Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) September 3
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Lamentations 1:1--5:22

Context
The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef) 1 

1:1 2 Alas! 3  The city once full of people 4 

now sits all alone! 5 

The prominent 6  lady among the nations

has become a widow! 7 

The princess 8  who once ruled the provinces 9 

has become 10  a forced laborer! 11 

ב (Bet)

1:2 She weeps bitterly at night;

tears stream down her cheeks. 12 

She has no one to comfort her

among all her lovers. 13 

All her friends have betrayed her;

they have become her enemies.

ג (Gimel)

1:3 Judah 14  has departed into exile

under 15  affliction and harsh oppression. 16 

She 17  lives among the nations;

she has found no resting place.

All who pursued her overtook her

in 18  narrow straits. 19 

ד (Dalet)

1:4 The roads to Zion 20  mourn 21 

because no one 22  travels to the festivals. 23 

All her city gates 24  are deserted; 25 

her priests groan. 26 

Her virgins grieve; 27 

she is in bitter anguish! 28 

ה (He)

1:5 Her foes subjugated her; 29 

her enemies are at ease. 30 

For the Lord afflicted her

because of her many acts of rebellion. 31 

Her children went away

captive 32  before the enemy.

ו (Vav)

1:6 All of Daughter Zion’s 33  splendor 34 

has departed. 35 

Her leaders became like deer;

they found no pasture,

so they were too exhausted to escape 36 

from the hunter. 37 

ז (Zayin)

1:7 Jerusalem 38  remembers, 39 

when 40  she became a poor homeless person, 41 

all her treasures

that she owned in days of old. 42 

When her people fell into an enemy’s grip, 43 

none of her allies came to her rescue. 44 

Her enemies 45  gloated over 46  her;

they sneered 47  at her downfall. 48 

ח (Khet)

1:8 Jerusalem committed terrible sin; 49 

therefore she became an object of scorn. 50 

All who admired 51  her have despised her 52 

because they have seen her nakedness. 53 

She groans aloud 54 

and turns away in shame. 55 

ט (Tet)

1:9 Her menstrual flow 56  has soiled 57  her clothing; 58 

she did not consider 59  the consequences of her sin. 60 

Her demise 61  was astonishing, 62 

and there was no one to comfort her.

She cried, “Look, 63  O Lord, on my 64  affliction

because my 65  enemy boasts!”

י (Yod)

1:10 An enemy grabbed 66 

all her valuables. 67 

Indeed she watched in horror 68  as Gentiles 69 

invaded her holy temple 70 

those whom you 71  had commanded:

“They must not enter 72  your assembly place.” 73 

כ (Kaf)

1:11 All her people groaned

as they searched for a morsel of bread. 74 

They exchanged 75  their valuables 76 

for 77  just enough food

to stay alive. 78 

Jerusalem Speaks:

“Look, O Lord! Consider 79 

that I have become worthless!”

ל (Lamed)

1:12 Is it nothing to you, 80  all you who pass by on the road? 81 

Look and see!

Is there any pain like mine?

The Lord 82  has afflicted me, 83 

he 84  has inflicted it on me

when 85  he burned with anger. 86 

מ (Mem)

1:13 He sent down fire 87 

into my bones, and it overcame 88  them.

He spread out a trapper’s net 89  for my feet;

he made me turn back.

He has made me desolate;

I am faint all day long.

נ (Nun)

1:14 My sins are bound around my neck like a yoke; 90 

they are fastened together by his hand.

He has placed his yoke 91  on my neck; 92 

he has sapped my strength. 93 

The Lord 94  has handed me over 95 

to those whom I cannot resist.

ס (Samek)

1:15 He rounded up 96  all my mighty ones; 97 

The Lord 98  did this 99  in 100  my midst.

He summoned an assembly 101  against me

to shatter my young men.

The Lord has stomped like grapes 102 

the virgin daughter, Judah. 103 

ע (Ayin)

1:16 I weep because of these things;

my eyes 104  flow with tears. 105 

For there is no one in sight who can comfort me 106 

or encourage me. 107 

My children 108  are desolated 109 

because an enemy has prevailed.

The Prophet Speaks:

פ (Pe)

1:17 Zion spread out her hands,

but there is no one to comfort her.

The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob;

his neighbors 110  have become his enemies.

Jerusalem has become

like filthy garbage 111  in their midst. 112 

Jerusalem Speaks:

צ (Tsade)

1:18 The Lord is right to judge me! 113 

Yes, I rebelled against his commands. 114 

Please listen, all you nations, 115 

and look at my suffering!

My young women and men

have gone into exile.

ק (Qof)

1:19 I called for my lovers, 116 

but they had deceived me.

My priests and my elders

perished in the city.

Truly they had 117  searched for food

to 118  keep themselves 119  alive. 120 

ר (Resh)

1:20 Look, O Lord! I am distressed; 121 

my stomach is in knots! 122 

My heart is pounding 123  inside me.

Yes, I was terribly rebellious! 124 

Out in the street the sword bereaves a mother of her children; 125 

Inside the house death is present. 126 

ש (Sin/Shin)

1:21 They have heard 127  that I groan,

yet there is no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my trouble;

they are glad that you 128  have brought it about. 129 

Bring about 130  the day of judgment 131  that you promised 132 

so that 133  they may end up 134  like me!

ת (Tav)

1:22 Let all their wickedness come before you;

afflict 135  them

just as you have afflicted 136  me 137 

because of all my acts of rebellion. 138 

For my groans are many,

and my heart is sick with sorrow. 139 

The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)

2:1 Alas! 140  The Lord 141  has covered

Daughter Zion 142  with his anger. 143 

He has thrown down the splendor of Israel

from heaven to earth;

he did not protect 144  his temple 145 

when he displayed his anger. 146 

ב (Bet)

2:2 The Lord 147  destroyed 148  mercilessly 149 

all the homes of Jacob’s descendants. 150 

In his anger he tore down

the fortified cities 151  of Daughter Judah.

He knocked to the ground and humiliated

the kingdom and its rulers. 152 

ג (Gimel)

2:3 In fierce anger 153  he destroyed 154 

the whole army 155  of Israel.

He withdrew his right hand 156 

as the enemy attacked. 157 

He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob; 158 

it consumed everything around it. 159 

ד (Dalet)

2:4 He prepared his bow 160  like an enemy;

his right hand was ready to shoot. 161 

Like a foe he killed everyone,

even our strong young men; 162 

he has poured out his anger like fire

on the tent 163  of Daughter Zion.

ה (He)

2:5 The Lord, 164  like an enemy,

destroyed 165  Israel.

He destroyed 166  all her palaces;

he ruined her 167  fortified cities.

He made everyone in Daughter Judah

mourn and lament. 168 

ו (Vav)

2:6 He destroyed his temple 169  as if it were a vineyard; 170 

he destroyed his appointed meeting place.

The Lord has made those in Zion forget

both the festivals and the Sabbaths. 171 

In his fierce anger 172  he has spurned 173 

both king and priest.

ז (Zayin)

2:7 The Lord 174  rejected 175  his altar

and abhorred his temple. 176 

He handed over to the enemy 177 

her palace walls;

the enemy 178  shouted 179  in the Lord’s temple

as if it were a feast day. 180 

ח (Khet)

2:8 The Lord was determined to tear down

Daughter Zion’s wall.

He prepared to knock it down; 181 

he did not withdraw his hand from destroying. 182 

He made the ramparts and fortified walls lament;

together they mourned their ruin. 183 

ט (Tet)

2:9 Her city gates have fallen 184  to the ground;

he smashed to bits 185  the bars that lock her gates. 186 

Her king and princes were taken into exile; 187 

there is no more guidance available. 188 

As for her prophets,

they no longer receive 189  a vision from the Lord.

י (Yod)

2:10 The elders of Daughter Zion

sit 190  on the ground in silence. 191 

They have thrown dirt on their heads;

They have dressed in sackcloth. 192 

Jerusalem’s young women 193  stare down at the ground. 194 

כ (Kaf)

2:11 My eyes are worn out 195  from weeping; 196 

my stomach is in knots. 197 

My heart 198  is poured out on the ground

due to the destruction 199  of my helpless people; 200 

children and infants faint

in the town squares.

ל (Lamed)

2:12 Children 201  say to their mothers, 202 

“Where are food and drink?” 203 

They faint 204  like a wounded warrior

in the city squares.

They die slowly 205 

in their mothers’ arms. 206 

מ (Mem)

2:13 With what can I equate 207  you?

To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you 208 

so that 209  I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion?

Your wound is as deep 210  as the sea. 211 

Who can heal you? 212 

נ (Nun)

2:14 Your prophets saw visions for you

that were worthless lies. 213 

They failed to expose your sin

so as to restore your fortunes. 214 

They saw oracles for you

that were worthless 215  lies.

ס (Samek)

2:15 All who passed by on the road

clapped their hands to mock you. 216 

They sneered and shook their heads

at Daughter Jerusalem.

“Ha! Is this the city they called 217 

‘The perfection of beauty, 218 

the source of joy of the whole earth!’?” 219 

פ (Pe)

2:16 All your enemies

gloated over you. 220 

They sneered and gnashed their teeth;

they said, “We have destroyed 221  her!

Ha! We have waited a long time for this day.

We have lived to see it!” 222 

ע (Ayin)

2:17 The Lord has done what he planned;

he has fulfilled 223  his promise 224 

that he threatened 225  long ago: 226 

He has overthrown you without mercy 227 

and has enabled the enemy to gloat over you;

he has exalted your adversaries’ power. 228 

צ (Tsade)

2:18 Cry out 229  from your heart 230  to the Lord, 231 

O wall of Daughter Zion! 232 

Make your tears flow like a river

all day and all night long! 233 

Do not rest;

do not let your tears 234  stop!

ק (Qof)

2:19 Get up! Cry out in the night 235 

when the night watches start! 236 

Pour out your heart 237  like water

before the face of the Lord! 238 

Lift up your hands 239  to him

for your children’s lives; 240 

they are fainting 241 

at every street corner. 242 

Jerusalem Speaks:

ר (Resh)

2:20 Look, O Lord! Consider! 243 

Whom have you ever afflicted 244  like this?

Should women eat their offspring, 245 

their healthy infants? 246 

Should priest and prophet

be killed in the Lord’s 247  sanctuary?

ש (Sin/Shin)

2:21 The young boys and old men

lie dead on the ground in the streets.

My young women 248  and my young men

have fallen by the sword.

You killed them when you were angry; 249 

you slaughtered them without mercy. 250 

ת (Tav)

2:22 As if it were a feast day, you call 251 

enemies 252  to terrify me 253  on every side. 254 

On the day of the Lord’s anger

no one escaped or survived.

My enemy has finished off

those healthy infants whom I bore 255  and raised. 256 

The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef) 257 

3:1 I am the man 258  who has experienced 259  affliction

from the rod 260  of his wrath.

3:2 He drove me into captivity 261  and made me walk 262 

in darkness and not light.

3:3 He repeatedly 263  attacks me,

he turns his hand 264  against me all day long. 265 

ב (Bet)

3:4 He has made my mortal skin 266  waste away;

he has broken my bones.

3:5 He has besieged 267  and surrounded 268  me

with bitter hardship. 269 

3:6 He has made me reside in deepest darkness 270 

like those who died long ago.

ג (Gimel)

3:7 He has walled me in 271  so that I cannot get out;

he has weighted me down with heavy prison chains. 272 

3:8 Also, when I cry out desperately 273  for help, 274 

he has shut out my prayer. 275 

3:9 He has blocked 276  every road I take 277  with a wall of hewn stones;

he has made every path impassable. 278 

ד (Dalet)

3:10 To me he is like a bear lying in ambush, 279 

like a hidden lion 280  stalking its prey. 281 

3:11 He has obstructed my paths 282  and torn me to pieces; 283 

he has made me desolate.

3:12 He drew 284  his bow and made me 285 

the target for his arrow.

ה (He)

3:13 He shot 286  his arrows 287 

into my heart. 288 

3:14 I have become the laughingstock of all people, 289 

their mocking song 290  all day long. 291 

3:15 He has given me my fill of bitter herbs

and made me drunk with bitterness. 292 

ו (Vav)

3:16 He ground 293  my teeth in gravel;

he trampled 294  me in the dust.

3:17 I 295  am deprived 296  of peace; 297 

I have forgotten what happiness 298  is.

3:18 So I said, “My endurance has expired;

I have lost all hope of deliverance 299  from the Lord.”

ז (Zayin)

3:19 Remember 300  my impoverished and homeless condition, 301 

which is a bitter poison. 302 

3:20 I 303  continually think about 304  this,

and I 305  am depressed. 306 

3:21 But this I call 307  to mind; 308 

therefore I have hope:

ח (Khet)

3:22 The Lord’s loyal kindness 309  never ceases; 310 

his compassions 311  never end.

3:23 They are fresh 312  every morning;

your faithfulness is abundant! 313 

3:24 “My portion is the Lord,” I have said to myself, 314 

so I will put my hope in him.

ט (Tet)

3:25 The Lord is good to those who trust 315  in him,

to the one 316  who seeks him.

3:26 It is good to wait patiently 317 

for deliverance from the Lord. 318 

3:27 It is good for a man 319 

to bear 320  the yoke 321  while he is young. 322 

י (Yod)

3:28 Let a person 323  sit alone in silence,

when the Lord 324  is disciplining him. 325 

3:29 Let him bury his face in the dust; 326 

perhaps there is hope.

3:30 Let him offer his cheek to the one who hits him; 327 

let him have his fill of insults.

כ (Kaf)

3:31 For the Lord 328  will not

reject us forever. 329 

3:32 Though he causes us 330  grief, he then has compassion on us 331 

according to the abundance of his loyal kindness. 332 

3:33 For he is not predisposed to afflict 333 

or to grieve people. 334 

ל (Lamed)

3:34 To crush underfoot

all the earth’s prisoners, 335 

3:35 to deprive a person 336  of his rights 337 

in the presence of the Most High,

3:36 to defraud a person in a lawsuit –

the Lord 338  does not approve 339  of such things!

מ (Mem)

3:37 Whose command was ever fulfilled 340 

unless the Lord 341  decreed it?

3:38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that everything comes –

both calamity and blessing? 342 

3:39 Why should any living person 343  complain

when punished for his sins? 344 

נ (Nun)

3:40 Let us carefully examine our ways, 345 

and let us return to the Lord.

3:41 Let us lift up our hearts 346  and our hands

to God in heaven:

3:42 “We 347  have blatantly rebelled; 348 

you 349  have not forgiven.”

ס (Samek)

3:43 You shrouded yourself 350  with anger and then pursued us;

you killed without mercy.

3:44 You shrouded yourself with a cloud

so that no prayer can get through.

3:45 You make us like filthy scum 351 

in the estimation 352  of the nations.

פ (Pe)

3:46 All our enemies have gloated over us; 353 

3:47 Panic and pitfall 354  have come upon us,

devastation and destruction. 355 

3:48 Streams 356  of tears flow from my eyes 357 

because my people 358  are destroyed. 359 

ע (Ayin)

3:49 Tears flow from my eyes 360  and will not stop;

there will be no break 361 

3:50 until the Lord looks down from heaven

and sees what has happened. 362 

3:51 What my eyes see 363  grieves me 364 

all the suffering of the daughters in my city. 365 

צ (Tsade)

3:52 For no good reason 366  my enemies

hunted me down 367  like a bird.

3:53 They shut me 368  up in a pit

and threw stones at me.

3:54 The waters closed over my head;

I thought 369  I was about to die. 370 

ק (Qof)

3:55 I have called on your name, O Lord,

from the deepest pit. 371 

3:56 You heard 372  my plea: 373 

“Do not close your ears to my cry for relief!” 374 

3:57 You came near 375  on the day I called to you;

you said, 376  “Do not fear!”

ר (Resh)

3:58 O Lord, 377  you championed 378  my cause, 379 

you redeemed my life.

3:59 You have seen the wrong done to me, O Lord;

pronounce judgment on my behalf! 380 

3:60 You have seen all their vengeance,

all their plots against me. 381 

ש (Sin/Shin)

3:61 You have heard 382  their taunts, O Lord,

all their plots against me.

3:62 My assailants revile and conspire 383 

against me all day long.

3:63 Watch them from morning to evening; 384 

I am the object of their mocking songs.

ת (Tav)

3:64 Pay them back 385  what they deserve, 386  O Lord,

according to what they 387  have done. 388 

3:65 Give them a distraught heart; 389 

may your curse be on them!

3:66 Pursue them 390  in anger and eradicate them

from under the Lord’s heaven.

The Prophet Speaks:

א (Alef)

4:1 391 Alas! 392  Gold has lost its luster; 393 

pure gold loses value. 394 

Jewels 395  are scattered

on every street corner. 396 

ב (Bet)

4:2 The precious sons of Zion

were worth their weight in gold –

Alas! – but now they are treated like 397  broken clay pots,

made by a potter. 398 

ג (Gimel)

4:3 Even the jackals 399  nurse their young

at their breast, 400 

but my people 401  are cruel,

like ostriches 402  in the desert.

ד (Dalet)

4:4 The infant’s tongue sticks

to the roof of its mouth due to thirst;

little children beg for bread, 403 

but no one gives them even a morsel. 404 

ה (He)

4:5 Those who once feasted on delicacies 405 

are now starving to death 406  in the streets.

Those who grew up 407  wearing expensive clothes 408 

are now dying 409  amid garbage. 410 

ו (Vav)

4:6 The punishment 411  of my people 412 

exceeded that of 413  of Sodom,

which was overthrown in a moment

with no one to help her. 414 

ז (Zayin)

4:7 Her consecrated ones 415  were brighter than snow,

whiter than milk;

their bodies more ruddy than corals,

their hair 416  like lapis lazuli. 417 

ח (Khet)

4:8 Now their appearance 418  is darker than soot;

they are not recognized in the streets.

Their skin has shriveled on their bones;

it is dried up, like tree bark.

ט (Tet)

4:9 Those who died by the sword 419  are better off

than those who die of hunger, 420 

those who 421  waste away, 422 

struck down 423  from lack of 424  food. 425 

י (Yod)

4:10 The hands of tenderhearted women 426 

cooked their own children,

who became their food, 427 

when my people 428  were destroyed. 429 

כ (Kaf)

4:11 The Lord fully vented 430  his wrath;

he poured out his fierce anger. 431 

He started a fire in Zion;

it consumed her foundations. 432 

ל (Lamed)

4:12 Neither the kings of the earth

nor the people of the lands 433  ever thought 434 

that enemy or foe would enter

the gates 435  of Jerusalem. 436 

מ (Mem)

4:13 But it happened 437  due to the sins of her prophets 438 

and the iniquities of her priests,

who poured out in her midst

the blood of the righteous.

נ (Nun)

4:14 They 439  wander blindly 440  through the streets,

defiled by the blood they shed, 441 

while no one dares 442 

to touch their garments.

ס (Samek)

4:15 People cry to them, “Turn away! You are unclean!

Turn away! Turn away! Don’t touch us!”

So they have fled and wander about;

but the nations say, 443  “They may not stay here any longer.”

פ (Pe)

4:16 The Lord himself 444  has scattered them;

he no longer watches over them.

They did not honor the priests; 445 

they did not show favor to the elders. 446 

The People of Jerusalem Lament:

ע (Ayin)

4:17 Our eyes continually failed us

as we looked in vain for help. 447 

From our watchtowers we watched

for a nation that could not rescue us.

צ (Tsade)

4:18 Our enemies 448  hunted us down at every step 449 

so that we could not walk about in our streets.

Our end drew near, our days were numbered, 450 

for our end had come!

ק (Qof)

4:19 Those who pursued us were swifter

than eagles 451  in the sky. 452 

They chased us over the mountains;

they ambushed us in the wilderness.

ר (Resh)

4:20 Our very life breath – the Lord’s anointed king 453 

was caught in their traps, 454 

of whom we thought, 455 

“Under his protection 456  we will survive among the nations.”

The Prophet Speaks:

ש (Sin/Shin)

4:21 Rejoice and be glad for now, 457  O people of Edom, 458 

who reside in the land of Uz.

But the cup of judgment 459  will pass 460  to you also;

you will get drunk and take off your clothes.

ת (Tav)

4:22 O people of Zion, 461  your punishment 462  will come to an end; 463 

he will not prolong your exile. 464 

But, O people of Edom, 465  he will punish 466  your sin 467 

and reveal 468  your offenses!

The People of Jerusalem Pray:

5:1 469 O Lord, reflect on 470  what has happened to us;

consider 471  and look at 472  our disgrace.

5:2 Our inheritance 473  is turned over to strangers;

foreigners now occupy our homes. 474 

5:3 We have become fatherless orphans;

our mothers have become widows.

5:4 We must pay money 475  for our own water; 476 

we must buy our own wood at a steep price. 477 

5:5 We are pursued – they are breathing down our necks; 478 

we are weary and have no rest. 479 

5:6 We have submitted 480  to Egypt and Assyria

in order to buy food to eat. 481 

5:7 Our forefathers 482  sinned and are dead, 483 

but we 484  suffer 485  their punishment. 486 

5:8 Slaves 487  rule over us;

there is no one to rescue us from their power. 488 

5:9 At the risk 489  of our lives 490  we get our food 491 

because robbers lurk 492  in the countryside. 493 

5:10 Our skin is hot as an oven

due to a fever from hunger. 494 

5:11 They raped 495  women in Zion,

virgins in the towns of Judah.

5:12 Princes were hung by their hands;

elders were mistreated. 496 

5:13 The young men perform menial labor; 497 

boys stagger from their labor. 498 

5:14 The elders are gone from the city gate;

the young men have stopped playing their music.

5:15 Our hearts no longer have any joy; 499 

our dancing is turned to mourning.

5:16 The crown has fallen from our head;

woe to us, for we have sinned!

5:17 Because of this, our hearts are sick; 500 

because of these things, we can hardly see 501  through our tears. 502 

5:18 For wild animals 503  are prowling over Mount Zion,

which lies desolate.

5:19 But you, O Lord, reign forever;

your throne endures from generation to generation.

