present captivity should be all their punishment in case they went on in sinful courses, as they did in rejecting Christ, and causing him to be crucified; for those new wickednesses after many years they were destroyed by the Romans; but the prophet hints that there should at present, or for their past sins, no more wrath be poured out upon them, nor would God ever detain them in this captivity. But for the Edomites, their punishment was yet wholly to come, God was yet beginning to punish them, and would do it, discovering their sins. As the pardon of sin is in Scripture set out under the notion of covering it, Psalm 32:1, so the punishment of sin may be expressed by

discovering it, Job 20:27; but the learned author of the English Annotations conceiveth the Hebrew may be better read, he will discover thee for thy sins, because of the particle lu set before thy sins (though our translation taketh no notice of it). He will discover upon thy sins; and so it answereth Jeremiah 49:10, (as he conceiveth,) I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself.

The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion,.... In part in the seventy years' captivity in Babylon, and more fully in their present captivity; for, as has been observed, there are some things in the preceding account, which had a further accomplishment in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the distress of the Jews by the Romans. The Targum is,

"and after thine iniquity is fulfilled, O congregation of Zion, and thou shalt be delivered by the hands of the Messiah, and of Elias the high priest;''

he will no more carry thee away into captivity; he, the enemy; or the Lord, as the Targum: that is, thou shall no more be carried captive: this seems to confirm the above observation, that this chapter is a prophecy of what would be, as well as a narrative of what had been; and includes the destruction both of the first and second temple, and of the Jews both by the Chaldeans and Romans; for it is certain, that, after their deliverance from the captivity of Babylon, they have been carried captive, and are now in captivity;

he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; punish the Edomites for their sins, as is elsewhere threatened, Jeremiah 49:7, Amos 1:11; which was fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar as an instrument; and may have some respect to the destruction of the Romans, when the Jews shall be converted, and return to their own land. The Targum, in the king of Spain's Bible, is,

"and at that time I will visit thine iniquity, O wicked Rome, which art built in Italy, and full of multitudes of the children of Edom; and the Persians shall come and oppress thee, and make thee desolate;''

and so the copy used by Munster:

he will discover thy sins; by the punishment of them; as, when God pardons sins, he is said to cover them; so, when he punishes for them, he discovers them; see Jeremiah 49:10.

The punishment of thy iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he {o} will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thy iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will disclose thy sins.

(o) He comforts the Church because after seventy years their sorrows will have an end while the wicked would be tormented for ever.

22. The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished] (better than mg. Thine iniquity hath an end) the prophetic perfect. Cp. Isaiah 40:1 f.

discover] uncover, lay bare. Cp. (in A.V.) Psalm 29:9; Isaiah 22:8, and (in A.V. and R.V.) Micah 1:6.

Verse 22. - The punishment of thine iniquity or, thy guilt (see on ver. 6). The prophet speaks with the confidence of faith, and sees the guilt wiped away, and the danger of a future captivity removed by the purification which the Jewish national character has undergone. He will discover thy sins. God is said to "cover over" sins when he remits their punishment, and to "discover" them when he punishes them (comp. Job 20:27, 28).

Lamentations 4:22However, it is not yet all over with Israel. Let the enemy triumph; the guilt of the daughter of Zion will come to an end, and then the guilt of the daughter of Edom will be punished. With this "Messianic hope," as Ewald rightly characterizes the contents of these verses, the lamentation resolves itself into joyous faith and hope regarding the future of Israel. There is no external sign to mark the transition from the depths of lamentation over the hopeless condition of Judah, to new and hopeful confidence, just as in the Psalms there is frequently a sudden change from the deepest lamentation to joyful confidence of final victory. But these transitions have their origin in the firm conviction that Israel has most assuredly been chosen as the nation with whom the Lord has made His covenant, which He cannot break. This truth has already been clearly and distinctly expressed in the threatenings and promises of the law, Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, and is reiterated by all the prophets. The Lord will assuredly visit His ever-rebellious people with the heaviest punishments, until they come to acknowledge their sin and repent of their apostasy; but He will afterwards again take pity on the penitent remnant, gather them from among the heathen, and fulfil all His promises to them. The words "exult and rejoice" are ironical, and signify: "Rejoice as much as you please; you will not, for all that, escape the punishment for your sins." "The daughter of Edom," i.e., the people of Edom, is named as the representative of the enemies of God's people, on account of their implacable hatred against Israel; see on Jeremiah 49:7. From the designation, "dwelling in the land of Uz," it does not follow that the Edomite had at that time spread themselves widely over their original territory; for the land of Uz, according to Jeremiah 25:20, lay on the confines of Idumea. As to the form יושׁבתּי, see on Jeremiah 10:17. גּם עליך, "towards thee also (sc., as now to Judah) shall the cup pass." On this figure, cf. Jeremiah 25:15. התערה, to make oneself naked, or to become naked in consequence of drunkenness (Genesis 9:22), is a figurative expression indicative of the disgrace that will befall Edom; cf. Lamentations 1:8; Nahum 3:5. תּם עונך, "Thy guilt is ended." The perfect is prophetic. The guilt is ended when it is atoned for; the punishment for it has reached its end, or grace begins. That this will take place in the Messianic times (as was pointed out long ago in the Chaldee paraphrase, et liberaberis per manum Messiae), is not indeed implied in the word תּם, but it is a necessary product of the Messianic hope of Israel; cf, for instance, Jeremiah 50:20. To this it cannot be objected (with Gerlach), that it is inadmissible to transfer into the Messianic time also the punishment of Edom threatened in the second member: for, according to the prophetic mode of viewing things, the judgment on the heathen world falls, as a matter of course, in the Messianic age; and to refer the words to the chastisement of the Edomites by Nebuchadnezzar is against the context of both verses. "To reveal (discover) sins" means to punish them; for God uncovers the sins in order to punish them, quemadmodum Deus peccata tegere dicitur, cum eorum paenam remittit (Rosenmller); cf. Psalm 32:1, Psalm 32:5; Psalm 85:3, etc.
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