You have heard my voice: hide not your ear at my breathing, at my cry.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou hast heard . . . hide not thine . . .—There is something eminently suggestive in the sequence of the two clauses. The recollection that prayer was answered in the past, prompts its utterance in the present. Historically, the words may point to the intervention of Ebed-melech in Jeremiah 38:7.
At my breathing—i.e., the “sighs” or “sobs” of the mourner.
breathing … cry—two kinds of prayer; the sigh of a prayer silently breathed forth, and the loud, earnest cry (compare "prayer," "secret speech," Isa 26:16, Margin; with "cry aloud," Ps 55:17).
hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry; turn not a deaf ear to me, who hast been wont to hear me heretofore; stop not thine ear at my cry now, at my prayer, which he calls his "breathing"; prayer is the breath of a soul regenerated by the Spirit, and is a sign and evidence of life, when it is spiritual; in it a soul pants after God, and communion with him, and salvation by him. Some render it, "at my gasping" (s); or "panting", for breath; just ready to expire, unless immediate help is given: or else the whole of this refers to the present time, when the Lord heard and answered, not only the first clause, but this also; which may be rendered, not by way of petition, but affirmation, "thou didst not hide thine ear at my breathing, at my cry" (t); and this agrees both with what goes before, and with what is expressed in Lamentations 3:57.Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)56. The word rendered “breathing” occurs but once elsewhere (Exodus 8:15 [Heb. Lamentations 3:11]), and has there the sense of respite, relief. Accordingly Ewald proposes (by a change of one consonant) to render my cry, and consider “at my cry” to be a gloss.Verse 56. - At my breathing; rather, at my sighing; literally, at my relieving myself. 2 Samuel 14:14; Micah 1:4. "And is not silent" equals and rests not, i.e., incessantly; cf. Jeremiah 14:17. מאין הפגות does not mean, eo quod non sint intermissiones miseriarum vel fletus (C. B. Michaelis and Rosenmller, following the Chaldee), but "so that there is no intermission or drying up." As to הפגות, which means the same as פּוּגה, see on Lamentations 2:18. "Until the Lord look down from heaven and examine," in order to put an end to the distress, or to take compassion on His people. On ישׁקיף, cf. Psalm 14:2; Psalm 102:20.
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