Lamentations 2:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He has bent his bow like an enemy, with his right hand set like a foe; and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he has poured out his fury like fire.

King James Bible
He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.

American Standard Version
He hath bent his bow like an enemy, he hath stood with his right hand as an adversary, And hath slain all that were pleasant to the eye: In the tent of the daughter of Zion he hath poured out his wrath like fire.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Daleth. He hath bent his bow as an enemy, he hath fixed his right hand as an adversary: and he hath killed all that was fair to behold in the tabernacle of the daughter of Sion, he hath poured out his indignation like fire.

English Revised Version
He hath bent his bow like an enemy, he hath stood with his right hand as an adversary, and hath slain all that were pleasant to the eye: in the tent of the daughter of Zion he hath poured out his fury like fire.

Webster's Bible Translation
He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.

Lamentations 2:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Since neither comfort nor advice is to be found with men, Jerusalem makes her complaint of need to God the Lord. "See, Jahveh, that I am distressed. My bowels glow." חמרמרוּ, the passive enhancing form, from חמר, is found, besides, only in Lamentations 2:11, where the clause before us is repeated, and in Job 16:16, where it is used of the countenance, and can only mean to be glowing red; it is scarcely legitimate to derive it from חמר, Arab. h[mr, to be made red, and must rather be referred to Arab. chmr, to ferment, rise into froth; for even in Psalm 55:9 חמר does not mean to be red, but to rise into froth. מעים, "bowels," are the nobler portions of the internal organs of the body, the seat of the affections; cf. Delitzsch's Biblical Psychology (Clark's translation), p. 314ff. "My heart has turned within me" is an expression used in Hosea 11:8 to designate the feeling of compassion; but here it indicates the most severe internal pain, which becomes thus agonizing through the consciousness of its being deserved on account of resistance to God. מרו for מרה, like בּכו ekil, Jeremiah 22:10; Jeremiah 30:19, etc. Both forms occur together in other verbs also; cf. Olshausen, Gram. 245, h [Ewald, 238, e; Gesen., 75, Rem. 2]. But the judgment also is fearful; for "without (מחוּץ, foris, i.e., in the streets and the open country) the sword renders childless," through the slaughter of the troops; "within (בּבּית, in the houses) כּמּות, like death." It is difficult to account for the use of כּ; for neither the כ of comparison nor the so-called כveritatis affords a suitable meaning; and the transposition of the words into sicut mors intus (Rosenm׬ller, after Lצwe and Wolfsohn) is an arbitrary change. Death, mentioned in connection with the sword, does not mean death in general, but special forms of death through maladies and plagues, as in Jeremiah 15:2; Jeremiah 18:21, not merely the fever of hunger, Jeremiah 14:18; on the other hand, cf. Ezekiel 7:15, "the sword without, pestilence and hunger within." But the difficulty connected with כּמּות is not thereby removed. The verb שׁכּל belongs to both clauses; but "the sword" cannot also be the subject of the second clause, of which the nominative must be כּמּות, "all that is like death," i.e., everything besides the sword that kills, all other causes of death, - pestilences, famine, etc. כּ is used as in כּמראה, Daniel 10:18. That this is the meaning is shown by a comparison of the present passage with Deuteronomy 32:25, which must have been before the writer's mind, so that he took the words of the first clause, viz., "without, the sword bereaves," almost as they stood, but changed וּמחדרים into בּבּית כּמּות, - thus preferring "what is like death," instead of "terror," to describe the cause of destruction. Calvin long ago hit the sense in his paraphrase multae mortes, and the accompanying explanation: utitur nota similitudinis, quasi diceret: nihil domi occurrere nisi mortale (more correctly mortiferum). Much light is thrown on the expression by the parallel adduced by Kalkschmidt from Aeneid, ii. 368, 369: crudelis ubique Luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima mortis imago.

