New International Version
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them.
King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:
Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Consider, and call for the mourning women, that they may come, and send for the skilful women, that they may come;
World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh of Armies, Consider, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for the skillful women, that they may come:
Young's Literal Translation
Thus said Jehovah of Hosts: Consider ye, and call for mourning women, And they come, And to the wise women send, and they come,
Jeremiah 9:17 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Call for the mourning women - Those whose office it was to make lamentations at funerals, and to bewail the dead, for which they received pay. This custom continues to the present in Asiatic countries. In Ireland this custom also prevails, which no doubt their ancestors brought from the east. I have often witnessed it, and have given a specimen of this elsewhere. See the note on Matthew 9:23. The first lamentations for the dead consisted only in the sudden bursts of inexpressible grief, like that of David over his son Absalom, 2 Samuel 19:4. But as men grew refined, it was not deemed sufficient for the surviving relatives to vent their sorrows in these natural, artless expressions of wo, but they endeavored to join others as partners in their sorrows. This gave rise to the custom of hiring persons to weep at funerals, which the Phrygians and Greeks borrowed from the Hebrews. Women were generally employed on these occasions, because the tender passions being predominant in this sex, they succeeded better in their parts; and there were never wanting persons who would let out their services to hire on such occasions. Their lamentations were sung to the pipe as we learn from Matthew 9:23. See the funeral ceremonies practiced at the burial of Hector, as described by Homer: -
Οἱ δ' επει εισαγαγον κλυτα δωματα, τον μεν επειτα
Τρητοις εν λεχεεσσι θεσαν, παρα δ' εἱσαν αοιδους,
Θρηνων εξαρχους, οἱ τε στονοεσσαν αοιδην
Οἱ μεν αρ' εθρηνεον, επι δε στεναχοντο γυναικες.
Il. lib. 24., ver. 719.
"Arrived within the royal house, they stretched
The breathless Hector on a sumptuous bed,
And singers placed beside him, who should chant
The strain funereal; they with many a groan
The dirge began; and still at every close
The female train with many a groan replied."
St. Jerome tells us that even to his time this custom continued in Judea; that women at funerals, with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, endeavored in a modulated voice to invite others to lament with them. The poem before us, from the seventeenth to the twenty-second verse, is both an illustration and confirmation of what has been delivered on this subject, and worthy of the reader's frequent perusal, on account of its affecting pathos, moral sentiments, and fine images, particularly in the twenty-first verse, where death is described in as animated a prosopopoeia as can be conceived. See Lototh's twenty-second Prelection, and Dodd. The nineteenth verse is supposed to be the funeral song of the women.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
the mourning women. Those whose office it was to mournful dirges, and make public lamentations at funerals.
LibraryIndia's Ills and England's Sorrows
It would seem as if some men had been sent into this world for the very purpose of being the world's weepers. God's great house is thoroughly furnished with everything, everything that can express the thoughts and the emotions of the inhabitant, God hath made. I find in nature, plants to be everlasting weepers. There by the lonely brook, where the maiden cast away her life, the willow weeps for ever; and there in the grave yard where men lie slumbering till the trumpet of the archangel shall awaken …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857
Steadfast unto the End
When Jesus entered the synagogue leader's house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes,
2 Chronicles 35:25
Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments.
when people are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.
"'Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the LORD has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.
The Lord is like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation for Daughter Judah.
"Son of man, take up a lament concerning Tyre.
"This is the lament they will chant for her. The daughters of the nations will chant it; for Egypt and all her hordes they will chant it, declares the Sovereign LORD."
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