5:20 Why do you keep on forgetting 504  us?

Why do you forsake us so long?

5:21 Bring us back to yourself, O Lord, so that we may return 505  to you;

renew our life 506  as in days before, 507 

5:22 unless 508  you have utterly rejected us 509 

and are angry with us beyond measure. 510 

1 sn Chapters 1-4 are arranged in alphabetic-acrostic structures; the acrostic pattern does not appear in chapter 5. Each of the 22 verses in chapters 1, 2 and 4 begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, while the acrostic appears in triplicate in the 66 verses in chapter 3. The acrostic pattern does not appear in chapter 5, but its influence is felt in that it has 22 verses, the same as the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. For further study on Hebrew acrostics, see W. M. Soll, “Babylonian and Biblical Acrostics,” Bib 69 (1988): 305-23; D. N. Freedman, “Acrostic Poems in the Hebrew Bible: Alphabetic and Otherwise,” CBQ 48 (1986): 408-31; B. Johnson, “Form and Message in Lamentations,” ZAW 97 (1985): 58-73; K. C. Hanson, “Alphabetic Acrostics: A Form Critical Study,” Ph.D. diss., Claremont Graduate School, 1984; S. Bergler, “Threni V – Nur ein alphabetisierendes Lied? Versuch einer Deutung,” VT 27 (1977): 304-22; E. M. Schramm, “Poetic Patterning in Biblical Hebrew,” Michigan Oriental Studies in Honor of George S. Cameron, 175-78; D. N. Freedman, “Acrostics and Metrics in Hebrew Poetry,” HTR 65 (1972): 367-92; N. K. Gottwald, “The Acrostic Form,” Studies in the Book of Lamentations, 23-32; P. A. Munch, “Die alphabetische Akrostichie in der judischen Psalmendicthung,” ZDMG 90 (1936): 703-10; M. Löhr, “Alphabetische und alphabetisierende Lieder im AT,” ZAW 25 (1905): 173-98.

2 tc The LXX and Vulgate (dependent on the LXX) include a preface that is lacking in the MT: “And it came to pass after Israel had been taken captive and Jerusalem had been laid waste, Jeremiah sat weeping and lamented this lament over Jerusalem, and said….” Scholars generally view the preface in the LXX and Vulgate as a later addition, though the style is Hebrew rather than Greek.

3 tn The adverb אֵיכָה (’ekhah) is used as an exclamation of lament or desperation: “How!” (BDB 32 s.v.) or “Alas!” (HALOT 40 s.v. 1.e). It is often the first word in laments (Isa 1:21; Jer 48:17; Lam 1:1; 2:1; 4:1, 2). Like the less emphatic exclamation אֵיךְ (’ekh, “Alas!”) (2 Sam 1:19; Isa 14:4, 12; Ezek 26:17), it is used in contexts of lament and mourning.

sn The term אֵיכָה (’ekhah, “Alas!”) and counterpart אֵיךְ (’ekh, “Alas!”) are normally uttered in contexts of mourning as exclamations of lament over a deceased person (2 Sam 1:19; Isa 14:4, 12). The prophets borrow this term from its normal Sitz im Leben in the funeral lament and rhetorically place it in the context of announcements or descriptions of God’s judgment (Isa 1:21; Jer 48:17; Ezek 26:17; Lam 1:1; 2:1; 4:1, 2). This creates a personification of the city/nation which is either in danger of imminent “death” or already has “died” as a result of the Lord’s judgment.

4 tn Heb “great of people.” The construct רַבָּתִי עָם (rabbatiam, “great of people”) is an idiom for large population: “full of people, populous” (BDB 912-13 s.v. I רַב; HALOT 1172 s.v. 7.a). The hireq-campaginis ending on רַבָּתִי (rabbati), from the adjective רַב (rav, “great”), is a remnant of the old genitive-construct case (GKC 253 §90.l). By contrast to the first half of the line, it is understood that she was full of people formerly. רַבָּתִי עָם (rabbatiam) may also be construed as a title.

sn Two thirds of Lamentations is comprised of enjambed lines rather than Hebrew poetry’s more frequent couplets of parallel phrasing. This serves a rhetorical effect not necessarily apparent if translated in the word order of English prose. Together with the alphabetic acrostic form, these pull the reader/hearer along through the various juxtaposed pictures of horror and grief. For further study on the import of these stylistic features to the function of Lamentations see F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp, Lamentations (IBC), 12-20; idem, “The Enjambing Line in Lamentations: A Taxonomy (Part 1),” ZAW 113/2 (2001): 219-39; idem, “The Effects of Enjambment in Lamentations,” ZAW 113/5 (2001): 1-16. However, for the sake of English style and clarity, the translation does not necessarily reflect the Hebrew style and word order.

5 tn The noun בָּדָד (badad, “isolation, alone”) functions as adverbial accusative of state. After verbs of dwelling, it pictures someone sitting apart, which may be linked to dwelling securely, especially of a city or people (Num 23:9; Deut 33:28; Jer 49:31; Ps 4:8 [HT 9]), or to isolation (Lev 13:46; Jer 15:17; 3:28). Applied to personified Jerusalem, it contrasts a possible connotation of dwelling securely, instead stating that Lady Jerusalem is abandoned and connoting that the city is deserted.

6 tn Heb “great.” The adjective רַב (rav, “great”) is used in reference to a position of prominence, leadership (Ps 48:3; Dan 11:3, 5) or strength (Isa 53:12; 63:1; 2 Chr 14:10) (BDB 913 s.v. 2.b; HALOT 1172 s.v. 6). The hireq-campaginis ending on רַבָּתִי (rabbati) from the adjective רַב (rav, “great”) is a remnant of the old genitive-construct case (GKC 253 §90.l). This adjective is the same word mentioned at the beginning of the verse in the phrase “full of people.” These may also be construed as epithets.

7 tn The kaf (כּ) prefixed to אַלְמָנָה (’almanah, “widow”) expresses identity (“has become a widow”) rather than comparison (“has become like a widow”) (see HALOT 453 s.v. 1; BDB 454 s.v. כְּ 1.d). The construction emphasizes the class of widowhood.

8 tn The noun שָׂרָתִי (sarati, “princess”) is in construct with the following noun. The hireq-campaginis ending on שָׂרָתִי (sarati) is a remnant of the old genitive-construct case (GKC 253 §90.l).

sn Judah was organized into administrative districts or provinces under the rule of provincial governors (שָׂרִים, sarim) (1 Kgs 20:14, 17, 19). The feminine term שָׂרָה (sarah, “princess, provincial governess”) is a wordplay alluding to this political background: personified Jerusalem had ruled over the Judean provinces.

9 tn Heb “princess among the provinces.” The noun מְדִינָה (mÿdinah) is an Aramaic loanword which refers to an administrative district or province in the empire (e.g., Ezek 19:8; Dan 8:2) (BDB 193 s.v. 2; HALOT 549 s.v.).

10 tn Following the verb הָיָה (hayah, “to be”), the preposition ל (lamed) designates a transition into a new state or condition: “to become” (BDB 512 s.v. לְ 4.a; e.g., Gen 2:7; 1 Sam 9:16; 15:1).

11 tn The noun מַס (mas) means “forced labor, corveé slave, conscripted worker.” It refers to a subjugated population, subject to forced labor and/or heavy taxes (Gen 49:15; Exod 1:11; Deut 20:11; Josh 16:10; 17:13; Judg 1:28, 30, 33, 35; 1 Kgs 5:28; 9:15, 21; 12:18; 2 Chr 10:18; Isa 31:8; Lam 1:1).

12 tn Heb “her tears are on her cheek.”

13 tn Heb “lovers.” The term “lovers” is a figurative expression (hypocatastasis), comparing Jerusalem’s false gods and foreign political alliances to sexually immoral lovers. Hosea uses similar imagery (Hos 2:5, 7, 10, 13). It may also function as a double entendre, first evoking a disconcerting picture of a funeral where the widow has no loved ones present to comfort her. God also does not appear to be present to comfort Jerusalem and will later be called her enemy. The imagery in Lamentations frequently capitalizes on changing the reader’s expectations midstream.

14 tn Heb “Judah.” The term “Judah” is a synecdoche of nation (= Judah) for the inhabitants of the nation (= people).

15 tn There is a debate over the function of the preposition מִן (min): (1) temporal sense: “after” (HALOT 598 s.v. 2.c; BDB 581 s.v. 4.b) (e.g., Gen 4:3; 38:24; Josh 23:1; Judg 11:4; 14:8; Isa 24:22; Ezek 38:8; Hos 6:2) is adopted by one translation: “After affliction and harsh labor, Judah has gone into exile” (NIV). (2) causal sense: “because” (HALOT 598 s.v. 6; BDB 580 s.v. 2.f) (e.g., Isa 5:13) is adopted by many English versions: “Judah has gone into exile because of misery and harsh oppression/servitude” (cf. KJV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, NJPS). (3) instrumentality: “by, through” (BDB 579 s.v. 2.e): “Judah has gone into exile under affliction, and under harsh servitude” (NASB). The issue here is whether this verse states that Judah went into exile after suffering a long period of trouble and toil, or that Judah went into exile because of the misery and affliction that the populace suffered under the hands of the Babylonians. For fuller treatment of this difficult syntactical problem, see D. R. Hillers, Lamentations (AB), 6-7.

16 tn Heb “great servitude.” The noun עֲבֹדָה (’avodah, “servitude”) refers to the enforced labor and suffering inflicted upon conquered peoples who are subjugated into slavery (Exod 1:14; 2:23; 5:9, 11; 6:9; Deut 26:6; 1 Kgs 12:4; 1 Chr 26:30; 2 Chr 10:4; 12:8; Isa 14:3; Lam 1:3).

17 tn The antecedent of “she” is “Judah,” which functions as a synecdoche of nation (= Judah) for the inhabitants of the nation (= people). Thus, “she” (= Judah) is tantamount to “they” (= former inhabitants of Judah).

18 tn The preposition בִּין (bin) is used in reference to a location: “between” (BDB 107 s.v. 1). The phrase בִּין הַמְּצָרִים (bin hammÿtsarim, “between the narrow places”) is unparalleled elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures; however, this line is paraphrased in “The Thanksgiving Psalm” from Qumran (Hodayoth = 1QH v 29) which adds the phrase “so I could not get away.” Following the interpretation of this line at Qumran, it describes a futile attempt to flee from the enemies in narrow straits which thwarted a successful escape.

19 tn Heb “distresses.” The noun מֵצַר (metsar, “distress”) occurs only here and in Ps 118:5 (NIV, “anguish”). Here, the plural form מְצָרִים (mÿtsarim, lit., “distresses”) is an example of the plural of intensity: “intense distress.” The phrase בִּין הַמְּצָרִים (bin hammÿtsarim, “between the narrow places”) is unparalleled elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures; however, this line is paraphrased in “The Thanksgiving Psalm” from Qumran (Hodayoth = 1QH v 29) which adds the phrase “so I could not get away.” Following the interpretation of this line at Qumran, it describes a futile attempt to flee from the enemies in narrow straits which thwarted a successful escape.

20 tn Heb “roads of Zion.” The noun צִיּוֹן (tsiyyon, Zion) is a genitive of direction (termination) following the construct noun, meaning “roads to Zion.”

sn The noun דַּרְכֵי (darkhe, “roads”) is normally masculine in gender, but here it is feminine (e.g., Exod 18:20) (BDB 202 s.v.) as indicated by the following feminine adjective אֲבֵּלּוֹת (’avelot, “mourning”). This rare feminine usage is probably due to the personification of Jerusalem as a bereaved woman throughout chap. 1.

21 tn The adjective אֲבֵּלּוֹת (’avelot, “mourning”) functions as a predicate of state.

sn The term אָבַּלּ (’aval, “mourn”) refers to the mourning rites for the dead or to those mourning the deceased (Gen 37:35; Job 29:25; Ps 35:14; Jer 16:7; Esth 6:12; Sir 7:34; 48:24). The prophets often use it figuratively to personify Jerusalem as a mourner, lamenting her deceased and exiled citizens (Isa 57:18; 61:2, 3) (BDB 5 s.v.; HALOT 7 s.v.).

22 tn Heb “from lack of.” The construction מִבְּלִי (mibbÿli) is composed of the preposition מִן (min) functioning in a causal sense (BDB 580 s.v. מִן 2.f) and the adverb of negation בְּלִי (bÿli) to denote the negative cause: “from want of” or “without” (HALOT 133 s.v. בְּלִי 4; BDB 115 s.v. בְּלִי 2.c) (Num 14:16; Deut 9:28; 28:55; Eccl 3:11; Isa 5:13; Jer 2:15; 9:11; Hos 4:6; Ezek 34:5).

23 tn Heb “those coming of feast.” The construct chain בָּאֵי מוֹעֵד (bae moed) consists of (1) the substantival plural construct participle בָּאֵי (bae, “those who come”) and (2) the collective singular genitive of purpose מוֹעֵד (moed, “for the feasts”).

24 tc The MT reads שְׁעָרֶיהָ (shÿareha, “her gates”). The BHS editors suggest revocalizing the text to the participle שֹׁעֲרֶיהָ (shoareha, “her gate-keepers”) from שֹׁעֵר (shoer, “porter”; BDB 1045 s.v. שֹׁעֵר). The revocalization creates tight parallelism: “her gate-keepers”//“her priests,” but ruins the chiasm: (A) her gate-keepers, (B) her priests, (B’) her virgins, (A’) the city itself.

25 tn The verb שָׁמֵם (shamem) normally means “to be desolated; to be appalled,” but when used in reference to land, it means “deserted” (Isa 49:8; Ezek 33:28; 35:12, 15; 36:4) (BDB 1030 s.v. 1).

26 tn Heb “groan” or “sigh.” The verb אָנַח (’anakh) is an expression of grief (Prov 29:2; Isa 24:7; Lam 1:4, 8; Ezek 9:4; 21:11). BDB 58 s.v. 1 suggests that it means “sigh” but HALOT 70-71 s.v. prefers “groan” here.

27 tc The MT reads נּוּגוֹת (nugot, “are grieved”), Niphal participle feminine plural from יָגָה (yagah, “to grieve”). The LXX ἀγόμεναι (agomenai) reflects נָהוּגוֹת (nahugot, “are led away”), Qal passive participle feminine plural from נָהַג (nahag, “to lead away into exile”), also reflected in Aquila and Symmachus. The MT reading is an unusual form (see translator’s note below) and best explains the origin of the LXX which is a more common root. It would be difficult to explain the origin of the MT reading if the LXX reflects the original. Therefore, the MT is probably the original reading.

tn Heb “are grieved” or “are worried.” The unusual form נּוּגוֹת (nugot) is probably best explained as Niphal feminine plural participle (with dissimilated nun [ן]) from יָגָה (yagah, “to grieve”). The similarly formed Niphal participle masculine plural construct נוּגֵי (nuge) appears in Zeph 3:18 (GKC 421 §130.a). The Niphal of יָגָה (yagah, “to grieve”) appears only twice, both in contexts of sorrow: “to grieve, sorrow” (Lam 1:4; Zeph 3:18).

28 tn Heb “and she is bitter to herself,” that is, “sick inside” (2 Kgs 4:27)

29 tn Heb “her foes became [her] head” (הָיוּ צָרֶיהָ לְרֹאשׁ, hayu tsareha lÿrosh) or more idiomatically “have come out on top.” This is a Semitic idiom for domination or subjugation, with “head” as a metaphor for leader.

30 tn The nuance expressed in the LXX is that her enemies prosper (cf. KJV, NASB, NRSV, NLT).

31 tn Heb “because of her many rebellions.” The plural פְּשָׁעֶיהָ (pÿshaeha, “her rebellions”) is an example of the plural of repeated action or characteristic behavior (see IBHS 121 §7.4.2c). The 3rd person feminine singular suffix (“her”) probably functions as a subjective genitive: “her rebellions” = “she has rebelled.”

32 tn The singular noun שְׁבִי (shÿvi) is a collective singular, meaning “captives, prisoners.” It functions as an adverbial accusative of state: “[they] went away as captives.”

33 tn Heb “the daughter of Zion.” This phrase is used as an epithet for the city. “Daughter” may seem extraneous in English but consciously joins the various epithets and metaphors of Jerusalem as a woman, a device used to evoke sympathy from the reader.

34 tn Heb “all her splendor.” The 3rd person feminine singular pronominal suffix (“her”) functions as a subjective genitive: “everything in which she gloried.” The noun הָדָר (hadar, “splendor”) is used of personal and impersonal referents in whom Israel gloried: Ephraim (Deut 33:17), Jerusalem (Isa 5:14), Carmel (Isa 35:2). The context focuses on the exile of Zion’s children (1:5c) and leaders (1:6bc). The departure of the children and leaders of Jerusalem going away into exile suggested to the writer the departure of the glory of Israel.

35 tn Heb “It has gone out from the daughter of Zion, all her splendor.”

36 tn Heb “they fled with no strength” (וַיֵּלְכוּ בְלֹא־כֹחַ, vayelÿkhu bÿlo-khoakh).

37 tn Heb “the pursuer” or “chaser.” The term רָדַף (“to chase, pursue”) here refers to a hunter (e.g., 1 Sam 26:20). It is used figuratively (hypocatastasis) of military enemies who “hunt down” those who flee for their lives (e.g., Gen 14:15; Lev 26:7, 36; Judg 4:22; Ps 7:6; 69:27; 83:16; 143:3; Isa 17:13; Lam 5:5; Amos 1:11).

38 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

39 sn As elsewhere in chap. 1, Jerusalem is personified as remembering the catastrophic days of 587 b.c. when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and exiled its inhabitants. Like one of its dispossessed inhabitants, Jerusalem is pictured as becoming impoverished and homeless.

40 tn Heb “the days of her poverty and her homelessness,” or “the days of her affliction and wandering.” The plural construct יְמֵי (yÿme, “days of”) functions in the general sense “the time of” or “when,” envisioning the time period in which this occurred. The principal question is whether the phrase is a direct object or an adverb. If a direct object, she remembers either the season when the process happened or she remembers, i.e. reflects on, her current season of life. An adverbial sense, “during” or “throughout” normally occurs with כֹּל (kol, “all”) in the phrase “all the days of…” but may also occur without כֹּל (kol) in poetry as in Job 10:20. The adverbial sense would be translated “during her poor homeless days.” Treating “days” adverbially makes better sense with line 7b, whereas treating “days” as a direct object makes better sense with line 7c.

41 tn The 3rd person feminine singular suffixes on the terms עָנְיָהּ וּמְרוּדֶיהָ (’onyah umÿrudeha, “her poverty and her homelessness,” or “the days of her affliction and wandering”) function as subjective genitives: “she became impoverished and homeless.” The plural noun וּמְרוּדֶיהָ (umÿrudeha, lit. “her homelessnesses”) is an example of the plural of intensity. The two nouns עָנְיָהּ וּמְרוּדֶיהָ (’onyah umÿrudeha, lit., “her poverty and her homelessness”) form a nominal hendiadys in which one noun functions adjectivally and the other retains its full nominal sense: “her impoverished homelessness” or “homeless poor” (GKC 397-98 §124.e). The nearly identical phrase עֲנִיִּים מְרוּדִים (’aniyyim mÿrudim, “homeless poor”) is used in Isa 58:7 (see GKC 226 §83.c), suggesting this was a Hebrew idiom. Jerusalem is personified as one of its inhabitants who became impoverished and homeless when the city was destroyed.

42 tc The BHS editors suggest that the second bicola in 1:7 is a late addition and should be deleted. Apart from the four sets of bicola here in 1:7 and again in 2:19, every stanza in chapters 1-4 consists of three sets of bicola. Commentators usually suggest dropping line b or line c. Depending on the meaning of “days” in line a (see note on “when” earlier in the verse) either line makes sense. The four lines would make sense as two bicola if “days of” in line 7a is understood adverbially and 7b as the direct object completing the sentence. Lines 7c-d would begin with a temporal modifier and the rest of the couplet describe conditions that were true at that time.

43 tn Heb “into the hand of.” In such phrases “hand” represents power or authority.

44 tn Heb “and there was no helper for her.” This phrase is used idiomatically in OT to describe the plight of a city whose allies refuse to help ward off a powerful attacker. The nominal participle עוֹזֵר II (’oser) refers elsewhere to military warriors (1 Chr 12:1, 18, 22; 2 Chr 20:23; 26:7; 28:23; 26:15; Ps 28:7; 46:6; Ezek 12:14; 30:8; 32:21; Dan 11:34) and the related noun refers to military allies upon whom an attacked city calls for help (Lachish Letters 19:1).

45 tn Heb “the adversaries” (צָרִים, tsarim). The 3rd person feminine singular pronoun “her” is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and good English style.

46 tn The verb רָאָה (raah, “to look”) has a broad range of meanings, including “to feast the eyes upon” and “to look down on” or “to gloat over” fallen enemies with exultation and triumph (e.g., Judg 16:27; Pss 22:18; 112:8; 118:7; Ezek 28:17; Mic 7:10; Obad 12, 13). This nuance is clarified by the synonymous parallelism between רָאוּהָ (rauha, “they gloated over her”) in the A-line and שָׂחֲקוּ עַל־מִשְׁבַּתֶּהָ (sakhaqual-mishbatteha, “they mocked at her downfall”) in the B-line.

47 tn Heb “laughed” or “sneered.” The verb שָׂחַק (sakhaq, “to laugh”) is often used in reference to contempt and derision (e.g., Job 30:1; Pss 37:13; 52:8; 59:9; Lam 1:7).

48 tc The MT reads מִשְׁבַּתֶּהָ (mishbatteha, “her annihilation”) from the noun מִשְׁבָּת (mishbat, “cessation, annihilation”), which is derived from the root שָׁבַת (shavat, “to cease”). The LXX mistakenly connected this with the root יָשַׁב (yashav, “to dwell”), reading μετοικεσίᾳ αὐτῆς (metoikesia auth") which reflects שִׁבְתָּהּ (shivtah, “her dwelling”). The MT is favored on the basis of internal evidence: (1) The MT is the more difficult reading, being a hapax legomenon, (2) the LXX is guilty of simply misunderstanding the root and wrongly vocalizing the consonantal text, and (3) the LXX does not make good sense contextually, while the MT does.

tn Heb “her cessation” or “her annihilation.”

