Lamentations 4:18
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
They dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets; our end drew near; our days were numbered, for our end had come.

King James Bible
They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.

American Standard Version
They hunt our steps, so that we cannot go in our streets: Our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Sade. Our steps have slipped in the way of our streets, our end draweth near: our days are fulfilled, for our end is come.

English Revised Version
They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.

Webster's Bible Translation
They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.

Lamentations 4:18 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

This judgment of wrath is a consequence of the sins of the prophets and priests (Lamentations 4:12-16), as well as of their vain trust on the help of man (Lamentations 4:17-20). Lamentations 4:12. The capture of Jerusalem by enemies (an event which none in all the world thought possible) has been brought on through the sins of the prophets and priests. The words, "the kings of the earth...did not believe that an enemy would come in at the gates of Jerusalem," are well explained by C. B. Michaelis, thus: reputando fortitudinem urbis, quae munitissima erat, tum defensorem ejus Jehovam, qui ab hostibus, ad internecionem caesis, urbem aliquoties, mirifice liberaverat, e.g., 2 Reg. 19:34. The words certainly form a somewhat overdrawn expression of deep subjective conviction; but they cannot properly be called a hyperbole, because the remark of Ngelsbach, that Jerusalem had been taken more than once before Nebuchadnezzar (1 Kings 14:26; 2 Kings 14:13.; 2 Chronicles 33:11; 2 Kings 23:33.), seems incorrect. For the occasions upon which Jerusalem was taken by Shishak and by Joash king of Israel (1 Kings 14 and 2 Kings 14) belong to those earlier times when Jerusalem was far from being so strongly fortified as it afterwards became, in the times of Uzziah, Jotham, and Manasseh (2 Chronicles 26:9; 2 Chronicles 27:3; 2 Chronicles 33:14). In 2 Chronicles 33:11, on the other hand, there is nothing said of Jerusalem being taken; and the capture by Pharaoh-Necho does not call for consideration, in so far as it forms the beginning of the catastrophe, whose commencement was thought impossible. Ewald wrongly connects Lamentations 4:13 with Lamentations 4:12 into one sentence, thus: "that an enemy would enter the gates of Jerusalem because of the sins of her prophets," etc. The meaning of these verses is thereby not merely weakened, but also misrepresented; and there is ascribed to the kings and inhabitants of the world an opinion regarding the internal evils of Jerusalem, which they neither pronounced nor could have pronounced.

Lamentations 4:12-14

Lamentations 4:12 contains an exclamation over the incredible event that has happened, and Lamentations 4:13 assigns the cause of it: the mediating and combining thought, "this incredible thing has happened," suggests itself. It has taken place on account of the sins of her prophets and priests, who have shed the blood of righteous men in Jerusalem. A historic proof of this is furnished in Jeremiah 26:7., where priests and prophets indicted Jeremiah on a capital charge, because he had announced that Jerusalem and the temple would suffer the fate of Shiloh; from this, Ngelsbach rightly concludes that, in any case, the burden of the guilt of the martyr-blood that was shed falls on the priests and prophets. Besides this, cf. the denunciations of the conduct of the priests and prophets in Jeremiah 6:13-15; Jeremiah 23:11; Jeremiah 27:10; Ezekiel 22:25. - In Lamentations 4:14, Lamentations 4:15, there is described the fate of these priests and prophets, but in such a way that Jeremiah has, throughout, mainly the priests before his mind. We may then, without further hesitation, think of the priests as the subject of נעוּ, inasmuch as they are mentioned last. Kalkschmidt wrongly combines Lamentations 4:13 and Lamentations 4:14, thus: "because of the sins of the prophets...they wander about," etc.; in this way, the Israelites would be the subject to נעוּ, and in Lamentations 4:14 the calamitas ex sacerdotum prophetarumque sceleribus profecta would be described. This, however, is contradicted, not merely by the undeniable retrospection of the expression, "they have polluted themselves with blood" (Lamentations 4:14), to the shedding of blood mentioned in Lamentations 4:13, but also by the whole contents of Lamentations 4:14, especially the impossibility of touching their clothes, which does not well apply to the people of Israel (Judah), but only to the priests defiled with blood. Utterly erroneous is the opinion of Pareau, Ewald, and Thenius, that in Lamentations 4:14-16 there is "presented a fragment from the history of the last siege of Jerusalem," - a rupture among the besieged, headed by the most eminent of the priests and prophets, who, filled with frenzy and passion against their fellow-citizens, because they would not believe in the speedy return of the exiles, became furious, and caused their opponents to be murdered. Regarding this, there is neither anything historical known, nor is there any trace of it to be discovered in these verses. The words, "prophets and priests hesitated (or wavered) like blind men on the streets, soiled with blood, so that none could touch their clothes," merely state that these men, smitten of God in consequence of their blood-guiltiness, wandered up and down in the streets of the city, going about like blind men. This description has been imitated from such passages as Deuteronomy 28:28., Jeremiah 23:12; Isaiah 29:9, where the people, and especially their leaders, are threatened, as a punishment, with blind and helpless staggering; but it is not to be referred to the time of the last siege of Jerusalem. עורים does not mean caedium perpetrandarum insatiabili cupiditate occaecati (Rosenmller), nor "as if intoxicated with blood that has been shed" (Ngelsbach), but as if struck with blindness by God, so that they could no longer walk with firm and steady step. "They are defiled with blood" is a reminiscence from Isaiah 59:3. As to the form נגאל, compounded of the Niphal and Pual, cf. Ewald, 132, b, and Delitzsch on Isaiah, l.c. בּלא יוּכלוּ, without one being able, i.e., so that one could not. As to the construction of יכול with a finite verb following, instead of the infinitive with ל, cf. Ewald, 285, c, c, and Gesenius, 142, 3, b.

Lamentations 4:18 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

hunt

Lamentations 3:52 My enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

1 Samuel 24:14 After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom do you pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

2 Kings 25:4,5 And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls...

Job 10:16 For it increases. You hunt me as a fierce lion: and again you show yourself marvelous on me.

Psalm 140:11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

Jeremiah 16:16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, said the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters...

Jeremiah 39:4,5 And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled...

Jeremiah 52:7-9 Then the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled...

our end is near

Jeremiah 1:12 Then said the LORD to me, You have well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

Jeremiah 51:33 For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her...

Ezekiel 7:2-12 Also, you son of man, thus said the Lord GOD to the land of Israel; An end, the end is come on the four corners of the land...

Ezekiel 12:22,23,27 Son of man, what is that proverb that you have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision fails...

Amos 8:2 And he said, Amos, what see you? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD to me...

Cross References
Jeremiah 5:31
the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

Jeremiah 16:16
"Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the LORD, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.

Ezekiel 7:2
"And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land.

Amos 8:2
And he said, "Amos, what do you see?" And I said, "A basket of summer fruit." Then the LORD said to me, "The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass by them.

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