Lamentations 5:17
For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) For this . . . for these things.—The first clause refers to the loss of national honour indicated in Lamentations 5:16; the latter, to all the horrors named in Lamentations 5:8-15.

Lamentations 5:17-18. For this our heart is faint — And sinks under the load of its own heaviness. Our eyes are dim — See on Lamentations 2:11. Our spirits fail us, and we are almost blind with weeping. Because of the mountain of Zion — The holy mountain, and the temple built upon it. Nothing lies with so heavy a load upon the spirits of good people, as that which threatens the ruin of religion, or weakens the interest thereof: and it is a mark of our possessing saving grace, if we can appeal to God that we are more concerned for his cause than for any temporal interests of our own. The Jews had polluted the mountain of Zion with their sins, and therefore God justly made it desolate; which he did to such a degree that the foxes walked upon it, as freely and commonly as they did in the woods. It is lamentable indeed when the mountain of Zion is made a portion for foxes, Psalm 63:10.

5:17-22 The people of God express deep concern for the ruins of the temple, more than for any other of their calamities. But whatever changes there are on earth, God is still the same, and remains for ever wise and holy, just and good; with Him there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. They earnestly pray to God for mercy and grace; Turn us to thee, O Lord. God never leaves any till they first leave him; if he turns them to him in a way of duty, no doubt he will quickly return to them in a way of mercy. If God by his grace renew our hearts, he will by his favour renew our days. Troubles may cause our hearts to be faint, and our eyes to be dim, but the way to the mercy-seat of our reconciled God is open. Let us, in all our trials, put our whole trust and confidence in his mercy; let us confess our sins, and pour out our hearts before him. Let us watch against repinings and despondency; for we surely know, that it shall be well in the end with all that trust in, fear, love, and serve the Lord. Are not the Lord's judgments in the earth the same as in Jeremiah's days? Let Zion then be remembered by us in our prayers, and her welfare be sought above every earthly joy. Spare, Lord, spare thy people, and give not thine heritage to reproach, for the heathen to rule over them.Is faint ... - Or, has become "faint" - have become "dim." "For this," i. e. for the loss of our crown etc. 17. (La 1:22; 2:11). Either for our sins these miseries are befallen us; or for these miseries our spirits fail us, and we are almost blinded with weeping.

For this our heart is faint,.... Our spirits sink; we are ready to swoon and die away; either for this, that we have sinned; because of our sins, they are so many, so great, and so aggravated; or for those distresses and calamities they have brought upon us before mentioned; or for the desolation of Zion, more especially, after expressed; and so the Targum,

"for this house of the sanctuary, which is desolate, our heart is weak:''

for these things our eyes are dim; or "darkened" (b) almost blinded with weeping; can scarcely see out of them; or as persons in a swoon; for dimness of sight usually attends faintness of spirit.

(b) "contenebrati sunt", V. L. "obtenebrati", Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Cocceius.

For this our heart is faint; for these things our {i} eyes are dim.

(i) With weeping.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 17, 18. - These verses form a transition to the final appeal. The thought of the desolation of Zion overwhelms the spirit of the poet. But he will soon be able to lift himself up again when he recalls the sublime truth of the inviolable security of Israel's God. Foxes; rather, jackals. Lamentations 5:17The request that the judgment of wrath may be averted, and that the former gracious condition may be restored. Lamentations 5:17 and Lamentations 5:18 form the transition to the request in Lamentations 5:19-22. "Because of this" and "because of these [things]" refer mainly to what precedes, yet not in such a way as that the former must be referred to the fact that sin has been committed, and the latter to the suffering. The two halves of the verse are unmistakeably parallel; the sickening of the heart is essentially similar to the dimness coming on the eyes, the former indicating the sorrow of the soul, while the latter is the expression of this sorrow in tears. "Because of this (viz., because of the misery hitherto complained of) the heart has become sick," and the grief of the heart finds vent in tears, in consequence of which the eyes have become dim; cf. Lamentations 2:11. But this sorrow culminates in the view taken of the desolation of Mount Zion, which receives consideration, not because of its splendid palaces (Thenius), but as the holy mountain on which the house of God stood, for "Zion" comprehended Moriah; see on Psalm 2:6; Psalm 9:12; Psalm 76:3. The glory formerly attaching to Mount Zion (Psalm 48:3; Psalm 50:2) is departed; the mountain has been so much laid waste, that jackals roam on it. שׁוּעלים are not properly foxes, but jackals (as in Psalm 63:11), which lodge among the ruins. הלּך is an intensive form, meaning to rove or roam about.
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