49 tc The MT reads חֵטְא (khet’, “sin”), but the BHS editors suggest the vocalization חָטֹא (khato’, “sin”), Qal infinitive absolute.

50 tn Heb “she has become an object of head-nodding” (לְנִידָה הָיָתָה, lÿniydah hayatah). This reflects the ancient Near Eastern custom of shaking the head in scorn (e.g., Jer 18:16; Ps 44:15 [HT 14]), hence the translation “object of scorn.” There is debate whether נִידָה (nidah) means (1) “object of head-shaking” from נוּד (nud, “to shake,” BDB 626-27 s.v. נוּד); (2) “unclean thing” from נָדַה (nadah, “to be impure”); or (3) “wanderer” from נָדַד (nadad, “to wander,” BDB 622 s.v. I נָדַד). The LXX and Rashi connected it to נָדַד (nadad, “to wander”); however, several important early Greek recensions (Aquila and Symmachus) and Syriac translated it as “unclean thing.” The modern English versions are split: (1) “unclean thing” (NASB); “unclean” (NIV); (2) “a mockery” (NRSV).

51 sn The Piel participle of כָּבֵד (kaved) is infrequent and usually translated formulaically as those who honor someone. The feminine nuance may be best represented as “her admirers have despised her.”

52 tn The verb הִזִּילוּהָ (hizziluha) is generally understood as a rare form of Hiphil perfect 3rd person common plural + 3rd person feminine singular suffix from I זָלַל (zalal, “to despise”): “they despise her.” This follows the I nun (ן) pattern with daghesh (dot) in zayin (ז) rather than the expected geminate pattern הִזִילּוּהָ (hizilluha) with daghesh in lamed (ל) (GKC 178-79 §67.l).

53 sn The expression have seen her nakedness is a common metaphor to describe the plunder and looting of a city by a conquering army, probably drawn on the ignominious and heinous custom of raping the women of a conquered city as well.

54 tn Heb “groan” or “sigh.” The verb אָנַח (’anakh, appearing only in Niphal) means “sigh” (BDB 58 s.v. 1) or “groan” (HALOT 70-71 s.v.) as an expression of grief (Prov 29:2; Isa 24:7; Lam 1:4, 8; Ezek 9:4; 21:11). The word גַּם (gam) is usually a particle meaning “also,” but has been shown from Ugaritic to have the meaning “aloud.” See T. McDaniel, “Philological Studies in Lamentations, I-II,” Bib 49 (1968): 31-32.

55 tn Heb “and turns backward.”

56 tn Heb “uncleanness.” The noun טֻמְאָה (tumah, “uncleanness”) refers in general to the state of ritual uncleanness and specifically to (1) sexual uncleanness (Num 5:19); (2) filthy mass (Ezek 24:11; 2 Chr 29:16); (3) ritual uncleanness (Lev 16:16, 19; Ezek 22:15; 24:13; 36:25, 29; 39:24; Zech 13:2); (4) menstrual uncleanness (Lev 15:25, 26, 30; 18:19; Ezek 36:17); (5) polluted meat (Judg 13:7, 14). Here, Jerusalem is personified as a woman whose menstrual uncleanness has soiled even her own clothes; this is a picture of the consequences of the sin of Jerusalem: uncleanness = her sin, and soiling her own clothes = consequences of sin. The poet may also be mixing metaphors allowing various images (of shame) to circulate in the hearer’s mind, including rape and public exposure. By not again mentioning sin directly (a topic relatively infrequent in this book), the poet lays a general acknowledgment of sin in 1:8 alongside an exceptionally vivid picture of the horrific circumstances which have come to be. It is no simplistic explanation that sin merits such inhumane treatment. Instead 1:9 insists that no matter the legal implications of being guilty, the Lord should be motivated to aid Jerusalem (and therefore her people) because her obscene reality is so revolting.

57 tn Heb “her uncleanness is in her skirts.”

58 tn Heb “her skirts.” This term is a synecdoche of specific (skirts) for general (clothing).

59 tn The basic meaning of זָכַר (zakhar) is “to remember, call to mind” (HALOT 270 s.v. I זכר). Although it is often used in reference to recollection of past events or consideration of present situations, it also may mean “to consider, think about” the future outcome of conduct (e.g., Isa 47:7) (BDB 270 s.v. 5). The same term is used is 7a.

60 tn Heb “she did not consider her end.” The noun אַחֲרִית (’akharit, “end”) here refers to an outcome or the consequences of an action; in light of 1:8 here it is the consequence of sin or immoral behavior (Num 23:10; 24:20; Deut 32:20, 29; Job 8:7; Pss 37:37; 73:17; Prov 14:12; 23:32; 25:8; Eccl 7:8; Isa 46:10; 47:7; Jer 5:31; 17:11; Dan 12:8).

61 tc The MT reads וַתֵּרֶד (vattered) vav (ו) consecutive + Qal preterite 3rd person feminine singular from יָרַד (yarad, “to go down”). Symmachus καὶ κατήχθη (kai kathcqh, “and she was brought down”) and Vulgate deposita est use passive forms which might reflect וַתּוּרַד (vatturad, vav consecutive + Pual preterite 3rd person feminine singular from from יָרַד [yarad, “to go down”]). External evidence favors the MT (supported by all other ancient versions and medieval Hebrew mss); none of the other ancient versions preserve/reflect a passive form. Symmachus is known to have departed from a wooden literal translation (characteristic of Aquila) in favor of smooth and elegant Greek style. The second edition of the Latin Vulgate drew on Symmachus; thus, it is not an independent witness to the passive reading, but merely a secondary witness reflecting Symmachus. The MT is undoubtedly the original reading.

tn Heb “and she came down in an astonishing way” or “and she was brought down in an astonishing way.”

62 tn The noun פֶּלֶא (pele’) means not only “miracle, wonder” (BDB 810 s.v.) but “something unusual, astonishing” (HALOT 928 s.v.). The plural פְּלָאִים (pÿlaim, lit., “astonishments”) is an example of the plural of intensity: “very astonishing.” The noun functions as an adverbial accusative of manner; the nature of her descent shocks and astounds. Rendering פְּלָאִים וַתֵּרֶד (vattered pÿlaim) as “she has come down marvelously” (cf. BDB 810 s.v. 1 and KJV, ASV) is hardly appropriate; it is better to nuance it “in an astonishing way” (HALOT 928 s.v. 3) or simply “was astonishing.”

63 tn The words “she cried” do not appear in the Hebrew. They are added to indicate that personified Jerusalem is speaking.

64 tc The MT reads עָנְיִי (’onyi, “my affliction”) as reflected in all the ancient versions (LXX, Aramaic Targum, Latin Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta) and the medieval Hebrew mss. The Bohairic version and Ambrosius, however, read “her affliction,” which led the BHS editors to suggest a Vorlage of עָנְיָהּ (’onyah, “her affliction”). External evidence strongly favors the MT reading. The 3rd person feminine singular textual variant probably arose out of an attempt to harmonize this form with all the other 3rd person feminine singular forms in 1:1-11a. The MT is undoubtedly the original reading.

65 tn Heb “an enemy.” While it is understood that the enemy is Jerusalem’s, not using the pronoun in Hebrew leaves room to imply to God that the enemy is not only Jerusalem’s but also God’s.

66 tn Heb “stretched out his hand.” The war imagery is of seizure of property; the anthropomorphic element pictures rape. This is an idiom that describes greedy actions (BDB 831 s.v. פָרַשׂ), meaning “to seize” (HALOT 976 s.v. 2).

67 tc The Kethib is written מַחֲמוֹדֵּיהֶם (makhamodehem, “her desired things”); the Qere and many medieval Hebrew mss read מַחֲמַדֵּיהֶם (makhamaddehem, “her desirable things”). The Qere reading should be adopted.

tn Heb “all her desirable things.” The noun מַחְמָד (makhmad, “desirable thing”) refers to valuable possessions, such as gold and silver which people desire (e.g., Ezra 8:27). This probably refers, not to the valuable possessions of Jerusalem in general, but to the sacred objects in the temple in particular, as suggested by the rest of the verse. For the anthropomorphic image compare Song 5:16.

68 tn Heb “she watched” or “she saw.” The verb רָאָה (raah, “to see”) has a broad range of meanings, including “to see” a spectacle causing grief (Gen 21:16; 44:34; Num 11:15; 2 Kgs 22:20; 2 Chr 34:28; Esth 8:6) or abhorrence (Isa 66:24). The words “in horror” are added to “she watched” to bring out this nuance.

69 sn The syntax of the sentence is interrupted by the insertion of the following sentence, “they invaded…,” then continued with “whom…” The disruption of the syntax is a structural device intended to help convey the shock of the situation.

70 tn Heb “her sanctuary.” The term מִקְדָּשָׁהּ (miqdashah, “her sanctuary”) refers to the temple. Anthropomorphically, translating as “her sacred place” would also allow for the rape imagery.

71 sn Lam 1-2 has two speaking voices: a third person voice reporting the horrific reality of Jerusalem’s suffering and Jerusalem’s voice. See W. F. Lanahan, “The Speaking Voice in the Book of Lamentations” JBL 93 (1974): 41-49. The reporting voice has been addressing the listener, referring to the Lord in the third person. Here he switches to a second person address to God, also changing the wording of the following command to second person. The revulsion of the Reporter is so great that he is moved to address God directly.

72 tn Heb “enter.” The Hebrew term בּוֹא (bo’) is also a sexual metaphor.

73 tn The noun קָהָל (qahal, “assembly”) does not refer here to the collective group of people assembled to worship the Lord, but to the place of their assembly: the temple. This is an example of a synecdoche of the people contained (= assembly) for the container (= temple). The intent is to make the violation feel more personal than someone walking into a building.

sn This is a quotation from Deut 23:3, “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, even down to the tenth generation.” Jeremiah applies this prohibition against Ammonites and Moabites to the Babylonians who ransacked and destroyed the temple in 587/586 b.c. This hermeneutical move may be explained on the basis of synecdoche of species (= Ammonites and Moabites) for general (= unconverted Gentiles as a whole). On a different note, the prohibition forbidding Ammonites and Moabites from entering the “assembly” (קָהָל, qahal, Deut 23:2-8) did not disallow Gentile proselytes from converting to Yahwism or from living within the community (= assembled body) of Israel. For example, Ruth the Moabitess abandoned the worship of Moabite gods and embraced Yahweh, then was welcomed into the community of Bethlehem in Judah (Ruth 1:15-22) and even incorporated into the lineage leading to King David (Ruth 4:18-22). This Deuteronomic law did not disallow such genuine conversions of repentant faith toward Yahweh, nor their incorporation into the life of the Israelite community. Nor did it discourage Gentiles from offering sacrifices to the Lord (Num 15:15-16). Rather, it prohibited Gentiles from entering into the tabernacle/temple (= place of assembly) of Israel. This is clear from the reaction of the post-exilic community when it realized that Deut 23:3-5 had been violated by Tobiah the Ammonite who had been given living quarters in the temple precincts (Neh 13:1-9). This is also reflected in the days of the Second Temple when Gentile proselytes were allowed to enter the “court of the Gentiles” in Herod’s temple, but were forbidden further access into the inner temple precincts.

74 tn Heb “bread.” In light of its parallelism with אֹכֶל (’okhel, “food”) in the following line, it is possible that לֶחֶם (lekhem, “bread”) is used in its broader sense of food or nourishment.

75 tn Heb “they sell.”

76 tn Heb “their desirable things.” The noun מַחְמָד (makhmad, “desirable thing”) refers to valuable possessions, such as gold and silver which people desire (e.g., Ezra 8:27).

77 tn The preposition ב (bet) denotes the purchase price paid for an object (BDB 90 s.v. בְּ III.3; HALOT 105 s.v. בְּ 17) (e.g., Gen 23:9; 29:18, 20; 30:16; Lev 25:37; Deut 21:14; 2 Sam 24:24).

78 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) functions as a metonymy (= soul) of association (= life) (e.g., Gen 44:30; Exod 21:23; 2 Sam 14:7; Jon 1:14). When used with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), the Hiphil הָשִׁיב (hashiv) of שׁוּב (shuv, “to turn, return”) may mean “to restore a person’s vitality,” that is, to keep a person alive (Lam 1:14, 19).

79 sn The dagesh lene in כּי (ki) following the vowel ending the verb וְהַבִּיטָה (vÿhabbitah, “consider”) indicates a dramatic pause between calling for the Lord’s attention and stating the allegation to be seen and considered.

80 tc The Heb לוֹא אֲלֵיכֶם (lo’ ’alekhem, “not to you”) is awkward and often considered corrupt but there is no textual evidence yet adduced to certify a more original reading.

81 tn The line as it stands is imbalanced, such that the reference to the passersby may belong here or as a vocative with the following verb translated “look.”

82 tn Heb “He.” The personal pronoun “he” and the personal name “the Lord,” both appearing in this verse, are transposed in the translation for the sake of readability. In the Hebrew text, “He” appears in the A-line and “the Lord” appears in the B-line – good Hebrew poetic style, but awkward English style.

83 tn Heb “which was afflicted on me.” The Polal of עָלַל (’alal) gives the passive voice of the Polel. The Polel of the verb עָלַל (’alal) occurs ten times in the Bible, appearing in agricultural passages for gleaning or some other harvest activity and also in military passages. Jer 6:9 plays on this by comparing an attack to gleaning. The relationship between the meaning in the two types of contexts is unclear, but the very neutral rendering “to treat” in some dictionaries and translations misses the nuance appropriate to the military setting. Indeed it is not at all feasible in a passage like Judges 20:45 where “they treated them on the highway” would make no sense but “they mowed them down on the highway” would fit the context. Accordingly the verb is sometimes rendered “treat” or “deal severely,” as HALOT 834 s.v. poel.3 suggests for Lam 3:51, although simply suggesting “to deal with” in Lam 1:22 and 2:20. A more injurious nuance is given to the translation here and in 1:22; 2:20 and 3:51.

84 sn The delay in naming the Lord as cause is dramatic. The natural assumption upon hearing the passive verb in the previous line, “it was dealt severely,” might well be the pillaging army, but instead the Lord is named as the tormentor.

85 tn Heb “in the day of.” The construction בְּיוֹם (bÿyom, “in the day of”) is a common Hebrew idiom, meaning “when” or “on the occasion of” (e.g., Gen 2:4; Lev 7:35; Num 3:1; Deut 4:15; 2 Sam 22:1; Pss 18:1; 138:3; Zech 8:9).

86 tn Heb “on the day of burning anger.”

87 tn Heb “He sent fire from on high.” Normally God sends fire from heaven. The idiom מִמָּרוֹם (mimmarom, “from on high”) can still suggest the location but as an idiom may focus on the quality of the referent. For example, “to speak from on high” means “to presume to speak as if from heaven” = arrogantly (Ps 73:8); “they fight against me from on high” = proudly (Ps 56:3) (BDB 928-29 s.v. מָרוֹם). As a potential locative, מִמָּרוֹם (mimmarom, “from on high”) designates God as the agent; idiomatically the same term paints him as pitiless.

88 tc The MT reads וַיִּרְדֶּנָּה (vayyirdennah, “it prevailed against them”), representing a vav (ו) consecutive + Qal preterite 3rd person masculine singular + 3rd person feminine plural suffix from רָדָה (radah, “to prevail”). The LXX κατήγαγεν αὐτό (kathgagen auto, “it descended”) reflects an alternate vocalization tradition of וַיֹּרִדֶנָּה (vayyoridennah, “it descended against them”), representing a vav (ו) consecutive + Hiphil preterite 3rd person masculine singular + 3rd person feminine plural suffix from יָרָד (yarad, “to go down”), or הֹרִידָהּ (horidah, “it descended against her”), a Hiphil perfect ms + 3rd person feminine singular suffix from from יָרָד (yarad, “to go down”). Internal evidence favors the MT. The origin of the LXX vocalization can be explained by the influence of the preceding line, “He sent down fire from on high.”

89 tn Heb “net.” The term “trapper’s” is supplied in the translation as a clarification.

90 tc The consonantal text נשקד על פּשעי (nsqdl psy) is vocalized by the MT as נִשְׂקַד עֹל פְּשָׁעַי (nisqadol pÿshaay, “my transgression is bound by a yoke”); but the ancient versions (LXX, Aramaic Targum, Latin Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta) and many medieval Hebrew mss vocalize the text as נִשְׁקַד עַל פְּשָׁעַי (nishqadal pÿshaay, “watch is kept upon my transgression”). There are two textual deviations: (1) the MT vocalizes the verb as נִשְׂקַד (nisqad, Niphal perfect 3rd person masculine singular from שָׂקַד [saqad, “to bind”]), while the alternate tradition vocalizes it as נִשְׁקַד (nishqad, Niphal perfect 3rd person masculine singular from שָׁקַד [shaqad, “to keep watch”]); and (2) the MT vocalizes על (’l) as the noun עֹל (’ol, “yoke”), while the ancient versions and medieval Hebrew mss vocalize it as the preposition עַל (’al, “upon”). External evidence favors the alternate vocalization: all the early versions (LXX, Targum, Vulgate, Peshitta) and many medieval Hebrew mss versus the relatively late MT vocalization tradition. However, internal evidence favors the MT vocalization: (1) The MT verb שָׂקַד (saqar, “to bind”) is a hapax legomenon (BDB 974 s.v. שָׂקַד) which might have been easily confused for the more common verb שָׂקַד (saqar, “to keep watch”) which is well attested elsewhere (Job 21:32; Pss 102:8; 127:1; Prov 8:34; Isa 29:20; Jer 1:12; 5:6; 31:28; 44:27; Ezr 8:29; Dan 9:14) (BDB 1052 s.v. שָׂקַד Qal.2). (2) The syntax of the MT is somewhat awkward, which might have influenced a scribe toward the alternate vocalization. (3) The presence of the noun עֻלּוֹ (’ullo, “his yoke”) in the following line supports the presence of the same term in this line. (4) Thematic continuity of 1:14 favors the MT: throughout the verse, the inhabitants of Jerusalem are continually compared to yoked animals who are sold into the hands of cruel task-masters. The alternate vocalization intrudes into an otherwise unified stanza. In summary, despite strong external evidence in favor of the alternate vocalization tradition, even stronger internal evidence favors the MT.

tn Heb “my transgressions are bound with a yoke.”

91 tc The MT reads עָלוּ (’alu, “they went up”), Qal perfect 3rd person common plural from עָלָה (’alah, “to go up”). However, several important recensions of the LXX reflect an alternate vocalization tradition: Lucian and Symmachus both reflect a Vorlage of עֻלּוֹ (’ullo, “his yoke”), the noun עֹל (’ol, “yoke”) + 3rd person masculine singular suffix. The Lucianic recension was aimed at bringing the LXX into closer conformity to the Hebrew; therefore, this is an important textual witness. Internal evidence favors the readings of Lucian and Symmachus as well: the entire stanza focuses on the repeated theme of the “yoke” of the Lord. The MT reading is obscure in meaning, and the 3rd person common plural form violates the syntactical flow: “[my sins] are lashed together by his hand; they have gone up upon my neck, he has weakened my strength; the Lord has handed me over ….” On the other hand, the Lucian/Symmachus reflects contextual congruence: “My sins are bound around my neck like a yoke, they are lashed together by his hand; his yoke is upon my neck, he has weakened my strength; he has handed me over to those whom I am powerless to resist.”

92 tn Heb “his yoke is upon my neck.”

93 tn Heb “he has caused my strength to stumble.” The phrase הִכְשִׁיל כֹּחִי (hikhshil kokhi, “He has made my strength stumble”) is an idiom that means “to weaken, make feeble.”

94 tc Here the MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”), the perpetual Qere reading for יהוה (YHWH, “Yahweh”), but a multitude of Hebrew mss read consonantal יהוה (YHWH, traditionally translated “the Lord”).

95 tn Heb “The Lord has given me into the hands of.”

96 tn The verb סָלַה (salah) occurs only twice in OT; once in Qal (Ps 119:118) and once here in Piel. It is possibly a by-form of סָלַל (salal, “to heap up”). It may also be related to Aramaic סלא (sl’) meaning “to throw away” and Assyrian salu/shalu meaning “to hurl (away)” (AHw 1152) or “to kick up dust, shoot (arrows), reject, throw away?” (CAD 17:272). With people as its object shalu is used of people casting away their children, specifically meaning selling them on the market. The LXX translates סָלַה (salah) as ἐξῆρεν (exhren, “to remove, lead away”). Thus God is either (1) heaping them up (dead) in the city square, (2) putting them up for sale in the city square, or (3) leading them out of the city (into exile or to deprive it of defenders prior to attack). The English “round up” could accommodate any of these and is also a cattle term, which fits well with the use of the word “bulls” (see following note).

97 tn Heb “bulls.” Metaphorically, bulls may refer to mighty ones, leaders or warriors. F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp (Lamentations [IBC], 69) insightfully suggests that the Samek stanza presents an overarching dissonance by using terms associated with a celebratory feast (bulls, assembly, and a winepress) in sentences where God is abusing the normally expected celebrants, i.e. the “leaders” are the sacrifice.

98 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”); this occurs again a second time later in this verse. See the tc note at 1:14.

99 tn The verb is elided and understood from the preceding colon. Naming “my Lord” as the subject of the verb late, as it were, emphasizes the irony of the action taken by a person in this position.

100 tc The MT reads the preposition בּ (bet, “in”) prefixed to קִרְבִּי (qirbi, “my midst”): בְּקִרְבִּי (bÿkirbi, “in my midst”); however, the LXX reads ἐκ μέσου μου (ek mesou mou) which may reflect a Vorlage of the preposition מִן (min, “from”): מִקִּרְבִּי (miqqirbi, “from my midst”). The LXX may have chosen ἐκ to accommodate understanding סִלָּה (sillah) as ἐξῆρεν (exhren, “to remove, lead away”). The textual deviation may have been caused by an unusual orthographic confusion.

tn Or “out of my midst.” See the preceding tc note.

