Lamentations 4:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger, who wasted away, pierced by lack of the fruits of the field.

King James Bible
They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.

American Standard Version
They that are slain with the sword are better than they that are slain with hunger; For these pine away, stricken through, for want of the fruits of the field.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Teth. It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger: for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth.

English Revised Version
They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger; for these pine away, stricken through, for want of the fruits of the field.

Webster's Bible Translation
They that are slain with the sword are better than they that are slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.

Lamentations 4:9 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

This disregard or rejection of the citizens of Zion is evidence in Lamentations 4:3 and onwards by many examples, beginning with children, ascending to adults (3-5), and ending with princes. The starvation to death of the children (Lamentations 4:3, Lamentations 4:4) is mentioned first; and the frightful misery that has befallen Jerusalem is vividly set forth, by a comparison of the way in which wild animals act towards their young with the behaviour of the mothers of Jerusalem towards their children. Even jackals (תּנּין for תּנּים, see on Jeremiah 9:10) give their breasts to their young ones to suck. חלצוּ , extrahunt mammam equals they present their breast. As Junius has remarked, the expression is taken a mulieribus lactantibus, quae laxata veste mammam lactanti praebent; hence also we are not, for the sake of this expression, to understand תּנּין as meaning cetus (Bochart and Ngelsbach), regarding which animal Bochart remarks (Hieroz. iii. p. 777, ed. Rosenmller), ceti papillas non esseἐπιφανεῖς, quippe in mammis receptae tanquam in vaginis conduntur. Rosenm@fcller has already rejected this meaning as minus apta for the present passage. From the combination of jackals and ostriches as inhabiting desert places (Isaiah 13:21.; Job 30:29), we have no hesitation in fixing on "jackals" as the meaning here. "The daughter of my people" (cf. Lamentations 2:11) here means the inhabitants of Zion or Jerusalem. לאכזר, "has become cruel." The Kethib כי ענים instead of כּיענים (Qeri) may possibly have arisen from a purely accidental separation of the letters of the word in a MS, a reading which was afterwards painfully retained by the scribes. But in many codices noted by Kennicott and De Rossi, as well as in several old editions, the word is found correctly joined, without any marginal note. יענים means ostriches, usually בּת יענה ("daughter of crying," or according to Gesenius, in his Thesaurus, and Ewald, following the Syriac, "the daughter of gluttony"), the female ostrich. The comparison with these animals is to be understood in accordance with Job 39:16 : "she (the female ostrich) treats her young ones harshly, as if they were not her own." This popular belief is founded on the fact that the animal lays her eggs in the ground, - after having done no more than slightly scratching up the soil, - and partly also, when the nest is full, on the surface of the ground; she then leaves them to be hatched, in course of time, by the heat of the sun: the eggs may thus be easily broken, see on Job 39:14-16.

Lamentations 4:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

for

Leviticus 26:39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands...

Ezekiel 24:23 And your tires shall be on your heads, and your shoes on your feet: you shall not mourn nor weep...

Ezekiel 33:10 Therefore, O you son of man, speak to the house of Israel; Thus you speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be on us...

pine away. Heb. flow out.

Cross References
Exodus 16:3
and the people of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."

Leviticus 26:39
And those of you who are left shall rot away in your enemies' lands because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them.

2 Kings 25:3
On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.

Jeremiah 16:4
They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.

Ezekiel 24:23
Your turbans shall be on your heads and your shoes on your feet; you shall not mourn or weep, but you shall rot away in your iniquities and groan to one another.

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