Lamentations 4:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert.

New Living Translation
Even the jackals feed their young, but not my people Israel. They ignore their children's cries, like ostriches in the desert.

English Standard Version
Even jackals offer the breast; they nurse their young; but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

Berean Study Bible
Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like an ostrich in the wilderness.

New American Standard Bible
Even jackals offer the breast, They nurse their young; But the daughter of my people has become cruel Like ostriches in the wilderness.

King James Bible
Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

Christian Standard Bible
Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my dear people have become cruel like ostriches in the wilderness.

Contemporary English Version
Even jackals nurse their young, but my people are like ostriches that abandon their own.

Good News Translation
Even a mother wolf will nurse her cubs, but my people are like ostriches, cruel to their young.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my dear people have become cruel like ostriches in the wilderness.

International Standard Version
Even wild animals nurse, suckling their young; but the women of my people are cruel, like ostriches in the wilderness.

NET Bible
Even the jackals nurse their young at their breast, but my people are cruel, like ostriches in the desert.

New Heart English Bible
Even the jackals offer the breast, they nurse their young ones, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but the women of my people are as cruel as wild ostriches.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Even the jackals draw out the breast, They give suck to their young ones; The daughter of my people is become cruel, Like the ostriches in the wilderness.

New American Standard 1977
Even jackals offer the breast, They nurse their young; But the daughter of my people has become cruel Like ostriches in the wilderness.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Gimel Even the sea monsters draw out the breast; they give suck to their young ones; the daughter of my people is cruel like the ostriches in the wilderness.

King James 2000 Bible
Even the jackals draw out the breast, they nurse their young ones: the daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

American King James Version
Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

American Standard Version
Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Ghimel. Even the sea monsters have drawn out the breast, they have given suck to their young: the daughter of my people is cruel, like the ostrich in the desert.

Darby Bible Translation
Even the jackals offer the breast, they give suck to their young; the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

English Revised Version
Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

Webster's Bible Translation
Even the sea-monsters draw out the breast, they nurse their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

World English Bible
Even the jackals draw out the breast, they nurse their young ones: The daughter of my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

Young's Literal Translation
Even dragons have drawn out the breast, They have suckled their young ones, The daughter of my people is become cruel, Like the ostriches in a wilderness.
Study Bible
The Distress of Zion
2How the precious sons of Zion, once worth their weight in pure gold, are now esteemed as clay jars, the work of a potter’s hands! 3Even jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but the daughter of my people has become cruel, like an ostrich in the wilderness. 4The nursing infant’s tongue clings in thirst to the roof of his mouth. Little children beg for bread, but no one gives them any.…
Cross References
Job 39:14
For she leaves her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand.

Job 39:16
She treats her young harshly, as if not her own, with no concern that her labor was in vain.

Isaiah 13:22
Hyenas will howl in her fortresses and jackals in her luxurious palaces. Babylon's time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged.

Isaiah 34:13
Her towers will be overgrown with thorns, her fortresses with thistles and briers. She will become a haunt for jackals, an abode for ostriches.

Isaiah 49:15
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, or lack compassion for the son of her womb? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

Ezekiel 5:10
As a result, fathers among you will eat their sons, and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments against you and scatter all your remnant to every wind.'

Treasury of Scripture

Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.

sea monsters. or sea calves. the daughters

Lamentations 2:20 Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom you have done this. Shall the …

Lamentations 4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they …

Leviticus 26:29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters …

Deuteronomy 28:52-57 And he shall besiege you in all your gates, until your high and fenced …

2 Kings 6:26-29 And as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, there cried …

Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion …

Jeremiah 19:9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh …

Ezekiel 5:10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the middle of you, and …

Luke 23:28,29 But Jesus turning to them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not …

like

Job 39:13-16 Gave you the goodly wings to the peacocks? or wings and feathers …

Romans 1:31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, …







(3) Even the sea monsters . . .--Better, jackals. The Authorised Version is intended apparently to apply to cetaceous mammals; elsewhere (Jeremiah 14:6) the word is rendered "dragons." "Jackals," it may be noted, are combined with "owls" or "ostriches," as they are here, in Job 30:29; Isaiah 13:21. A like reference to the seeming want of maternal instinct in the ostrich is found in Job 39:16. The comparison was obviously suggested by facts like those referred to in Lamentations 2:20.