101 tn Heb “an assembly.” The noun מוֹעֵד (moed, “assembly”) is normally used in reference to the annual religious festive assemblies of Israel (Ezek 45:17; Hos 9:5; Zeph 3:18; Zech 8:19), though a number of English versions take this “assembly” to refer to the invading army which attacks the city (e.g., NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT).

102 tn Heb “a winepress he has stomped.” The noun גַּת (gat, “winepress”) functions as an adverbial accusative of location: “in a winepress.” The translation reflects the synecdoche that is involved – one stomps the grapes that are in the winepress, not the winepress itself.

103 sn The expression the virgin daughter, Judah is used as an epithet, i.e. Virgin Judah or Maiden Judah, further reinforcing the feminine anthrpomorphism.

104 tc The MT and several medieval Hebrew mss read עֵינִי עֵינִי (’eni, ’eni, “my eye, my eye”). However, the second עֵינִי (’eni) does not appear in several other medieval Hebrew mss, or in Old Greek, Syriac Peshitta or Latin Vulgate.

tn Heb “My eye, my eye.” The Hebrew text repeats the term for literary emphasis to stress the emotional distress of personified Jerusalem.

105 tn Heb “with water.” The noun מַּיִם (mayim, “water”) functions as an adverbial accusative of manner or impersonal instrument. The term מַּיִם (mayim, “water”) is a metonymy of material (= water) for the thing formed (= tears).

106 tn Heb “For a comforter is far from me.”

107 tn The phrase מֵשִׁיב נַפְשִׁי (meshiv nafshi, “one who could cause my soul to return”) is a Hebrew idiom that means “one who could encourage me.” The noun נַפְשִׁי (nafshi) refers to the whole person (e.g., Gen 27:4, 25; 49:6; Lev 26:11, 30; Num 23:10; Judg 5:21; 16:30; Isa 1:14; Lam 3:24). When used with the noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) the Hiphil הָשִׁיב (hashiv) of שׁוּב (shuv, “to turn, return”) means “to encourage, refresh, cheer” a person emotionally (Ruth 4:15; Pss 19:8; 23:3; Prov 25:13; Lam 1:11, 16, 19).

108 tn Heb “my sons.” The term “my sons” (בַנַי, banay) is a figurative description (hypocatastasis) of the former inhabitants of Jerusalem/Judah personified as the Lady Jerusalem’s children. Jerusalem mourns (and views) their devastation like a mother would her children.

109 tn The verb שָׁמֵם (shamem) means “to be desolated.” The verb is used used in reference to land destroyed in battle and left “deserted” (Isa 49:8; Ezek 33:28; 35:12, 15; 36:4). When used in reference to persons, it describes the aftermath of a physical attack, such as rape (2 Sam 13:20) or military overthrow of a city (Isa 54:1; Lam 1:13, 16; 3:11).

110 tn Heb “his neighbors,” which refers to the surrounding nations.

111 tn The noun II נִדָּה (niddah, “unclean thing”) has three basic categories of meaning: (1) biological uncleanness: menstruation of a woman (Lev 12:2, 5; 15:19-33 [9x]; Num 19:9, 13, 20; 31:23; Ezek 18:6; 22:10; 36:17); (2) ceremonial uncleanness: moral impurity and idolatry (Lev 20:21; 2 Chr 29:5; Ezra 9:11; Zech 13:1); and (3) physical uncleanness: filthy garbage (Lam 1:17; Ezek 7:19, 20).

112 tc The MT reads בֵּינֵיהֶם (bÿnehem, “in them” = “in their midst”). The BHS editors suggest that this is a textual corruption for בְּעֵינֵיהֶם (beenehem, “in their eyes” = “in their view”). The ע (ayin) might have dropped out due to orthographic confusion.

tn Or “in their eyes.” See the preceding tc note.

113 tn Heb “The Lord himself is right.” The phrase “to judge me” is not in the Hebrew, but is added in the translation to clarify the expression.

114 tn Heb “His mouth.” The term “mouth” (פֶּה, peh) is a metonymy of instrument (= mouth) for the product (= words). The term פֶּה (peh) often stands for spoken words (Ps 49:14; Eccl 10:3; Isa 29:13), declaration (Gen 41:40; Exod 38:21; Num 35:30; Deut 17:6; Ezra 1:1) and commands of God (Exod 17:1; Num 14:41; 22:18; Josh 15:13; 1 Sam 15:24; 1 Chr 12:24; Prov 8:29; Isa 34:16; 62:2). When the verb מָרָה (marah, “to rebel”) is used with the accusative direct object פֶּה (peh, “mouth”) to connote disobedience to God’s commandments (Num 20:24; 1 Sam 12:14, 15; 1 Kgs 13:21) (BDB 805 s.v. פֶּה 2.c).

115 tc The Kethib is written עַמִּים (’ammim, “peoples”), but the Qere, followed by many medieval Hebrew mss and the ancient versions (LXX and Aramaic Targum), read הָעַמִּים (haammim, “O peoples”). The Qere is probably the original reading.

tn Heb “O peoples.” Here Jerusalem addresses the peoples of the surrounding nations (note the use of “neighbors” in the preceding verse).

116 sn The term “lovers” is a figurative expression (hypocatastasis), comparing Jerusalem’s false gods and political alliance with Assyria to a woman’s immoral lovers. The prophet Hosea uses similar imagery (Hos 2:5, 7, 10, 13).

117 tn Here the conjunction כּי (ki) functions in (1) a temporal sense in reference to a past event, following a perfect: “when” (BDB 473 s.v. 2.a; cf. KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV) or (2) a concessive sense, following a perfect: “although” (Pss 21:12; 119:83; Mic 7:8; Nah 1:10; cf. BDB 473 s.v. 2.c.β) or (3) with an intensive force, introducing a statement with emphasis: “surely, certainly” (BDB 472 s.v. 1.e). The present translation follows the third option.

118 tn The vav (ו) prefixed to וַיָשִׁיבוּ (vayashivu) introduces a purpose clause: “they sought food for themselves, in order to keep themselves alive.”

119 tn The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) functions as a metonymy (= soul) of association (= life) (e.g., Gen 44:30; Exod 21:23; 2 Sam 14:7; Jon 1:14). When used with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), the Hiphil הָשִׁיב (hashiv) of שׁוּב (shuv, “to turn, return”) may mean “to preserve a person’s life,” that is, to keep a person alive (Lam 1:14, 19).

120 tc The LXX adds καὶ οὐχ εὗρον (kai ouc Jeuron, “but they did not find it”). This is probably an explanatory scribal gloss, indicated to explicate what appeared to be ambiguous. The LXX often adds explanatory glosses in many OT books.

121 tn Heb “because I have distress” (כִּי־צַר־לִי, ki-tsar-li).

122 tn Heb “my bowels burn” or “my bowels are in a ferment.” The verb חֳמַרְמָרוּ (khamarmaru) is an unusual form and derived from a debated root: Poalal perfect 3rd person common plural from III חָמַר (khamar, “to be red,” HALOT 330 s.v. III חמר) or Pe`al`al perfect 3rd person common plural from I חָמַר (khamar, “to ferment, boil up,” BDB 330 s.v. I חָמַר). The Poalal stem of this verb occurs only three times in OT: with פָּנִים (panim, “face,” Job 16:16) and מֵעִים (meim, “bowels,” Lam 1:20; 2:11). The phrase מֵעַי חֳמַרְמָרוּ (meay khamarmaru) means “my bowels burned” (HALOT 330 s.v.) or “my bowels are in a ferment,” as a euphemism for lower-intestinal bowel problems (BDB 330 s.v.). This phrase also occurs in later rabbinic literature (m. Sanhedrin 7:2). The present translation, “my stomach is in knots,” is not a literal equivalent to this Hebrew idiom; however, it is an attempt to approximate the equivalent English idiom.

123 tn The participle נֶהְפַּךְ (nehpakh), Niphal participle masculine singular הָפַךְ (hafakh, “to turn over”) functions verbally, referring to progressive present-time action (from the speaker’s viewpoint). The verb הָפַךְ (hafakh) is used here to describe emotional distress (e.g., Ezek 4:8).

124 tn Heb “because I was very rebellious.” The Hebrew uses an emphatic construction in which the root מָרַה (marah, “to rebel”) is repeated: מָרוֹ מָרִיתִי (maro mariti), Qal infinitive absolute from מָרָה (marah) followed by Qal perfect 1st person common singular from מָרָה (marah). When an infinitive absolute is used with a finite verb of the same root, it affirms the verbal idea (e.g., Gen 2:17; 18:10; 22:17; 31:15; 46:4; Num 16:13; 23:11; Judg 4:9; 15:13; 20:39; 1 Sam 2:30; 9:6; 2 Sam 24:24; Isa 6:9; Ezek 16:4). See IBHS 585-86 §35.3.1f.

125 tn Heb “in the street the sword bereaves.” The words “a mother of her children” are supplied in the translation as a clarification.

126 tn Heb “in the house it is like death.”

127 tc The MT reads שָׁמְעוּ (shamu, “They heard”), Qal perfect 3rd person common plural from שָׁמַע (shama’, “to hear”). The LXX ἀκούσατε (akousate) reflects the vocalization שִׁמְעוּ (shimu, “Hear!”), Qal imperative 2nd person masculine plural from שָׁמַע (shama’, “to hear”). Internal evidence favors the MT. Elsewhere in Lamentations, personified Jerusalem urges God with singular imperatives (“Look! See!”); however, nowhere else is a plural imperative used. In fact, the Qal perfect 3rd person common plural form שָׁמְעוּ (shamu, “They hear”) appears in the following line. The referent of שָׁמְעוּ (shamu) is the enemy who has destroyed Jerusalem and now mocks her when they hear her laments. The MT vocalization is undoubtedly original. Most English versions follow the MT: “They hear” (KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, NJPS, CEV); but several follow the LXX and revocalize the text as an imperative: “Hear!” (RSV, NRSV, TEV).

128 tn “You” here and in the following line refers to the Lord.

129 tn Heb “that You have done it.”

130 tn The verb הֵבֵאתָ (heveta) Hiphil perfect 2nd person masculine singular from בּוֹא (bo’, “to bring” in the Hiphil) probably functions, not as a simple past-time perfect, but as a precative perfect, an unusual volitional nuance similar to the imperative of request. The precative is used in reference to situations the speaker prays for and expects to be realized; it is a prayer or request of confidence (e.g., 2 Sam 7:29; Job 21:16; 22:18; Pss 3:8; 4:2; 7:7; 22:22; 31:5-6; 71:3; Lam 1:21). See IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d. This volitional precative nuance is reflected in the Syriac Peshitta which translates this verb using an imperative. Most English versions adopt the precative nuance: “Bring on the day you have announced” (NRSV), “Oh, that Thou wouldst bring the day which Thou hast proclaimed” (NASB), “May you bring the day you have announced” (NIV), “Bring the day you promised” (TEV), “Oh, bring on them what befell me!” (NJPS), “Hurry and punish them, as you have promised” (CEV). A few English versions adopt a prophetic perfect future-time nuance: “thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called” (KJV, NKJV, ASV).

131 tn The term יוֹם (yom, “day”) is often used as a metonymy of association, standing for the event associated with that particular time period: judgment (e.g., Isa 2:12; 13:6, 9; Jer 46:10; Lam 2:22; Ezek 13:5; 30:3; Amos 5:18, 20; Obad 15; Zeph 1:7, 14; Zech 14:1; Mal 3:23) (BDB 399 s.v. 3).

132 tn Heb “proclaimed.”

133 tn Heb “and.” Following a volitive use of the perfect, the vav (ו) prefixed to וְיִהְיוּ (vÿyihyu, “and let it be!”) introduces a purpose/result clause in a dependent volitive construction: “so that they may be like me!”

134 tn Heb “that they be like me.”

135 tn For the nuance “afflict” see the note at 1:12.

136 tn For the nuance “afflict” see the note at 1:12.

137 tn The parallel statements “afflict them” and “just as you have afflicted me” in the translation mirror the Hebrew wordplay between עוֹלֵל לָמוֹ (’olel lamo, “May you deal with them”) and עוֹלַלְתָּ לִי (’olalta li, “you dealt with me”).

138 tn Heb “all my rebellions,” that is, “all my rebellious acts.”

139 tn Heb “is sorrowful” or “is faint.” The adjective דַוָּי (davvay, “faint”) is used in reference to emotional sorrow (e.g., Isa 1:5; Lam 1:22; Jer 8:18). The cognate Aramaic term means “sorrow,” and the cognate Syriac term refers to “misery” (HALOT 216 s.v. *דְּוַי). The related Hebrew adjective דְּוַה (dÿvah) means “(physically) sick” and “(emotionally) sad,” while the related Hebrew verb דָּוָה (davah) means “to be sad” due to menstruation. The more literal English versions fail to bring out explicitly the nuance of emotional sorrow and create possible confusion whether the problem is simply loss of courage: “my heart is faint” (KJV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, ASV, NASB, NIV). The more paraphrastic English versions explicate the emotional sorrow that this idiom connotes: “my heart is sick” (NJPS), “I am sick at heart” (TEV), and “I’ve lost all hope!” (CEV).

140 tn See the note at 1:1.

141 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

142 sn Chapter 2 continues the use of feminine epithets (e.g., “Daughter Zion”), although initially portraying Jerusalem as an object destroyed by the angered enemy, God.

143 tn The verb יָעִיב (yaiv) is a hapax legomenon (a term that appears only once in Hebrew OT). Most lexicons take it as a denominative verb from the noun עָב (’av, “cloud,” HALOT 773 s.v. II עָב; BDB 728 s.v. עוּב): Hiphil imperfect 3rd person masculine singular from עוֹב (’ov) meaning “cover with a cloud, make dark” (HALOT 794 s.v. עוב) or “becloud” (BDB 728 s.v.): “the Lord has covered Daughter Zion with the cloud of His anger.” This approach is followed by many English versions (KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV). However, a few scholars relate it to a cognate Arabic verb “to blame, revile” (Ehrlich, Rudolph, Hillers): “the Lord has shamed Daughter Zion in His anger.” Several English versions adopt this (NRSV, NJPS, CEV). The picture of cloud and wrath concurs with the stanza’s connection to “day of the Lord” imagery.

144 tn The common gloss for זָכַר (zakhar) is “remember.” זָכַר (zakhar) entails “bearing something in mind” in a broader sense than the English gloss “remember.” When God “bears someone in mind,” the consequences are beneficial for them. The implication of not regarding his footstool is to not esteem and so not care for or protect it.

145 tn Heb “the footstool of His feet.” The noun הֲדֹם (hadom, “footstool”), always joined with רַגְלַיִם (raglayim, “feet”) is always used figuratively in reference to the dwelling place of God (BDB 213 s.v. הֲדֹם). It usually refers to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem (Isa 60:13; Lam 2:1) or to the ark as the place above which the Lord is enthroned (Pss 99:5; 132:7; 1 Chr 28:2).

146 tn Heb “in the day of His anger.” As a temporal reference this phrase means “when he displayed his anger.” The Hebrew term “day,” associated with the “day of the Lord” or “day of his wrath” also functions as a title in a technical sense.

147 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

148 tn Heb “has swallowed up.”

149 tc The Kethib is written לֹא חָמַל (lokhamal, “without mercy”), while the Qere reads וְלֹא חָמַל (vÿlokhamal, “and he has shown no mercy”). The Kethib is followed by the LXX, while the Qere is reflected in many Hebrew mss and the ancient versions (Syriac Peshitta, Aramaic Targum, Latin Vulgate). The English versions are split between the Kethib: “The Lord swallowed all the dwellings of Jacob without mercy” (cf. RSV, NRSV, NIV, TEV, NJPS) and the Qere: “The Lord swallowed all the dwellings of Jacob, and has shown no mercy” (cf. KJV, NASB, CEV). As these words occur between a verb and its object (חָמַל [khamal] is not otherwise followed by אֵת [’et, direct object marker]), an adverbial reading is the most natural, although interrupting the sentence with an insertion is possible. Compare 2:17, 21; 3:43. In contexts of harming, to show mercy often means to spare from harm.

150 tn Heb “all the dwellings of Jacob.”

151 tn Heb “the strongholds.”

152 tn Heb “He brought down to the ground in disgrace the kingdom and its princes.” The verbs חִלֵּלהִגִּיע (higgi’…khillel, “he has brought down…he has profaned”) function as a verbal hendiadys, as the absence of the conjunction ו (vav) suggests. The first verb retains its full verbal force, while the second functions adverbially: “he has brought down [direct object] in disgrace.”

153 tc The MT reads אַף (’af, “anger”), while the ancient versions (LXX, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate) reflect אַפּוֹ (’appo, “His anger”). The MT is the more difficult reading syntactically, while the ancient versions are probably smoothing out the text.

154 tn Heb “cut off, scattered.”

155 tn Heb “every horn of Israel.” The term “horn” (קֶרֶן, qeren) normally refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Israel. This term is often used figuratively as a symbol of strength, usually in reference to the military might of an army (Deut 33:17; 1 Sam 2:1, 10; 2 Sam 22:3; Pss 18:3; 75:11; 89:18, 25; 92:11; 112:9; 1 Chr 25:5; Jer 48:25; Lam 2:3, 17; Ezek 29:21) (BDB 901 s.v. 2), just as warriors are sometimes figuratively described as “bulls.” Cutting off the “horn” is a figurative expression for destroying warriors (Jer 48:25; Ps 75:10 [HT 11]).

156 tn Heb “he caused his right hand to turn back.” The implication in such contexts is that the Lord’s right hand protects his city. This image of the right hand is consciously reversed in 2:4.

157 tn Heb “from the presence of the enemy.” This figurative expression refers to the approach of the attacking army.

158 tn Heb “he burned in Jacob like a flaming fire.”

159 tn Or “He burned against Jacob, like a raging fire consumes all around.”

160 tn Heb “bent His bow.” When the verb דָּרַךְ (darakh) is used with the noun קֶשֶׁת (qeshet, “archer-bow”), it means “to bend [a bow]” to string it in preparation for shooting arrows (1 Chr 5:18; 8:40; 2 Chr 14:7; Jer 50:14, 29; 51:3). This idiom is used figuratively to describe the assaults of the wicked (Pss 11:2; 37:14) and the judgments of the Lord (Ps 7:13; Lam 2:4; 3:12) (BDB 202 s.v. דָּרַךְ 4). The translation “he prepared his bow” is the slightly more general modern English idiomatic equivalent of the ancient Hebrew idiom “he bent his bow” – both refer to preparations to get ready to shoot arrows.

161 tn Heb “His right hand is stationed.”

162 tn Heb “the ones who were pleasing to the eye.”

163 tn The singular noun אֹהֶל (’ohel, “tent”) may function as a collective, referring to all tents in Judah. A parallel expression occurs in verse 2 using the plural: “all the dwellings of Jacob” (כָּל־נְאוֹת יַעֲקֹב, kol-nÿot yaaqov). The singular “tent” matches the image of “Daughter Zion.” On the other hand, the singular “the tent of Daughter Zion” might be a hyperbolic synecdoche of container (= tent) for contents (= inhabitants of Zion).

164 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

165 tn Heb “swallowed up.”

166 tn Heb “swallowed up.”

167 tn Heb “his.” For consistency this has been translated as “her.”

168 tn Heb “He increased in Daughter Judah mourning and lamentation.”

169 tn Heb “His booth.” The noun שׂךְ (sokh, “booth,” BDB 968 s.v.) is a hapax legomenon (term that appears only once in the Hebrew OT), but it is probably an alternate spelling of the more common noun סֻכָּה (sukkah, “booth”) which is used frequently of temporary shelters and booths (e.g., Neh 8:15) (BDB 697 s.v. סֻכָּה). Related to the verb שָׂכַךְ (sakhakh, “to weave”), it refers to a temporary dwelling constructed of interwoven boughs. This is a figurative description of the temple, as the parallel term מוֹעֲדוֹ (moado, “his tabernacle” or “his appointed meeting place”) makes clear. Jeremiah probably chose this term to emphasize the frailty of the temple, and its ease of destruction. Contrary to the expectation of Jerusalem, it was only a temporary dwelling of the Lord – its permanence cut short due to sin of the people.

170 tc The MT reads כַּגַּן (kaggan, “like a garden”). The LXX reads ὡς ἄμπελον (Jw" ampelon) which reflects כְּגֶפֶן (kÿgefen, “like a vineyard”). Internal evidence favors כְּגֶפֶן (kÿgefen) because God’s judgment is often compared to the destruction of a vineyard (e.g., Job 15:33; Isa 34:4; Ezek 15:2, 6). The omission of פ (pe) is easily explained due to the similarity in spelling between כְּגֶפֶן (kÿgefen) and כַּגַּן (kaggan).

171 tn Heb “The Lord has caused to be forgotten in Zion both appointed festival and Sabbath.” The verb שִׁכַּח (shikkakh, “to cause someone to forget”), Piel perfect 3rd person masculine singular from שָׁכַח (shakhakh, “to forget”) is used figuratively. When people forget “often the neglect of obligations is in view” (L. C. Allen, NIDOTTE 4:104). When people forget the things of God, they are in disobedience and often indicted for ignoring God or neglecting their duties to him (Deut 4:23, 31; 6:12; 8:11, 19; 26:13; 31:21; 32:18; Judg 3:7; 1 Sam 12:9; 2 Kgs 17:38; Is 49:14; 51:13; 65:11; Jer 18:15; Exek 23:35; Hos 4:6). The irony is that the one to whom worship is due has made it so that people must neglect it. Most English versions render this in a metonymical sense: “the Lord has brought to an end in Zion appointed festival and sabbath” (RSV), “[he] did away with festivals and Sabbaths” (CEV), “he has put an end to holy days and Sabbaths” (TEV), “the Lord has ended…festival and sabbath” (NJPS), “the Lord has abolished…festivals and sabbath” (NRSV). Few English versions employ the gloss “remember”: “the Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten” (KJV) and “the Lord has made Zion forget her appointed feasts and her sabbaths”(NIV).

