Lamentations 4:16
The anger of the LORD has divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favored not the elders.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) The anger of the Lord.—Literally, the face, as the symbol of wrath.

They respected not.—The subject of the verbs has to be supplied. The enemies, or the heathen, or men in general, ceased to feel any reverence for the fugitive priests and elders.

4:13-20 Nothing ripens a people more for ruin, nor fills the measure faster, than the sins of priests and prophets. The king himself cannot escape, for Divine vengeance pursues him. Our anointed King alone is the life of our souls; we may safely live under his shadow, and rejoice in Him in the midst of our enemies, for He is the true God and eternal life.Princes are hanged up by their hand.

The faces of eiders were not honored.

Lamentations 4:16Literally, The countenance of Yahweh hath scattered them, has driven these outlawed priests here and there, "and He will no more regard them" with favor.

16. Ain and Pe are here transposed (La 4:16, 17), as in La 2:16, 17; 3:46-51.

anger—literally, "face"; it is the countenance which, by its expression, manifests anger (Ps 34:16). Gesenius translates, "the person of Jehovah"; Jehovah present; Jehovah Himself (Ex 33:14; 2Sa 17:11).

divided—dispersed the Jews.

they respected not … priests—This is the language of the Gentiles. "The Jews have no hope of a return: for they respected not even good priests" (2Ch 24:19-22) [Grotius]. Maurer explains it, "They (the victorious foe) regard not the (Jewish) priests when imploring their pity" (La 5:12). The evident antithesis to "As for us" (La 4:17) and the language of "the heathen" at the close of La 4:15, of which La 4:16 is the continuation, favor the former view.

Ain.

These words seem to be the language of their enemies triumphing over them, as discerning that their God was provoked against them, and would have no more regard or respect unto them; and that they had misused his prophets, which agreeth with 2 Chronicles 36:16. But others rather think these latter words (if not the former also) are the prophet’s words, expressive of the cause of their miseries, viz. the Lord’s anger, who had divided them, &c., and the effect of it, their enemies having no regard to the most grave and venerable persons amongst them. The anger of the Lord hath divided them,.... Or, "the face of the Lord" (f); the anger that appeared in his face, in the dispensation of his providence, removed them out of their own land, and dispersed them among several countries and nations of the world, and as they now are: these are not the words of the Heathens continued, but of the prophet:

he will no more regard them; or, "he will not add to look on them" (g), with a look of love, but continue his anger and resentment:

they respect not the persons of the priests, they favour not the elders; which is to be considered either as the sin of the false prophets and priests before described, which was the cause of their punishment; that they east great contempt on the true prophets of the Lord, as Jeremiah and others, and showed no regard to the elders of the people, or those godly magistrates; who would have corrected and restrained them: or else this is said of the nations among whom they were dispersed, as the Targum; who would pay no respect to their characters as priests, or show any pity to them on account of their age.

(f) "facies Domini", V. L. Montanus, Piscator. (g) "non addet aspicere eos", Montanus.

The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no longer regard them: {k} they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.

(k) That is, the enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. hath divided them] hath scattered them (among the nations).

they] men, as in the previous v.

elders] with LXX read prophets, which is more in harmony with the preceding context. Pe. suggests that “elders” may have been substituted through the influence of Lamentations 5:12.Verse 16. - Hath divided them; i.e. hath scattered them, like "l will divide them in Jacob" (Genesis 49:7). Still more horrible was the misery of the women. In order to keep themselves from dying of hunger, mothers boiled their children for food to themselves; cf. Lamentations 2:20. By the predicate "compassionate," applied to hands, the contrast between this conduct and the nature, or the innate love, of mothers to their children, is made particularly prominent. בּרות is a noun equals בּרוּת, Psalm 69:22. On "the destruction of the daughter of my people," cf. Lamentations 2:11.
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