Verse 3. - The sea monsters; rather, the jackals (tannin, the Aramaic form of the plural for tannim). Cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness. So in Job (Job 39:14-16) it is said of the ostrich that she "leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers." The description is literally true, if we add a detail not mentioned by the sacred poet. The eggs destined for hatching are deposited in a nest hole scratched in the sand, but there are other eggs laid, not in the sand, but near it, to all appearance forsaken. These eggs, however, are not exposed in simple stupidity, though they do often fall victims to violence. "They are intended for the nourishment of the newly hatched young ones, which in barren districts would at first find difficulty in procuring food" (Houghton, 'Natural History of the Ancients,' p. 198). Even the sea monsters draw out the breast,.... Which some interpret of dragons; others of seals, or sea calves; but it is best to understand it of whales, as the word is rendered in Genesis 1:21; and elsewhere: and Bochart (d) has proved, out of various writers, that these have breasts and milk; but that their breasts, or however their paps, are not manifest, but are hid as in cases, and must be drawn out: and so Jarchi observes that they draw their breasts out of a case, for their breasts have a covering, which they uncover: so Ben Melech. Aristotle (e) says, that whales, as the dolphin, sea calf, and balaena, have breasts or paps, and milk, which he makes to be certain species of the whale; and each of these, he elsewhere says, have milk, and suckle their young: the dolphin and sturgeon, he observes (f) have milk, and are sucked; and so the sea calf, he says (g), lets out milk as a sheep, and has two breasts, and is sucked by its young, as four footed beasts are. Agreeably to which Aelianus (h) relates, that the female dolphins have paps like women, and suckle their young, with great plenty of milk; and the balaena, he says (i), is a creature like a dolphin, and has milk. And Pliny, speaking of the dolphins, observes (k), that they bring forth their "whelps", and so the young of this creature are called here in the next clause in the Hebrew text (l), and nourish them with their breasts, as the balaena; and of the sea calves the same writer says (m) they feed their young with their paps; but the paps of these creatures are not manifest, as those of four footed beasts, as Aristotle observes; but are like two channels or pipes, out of which the milk flows, and the young are suckled;

they give suck to their young ones; as they do, when they are hungry; which is mentioned, as an aggravation of the case of the Jewish women, with respect to their behaviour towards their children, by reason of the famine, during the siege of Jerusalem; which here, and in the following verses, is described in the sad effects of it; and which had a further accomplishment at the destruction of the same city by the Romans: now, though the monsters suckled their young when hungry, yet these women did not suckle theirs;

the daughter of my people is become cruel; or, is "unto a cruel one" (n): that is, is changed unto a cruel one, or is like unto one, and behaves as such, though of force and necessity: the meaning is, that the Jewish women, though before tenderhearted mothers, yet, by reason of the famine, having no milk in their breasts, could give none to their children, and so acted as if they were cruel to them; nay, in fact, instead of feeding them, they fed upon them, Lamentations 4:10;

like the ostriches in the wilderness; which lay their eggs, and leave them in places easily to be crushed and broken; and when they have any young ones, they are hardened against them, as if they were none of theirs, Job 39:13; and this seemed now to be the case of these women; or, "like the owls", as the word is sometimes rendered; and which also leave their eggs, and for want of food will eat their young, as those women did. So Ben Melech says, it is a bird which dwells in the wilderness, and causes a voice of hooping to be heard.

(d) Hierozoic. l. 1. c. 7. p. 46. (e) Hist. Animal. l. 3. c. 20. (f) Ib. l. 6. c. 12. (g) lbid. (h) Hist. de Animal. 1. 10. c. 8. (i) Ib. l. 5. c. 4. (k) Nat. Hist. l. 9. c. 8. (l) "catulos suos", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. (m) Nat. Hist. l. 9. c. 13. (n) "in crudelem", Montanus; "sub. mutata fuit", Piscator; "similis est crudeli", Munster. 3. sea monsters … breast—Whales and other cetaceous monsters are mammalian. Even they suckle their young; but the Jewish women in the siege, so desperate was their misery, ate theirs (La 4:10; La 2:20). Others translate, "jackals."

ostriches—see on [1013]Job 39:14; [1014]Job 39:16, on their forsaking their young.

Daleth.4:1-12 What a change is here! Sin tarnishes the beauty of the most exalted powers and the most excellent gifts; but that gold, tried in the fire, which Christ bestows, never will be taken from us; its outward appearance may be dimmed, but its real value can never be changed. The horrors of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem are again described. Beholding the sad consequences of sin in the church of old, let us seriously consider to what the same causes may justly bring down the church now. But, Lord, though we have gone from thee in rebellion, yet turn to us, and turn our hearts to thee, that we may fear thy name. Come to us, bless us with awakening, converting, renewing, confirming grace.
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OT Prophets: Lamentations 4:3 Even the jackals draw out the breast (Lam. La Lm) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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