172 tn Heb “In the fury of his anger” (זַעַם־אפּוֹ, zaam-appo). The genitive noun אפּוֹ (’appo, “his anger”) functions as an attributed genitive with the construct noun זַעַם (zaam, “fury, rage”): “his furious anger.”

173 tn The verb נָאַץ (naats, “to spurn, show contempt”) functions as a metonymy of cause (= to spurn king and priests) for effect (= to reject them; cf. CEV). Since spurning is the cause, this may be understood as “to reject with a negative attitude.” However, retaining “spurn” in the translation keeps the term emotionally loaded. The most frequent term for נָאַץ (naats) in the LXX (παροξύνω, paroxunw) also conveys emotion beyond a decision to reject.

174 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”), which occurs near the end of this verse. See the tc note at 1:14.

175 tn The Heb verb זָנַח (zanakh) is a rejection term often used in military contexts. Emphasizing emotion, it may mean “to spurn.” In military contexts it may be rendered “to desert.”

176 tn Heb “His sanctuary.” The term מִקְדָּשׁוֹ (miqdasho, “His sanctuary”) refers to the temple (e.g., 1 Chr 22:19; 2 Chr 36:17; Ps 74:7; Isa 63:18; Ezek 48:21; Dan 8:11) (BDB 874 s.v. מִקְדָּשׁ).

177 tn Heb “He delivered into the hand of the enemy.” The verb הִסְגִּיר (hisgir), Hiphil perfect 3rd person masculine singular from סָגַר (sagar), means “to give into someone’s control: to deliver” (Deut 23:16; Josh 20:5; 1 Sam 23:11, 20; 30:15; Job 16:11; Pss 31:9; 78:48, 50, 62; Lam 2:7; Amos 1:6, 9; Obad 14).

178 tn Heb “they.”

179 tn Heb “they gave voice” (קוֹל נָתְנוּ, kol natno). The verb נָתַן (natan, “to give”) with the noun קוֹל (kol, “voice, sound”) is an idiom meaning: “to utter a sound, make a noise, raise the voice” (e.g., Gen 45:2; Prov 2:3; Jer 4:16; 22:20; 48:34) (HALOT 734 s.v. נתן 12; BDB 679 s.v. נָתַן 1.x). Contextually, this describes the shout of victory by the Babylonians celebrating their conquest of Jerusalem.

180 tn Heb “as on the day of an appointed time.” The term מוֹעֵד (moed, “appointed time”) refers to the religious festivals that were celebrated at appointed times in the Hebrew calendar (BDB 417 s.v. 1.b). In contrast to making festivals neglected (forgotten) in v 6, the enemy had a celebration which was entirely out of place.

181 tn Heb “he stretched out a measuring line.” In Hebrew, this idiom is used (1) literally: to describe a workman’s preparation of measuring and marking stones before cutting them for building (Job 38:5; Jer 31:39; Zech 1:16) and (2) figuratively: to describe the Lord’s planning and preparation to destroy a walled city, that is, to mark off for destruction (2 Kgs 21:13; Isa 34:11; Lam 2:8). It is not completely clear how a phrase from the vocabulary of building becomes a metaphor for destruction; however, it might picture a predetermined and carefully planned measure from which God will not deviate.

182 tn Heb “He did not return His hand from swallowing.” That is, he persisted until it was destroyed.

183 tn Heb “they languished together.” The verbs אָבַּלּ (’aval, “to lament”) and אָמַל (’amal, “languish, mourn”) are often used in contexts of funeral laments in secular settings. The Hebrew prophets often use these terms to describe the aftermath of the Lord’s judgment on a nation. Based on parallel terms, אָמַל (’amal) may describe either mourning or deterioration and so makes for a convenient play on meaning when destroyed objects are personified. Incorporating this play into the translation, however, may obscure the parallel between this line and the deterioration of the gates beginning in v. 9.

184 tn Heb “have sunk down.” This expression, “her gates have sunk down into the ground,” is a personification, picturing the city gates descending into the earth, as if going down into the grave or the netherworld. Most English versions render it literally (KJV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NIV, NJPS); however, a few paraphrases have captured the equivalent sense quite well: “Zion’s gates have fallen facedown on the ground” (CEV) and “the gates are buried in rubble” (TEV).

185 tn Heb “he has destroyed and smashed her bars.” The two verbs אִבַּד וְשִׁבַּר (’ibbad vÿshibbar) form a verbal hendiadys that emphasizes the forcefulness of the destruction of the locking bars on the gates. The first verb functions adverbially and the second retains its full verbal sense: “he has smashed to pieces.” Several English versions render this expression literally and miss the rhetorical point: “he has ruined and broken” (RSV, NRSV), “he has destroyed and broken” (KJV, NASB), “he has broken and destroyed” (NIV). The hendiadys has been correctly noted by others: “smashed to pieces” (TEV, CEV) and “smashed to bits” (NJPS).

186 tn Heb “her bars.” Since the literal “bars” could be misunderstood as referring to saloons, the phrase “the bars that lock her gates” has been used in the present translation.

187 tn Heb “are among the nations.”

188 tn Heb “there is no torah” or “there is no Torah” (אֵין תּוֹרָה, ’en torah). Depending on whether תּוֹרָה (torah, “instruction, law”) is used in parallelism with the preceding or following line, it refers to (1) political guidance that the now-exiled king had formerly provided or (2) prophetic instruction that the now-ineffective prophets had formerly provided (BDB 434 s.v. תּוֹרָה 1.b). It is possible that the three lines are arranged in an ABA chiastic structure, exploiting the semantic ambiguity of the term תּוֹרָה (torah, “instruction”). Possibly it is an oblique reference to the priests’ duties of teaching, thus introducing a third group of the countries leaders. It is possible to hear in this a lament in reference to the destruction of Torah scrolls that may have been at the temple when it was destroyed.

189 tn Heb “they cannot find.”

190 tc Consonantal ישׁבו (yshvy) is vocalized by the MT as יֵשְׁבוּ (yeshvu), Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine plural from יָשַׁב (yashav, “to sit”): “they sit on the ground.” However, the ancient versions (Aramaic Targum, Greek Septuagint, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate) reflect an alternate vocalization tradition of יָשְׁבוּ (yashvu), Qal imperfect 3rd person masculine plural from שׁוּב (shuv, “to return”): “they return to the ground (= the grave).” The parallelism with the following line favors the MT.

191 tn Heb “they sit on the ground, they are silent.” Based on meter, the two verbs יִדְּמוּיֵשְׁבוּ (yeshvuyidÿmu, “they sit…they are silent”) are in the same half of the line. Joined without a ו (vav) conjunction they form a verbal hendiadys. The first functions in its full verbal sense while the second functions adverbially: “they sit in silence.” The verb יִדְּמוּ (yidÿmu) may mean to be silent or to wail.

192 tn Heb “they have girded themselves with sackcloth.”

sn Along with putting dirt on one’s head, wearing sackcloth was a sign of mourning.

193 tn Heb “the virgins of Jerusalem.” The term “virgins” is a metonymy of association, standing for single young women who are not yet married. These single women are in grief because their potential suitors have been killed. The elders, old men, and young women function together as a merism for all of the survivors (F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp, Lamentations [IBC], 92).

194 tn Heb “have bowed down their heads to the ground.”

195 tn Heb “my eyes are spent” or “my eyes fail.” The verb כָּלָה (kalah) is used of eyes exhausted by weeping (Job 11:20; 17:5; Ps 69:4; Jer 14:6; 4:17), and means either “to be spent” (BDB 477 s.v. 2.b) or “to fail” (HALOT 477 s.v. 6). It means to have used up all one’s tears or to have worn out the eyes because of so much crying. It is rendered variously: “my eyes fail” (KJV, NIV), “my eyes are spent” (RSV, NRSV, NASB, NJPS), “my eyes are worn out” (TEV), and “my eyes are red” (CEV).

196 tn Heb “because of tears.” The plural noun דִּמְעוֹת (dimot, “tears”) is an example of the plural of intensity or repeated behavior: “many tears.” The more common singular form דִּמְעָה (dimah) normally functions in a collective sense (“tears”); therefore, the plural form here does not indicate simple plural of number.

197 tn Heb “my bowels burn” or “my bowels are in a ferment.” The verb חֳמַרְמְרוּ (khomarmÿru) is an unusual form and derived from a debated root: Poalal perfect 3rd person common plural from III חָמַר (khamar, “to be red,” HALOT 330 s.v. III חמר) or Pe`al`al perfect 3rd person common plural from I חָמַר (khamar, “to ferment, boil up,” BDB 330 s.v. I חָמַר). The Poalal stem of this verb occurs only three times in OT: with פָּנִים (panim, “face,” Job 16:16) and מֵעִים (meim, “bowels,” Lam 1:20; 2:11). The phrase חֳמַרְמְרוּ מֵעַיּ (khomarmÿru meay) means “my bowels burned” (HALOT 330 s.v.) or “my bowels are in a ferment,” as a euphemism for lower-intestinal bowel problems (BDB 330 s.v.). This phrase also occurs in later rabbinic literature (m. Sanhedrin 7:2). The present translation, “my stomach is in knots,” is not a literal equivalent to this Hebrew idiom; however, it is an attempt to approximate the equivalent English idiom.

198 tn Heb “my liver,” viewed as the seat of the emotions.

199 tn Heb “on account of the breaking.”

200 tn Heb “the daughter of my people.” Rather than a genitive of relationship (“daughter of X”), the phrase בַּת־עַמִּי (bat-ammi) is probably a genitive of apposition. The idiom “Daughter X” occurs often in Lamentations: “Daughter Jerusalem” (2x), “Daughter Zion” (7x), “Virgin Daughter Zion” (1x), “Daughter of My People” (5x), “Daughter Judah” (2x), and “Virgin Daughter Judah” (1x). In each case, it is a poetic description of Jerusalem or Judah as a whole. The idiom בַּת־עַמִּי (bat-ammi, lit., “daughter of my people” is rendered variously by the English versions: “the daughter of my people” (KJV, RSV, NASB), “my people” (NIV, TEV, CEV), and “my poor people” (NJPS). The metaphor here pictures the people as vulnerable and weak.

201 tn Heb “they”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

202 tn Heb “to their mother,” understood as a collective singular.

203 tn Heb “Where is bread and wine?” The terms “bread” and “wine” are synecdoches of specific (= bread, wine) for general (= food, drink).

204 tn Heb “as they faint” or “when they faint.”

205 tn Heb “as their life is poured out.” The term בְּהִשְׁתַּפֵּךְ (bÿhishtappekh), Hitpael infinitive construct + the preposition בּ (bet), from שָׁפַךְ (shafakh, “to pour out”) may be rendered “as they expire” (BDB 1050 s.v. שָׁפַךְ), referring to the process of dying. Note the repetition of the word “pour out” with various direct objects in this poem at 2:4, 11, 12, and 19.

206 tn Heb “chest, lap.”

207 tc The MT reads אֲעִידֵךְ (’aidekh), Hiphil imperfect 1st person common singular + 2fs suffix from עָדָה (’adah, “to testify”): “[How] can I testify for you?” However, Latin Vulgate comparabo te reflects the reading אֶעֱרָךְ (’eerakh), Qal imperfect 1st person common singular from עָרַךְ (’arakh, “to liken”): “[To what] can I liken [you]?” The verb עָרַךְ (’arakh) normally means “to lay out, set in rows; to get ready, set in order; to line up for battle, set battle formation,” but it also may denote “to compare (as a result of arranging in order), to make equal” (e.g., Pss 40:6; 89:6 [HT 7]; Job 28:17, 19; Isa 40:18; 44:7). The BHS editors suggest the emendation which involves simple orthographic confusion between ר (resh) and ד (dalet), and deletion of י (yod) that the MT added to make sense of the form. The variant is favored based on internal evidence: (1) it is the more difficult reading because the meaning “to compare” for עָרַךְ (’arakh) is less common than עָדָה (’adah, “to testify”), (2) it recovers a tight parallelism between עָרַךְ (’arakh, “to liken”) and דָּמָה (damah, “to compare”) (e.g., Ps 89:6 [HT 7]; Isa 40:18), and (3) the MT reading: “How can I testify for you?” makes little sense in the context. Nevertheless, most English versions hold to the MT reading: KJV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NIV, TEV, CEV. This textual emendation was first proposed by J. Meinhold, “Threni 2,13,” ZAW 15 (1895): 286.

208 tc The MT reads מָה אַשְׁוֶה־לָּךְ וַאֲנַחֲמֵךְ (mahashveh-lakh vaanakhamekh, “To what can I compare you so that I might comfort you?”). The LXX reflects a Vorlage of מִי יוֹשִׁיעַ לָךְ וְנִחַמְךָ (mi yoshialakh vÿnikhamÿkha, “Who will save you so that he might comfort you?”). This textual variant reflects several cases of orthographic confusion between similarly spelled words. The MT best explains the origin of the LXX textual variants. Internal evidence of contextual congruence favors the MT as the original reading.

209 tn The ו (vav) prefixed to וַאֲנַחֲמֵךְ (vaanakhamekh, “I might comfort you”) denotes purpose: “so that….”

210 tn Heb “as great as the sea.”

211 tc The MT reads כָּיָּם (kayyam, “as the sea”), while the LXX reflects a Vorlage of כּוֹס (kos, “a cup”). The textual variant is probably due to simple orthographic confusion between letters of similar appearance. The idiomatic expression favors the MT.

212 sn The rhetorical question implies a denial: “No one can heal you!” The following verses, 14-17, present four potential healers – prophets, passersby, enemies, and God.

213 tn Heb “emptiness and whitewash.” The nouns שָׁוְא וְתָפֵל (shvvÿtafel) form a nominal hendiadys. The first noun functions adjectivally, modifying the second noun that retains its full nominal sense: “empty whitewash” or “empty deceptions” (see following translation note on meaning of תָּפֵל [tafel]). The noun תָּפֵל (tafel, “whitewash”) is used literally in reference to a white-washed wall (Ezek 13:10, 11, 14, 15) and figuratively in reference to false prophets (Ezek 22:28).

214 tc The Kethib שְׁבִיתֵךְ (shÿvitekh) and Qere שְׁבוּתֵךְ (shÿvutekh), which is preserved in many medieval Hebrew mss here and elsewhere (Ps 85:1 Heb 85:2; 126:4; Job 42:10), are struggling with the root. The ancient versions take it from ָָשׁבָה (shavah) meaning “captivity.” Such a meaning is not tenable for the Job passage, which along with a similar phrase in the Sefire inscription suggest that the proper meaning is “to restore someone’s fortunes.”

215 tn The nouns שָׁוְא וּמַדּוּחִים (shavumaddukhim, lit., “emptiness and enticements”) form a nominal hendiadys. The first functions adjectivally, modifying the second noun that retains its nominal sense: “empty enticements” or “false deceptions.” The noun מַדּוּחַ (madduakh), meaning “enticement” or “transgression” is a hapax legomenon (term that appears only once in the Hebrew OT). It is related to the verb נָדָח (nadakh, “to entice, lead astray”) which is often used in reference to idolatry.

216 tn Heb “clap their hands at you.” Clapping hands at someone was an expression of malicious glee, derision and mockery (Num 24:10; Job 27:23; Lam 2:15).

217 tn Heb “of which they said.”

218 tn Heb “perfection of beauty.” The noun יֹפִי (yofi, “beauty”) functions as a genitive of respect in relation to the preceding construct noun: Jerusalem was perfect in respect to its physical beauty.

219 tn Heb “the joy of all the earth.” This is similar to statements found in Pss 48:2 and 50:2.

220 tn Heb “they have opened wide their mouth against you.”

221 tn Heb “We have swallowed!”

222 tn Heb “We have attained, we have seen!” The verbs מָצָאנוּ רָאִינוּ (matsanu rainu) form a verbal hendiadys in which the first retains its full verbal sense and the second functions as an object complement. It forms a Hebrew idiom that means something like, “We have lived to see it!” The three asyndetic 1st person common plural statements in 2:16 (“We waited, we destroyed, we saw!”) are spoken in an impassioned, staccato style reflecting the delight of the conquerors.

223 tn The verb בָּצַע (batsa’) has a broad range of meanings: (1) “to cut off, break off,” (2) “to injure” a person, (3) “to gain by violence,” (4) “to finish, complete” and (5) “to accomplish, fulfill” a promise.

224 tn Heb “His word.” When used in collocation with the verb בָּצַע (batsa’, “to fulfill,” see previous tn), the accusative noun אִמְרָה (’imrah) means “promise.”

225 tn Heb “commanded” or “decreed.” If a reference to prophetic oracles is understood, then “decreed” is preferable. If understood as a reference to the warnings in the covenant, then “threatened” is a preferable rendering.

226 tn Heb “from days of old.”

227 tn Heb “He has overthrown and has not shown mercy.” The two verbs חָרַס וְלֹא חָמָל (kharas vÿlokhamal) form a verbal hendiadys in which the first retains its verbal sense and the second functions adverbially: “He has overthrown you without mercy.” וְלֹא חָמָל (vÿlokhamal) alludes to 2:2.

228 tn Heb “He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.” The term “horn” (קֶרֶן, qeren) normally refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Israel. This term is often used figuratively as a symbol of strength, usually in reference to the military might of an army (Deut 33:17; 1 Sam 2:1, 10; 2 Sam 22:3; Pss 18:3; 75:11; 89:18, 25; 92:11; 112:9; 1 Chr 25:5; Jer 48:25; Lam 2:3; Ezek 29:21), just as warriors are sometimes figuratively described as “bulls.” To lift up the horn often means to boast and to lift up someone else’s horn is to give victory or cause to boast.

229 tc The MT reads צָעַק לִבָּם אֵל־אֲדֹנָי (tsaaq libbam el-adonay, “their heart cried out to the Lord”) which neither matches the second person address characterizing 2:13-19 nor is in close parallel to the rest of verse 18. Since the perfect צָעַק (tsaaq, “cry out”) is apparently parallel to imperatives, it could be understood as a precative (“let their heart cry out”), although this understanding still has the problem of being in the third person. The BHS editors and many text critics suggest emending the MT צָעַק (tsaaq), Qal perfect 3rd person masculine singular, to צָעֲקִי (tsaaqi), Qal imperative 2nd person masculine singular: “Cry out!” This restores a tighter parallelism with the two 2nd person masculine singular imperatives introducing the following lines: הוֹרִידִי (horidi, “Let [your tears] flow down!”) and אַל־תִּתְּנִי (’al-tittni, “Do not allow!”). In such a case, לִבָּם (libbam) must be taken adverbially. For לִבָּם (libbam, “their heart”) see the following note. The adverbial translation loses a potential parallel to the mention of the heart in the next verse. Emending the noun to “your heart” while viewing the verb as a precative perfect would maintain this connection.

230 tn Heb “their heart” or “from the heart.” Many English versions take the ־ם (mem) on לִבָּם (libbam) as the 3rd person masculine plural pronominal suffix: “their heart” (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV, NJPS, CEV). However, others take it as an enclitic or adverbial ending: “from the heart” (cf. RSV, NRSV, TEV, NJPS margin). See T. F. McDaniel, “The Alleged Sumerian Influence upon Lamentations,” VT 18 (1968): 203-4.

231 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

232 tn The wall is a synecdoche of a part standing for the whole city.

233 tn Heb “day and night.” The expression “day and night” forms a merism which encompasses everything in between two polar opposites: “from dawn to dusk” or “all day and all night long.”

234 tn Heb “the daughter of your eye.” The term “eye” functions as a metonymy for “tears” that are produced by the eyes. Jeremiah exhorts personified Jerusalem to cry out to the Lord day and night without ceasing in repentance and genuine sorrow for its sins.

235 tc The Kethib is written בַּלַּיִל (ballayil) a defective spelling for בַּלַּיְלָה (ballaylah, “night”). The Qere reads בַּלַּיְלָה (ballaylah, “night”), which is preserved in numerous medieval Hebrew mss.

tn The noun בַּלַּיְלָה (ballaylah, “night”) functions as an adverbial accusative of time: “in the night.”

236 tn Heb “at the head of the watches.”

237 tn The noun לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) functions here as a metonymy of association for the thoughts and emotions in the heart. The Hebrew לֵבָב (levav) includes the mind so that in some cases the translation “heart” implies an inappropriate division between the cognitive and affective. This context is certainly emotionally loaded, but as part of a series of admonitions to address God in prayer, these emotions are inextricably bound with the thoughts of the mind. The singular “heart” is retained in the translation to be consistent with the personification of Jerusalem (cf. v. 18).

238 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

239 sn Lifting up the palms or hands is a metaphor for prayer.

240 tn Heb “on account of the life of your children.” The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) refers to the “life” of their dying children (e.g., Lam 2:12). The singular noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “life”) is used as a collective, as the plural genitive noun that follows makes clear: “your children.”

241 tc The BHS editors and many commentators suggest that the fourth bicola in 2:19 is a late addition and should be deleted. Apart from the four sets of bicola in 1:7 and 2:19, every stanza in chapters 1-4 consists of three sets of bicola.

tn Heb “who are fainting.”

242 tn Heb “at the head of every street.”

243 tn Heb “Look, O Lord! See!” When used in collocation with verbs of cognition, רָאָה (raah) means “to see for oneself” or “to take notice” (1 Sam 26:12). The parallelism between seeing and understanding is often emphasized (e.g., Exod 16:6; Isa 5:19; 29:15; Job 11:11; Eccl 6:5). See also 1:11 and cf. 1:9, 12, 20; 3:50, 59, 60; 5:1.

sn Integral to battered Jerusalem’s appeal, and part of the ancient Near Eastern lament genre, is the request for God to look at her pain. This should evoke pity regardless of the reason for punishment. The request is not for God to see merely that there are misfortunes, as one might note items on a checklist. The cognitive (facts) and affective (feelings) are not divided. The plea is for God to watch, think about, and be affected by these facts while listening to the petitioner’s perspective.

244 tn For the nuance “afflict” see the note at 1:12.

