Lamentations 5:15
The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
5:1-16 Is any afflicted? Let him pray; and let him in prayer pour out his complaint to God. The people of God do so here; they complain not of evils feared, but of evils felt. If penitent and patient under what we suffer for the sins of our fathers, we may expect that He who punishes, will return in mercy to us. They acknowledge, Woe unto us that we have sinned! All our woes are owing to our own sin and folly. Though our sins and God's just displeasure cause our sufferings, we may hope in his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, and his kind providence. But the sins of a man's whole life will be punished with vengeance at last, unless he obtains an interest in Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree.The gate - The gate was the place for public gatherings, for conversation, and the music of stringed instruments. 14. Aged men in the East meet in the open space round the gate to decide judicial trials and to hold social converse (Job 29:7, 8). Either our rejoicing at our solemn festivals, and dancings there, which were usual, as appeareth from many scriptures; or all our joy and dancings, as well at other times as in our solemn festivals.

The joy of our heart is ceased,.... ward joy was gone, as well as the external signs of it: it "sabbatized" (y), as it may be rendered; alluding perhaps to the cordial joy expressed formerly on their sabbaths and other festivals, now not observed; at least, not with that joy, inward and outward, they formerly were:

our dance is turned into mourning; which also was used at their solemn feasts, as well as at their common diversions, Judges 21:21; but now no more of that; but, instead of it, mourning at the calamities they were oppressed with; and at the remembrance of mercies and privileges, civil and religious, they were deprived of.

(y) "sabbatizat".

The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Lamentations 5:15Under the pressure of such circumstances, all public meetings and amusements have ceased. "The elders cease from the fate." The gate was the place of assembly for the people, not merely for deliberating upon public affairs (Ruth 4:15; Joshua 20:4), but also "for social entertainment (since there were no refreshment-rooms, coffeehouses, and public baths, such as are now to be found in the East), or even for quiet enjoyment in looking at the motley multitude of passers-by; Genesis 19:1; 1 Samuel 4:18; 1 Samuel 9:18; Job 29:7" (Winer's Bibl. R.W.B. s.v. Thor). That the gate is here to be regarded as a place of entertainment and amusement, is shown by the parallel member, "young men cease from their instrumental music;" cf. Lamentations 1:4. On Lamentations 5:15, cf. Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9, and Jeremiah 31:13; Psalm 30:12. Lastly, in Lamentations 5:16, the writer sums up the whole of the misery in the complaint, "The crown of our head is fallen! woe unto us, for we have sinned," i.e., we suffer the punishment for our sins. "The fallen crown can only be a figurative expression for the honourable position of the people in its entirety, but which is now lost." Such is the view which Ewald rightly takes; on the other hand, the interpretation of Thenius, that "the 'crown of our head' is nothing else than Zion, together with its palaces, placed on Jerusalem, as it were on the head [of the country], and adorning it," deserves mention simply as a curious specimen of exegetical fancy. Ngelsbach has gone too far in restricting the figurative expression to the crown of Jerusalem, which consists in her being mistress among the nations, a princess among the regions of the earth (Lamentations 1:1), the perfection of beauty, and the joy of the whole earth (Lamentations 2:15); for "our crown" is not equivalent to Jerusalem, or a crown on the head of Jerusalem.
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