From speaking of friends, a transition is made in Lamentations 1:21 to enemies. Regarding the explanation of Rosenmller, audiverunt quidem amici mei, a me implorati Lamentations 1:19, quod gemens ego...imo sunt omnes hostes mei, Thenius observes that it introduces too much. This remark is still more applicable to his own interpretation: "People (certainly) hear how I sigh, (yet) I have no comforter." The antithesis introduced by the insertion of "yet" destroys the simplicity of arrangement among the clauses, although C. B. Michaelis and Gerlach also explain the passage in the same manner. The subject of the words, "they have heard," in the first clause, is not the friends who are said in Lamentations 1:19 to have been called upon for help, nor those designated in the second clause of Lamentations 1:21 as "all mine enemies," but persons unnamed, who are only characterized in the second clause as enemies, because they rejoice over the calamity which they have heard of as having befallen Jerusalem. The first clause forms the medium of transition from the faithless friends (Lamentations 1:19) to the open enemies (Lamentations 1:21); hence the subject is left undefined, so that one may think of friends and enemies. The foes rejoice that God has brought the evil on her. The words 'הבאת וגו, which follow, cannot also be dependent on כּי ("that Thou hast brought the day which Thou hast announced"), inasmuch as the last clause, "and they shall be like me," does not harmonize with them. Indeed, Ngelsbach and Gerlach, who assume that this is the connection of the clause "Thou hast brought," etc., take 'ויהיוּ כ adversatively: "but they shall be like me." If, however, "they shall be," etc., were intended to form an antithesis to "all mine enemies have heard," etc., the former clause would be introduced by והם. The mere change of tense is insufficient to prove the point. It must further be borne in mind, that in such a case there would be introduced by the words "and they shall be," etc., a new series of ideas, the second great division of the prayer; but this is opposed by the arrangement of the clauses. The second portion of the prayer cannot be attached to the end of the verse. The new series of thoughts begins rather with "Thou hast brought," which the Syriac has rendered by the imperative, venire fac. Similarly Luther translates: "then (therefore) let the day come." C. B. Michaelis, Rosenmller, Pareau, etc., also take the words optatively, referring to the Arabic idiom, according to which a wish is expressed in a vivid manner by the perfect. This optative use of the perfect certainly cannot be shown to exist in the Hebrew; but perhaps it may be employed to mark what is viewed as certain to follow, in which case the Germans use the present. The use of the perfect shows that the occurrence expected is regarded as so certain to happen, that it is represented as if it had already taken place. The perfects in Lamentations 3:56-61 are taken in this sense by nearly all expositors. Similarly we take the clause now before us to mean, "Thou bringest on the day which Thou hast proclaimed (announced)," i.e., the day of judgment on the nations, Jeremiah 25, "so that they become like me," i.e., so that the foes who rejoice over my misfortune suffer the same fate as myself. "The day [which] Thou hast proclaimed" has been to specifically rendered in the Vulgate, adduxisti diem consolationis, probably with a reference of the proclamation to Isaiah 40:2. - After this expression of certainty regarding the coming of a day of punishment for her enemies, there follows, Lamentations 1:22, the request that all the evil they have done to Jerusalem may come before the face of God, in order that He may punish it (cf. Psalm 109:15 with Lamentations 1:14), - do to them as He has done to Jerusalem, because of her transgressions. The clause which assigns the reason ("for many are my sighs," etc.) does not refer to that which immediately precedes; for neither the request that retribution should be taken, nor the confession of guilt ("for all my transgressions"), can be accounted fore by pointing to the deep misery of Jerusalem, inasmuch as her sighing and sickness are not brought on her by her enemies, but are the result of the sufferings ordained by God regarding her. The words contain the ground of the request that God would look on the misery (Lamentations 1:20), and show to the wretched one the compassion which men refuse her. לבּי is exactly the same expression as that in Jeremiah 8:18; cf. also Isaiah 1:5. The reason thus given for making the entreaty forms an abrupt termination, and with these words the sound of lamentation dies away.

Lamentations 2:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

bent

Lamentations 2:5 The LORD was as an enemy: he has swallowed up Israel, he has swallowed up all her palaces: he has destroyed his strong holds...

Lamentations 3:3,12,13 Surely against me is he turned; he turns his hand against me all the day...

Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinks up my spirit...

Job 16:12-14 I was at ease, but he has broken me asunder: he has also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark...

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

Jeremiah 21:5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.

Jeremiah 30:14 All your lovers have forgotten you; they seek you not; for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy...

that were pleasant to the eye. Heb. the desirable of the eye

Ezekiel 24:25 Also, you son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes...

he poured

Lamentations 4:1 How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.

2 Chronicles 34:21,25 Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found...

Isaiah 42:25 Therefore he has poured on him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it has set him on fire round about...

Isaiah 51:17-20 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which have drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury...

Isaiah 63:6 And I will tread down the people in my anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem...

Jeremiah 7:20 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, my anger and my fury shall be poured out on this place, on man, and on beast...

Jeremiah 21:5,12 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath...

Jeremiah 36:7 It may be they will present their supplication before the LORD, and will return every one from his evil way...

Ezekiel 5:13 Thus shall my anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest on them, and I will be comforted...

Ezekiel 6:12 He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword...

Ezekiel 22:22 As silver is melted in the middle of the furnace, so shall you be melted in the middle thereof...

Ezekiel 36:18 Why I poured my fury on them for the blood that they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had polluted it:

Nahum 1:2,6 God is jealous, and the LORD revenges; the LORD revenges, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries...

Cross References
Job 6:4
For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me.

Job 16:13
his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys and does not spare; he pours out my gall on the ground.

Psalm 37:14
The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright;

Isaiah 42:25
So he poured on him the heat of his anger and the might of battle; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.

Jeremiah 7:20
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched."

Jeremiah 10:20
My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again and to set up my curtains.

Jeremiah 30:14
All your lovers have forgotten you; they care nothing for you; for I have dealt you the blow of an enemy, the punishment of a merciless foe, because your guilt is great, because your sins are flagrant.

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