245 tn Heb “their fruit.” The term פְּרִי (pÿri, “fruit”) is used figuratively to refer to children as the fruit of a mother’s womb (e.g., Gen 30:2; Deut 7:13; 28:4, 11, 18, 53; 30:9; Pss 21:11; 127:3; 132:11; Isa 13:18; Mic 6:7).

246 tn Heb “infants of healthy childbirth.” The genitive-construct phrase עֹלֲלֵי טִפֻּחִים (’olale tippukhim) functions as an attributive genitive construction: “healthy newborn infants.” The noun טִפֻּחִים (tippukhim) appears only here. It is related to the verb טָפַח (tafakh), meaning “to give birth to a healthy child” or “to raise children” depending on whether the Arabic or Akkadian cognate is emphasized. For the related verb, see below at 2:22.

sn Placing the specific reference to children at the end of the line in apposition to clarify that it does not describe the normal eating of fruit helps produce the repulsive shock of the image. Furthermore, the root of the word for “infants” (עוֹלֵל, ’olel) has the same root letters for the verb “to afflict” occurring in the first line of the verse, making a pun (F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp, Lamentations [IBC], 99-100).

247 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”) as at the beginning of the verse. See the tc note at 1:14.

248 tn Heb “virgins.” The term “virgin” probably functions as a metonymy of association for single young women.

249 tn Heb “in the day of your anger.” The construction בָּיוֹם (bayom, “in the day of…”) is a common Hebrew idiom, meaning “when…” (e.g., Gen 2:4; Lev 7:35; Num 3:1; Deut 4:15; 2 Sam 22:1; Pss 18:1; 138:3; Zech 8:9). This temporal idiom refers to a general time period, but uses the term “day” as a forceful rhetorical device to emphasize the vividness and drama of the event, depicting it as occurring within a single day. In the ancient Near East, military minded kings often referred to a successful campaign as “the day of X” in order to portray themselves as powerful conquerors who, as it were, could inaugurate and complete a victory military campaign within the span of one day.

250 tc The MT reads לֹא חָמָלְתָּ (lokhamalta, “You showed no mercy”). However, many medieval Hebrew mss and most of the ancient versions (Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta and Latin Vulgate) read וְלֹא חָמָלְתָּ (vÿlokhamalta, “and You showed no mercy”).

251 tn The syntax of the line is awkward. English versions vary considerably in how they render it: “Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about” (KJV), “Thou hast called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side” (ASV), “You did call as in the day of an appointed feast my terrors on every side” (NASB), “Thou didst invite as to the day of an appointed feast my terrors on every side” (RSV), “As you summon to a feast day, so you summoned against me terrors on every side” (NIV), “You summoned, as on a festival, my neighbors from roundabout” (NJPS), “You invited my enemies to hold a carnival of terror all around me” (TEV), “You invited my enemies like guests for a party” (CEV).

252 tn The term “enemies” is supplied in the translation as a clarification.

253 tn Heb “my terrors” or “my enemies.” The expression מְגוּרַי (mÿguray, “my terrors”) is difficult and may refer to either enemies, the terror associated with facing enemies, or both.

254 tn Heb “surrounding me.”

255 tn The meaning of the verb טָפַח (tafakh) is debated: (1) BDB suggests that it is derived from טָפַה (tafah, “to extend, spread” the hands) and here means “to carry in the palm of one’s hands” (BDB 381 s.v. טָפַה 2). (2) HALOT 378 s.v. II טָפַח suggests that it is derived from the root II טָפַח (tafakh) and means “to give birth to healthy children.” The recent lexicons suggest that it is related to Arabic tafaha “to bring forth fully formed children” and to Akkadian tuppu “to raise children.” The use of this particular term highlights the tragic irony of what the army of Babylon has done: it has destroyed the lives of perfectly healthy children whom the women of Israel had raised.

256 tn This entire line is an accusative noun clause, functioning as the direct object of the following line: “my enemy has destroyed the perfectly healthy children….” Normal word order in Hebrew is: verb + subject + direct object. Here, the accusative direct object clause is moved forward for rhetorical emphasis: those whom the Babylonians killed had been children born perfectly healthy and well raised … what a tragic loss of perfectly good human life!

257 sn The nature of the acrostic changes here. Each of the three lines in each verse, not just the first, begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet.

258 tn The noun גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”) refers to a strong man, distinguished from women, children, and other non-combatants whom he is to defend. According to W. F. Lanahan the speaking voice in this chapter is that of a defeated soldier (“The Speaking Voice in the Book of Lamentations” JBL 93 [1974]: 41-49.) F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp (Lamentations [IBC], 108) argues that is the voice of an “everyman” although “one might not unreasonably suppose that some archetypal communal figure like the king does in fact stand in the distant background.”

259 tn The verb רָאָה (raah, “to see”) has a broad range of meanings, including (1) “to see” as to learn from experience and (2) “to see” as to experience (e.g., Gen 20:10; Ps 89:49; Eccl 5:17; Jer 5:12; 14:13; 20:18; 42:14; Zeph 3:15). Here it means that the speaker has experienced these things. The same Hebrew verb occurs in 2:20 where the Lord is asked to “see” (translated “Consider!”), although it is difficult to maintain this connection in an English translation.

260 tn The noun שֵׁבֶט (shevet, “rod”) refers to the weapon used for smiting an enemy (Exod 21:20; 2 Sam 23:21; 1 Chr 11:3; Isa 10:15; Mic 4:14) and instrument of child-discipline (Prov 10:13; 22:15; 29:15). It is used figuratively to describe discipline of the individual (Job 9:34; 21:9; 37:13; 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 89:33) and the nation (Isa 10:5, 24; 14:29; 30:31).

261 tn The verb נָהַג (nahag) describes the process of directing (usually a group of) something along a route, hence commonly “to drive,” when describing flocks, caravans, or prisoners and spoils of war (1 Sam 23:5; 30:2). But with people it may also have a positive connotation “to shepherd” or “to guide” (Ps 48:14; 80:1). The line plays on this through the reversal of expectations. Rather than being safely shepherded by the Lord their king, he has driven them away into captivity.

262 tn The Hiphil of הָלַךְ (halakh, “to walk”) may be nuanced either “brought” (BDB 236 s.v. 1) or “caused to walk” (BDB 237 s.v. 5.a).

263 tn The two verbs יָשֻׁב יַהֲפֹךְ (yashuv yahafokh, “he returns, he turns”) form a verbal hendiadys: the second verb retains its full verbal sense, while the first functions adverbially: “he repeatedly turns…” The verb שׁוּב (shuv, lit., “to return”) functions adverbially to denote repetition: “to do repeatedly, do again and again” (GKC 386-87 §120.d, g) (Gen 26:18; 30:31; Num 11:4; Judg 19:7; 1 Sam 3:5, 6; 1 Kgs 13:33; 19:6; 21:3; 2 Chr 33:3; Job 10:16; 17:10; Ps 7:13; Jer 18:4; 36:28; Lam 3:3; Dan 9:25; Zech 5:1; 6:1; Mal 1:4).

264 tn The idiom “to turn the hand against” someone is a figurative expression denoting hostility. The term “hand” (יָד, yad) is often used in idioms denoting hostility (Exod 9:3, 15; Deut 2:15; Judg 2:15; 1 Sam 5:3, 6, 9; 6:9; 2 Sam 24:16; 2 Chr 30:12; Ezra 7:9; Job 19:21; Ps 109:27; Jer 15:17; 16:21; Ezek 3:14). The reference to God’s “hand” is anthropomorphic.

265 tn Heb “all of the day.” The idiom כָּל־הַיּוֹם (kol-hayom, “all day”) means “continually” or “all day long” (Gen 6:5; Deut 28:32; 33:12; Pss 25:5; 32:3; 35:28; 37:26; 38:7, 13; 42:4, 11; 44:9, 16, 23; 52:3; 56:2, 3, 6; 71:8, 15, 24; 72:15; 73:14; 74:22; 86:3; 88:18; 89:17; 102:9; 119:97; Prov 21:26; 23:17; Isa 28:24; 51:13; 52:5; 65:2, 5; Jer 20:7, 8; Lam 1:13, 14, 62; Hos 12:2).

266 tn Heb “my flesh and my skin.” The two nouns joined with ו (vav), בְשָׂרִי וְעוֹרִי (basari vÿori, “my flesh and my skin”), form a nominal hendiadys: the first functions adjectivally and the second retains its full nominal sense: “my mortal skin.”

267 tn Heb “he has built against me.” The verb בָּנָה (banah, “to build”) followed by the preposition עַל (’al, “against”) often refers to the action of building siege-works against a city, that is, to besiege a city (e.g., Deut 20:2; 2 Kgs 25:1; Eccl 9:14; Jer 52:4; Ezek 4:2; 17:17; 21:27). Normally, an explicit accusative direct object is used (e.g., מָצוֹד [matsor] or מָצוֹדִים [matsorim]); however, here, the expression is used absolutely without an explicit accusative [BDB 124 s.v. בָּנָה 1a.η]).

268 tn The verb נָקַף (naqaf, “to surround”) refers to the military action of an army surrounding a besieged city by placing army encampments all around the city, to prevent anyone in the city from escaping (2 Kgs 6:14; 11:8; Pss 17:9; 88:18; Job 19:6).

269 tn Heb “with bitterness and hardship.” The nouns רֹאשׁ וּתְלָאָה (rosh utÿlaah, lit. “bitterness and hardship”) function as adverbial accusatives of manner: “with bitterness and hardship.” The two nouns רֹאשׁ וּתְלָאָה (rosh utÿlaah, “bitterness and hardship”) form a nominal hendiadys: the second retains its full nominal sense, while the first functions adverbially: “bitter hardship.” The noun II רֹאשׁ (rosh, “bitterness”) should not be confused with the common homonymic root I רֹאשׁ (rosh, “head”). The noun תְּלָאָה (tÿlaah, “hardship”) is used elsewhere in reference to the distress of Israel in Egypt (Num 20:14), in the wilderness (Exod 18:8), and in exile (Neh 9:32).

270 tn The plural form of the noun מַחֲשַׁכִּים (makhashakkim, “darknesses”) is an example of the plural of intensity (see IBHS 122 §7.4.3a).

271 tn The verb גָּדַר (garad) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) “to build up a wall” with stones, and (2) “to block a road” with a wall of stones. The imagery depicts the Lord building a wall to seal off personified Jerusalem with no way of escape out of the city, or the Lord blocking the road of escape. Siege imagery prevails in 3:4-6, but 3:7-9 pictures an unsuccessful escape that is thwarted due to blocked roads in 3:7 and 3:9.

272 tn Heb “he has made heavy my chains.”

273 tn Heb “I call and I cry out.” The verbs אֶזְעַק וַאֲשַׁוֵּעַ (’ezaq vaashavvea’, “I call and I cry out”) form a verbal hendiadys: the second retains its full verbal sense, while the first functions adverbially: “I cry out desperately.”

274 tn The verb שׁוע (“to cry out”) usually refers to calling out to God for help or deliverance from a lamentable plight (e.g., Job 30:20; 36:13; 38:41; Pss 5:3; 18:7, 42; 22:25; 28:2; 30:3; 31:23; 88:14; 119:147; Isa 58:9; Lam 3:8; Jon 2:3; Hab 1:2).

275 tn The verb שָׂתַם (satam) is a hapax legomenon (term that appears in the Hebrew scriptures only once) that means “to stop up” or “shut out.” It functions as an idiom here, meaning “he has shut his ears to my prayer” (BDB 979 s.v.).

276 tn The verb גָּדַר (garad) has a two-fold range of meanings: (1) “to build up a wall” with stones, and (2) “to block a road” with a wall of stones. The collocated terms דְּרָכַי (dÿrakhay, “my roads”) in 3:9 clearly indicate that the second category of meaning is in view.

277 tn Heb “my roads.”

278 tn Heb “he had made my paths crooked.” The implication is that the paths by which one might escape cannot be traversed.

279 tn Heb “he is to me [like] a bear lying in wait.”

280 tc The Kethib is written אַרְיֵה (’aryeh, “lion”), while the Qere is אֲרִי (’ari, “lion”), simply a short spelling of the same term (BDB 71 s.v. אַרְיֵה).

281 tn Heb “a lion in hiding places.”

282 tn Or “he made my paths deviate.”

283 tn “Since the Heb. וַיְפַשְּׁחֵנִי (vaypashÿkheni) occurs only here, and the translation relies on the Syriac and the Targum, it is not certain that the image of God as a predatory animal continues into this verse especially since [the beginning of the verse] is also of uncertain meaning” (D. R. Hillers, Lamentations [AB], 54).

284 tn Heb “bent.”

285 tn Heb “and set me as the target.”

286 tn The Hiphil stem of בוֹא (bo’, lit., “cause to come in”) here means “to shoot” arrows.

287 tn Heb “sons of his quiver.” This idiom refers to arrows (BDB 121 s.v. בֵּן 6). The term “son” (בֵּן, ben) is often used idiomatically with a following genitive, e.g., “son of flame” = sparks (Job 5:7), “son of a constellation” = stars (Job 38:22), “son of a bow” = arrows (Job 41:2), “son of a quiver” = arrows (Lam 3:13), “son of threshing-floor” = corn (Isa 21:10).

288 tn Heb “my kidneys.” In Hebrew anthropology, the kidneys are often portrayed as the most sensitive and vital part of man. Poetic texts sometimes portray a person fatally wounded, being shot by the Lord’s arrows in the kidneys (Job 16:13; here in Lam 3:13). The equivalent English idiomatic counterpart is the heart, which is employed in the present translation.

289 tc The MT reads עַמִּי (’ammi, “my people”). Many medieval Hebrew mss read עַמִּים (’ammim, “peoples”), as reflected also in Syriac Peshitta. The internal evidence (contextual congruence) favors the variant עַמִּים (’ammim, “peoples”).

290 tn The noun נְגִינָה (nÿginah) is a musical term: (1) “music” played on strings (Isa 38:20; Lam 5:14), (2) a technical musical term (Pss 4:1; 6:1; 54:1; 55:1; 67:1; 76:1; Hab 3:19) and (3) “mocking song” (Pss 69:13; 77:7; Job 30:9; Lam 3:14). The parallelism with שׂחוֹק “laughingstock” indicates that the latter category of meaning is in view.

291 tn Heb “all of the day.” The idiom כָּל־הַיּוֹם (kol-hayyom, “all day”) means “continually” (Gen 6:5; Deut 28:32; 33:12; Pss 25:5; 32:3; 35:28; 37:26; 38:7, 13; 42:4, 11; 44:9, 16, 23; 52:3; 56:2, 3, 6; 71:8, 15, 24; 72:15; 73:14; 74:22; 86:3; 88:18; 89:17; 102:9; 119:97; Prov 21:26; 23:17; Isa 28:24; 51:13; 52:5; 65:2, 5; Jer 20:7, 8; Lam 1:13; 3:3, 62; Hos 12:2).

292 tn Heb “wormwood” or “bitterness” (BDB 542 s.v. לַעֲנָה; HALOT 533 s.v. לַעֲנָה).

293 tn Heb “crushed.”

294 tn The Hiphil stem of כָּפַשׁ (kafash) means “to tread down” or “make someone cower.” It is rendered variously: “trampled me in the dust” (NIV), “covered me with ashes” (KJV, NKJV), “ground me into the dust” (NJPS), “made me cower in ashes” (RSV, NRSV), “rubbed my face in the ground” (TEV) and “rubbed me in the dirt” (CEV).

295 tn Heb “my soul.” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is used as a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= I ).

296 tc The MT reads וַתִּזְנַח (vattiznakh), vav (ו) consecutive + Qal preterite 3rd person feminine singular from זָנַח (zanakh, “to reject”), resulting in the awkward phrase “my soul rejected from peace.” The LXX καὶ ἀπώσατο (kai apwsato) reflects a Vorlage of וַיִּזְנַח (vayyiznakh), vav (ו) consecutive + Qal preterite 3rd person masculine singular from זָנַח (zanakh): “He deprives my soul of peace.” Latin Vulgate repulsa est reflects a Vorlage of וַתִּזָּנַח (vattizzanakh), vav (ו) consecutive + Niphal preterite 3rd person feminine singular from זָנַח (zanakh): “My soul is excluded from peace.” The MT best explains the origin of the LXX and Vulgate readings. The מ (mem) beginning the next word may have been an enclitic on the verb rather than a preposition on the noun. This would be the only Qal occurrence of זָנַח (zanakh) used with the preposition מִן (min). Placing the מ (mem) on the noun would have created the confusion leading to the changes made by the LXX and Vulgate. HALOT 276 s.v. II זנח attempts to deal with the problem lexically by positing a meaning “to exclude from” for זָנַח (zanakh) plus מִן (min), but also allows that the Niphal may be the correct reading.

297 tn Heb “from peace.” H. Hummel suggests that שָׁלוֹם (shalom) is the object and the מ (mem) is not the preposition מִן (min), but an enclitic on the verb (“Enclitic Mem in Early Northwest Semitic, Especially in Hebrew” JBL 76 [1957]: 105). שָׁלוֹם (shalom) has a wide range of meaning. The connotation is that there is no peace within; the speaker is too troubled for any calm to take hold.

298 tn Heb “goodness.”

299 tn Heb “and my hope from the Lord.” The hope is for deliverance. The words, “I have lost all…” have been supplied in the translation in order to clarify the Hebrew idiom for the English reader.

300 tc The LXX records ἐμνήσθην (emnhsqhn, “I remembered”) which may reflect a first singular form זָכַרְתִּי (zakharti) whereas the MT preserves the form זְכָר (zÿkhor) which may be Qal imperative 2nd person masculine singular (“Remember!”) or infinitive construct (“To remember…”). A 2nd person masculine singular imperative would most likely address God. In the next verse נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is the subject of זְכָר (zÿkhor). If נַפְשִׁי (nafshi) is also the subject here one would expect a 2fs Imperative זִכְרִי (zikhri) a form that stands in the middle of the MT’s זְכָר (zÿkhor) and the presumed זָכַרְתִּי (zakharti) read by the LXX. English versions are split between the options: “To recall” (NJPS), “Remember!” (RSV, NRSV, NASB), “Remembering” (KJV, NKJV), “I remember” (NIV).

tn The basic meaning of זָכַר (zakhar) is “to remember, call to mind” (HALOT 270 s.v. I זכר). Although it is often used in reference to recollection of past events, it can also describe consideration of present situations: “to consider, think about” something present (BDB 270 s.v. 5).

301 tn The two nouns עָנְיִי וּמְרוּדִי (’onyi umÿrudi, lit., “my poverty and my homelessness”) form a nominal hendiadys in which one noun functions adjectivally and the other retains its full nominal sense: “my impoverished homelessness” or “homeless poor” (GKC 397-98 §124.e). The nearly identical phrase is used in Lam 1:7 and Isa 58:7 (see GKC 226 §83.c), suggesting this was a Hebrew idiom. Jerusalem’s inhabitants were impoverished and homeless.

302 tn Heb “wormwood and gall.” The two nouns joined by ו (vav), לַעֲנָה וָרֹאשׁ (laana varosh, “wormwood and bitterness”) form a nominal hendiadys. The first retains its full verbal sense and the second functions adjectivally: “bitter poison.”

303 tc The MT reads נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”); however, the Masoretic scribes preserve an alternate textual tradition, marked by the Tiqqune Sopherim (“corrections by the scribes”) of נַפְשֶׁךָ (nafshekha, “your soul”).

tn Heb “my soul.” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is used as a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= I ). The verb תִּזְכּוֹר (tizkor) is Qal imperfect 3rd person feminine singular and the subject is נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”), though the term does not appear until the end of the verse functioning as the subject of both verbs. Due to the synecdoche, the line is translated as though the verb were 1st person common singular.

304 tn The infinitive absolute followed by an imperfect of the same root is an emphatic rhetorical statement: זָכוֹר תִּזְכּוֹר (zakhor tizkor, “continually think”). Although the basic meaning of זָכַר (zakhar) is “to remember, call to mind” (HALOT 270 I זכר), here it refers to consideration of a present situation: “to consider, think about” something present (BDB 270 s.v. זָכַר 5). The referent of the 3rd person feminine singular form of תִּזְכּוֹר (tizkor) is the feminine singular noun נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”).

305 tc The MT reads נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”); however, the Masoretic scribes preserve an alternate textual tradition, included in some lists of the Tiqqune Sopherim (“corrections by the scribes”) of נַפְשֶׁךָ (nafshekha, “your soul”).

tn Heb “my soul…” or “your soul…” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is used as a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= I ). Likewise, נַפְשֶׁךָ (nafshekha, “your soul”) is also a synecdoche of part (= your soul) for the whole person (= you).

306 tc The MT preserves the Kethib וְתָשִׁיחַ (vÿtashiakh), Qal imperfect 3rd person feminine singular from II שׁוּחַ (shuakh) + vav (ו) consecutive, while the Qere reads וְתָשׁוֹחַ (vÿtashoakh), Hiphil imperfect 3rd person feminine singular from II שׁוּחַ (shuakh) + vav (ו) consecutive. According to D. R. Hillers (Lamentations [AB], 56), the Kethib implies a Hiphil of שׁוּחַ (shuakh) which is unclear due to a lack of parallels, and reads the Qere as from the root שָׁחַח (shakhakh) which has close parallels in Ps 42:6, 7, 11; 43:5. The conjectured meaning for שׁוּחַ (shuakh) in BDB 1005 s.v שׁוּחַ is that of שָׁחַח (shakhakh). HALOT 1438-39 s.v. שׁוח reads the root as שָׁחַח (shakhakh) but the form as Qal.

tn Heb “and my soul sinks down within me.” The verb II שׁוּחַ (shuakh, “to sink down”) is used here in a figurative sense, meaning “to be depressed.”

307 tn Heb “I cause to return.”

308 tn Heb “to my heart.” The noun לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) has a broad range of meanings, including its use as a metonymy of association, standing for thoughts and thinking = “mind” (e.g., Deut 32:46; 1 Chr 29:18; Job 17:11; Ps 73:7; Isa 10:7; Hag 1:5, 7; 2:15, 18; Zech 7:10; 8:17).

