Lamentations 2:12
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
They cry to their mothers, “Where is bread and wine?” as they faint like a wounded man in the streets of the city, as their life is poured out on their mothers’ bosom.

King James Bible
They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers' bosom.

American Standard Version
They say to their mothers, Where is grain and wine? When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, When their soul is poured out into their mothers bosom.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Lamed. They said to their mothers: Where is corn and wine? when they fainted away as the wounded in the streets of the city: when they breathed out their souls in the bosoms of their mothers.

English Revised Version
They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul is poured out into their mothers' bosom.

Webster's Bible Translation
They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers' bosom.

Lamentations 2:12 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

In Lamentations 2:6 and Lamentations 2:7, mention is made of the destruction of the temple and the cessation of public worship. "He treated violently (cruelly)," i.e., laid waste, "like a garden, His enclosure." שׂך (from שׂוּך equals שׂכך, to intertwine, hedge round) signifies a hedge or enclosure. The context unmistakeably shows that by this we are to understand the temple, or the holy place of the temple; hence שׂך is not the hedging, but what is hedged in. But the comparison כּגּן has perplexed expositors, and given occasion for all kinds of artificial and untenable explanations. We must not, of course, seek for the point of the comparison in the ease with which a garden or garden-fence may be destroyed, for this does not accord with the employment of the verb חמס; but the garden is viewed as a pleasure-ground, which its owner, if it does not suit its purpose, destroys or gives up again, without much hesitation. The emphasis lies on the suffix in שׂכּו, "His own enclosure," God's enclosure equals the sacred enclosure (Gerlach), the sanctuary protected by Himself, protected by laws intended to keep the sanctity of the temple from profanation. The second clause states the same thing, and merely brings into prominence another aspect of the sanctity of the temple by the employment of the word מועדו. This noun, as here used, does not mean the "time," but the "place of meeting;" this is not, however, the place where the people assemble, but the place of meeting of the Lord with His people, where He shows Himself present, and grants His favour to the congregation appearing before Him. Thus, like אהל מועד, the word signifies the place where God reveals His gracious presence to His people; cf. Exodus 25:22, and the explanation of נועדתּי given in that passage. In the first member of the verse, the temple is viewed as a place sacred to God; in the second, as the place where He specially manifests His gracious presence in Israel. With the destruction of the temple, Jahveh (the covenant God) caused feast and Sabbath, i.e., all public festivals and divine service, to be forgotten. The destruction of the sacred spots set apart for the worship of the Lord was attended with the cessation of the sacred festivals. Thereby it became evident that the Lord, in His fierce anger, had rejected king and priest. The singulars, festival, Sabbath, king, and priest, are used in unrestricted generality. King and priest are regarded as the divinely chosen media of the covenant graces. The abolition of public worship practically involved that of the priesthood, for the service of the priests was connected with the temple. Expositors are much divided in their views regarding the object for which the king is here mentioned in connection with the priest. There is no special need for refuting the opinion of Thenius, that king and priest are named as the two main factors in the worship of God, because the seat of the king was upon Zion as well as that of the priesthood; for the seat of the priests was as little on Mount Zion as the king's palace was on the temple mount. Moreover, the words do not treat of the destruction of the royal palace and the dwellings of the priests, but declare that royalty and the priesthood will be rejected. The mention of the king in connection with the priests implies a close connection also of royalty with the temple. Ngelsbach, accordingly, is of opinion that the kings also belong to the number of those summoned to celebrate the feasts, and were not merely Jehovah's substitutes before the people, but also "representatives of the people before God;" for he adopts the remark of Oehler (in Herzog's Real Enc. viii. S. 12), that "the Israelitish kingdom (especially in David and Solomon) bears a certain sacerdotal character, inasmuch as the king, at the head of the people and in their name, pays homage to God, and brings back again to the people the blessing of God (2 Samuel 6:17.; 1 Kings 3:4; 1 Kings 8:14., 55ff., 62ff., 1 Kings 9:25; 1 Chronicles 29:10.; 2 Chronicles 1:6, compared with Ezekiel 46:1.)." This sacerdotal character of royalty, however, was but the outcome of the sacerdotal character of the people of Israel. In view of this, the king, because of his position as the head of the people in civil matters (for he was praecipuum ecclesiae membrum), fully brought out the relation of the people to the Lord, without, however, discharging any peculiarly sacerdotal function. The complaint in the present verse, - that, with the destruction of the temple, and the abolition of the service connected with it, Jahveh had rejected king and priest, - implies that royalty in Israel stood in as intimate connection with the temple as the priesthood did. This connection, however, is not to be sought for so much in the fact that it was the incumbent duty of the theocratic king, in the name and at the head of the people, to pay homage to God, and to see that the public worship of Jahve was upheld; we must rather seek for it in the intimate relation instituted by God between the maintenance of the Davidic monarchy and the building of the house of God. This connection is exhibited in the promise made by God to David, when the latter had resolved to build a house for the Lord to dwell in: He (Jahveh) shall build a house to him (David), viz., raise up his seed after him, and establish his kingdom for ever; and this seed of David shall build a house to His name (2 Samuel 7:12.). This promise, in virtue of which Solomon built the temple as a dwelling for the name of Jahveh, connected the building of the temple so closely with the kingdom of David, that this continued existence of the temple might be taken as a pledge of the continuance of David's house; while the destruction of the temple, together with the abolition of the public ministrations, might, on the other hand, serve as a sign of the rejection of the Davidic monarchy. Viewing the matter in this light, Jeremiah laments that, with the destruction of the temple and the abolition of the public festivals, Jahveh has rejected king and priest, i.e., the royal family of David as well as the Levitical priesthood.

In Lamentations 2:7, special mention is further made of the rejection of the altar, and of the sanctuary as the centre of divine worship. The verbs זנח and נאר are used in Psalm 89:39-40, in connection with the rejection of the Davidic monarchy. "The sanctuary," mentioned in connection with "the altar," does not mean the temple in general, but its inner sanctuary, - the holy place and the most holy place, as the places of worship corresponding to the altar of the fore-court. The temple-building is designated by "the walls of her palaces." For, that by ארמנותיה we are to understand, not the palaces of the city of David, the royal palaces, but the towering pile of the temple, is unmistakeably evident from the fact that, both before and after, it is the temple that is spoken of, - not its fortifications, the castles specially built for its defence (Thenius); because ארמון does not mean a fortified building, but (as derived from ארם, to be high) merely a lofty pile. Such were the buildings of the temple in consequence of their lofty situation on Moriah. In the house of Jahveh, the enemy raises a loud cry (נתן קול, cf. Jeremiah 22:20), as on a feast-day. The cry is therefore not a war-cry (Pareau, Rosenmller), but one of jubilee and triumph, as if they had come into the temple to a festival: in Psalm 74:4, the word used is שׁאג, to roar as a lion.

Lamentations 2:12 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

as the

Ezekiel 30:24 And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms...

soul

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong...

Cross References
Job 30:16
"And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me.

Psalm 42:4
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.

Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

Jeremiah 5:17
They shall eat up your harvest and your food; they shall eat up your sons and your daughters; they shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; your fortified cities in which you trust they shall beat down with the sword."

Lamentations 4:4
The tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst; the children beg for food, but no one gives to them.

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