309 tn It is difficult to capture the nuances of the Hebrew word חֶסֶד (khesed). When used of the Lord it is often connected to his covenant loyalty. This is the only occasion when the plural form of חֶסֶד (khesed) precedes the plural form of רַחֲמִים (rakhamim, “mercy, compassion”). The plural forms, as with this one, tend to be in late texts. The plural may indicate several concrete expressions of God’s kindnesses or may indicate the abstract concept of his kindness.

310 tc The MT reads תָמְנוּ (tamnu) “indeed we are [not] cut off,” Qal perfect 1st person common plural from תָּמַם (tamam, “be finished”): “[Because of] the kindnesses of the Lord, we are not cut off.” However, the ancient versions (LXX, Syriac Peshitta, Aramaic Targum) and many medieval Hebrew mss preserve the alternate reading תָּמּוּ (tammu), Qal perfect 3rd person common plural from תָּמַם (tamam, “to be finished”): “The kindnesses of the Lord never cease.” The external evidence favors the alternate reading. The internal evidence supports this as well, as the parallel B-line suggests: “his compassions never come to an end.” Several English versions follow the MT: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” (KJV, NKJV), “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” (NIV). Other English versions follow the alternate textual tradition: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” (RSV, NRSV), “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease” (NASB), “The kindness of the Lord has not ended” (NJPS) and “The Lord’s unfailing love still continues” (TEV).

311 tn The plural form of רַחֲמִים (rakhamim) may denote the abstract concept of mercy, several concrete expressions of mercy, or the plural of intensity: “great compassion.” See IBHS 122 §7.4.3a.

312 tn Heb “they are new.”

313 tn The adjective רַב (rav) has a broad range of meanings: (1) quantitative: “much, numerous, many (with plurals), abundant, enough, exceedingly” and (2) less often in a qualitative sense: “great” (a) of space and location, (b) “strong” as opposed to “weak” and (c) “major.” The traditional translation, “great is thy faithfulness,” is less likely than the quantitative sense: “your faithfulness is abundant” [or, “plentiful”]. NJPS is on target in its translation: “Ample is your grace!”

314 tn Heb “My soul said…” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= I ).

315 tn Heb “wait for him”

316 tn Heb “to the soul…” The term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) is a synecdoche of part (= “the soul who seeks him”) for the whole person (= “the person who seeks him”).

317 tn Heb “waiting and silently.” The two adjectives וְיָחִיל וְדוּמָם (vÿyakhil vÿdumam, “waiting and silently”) form a hendiadys: The first functions verbally and the second functions adverbially: “to wait silently.” The adjective דוּמָם (dumam, “silently”) also functions as a metonymy of association, standing for patience or rest (HALOT 217 s.v.). This metonymical nuance is captured well in less literal English versions: “wait in patience” (TEV) and “wait patiently” (CEV, NJPS). The more literal English versions do not express the metonymy as well: “quietly wait” (KJV, NKJV, ASV), “waits silently” (NASB), “wait quietly” (RSV, NRSV, NIV).

318 tn Heb “deliverance of the Lord.” In the genitive-construct, the genitive יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”) denotes source, that is, he is the source of the deliverance: “deliverance from the Lord.”

319 tn See note at 3:1 on the Hebrew term for “man” here.

320 tn Heb “that he bear.”

321 sn Jeremiah is referring to the painful humiliation of subjugation to the Babylonians, particularly to the exile of the populace of Jerusalem. The Babylonians and Assyrians frequently used the phrase “bear the yoke” as a metaphor: their subjects were made as subservient to them as yoked oxen were to their masters. Because the Babylonian exile would last for seventy years, only those who were in their youth when Jerusalem fell would have any hope of living until the return of the remnant. For the middle-aged and elderly, the yoke of exile would be insufferable; but those who bore this “yoke” in their youth would have hope.

322 tn Heb “in his youth.” The preposition ב (bet) functions in a temporal sense: “when.”

323 tn Heb “him.” The speaking voice in this chapter continues to be that of the גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”). The image of female Jerusalem in chs. 1-2 was fluid, being able to refer to the city or its inhabitants, both female and male. So too the “defeated soldier” or “everyman” (see note at 3:1 on “man”) is fluid and can represent any member of the Jewish community, male and female. This line especially has a proverbial character which can be extended to any person, hence the translation. But masculine pronouns are otherwise maintained reflecting the Hebrew grammatical system and the speaking voice of the poem.

324 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

325 tn Heb “has laid it on him.” The verb נָטַל (natal) is used 4 times in Biblical Hebrew; the related noun refers to heaviness or a burden. The entry of BDB 642 s.v. is outdated while HALOT 694 s.v. נטל is acceptable for the Qal. See D. R. Hillers, Lamentations (AB), 57. Hillers’ suggestion of a stative meaning for the Qal is followed here, though based on 2 Sam 24:12 “impose” is also possible.

326 tn Heb “Let him put his mouth in the dust.”

327 tn Heb “to the smiter.”

328 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

329 tn The verse is unusually short and something unrecoverable may be missing.

330 tn Heb “Although he has caused grief.” The word “us” is added in the translation.

331 tn Heb “He will have compassion.” The words “on us” are added in the translation.

332 tc The Kethib preserves the singular form חַסְדּוֹ (khasdo, “his kindness”), also reflected in the LXX and Aramaic Targum. The Qere reads the plural form חֲסָדָיו (khasadayv, “his kindnesses”) which is reflected in the Latin Vulgate.

333 tn Heb “he does not afflict from his heart.” The term לֵבָב (levav, “heart”) preceded by the preposition מִן (min) most often describes one’s initiative or motivation, e.g. “of one’s own accord” (Num. 16:28; 24:13; Deut. 4:9; 1Kings 12:33; Neh. 6:8; Job 8:10; Is. 59:13; Ezek. 13:2, 17). It is not God’s internal motivation to bring calamity and trouble upon people.

334 tn Heb “sons of men.”

335 tn Heb “prisoners of earth/land.” The term ארצ may refer to (1) the earth or (2) a country or (3) the promised land in particular (as well as other referents). “Earth” is chosen here since the context presents God’s general principles in dealing with humanity. Given the historical circumstances, however, prisoners from the land of Israel are certainly in the background.

336 tn The speaking voice is still that of the גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”), but the context and line are more universal in character.

337 tn Heb “to turn away a man’s justice,” that is, the justice or equitable judgment he would receive. See the previous note regarding the “man.”

338 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

339 tn Heb “the Lord does not see.” The verb רָאָה (raah, “to see”) is here used in reference to mental observation and approval: “to gaze at” with joy and pleasure (e.g., 2 Kgs 10:16; Mic 7:9; Jer 29:32; Isa 52:8; Job 20:17; 33:28; Pss 54:9; 106:5; 128:5; Son 3:11; 6:11; Eccl 2:1). If the line is parallel to the end of v. 35 then a circumstantial clause “the Lord not seeing” would be appropriate. The infinitives in 34-36 would then depend on the verbs in v. 33; see D. R. Hillers, Lamentations (AB), 71.

340 tn Heb “Who is this, he spoke and it came to pass?” The general sense is to ask whose commands are fulfilled. The phrase “he spoke and it came to pass” is taken as an allusion to the creation account (see Gen 1:3).

341 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”). See the tc note at 1:14.

342 tn Heb “From the mouth of the Most High does it not go forth, both evil and good?”

343 tn The Hebrew word here is אָדָם (’adam) which can mean “man” or “person.” The second half of the line is more personalized to the speaking voice of the defeated soldier using גֶּבֶר (gever, “man”). See the note at 3:1.

344 tc Kethib reads the singular חֶטְאוֹ (kheto, “his sin”), which is reflected in the LXX. Qere reads the plural חֲטָאָיו (khataayv, “his sins”) which is preserved in many medieval Hebrew mss and reflected in the other early versions (Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate). The external and internal evidence are not decisive in favor of either reading.

tn Heb “concerning his punishment.” The noun חֵטְא (khet’) has a broad range of meanings: (1) “sin,” (2) “guilt of sin” and (3) “punishment for sin,” which fits the context of calamity as discipline and punishment for sin (e.g., Lev 19:17; 20:20; 22:9; 24:15; Num 9:13; 18:22, 32; Isa 53:12; Ezek 23:49). The metonymical (cause-effect) relation between sin and punishment is clear in the expressions חֵטְא מִשְׁפַט־מָוֶת (khetmishpat-mavet, “sin deserving death penalty,” Deut 21:22) and חֵטְא מָוֶת (khetmavet, “sin unto death,” Deut 22:26). The point of this verse is that the punishment of sin can sometimes lead to death; therefore, any one who is being punished by God for his sins, and yet lives, has little to complain about.

345 tn Heb “Let us test our ways and examine.” The two verbs וְנַחְקֹרָהנַחְפְּשָׂה (nakhpÿsahvÿnakhqorah, “Let us test and let us examine”) form a verbal hendiadys in which the first functions adverbially and the second retains its full verbal force: “Let us carefully examine our ways.”

346 tc The MT reads the singular noun לְבָבֵנוּ (lÿvavenu, “our heart”) but the ancient versions (LXX, Aramaic Targum, Latin Vulgate) and many medieval Hebrew mss read the plural noun לְבָבֵינוּ (lÿvavenu, “our hearts”). Hebrew regularly places plural pronouns on singular nouns used as a collective (135 times on the singular “heart” and only twice on the plural “hearts”). The plural “hearts” in any Hebrew construction is actually rather rare. The LXX renders similar Hebrew constructions (singular “heart” plus a plural pronoun) with the plural “hearts” about 1/3 of the time, therefore it cannot be considered evidence for the reading. The Vulgate may have been influenced by the LXX. Although a distributive sense is appropriate for a much higher percentage of passages using the plural “hearts” in the LXX, no clear reason for the differentiation in the LXX has emerged. Likely the singular Hebrew form is original but the meaning is best represented in English with the plural.

347 tn The Heb emphasiszes the pronoun “We – we have sinned….” Given the contrast with the following, it means “For our part, we have sinned….” A poetic reading in English would place vocal emphasis on “we” followed by a short pause.

348 tn Heb “We have revolted and we have rebelled.” The two verbs פָשַׁעְנוּ וּמָרִינוּ (pashanu umarinu, “we have revolted and we have rebelled”) form a verbal hendiadys in which the synonyms emphasize the single idea.

349 tn The Heb emphasiszes the pronoun “You – you have not forgiven.” Given the contrast with the preceding, it means “For your part, you have not forgiven.” A poetic reading in English would place vocal emphasis on “you” followed by a short pause.

350 tn Heb “covered.” The object must be supplied either from the next line (“covered yourself”) or from the end of this line (“covered us”).

351 tn Heb “offscouring and refuse.” The two nouns סְחִי וּמָאוֹס (sÿkhi umaos) probably form a nominal hendiadys, in which the first noun functions as an adjective and the second retains its full nominal sense: “filthy refuse,” i.e., “filthy scum.”

352 tn Heb “in the midst of.”

353 tn Heb “open wide their mouths.”

354 tn The similar sounding nouns פַּחַד וָפַחַת (pakhad vafakhat, “panic and pitfall”) are an example of paronomasia.

355 tn Similar to the paronomasia in the preceding line, the words הַשֵּׁאת וְהַשָּׁבֶר (hashet vÿhashaver, “devastation and destruction”) form an example of alliteration: the beginning of the words sound alike.

356 tn Heb “canals.” The phrase “canals of water” (eye water = tears) is an example of hyperbole. The English idiom “streams of tears” is also hyperbolic.

357 tn Heb “my eyes flow down with canals of water.”

358 tn Heb “the daughter of my people,” or “the Daughter, my people.”

359 tn Heb “because of the destruction of [the daughter of my people].”

360 tn Heb “my eye flows.” The term “eye” is a metonymy of association, standing for the “tears” which flow from one’s eyes.

361 tn Heb “without stopping.” The noun הַפוּגָה (hafugah, “stop”) is a hapax legomenon (word that occurs only once in Hebrew scriptures). The form of the noun is unusual, probably being derived from the denominative Hiphil verbal stem of the root פּוּג (pug, “to grow weary, ineffective; numb, become cold”).

362 tn The phrase “what has happened” is added in the translation for smoother English style and readability.

363 tn Heb “my eye causes grief to my soul.” The term “eye” is a metonymy of association, standing for that which one sees with the eyes.

364 tn Heb “my soul.” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= me).

365 tn Heb “at the sight of all the daughters of my city.” It is understood that seeing the plight of the women, not simply seeing the women, is what is so grievous. To make this clear, “suffering” was supplied in the translation.

366 tn Heb “without cause.”

367 tn The construction צוֹד צָדוּנִי (tsod tsaduni, “they have hunted me down”) is emphatic: Qal infinitive absolute of the same root of Qal perfect 3rd person common plural + 1st person common singular suffix.

368 tn Heb “my life.”

369 tn Heb “I said,” meaning “I said to myself” = “I thought.”

370 tn Heb “I was about to be cut off.” The verb נִגְזָרְתִּי (nigzarti), Niphal perfect 1st person common singular from גָּזַר (gazar, “to be cut off”), functions in an ingressive sense: “about to be cut off.” It is used in reference to the threat of death (e.g., Ezek 37:11). To be “cut off” from the hand of the living means to experience death (Ps 88:6).

371 tn Heb “from a pit of lowest places.”

372 tn The verb could be understood as a precative, “hear my plea,” parallel to the following volitive verb, “do not close.”

373 tn Heb “my voice.”

374 tn The preposition ל (lamed) continues syntactically from “my plea” in the previous line (e.g. Ex 5:2; Josh 22:2; 1 Sam 8:7; 12:1; Jer 43:4).

375 tn The verb could be understood as a precative (“Draw near”). The perspective of the poem seems to be that of prayer during distress rather than a testimony that God has delivered.

376 tn The verb could be understood as a precative (“Say”).

377 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”) as in the following verse. See the tc note at 1:14.

378 tn This verb, like others in this stanza, could be understood as a precative (“Plead”).

379 tn Heb “the causes of my soul.” The term נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) is a synecdoche of part (= my soul) for the whole person (= me).

380 tn Heb “Please judge my judgment.”

381 tc The MT reads לִי (li, “to me”); but many medieval Hebrew mss and the ancient versions (Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate) all reflect a Vorlage of עָלָי (’alay, “against me”).

382 tn The verb could be understood as a precative (“Hear”).

383 tn Heb “the lips of my assailants and their thoughts.”

384 tn Heb “their rising and their sitting.” The two terms שִׁבְתָּם וְקִימָתָם (shivtam vÿqimatam, “their sitting and their rising”) form a merism: two terms that are polar opposites are used to encompass everything in between. The idiom “from your rising to your sitting” refers to the earliest action in the morning and the latest action in the evening (e.g., Deut 6:7; Ps 139:3). The enemies mock Jerusalem from the moment they arise in the morning until the moment they sit down in the evening.

385 tn Heb “Please cause to return.” The imperfect verb תָּשִׁיב (tashiv), Hiphil imperfect 2nd person masculine singular from שׁוּב (shuv, “to return”), functions in a volitional sense, like an imperative of request. The Hiphil stem of שׁוּב (shuv, in the Hiphil “to cause to return”) often means “to make requital, to pay back” (e.g., Judg 9:5, 56; 1 Sam 25:39; 1 Kgs 2:32, 44; Neh 3:36; Prov 24:12, 29; Hos 12:3; Joel 4:4, 7) (BDB 999 s.v. שׁוּב 4.a).

386 tn Heb “recompense to them.” The noun גְּמוּל (gÿmul, “dealing, accomplishment”) has two metonymical (cause-effect) meanings: (1) positive “benefit” and (2) negative “retribution, requital, recompense,” the sense used here (e.g., Pss 28:4; 94:2; 137:8; Prov 19:17; Isa 35:4; 59:18; 66:6; Jer 51:6; Lam 3:64; Joel 4:4, 7). The phrase תָּשִׁיב גְּמוּל (tashiv gÿmul) means “to pay back retribution” (e.g., Joel 4:4, 7), that is, to return the deeds of the wicked upon them as a display of talionic or poetic justice.

387 tn Heb “their hands.” The term “hand” is a synecdoche of part (= hands) for the whole person (= they).

388 tn Heb “according to the work of their hands.”

389 tn The noun מְגִנַּה (mÿginnah) is a hapax legomenon. Its meaning is debated; earlier lexicographers suggested that it meant “covering” (BDB 171 s.v.), but more recent lexicons suggest “shamelessness” or “insanity” (HALOT 546 s.v.). The translation is based on the term being parallel to “curse” and needing to relate to “heart.” Cf. NRSV “anguish of heart.”

390 tn Heb “pursue.” The accusative direct object is implied in the Hebrew, and inserted in the translation.

391 sn According to W. F. Lanahan (“The Speaking Voice in the Book of Lamentations” JBL 93 [1974]: 48), the persona or speaking voice in chap. 4 is a bourgeois, the common man. This voice is somewhat akin to the Reporter in chs 1-2 in that much of the description is in the third person. However, “the bourgeois has some sense of identity with his fellow-citizens” seen in the shift to the first person plural. The alphabetic acrostic structure reduces to two bicola per letter. The first letter of only the first line in each stanza spells the acrostic.

392 tn See the note at 1:1

393 tn Heb “had grown dim.” The verb יוּעַם (yuam), Hophal imperfect 3rd person masculine singular from עָמַם (’amam, “to conceal, darken”), literally means “to be dimmed” or “to be darkened.” Most English versions render this literally: the gold has “become dim” (KJV, NKJV), “grown dim” (RSV, NRSV), “is dulled” (NJPS), “grown dull” (TEV); however, but NIV has captured the sense well: “How the gold has lost its luster.”

394 tc The verb יִשְׁנֶא (yishne’, Qal imperfect 3rd person feminine singular) is typically taken to be the only Qal imperfect of I שָׁנָהּ (shanah). Such a spelling with א (aleph) instead of ה (he) is feasible. D. R. Hillers suggests the root שָׂנֵא (sane’, “to hate”): “Pure gold is hated”. This maintains the consonantal text and also makes sense in context. In either case the point is that gold no longer holds the same value, probably because there is nothing available to buy with it.

tn Heb “changes.” The imagery in this verse about gold is without parallel in the Bible and its precise nuance uncertain.

395 tn Heb “the stones of holiness/jewelry.” קֹדֶשׁ (qodesh) in most cases refers to holiness or sacredness. For the meaning “jewelry” see J. A. Emerton, “The Meaning of אַבְנֵי־קֹדֶשׁ in Lamentations 4:1ZAW 79 (1967): 233-36.

396 tn Heb “at the head of every street.”

397 tn Heb “they are regarded as.”

398 tn Heb “the work of the hands of a potter.”

399 tn The noun תַּנִּין (tannin) means “jackals.” The plural ending ־ִין (-in) is diminutive (GKC 242 §87.e) (e.g., Lam 1:4).

400 tn Heb “draw out the breast and suckle their young.”

401 tn Heb “the daughter of my people.”

402 tc The MT Kethib form כִּי עֵנִים (kienim) is by all accounts a textual corruption for כַּיְעֵנִים (kayenim, “like ostriches”) which is preserved in the Qere and the medieval Hebrew mss, and reflected in the LXX.

403 tn Heb “bread.” The term “bread” might function as a synecdoche of specific (= bread) for general (= food); however, the following parallel line does indeed focus on the act of breaking bread in two.

404 tn Heb “there is not a divider to them.” The term פָּרַשׂ (paras), Qal active participle ms from פָּרַס (paras, “to divide”) refers to the action of breaking bread in two before giving it to a person to eat (Isa 58:7; Jer 16:7; Lam 4:4). The form פָּרַשׂ (paras) is the alternate spelling of the more common פָּרַס (paras).

405 tn Heb “eaters of delicacies.” An alternate English gloss would be “connoisseurs of fine foods.”

406 tn Heb “are desolate.”

407 tn Heb “were reared.”

408 tn Heb “in purple.” The term תוֹלָע (tola’, “purple”) is a figurative description of expensive clothing: it is a metonymy of association: the color of the dyed clothes (= purple) stands for the clothes themselves.

409 tn Heb “embrace garbage.” One may also translate “rummage through” (cf. NCV “pick through trash piles”; TEV “pawing through refuse”; NLT “search the garbage pits.”

410 tn The Hebrew word אַשְׁפַּתּוֹת (’ashpatot) can also mean “ash heaps.” Though not used as a combination elsewhere, to “embrace ash heaps” might also envision a state of mourning or even dead bodies lying on the ash heaps.

411 tn The noun עֲוֹן (’avon) has a basic two-fold range of meanings: (1) basic meaning: “iniquity, sin” and (2) metonymical cause for effect meaning: “punishment for iniquity.”

412 tn Heb “the daughter of my people.”

413 tn Heb “the sin of.” The noun חַטָּאת (khattat) often means “sin, rebellion,” but here it probably functions in a metonymical (cause for effect) sense: “punishment for sin” (e.g., Zech 14:19). The context focuses on the severity of the punishment of Jerusalem rather than the depths of its degradation and depravity that led to the judgment.

414 tn Heb “without a hand turned.” The preposition ב (bet) after the verb חוּל (khul) in Hos 11:6 is adversative “the sword will turn against [Assyria’s] cities.” Other contexts with חוּל (khul) plus ב (bet) are not comparable (ב [bet] often being locative). However, it is not certain that hands must be adversarial as the sword clearly is in Hos 11:6. The present translation pictures the suddenness of Sodom’s overthrow as an easier fate than the protracted military campaign and subsequent exile and poverty of Judah’s survivor’s.

415 tn Heb “Nazirites” (so KJV). The Nazirites were consecrated under a vow to refrain from wine, contact with the dead, and from cutting their hair. In Gen 49:26 and Deut 33:16 Joseph, who was not a Nazirite, is called the “Nazir” of his brothers. From context, many translate this as “prince” (e.g., NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT), though the nuance is uncertain. If it is valid, then princes might be understood in this context as well.

416 tn The noun גִּזְרָה (gizrah) is used primarily in Ezekiel 41-42 (seven of its nine uses), where it refers to a separated area of the temple complex described in Ezekiel’s vision. It is not used of people other than here. Probably based on the reference to a precious stone BDB 160 s.v. 1 postulated that it refers to the cutting or polishing of precious stones, but this is conjecture. The English versions handle this variously. D. R. Hillers suggests beards, hair, or eyebrows based on other ancient Near Eastern comparisons between lapis lazuli and the body (Lamentations [AB], 81).

417 tn Heb “lapis lazuli.” Lapis lazuli is a dark blue semi-precious stone.

418 tn Heb “their outline” or “their form.” The Hebrew noun תֹּאַר (toar, “outline, form”) is related to the Phoenician noun תֹּאַר (toar, “something gazed at”), and Aramaic verb תָּאַר (taar, “to gaze at”). It is used in reference to the form of a woman (Gen 29:17; Deut 21:11; 1 Sam 25:3; Esth 2:7) and of a man (Gen 39:11; Judg 8:18; 1 Sam 16:18; 28:14; 1 Kgs 1:6; 1 Chr 17:17; Isa 52:14; 53:2). Here it is used in a metonymical sense: “appearance.”

419 tn Heb “those pierced of the sword.” The genitive-construct denotes instrumentality: “those pierced by the sword” (חַלְלֵי־חֶרֶב, khalle-kherev). The noun חָלָל (khalal) refers to a “fatal wound” and is used substantivally to refer to “the slain” (Num 19:18; 31:8, 19; 1 Sam 17:52; 2 Sam 23:8, 18; 1 Chr 11:11, 20; Isa 22:2; 66:16; Jer 14:18; 25:33; 51:49; Lam 4:9; Ezek 6:7; 30:11; 31:17, 18; 32:20; Zeph 2:12).

420 tn Heb “those slain of hunger.” The genitive-construct denotes instrumentality: “those slain by hunger,” that is, those who are dying of hunger.

421 tn Heb “who…” The antecedent of the relative pronoun שֶׁהֵם (shehem, “who”) are those dying of hunger in the previous line: מֵחַלְלֵי רָעָב (mekhalle raav, “those slain of hunger”).

422 tn Heb “they flow away.” The verb זוּב (zuv, “to flow, gush”) is used figuratively here, meaning “to pine away” or “to waste away” from hunger. See also the next note.

423 tn Heb “pierced through and through.” The term מְדֻקָּרִים (mÿduqqarim), Pual participle masculine plural from דָּקַר (daqar, “to pierce”), is used figuratively. The verb דָּקַר (daqar, “to pierce”) usually refers to a fatal wound inflicted by a sword or spear (Num 25:8; Judg 9:54; 1 Sam 31:4; 1 Chr 10:4; Isa 13:15; Jer 37:10; 51:4; Zech 12:10; 13:3). Here, it describes people dying from hunger. This is an example of hypocatastasis: an implied comparison between warriors being fatally pierced by sword and spear and the piercing pangs of hunger and starvation. Alternatively “those who hemorrhage (זוּב [zuv, “flow, gush”]) [are better off] than those pierced by lack of food” in parallel to the structure of the first line.

424 tn The preposition מִן (min, “from”) denotes deprivation: “from lack of” something (BDB 580 s.v. 2.f; HALOT 598 s.v. 6).

425 tn Heb “produce of the field.”

426 tn Heb “the hands of compassionate women.”

427 tn Heb “eating.” The infinitive construct (from I בָּרָה, barah) is translated as a noun. Three passages employ the verb (2 Sam 3:35; 12:17; 13:5,6,10) for eating when ill or in mourning.

428 tn Heb “the daughter of my people.”

429 tn Heb “in the destruction of the daughter of my people.”

430 tn Heb “has completed.” The verb כִּלָּה (killah), Piel perfect 3rd person masculine singular from כָּלָה (kalah, “to complete”), has a range of closely related meanings: (1) “to complete, bring to an end,” (2) “to accomplish, finish, cease,” (3) “to use up, exhaust, consume.” Used in reference to God’s wrath, it describes God unleashing his full measure of anger so that divine justice is satisfied. This is handled admirably by several English versions: “The Lord has given full vent to his wrath” (NIV), “The Lord gave full vent to his wrath” (RSV, NRSV), “The Lord vented all his fury” (NJPS), “The Lord turned loose the full force of his fury” (TEV). Others miss the mark: “The Lord has accomplished his wrath/fury” (KJV, NKJV, ASV, NASB).

431 tn Heb “the heat of his anger.”

432 tn The term יְסוֹד (yÿsod, “foundation”) refers to the ground-level and below ground-level foundation stones of a city wall (Ps 137:7; Lam 4:11; Mic 1:6).

433 tn Heb “inhabitants of the mainland.”

434 tn Heb “they did not believe that.” The verb הֶאֱמִינוּ (heeminu), Hiphil perfect 3rd person common plural from אָמַן (’aman, “to believe”), ordinarily is a term of faith and trust, but occasionally it functions cognitively: “to think that” (Job 9:16; 15:22; Ps 116:10; Lam 4:12) and “to be convinced that” (Ps 27:13) (HALOT 64 s.v. I אמן hif.1). The semantic relationship between “to believe” = “to think” is metonymical, that is, effect for cause.

435 sn The expression “to enter the gates” of a city is an idiom referring to the military conquest of that city. Ancient Near Eastern fortified cities typically featured double and sometimes triple city gates – the bulwark of the defense of the city. Because fortified cities were enclosed with protective walls, the Achilles tendon of every city was the city gates – the weak point in the defense and the perennial point of attack by enemies (e.g., Judg 5:8, 11; 1 Sam 17:52; Isa 29:6; Jer 17:27; 51:54; Ezek 21:20, 27; Mic 1:9, 12; Neh 1:3; 2:3, 13, 17).

436 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

437 tn These words do not appear in the Hebrew, but are supplied to make sense of the line. The introductory causal preposition מִן (min) (“because”) indicates that this phrase – or something like it – is implied through elision.

438 tn There is no main verb in the verse; it is an extended prepositional phrase. One must either assume a verbal idea such as “But it happened due to…” or connect it to the following verses, which themselves are quite difficult. The former option was employed in the present translation.

439 tn “They” are apparently the people, rather than the prophets and priests mentioned in the preceding verse.

440 tc The Hebrew word עִוְרִים (’ivrim) appears to be an adjective based on the root I עִוֵּר (’ivver, “blind”). The LXX, using a rare perfect optative of ἐγείρω (egeirw), seems to have read a form of II עוּר (’ur, “to rise”), while the Syriac reads “her nobles,” possibly from reading שָׂרִים (sarim). The evidence is unclear.

441 tn Heb “defiled with blood.”

442 tn The translation is conjecture. The MT has the preposition ב (bet, “in,” “by,” “with,” “when,” etc.), the negative particle לֹא (lo’), then a finite verb from יָכַל (yakhal, Qal impfect 3rd person masculine plural): “in not they are able.” Normally יָכַל (yakhal) would be followed by an infinitive, identifying what someone is or is not able to do, or by some other modifying clause. לֹא יָכַל (loyakhal) on its own may mean “they do not prevail.” The preposition ב (bet) suggests possible dependence on another verb (cp. Jer 2:11, the only other verse with the sequence ב [bet] plus לֹא [lo’] plus finite verb). The following verb נָגַע (naga’, “touch”) regularly indicates its object with the preposition ב (bet), but the preposition ב (bet) is already used with “their garments.” If both are the object of נָגַע (naga’), the line would read “they touched what they could not, their garments.” As this makes no sense, one should note that any other verb on which the phrase would be dependent is not recoverable. The preposition ב (bet) can also introduce temporal clauses, though there are no examples with לֹא (lo’) plus a finite verb. A temporal understanding could yield “when they could not succeed, they touched [clutched?] their garments” or “while no one is able [to ?] they touch their garments.” In Jer 49:10 the meaning of יָכַל (yakhal) is completed by a finite verb (though it is not governed by the preposition ב [bet]). If so here, then we may understand “while (ב [bet]) no one dares (יָכַל, yakhal) to touch their garments.” This gives the picture of blind people stumbling about while others cannot help because they are afraid to touch them.

443 tn Heb “They say among the nations.”

444 tn Heb “the face of the Lord.” The term פָּנֶה (paneh, “face”) is a synecdoche of part (= face) for the whole person (= the Lord himself). The phrase is often translated “the presence of the Lord.” The term “face” also functions anthropomorphically, depicting the invisible spirit God as though he had a physical face.

445 tc The MT reads the plural verb לֹא נָשָׂאוּ (lonasau, “they did not lift up”), Qal perfect 3rd person common plural from נָשָׂא (nasa’, “to lift up” the face); however, the ancient versions (LXX, Aramaic Targum, Latin Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta) have singular verbs, reflecting a Vorlage of לֹא נָשָׂא (lonasa’, “he did not lift up”), Qal perfect 3rd person masculine singular from נָשָׂא (nasa’). D. R. Hillers suggests that the MT plural is an intentional scribe change, to avoid the appearance that God brought about evil on the priests and elders. Equally possible is that consonantal לא חננו (lkhnnv) should be revocalized as Qal passive perfect 3rd person common plural, and that כֹהֲנִים (kohanim, “the priests”) functions as the subject of a passive verb rather than the accusative direct object of an active verb: “(the faces of ) the priests were not lifted up.”

tn Heb “did not lift up.” The verb נָשָׂא (nasa’) means “to lift up” (the face); however, the specific contextual nuance here is probably “to show consideration” (e.g., Deut 28:50; Lam 4:16) (BDB 670 s.v. 1.b.3).

446 tc The MT reads the plural verb לֹא חָנָנוּ (lokhananu, “they did not show favor”), Qal perfect 3rd person common plural from חָנַן (khanan, “to show favor, be merciful”); however, the ancient versions (LXX, Aramaic Targum, Latin Vulgate, Syriac Peshitta) have singular verbs, reflecting a Vorlage of לֹא חָנַן (lokhanan, “he did not show favor”), Qal perfect 3rd person masculine singular from חָנַן (khanan). D. R. Hillers suggests that the MT plural is an intentional scribe change, to avoid the appearance that God brought about evil on the priests and elders. Equally possible is that consonantal לא חננו (lkhnnv) should be revocalized as Qal passive perfect 3rd person common plural, and that זְקֵנִים (zÿqenim, “the elders”) functions as the subject of a passive verb rather than the accusative direct object of an active verb: “the elders were not shown favor/mercy.”

tn The basic meaning of the verb חָנַן (khanan) is “to show favor [to], be gracious [to].” In some contexts this can mean “to spare” the lives of someone (Deut 7:2; 28:50; Job 19:21; Lam 4:16) (BDB 336 s.v. 1.c), though it is not clear whether that is the case here.

447 tn Heb “Our eyes failed in vain for help.”

448 tn Heb “they”; this has been specified in the translation as “our enemies” for clarity.

449 tn Heb “they hunted our steps.”

450 tn Heb “our days were full.”

451 tn The bird referred to here could be one of several species of eagles, but more likely is the griffin-vulture (cf. NEB “vultures”). However, because eagles are more commonly associated with swiftness than vultures in contemporary English, “eagles” was used in the translation.

452 tn Or “in the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

453 tn Heb “the anointed one of the Lord.” The term “king” is added in the translation to clarify the referent of the phrase “the Lord’s anointed.”

454 tn Heb “was captured in their pits.”

455 tn Heb “of whom we had said.”

456 tn Heb “under his shadow.” The term צֵל (tsel, “shadow”) is used figuratively here to refer the source of protection from military enemies. In the same way that the shade of a tree gives physical relief and protection from the heat of the sun (e.g., Judg 9:15; Job 40:22; Ps 80:11; Song 2:3; Ezek 17:23; 31:6, 12, 17; Hos 4:13; 14:8; Jon 4:5, 6), a faithful and powerful king can provide “shade” (= protection) from enemies and military attack (Num 14:19; Ps 91:1; Isa 30:2, 3; 49:2; 51:16; Jer 48:45; Lam 4:20).

457 tn The phrase “for now” is added in the translation to highlight the implied contrast between the present joy of the Gentiles (4:21a) and their future judgment (4:21b).

458 tn Heb “O Daughter of Edom.”

459 tn Heb “the cup.” Judgment is often depicted as a cup of wine that God forces a person to drink, causing him to lose consciousness, red wine drooling out of his mouth – resembling corpses lying on the ground as a result of the actual onslaught of the Lord’s judgment. The drunkard will reel and stagger, causing bodily injury to himself – an apt metaphor to describe the devastating effects of God’s judgment. Just as a cup of poison kills all those who are forced to drink it, the cup of God’s wrath destroys all those who must drink it (e.g., Ps 75:9; Isa 51:17, 22; Jer 25:15, 17, 28; 49:12; 51:7; Lam 4:21; Ezek 23:33; Hab 2:16).

460 tn The imperfect verb “will pass” may also be a jussive, continuing the element of request, “let the cup pass…”

461 tn Heb “O Daughter Zion.”

462 tn Heb “your iniquity.” The noun עָוֹן (’avon) has a broad range of meanings, including: (1) iniquity, (2) guilt of iniquity, and (3) consequence or punishment for iniquity (cause-effect metonymical relation). The context suggests that “punishment for sin” is most appropriate here (e.g., Gen 4:13; 19:15; Exod 28:38, 43; Lev 5:1, 17; 7:18; 10:17; 16:22; 17:16; 19:8; 20:17, 19; 22:16; 26:39, 41, 43; Num 5:31; 14:34; 18:1, 23; 30:15; 1 Sam 25:24; 28:10; 2 Sam 14:9; 2 Kgs 7:9; Job 10:14; Pss 31:11; 69:28; 106:43; Prov 5:22; Isa 5:18; 30:13; 40:2; 53:6, 11; 64:5, 6; Jer 51:6; Lam 4:22; 5:7; Ezek 4:4-6, 17; 7:16; 14:10; 18:19-20; 21:30, 34; 24:23; 32:27; 35:5; 39:23; 44:10, 12).

463 tn Heb “will be completed.” The perfect tense verb תַּם (tam), Qal perfect 3rd person masculine singular from תָּמַם (tamam, “to be complete”), could be taken as a precative perfect expressing a request (“may your punishment be complete”). The translation understands it as an example of the so-called “prophetic perfect.” The perfect tense often describes actions that are viewed as complete (normally past- or present-time events). When the perfect tense describes a future event, it often depicts it as “complete,” that is, “as good as done” or certain to take place from the viewpoint of the prophet. Thus, by using the perfect tense, Jeremiah may be emphasizing the certainty that the exile will eventually come to an end. It has also been viewed as a simple perfect “your punishment is ended.”

464 tn The verb לֹא יוֹסִיף (loyosif) could be taken as a precative perfect, making a request to God. See the note at the beginning of the verse.

465 tn Heb “O Daughter of Edom.”

466 tn The verb פָּקַד (paqad) could be taken as a precative perfect, making a request to God. See the note at the beginning of the verse.

467 tn The noun עָוֹן (’avon) is repeated twice in this verse: its first occurrence means “punishment for iniquity” (v. 22a), and its second usage means “iniquity” (v. 22b). See preceding translator’s note on the broad range of meanings of this word. The repetition of the same root with different meanings creates an ironic polysemantic wordplay: Zion’s “punishment” for its sin is about to come to an end; however, the punishment for Edom’s “sin” is about to begin.

468 tn The verb גִּלָּה (gillah) could be taken as a precative perfect, making a request to God. See the note at the beginning of the verse.

469 sn The speaking voice is now that of a choir singing the community’s lament in the first person plural. The poem is not an alphabetic acrostic like the preceding chapters but has 22 verses, the same as the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

470 tn The basic meaning of זָכַר (zakhar) is “to remember, call to mind” (HALOT 270 s.v. I זכר). Although often used of recollection of past events, זָכַר (zakhar, “to remember”) can also describe consideration of present situations: “to consider, think about” something present (BDB 270 s.v. 5), hence “reflect on,” the most appropriate nuance here. Verses 1-6 describe the present plight of Jerusalem. The parallel requests הַבֵּיט וּרְאֵה (habbet urÿeh, “Look and see!”) have a present-time orientation as well. See also 2:1; 3:19-20.

471 tn Heb “Look!” Although often used in reference to visual perception, נָבַט (navat, “to look”) can also refer to cognitive consideration and mental attention shown to a situation: “to regard” (e.g., 1 Sam 16:7; 2 Kgs 3:14), “to pay attention to, consider” (e.g., Isa 22:8; Isa 51:1, 2).

472 tn Although normally used in reference to visual sight, רָאָה (raah) is often used in reference to cognitive processes and mental observation. See the note on “Consider” at 2:20.

473 tn Heb “Our inheritance”; or “Our inherited possessions/property.” The term נַחֲלָה (nakhalah) has a range of meanings: (1) “inheritance,” (2) “portion, share” and (3) “possession, property.” The land of Canaan was given by the Lord to Israel as its inheritance (Deut 4:21; 15:4; 19:10; 20:16; 21:23; 24:4; 25:19; 26:1; Josh 20:6) and distributed among the tribes, clans and families (Num 16:14; 36:2; Deut 29:7; Josh 11:23; 13:6; 14:3, 13; 17:4, 6, 14; 19:49; 23:4; Judg 18:1; Ezek 45:1; 47:22, 29). Through the family, the family provided an inheritance (property) to its children with the first-born receiving pride of position (Gen 31:14; Num 27:7-11; 36:3, 8; 1 Kgs 21:3, 4; Job 42:15; Prov 19:14; Ezek 46:16). Here, the parallelism between “our inheritance” and “our homes” would allow for the specific referent of the phrase “our inheritance” to be (1) land or (2) material possessions, or given the nature of the poetry in Lamentations, to carry both meanings at the same time.

474 tn Heb “our homes [are turned over] to foreigners.”

475 tn Heb “silver.” The term “silver” is a synecdoche of species (= silver) for general (= money).

476 tn Heb “We drink our water for silver.”

477 tn Heb “our wood comes for a price.”

478 tn Heb “We are hard-driven on our necks”

479 sn For the theological allusion that goes beyond physical rest, see, e.g., Deut 12:10; 25:19; Josh 1:13; 11:23; 2 Sam 7:1, 11; 1 Chron 22:18; 2 Chron 14:6-7

480 tn Heb “we have given the hand”; cf. NRSV “We have made a pact.” This is a Semitic idiom meaning “to make a treaty with” someone, placing oneself in a subservient position as vassal. The prophets criticized these treaties.

481 tn Heb “bread.” The term “bread” is a synecdoche of specific (= bread) for the general (= food).

482 tn Heb “fathers,” but here the term also refers to “forefathers,” i.e., more distant ancestors.

483 tn Heb “and are no more.”

484 tc The Kethib is written אֲנַחְנוּ (’anakhnu, “we”) but the Qere reads וַאֲנַחְנוּ (vaanakhnu, “but we”). The Qere is supported by many medieval Hebrew mss, as well as most of the ancient versions (Aramaic Targum, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate). The ו (vav) prefixed to וַאֲנַחְנוּ (vaanakhnu) functions either in a disjunctive sense (“but”) or resultant sense (“so”).

485 tn Heb “so we bear.”

486 tn Heb “their iniquities.” The noun עָוֹן (’avon) has a broad range of meanings, including: (1) iniquity, (2) guilt of iniquity, and (3) consequence or punishment for iniquity (cause-effect metonymical relation). The context suggests that “punishment for sin” is most appropriate here (e.g., Gen 4:13; 19:15; Exod 28:38, 43; Lev 5:1, 17; 7:18; 10:17; 16:22; 17:16; 19:8; 20:17, 19; 22:16; 26:39, 41, 43; Num 5:31; 14:34; 18:1, 23; 30:15; 1 Sam 25:24; 28:10; 2 Sam 14:9; 2 Kgs 7:9; Job 10:14; Pss 31:11; 69:28; 106:43; Prov 5:22; Isa 5:18; 30:13; 40:2; 53:6, 11; 64:5, 6; Jer 51:6; Lam 4:22; 5:7; Ezek 4:4-6, 17; 7:16; 14:10; 18:19-20; 21:30, 34; 24:23; 32:27; 35:5; 39:23; 44:10, 12).

487 tn Heb “slaves.” While indicating that social structures are awry, the expression “slaves rule over us” might be an idiom for “tyrants rule over us.” This might find its counterpart in the gnomic truth that the most ruthless rulers are made of former slaves: “Under three things the earth quakes, under four it cannot bear up: under a slave when he becomes king” (Prov 30:21-22a).

488 tn Heb “hand.”

489 tn Heb “at the cost of our lives.” The preposition ב (bet) here denotes purchase price paid (e.g., Gen 30:16; Exod 34:20; 2 Sam 3:14; 24:24) (BDB 90 s.v. בְּ 3.a). The expression בְּנַפְשֵׁנוּ (bÿnafshenu) means “at the risk of our lives.” Similar expressions include בְנַפְשׁוֹ (bÿnafsho, “at the cost of his life,” 1 Kgs 2:23; Prov 7:23) and בְּנַפְשׁוֹתָם (bÿnafshotam, “at peril of their lives,” 2 Sam 23:17).

490 tn Heb “our soul.” The noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “soul”) is used as a metonymy (= soul) of association (= life) (e.g., Gen 44:30; Exod 21:23; 2 Sam 14:7; Jon 1:14).

491 tn Heb “bread.” The term “bread” is a synecdoche of specific (= bread) for the general (= food).

492 tn Heb “because of the sword.” The term “sword” is a metonymy of instrument (= sword) for the persons who use the instrument (= murderers or marauders).

493 tn Heb “the wilderness.”

494 tn Heb “because of the burning heat of famine.”

495 tn Heb “ravished.”

496 tn Heb “elders were shown no respect.” The phrase “shown no respect” is an example of tapeinosis, a figurative expression of understatement: to show no respect to elders = to terribly mistreat elders.

497 tn The text is difficult. Word by word the MT has “young men hand mill(?) they take up” Perhaps it means “they take [our] young men for mill grinding,” or perhaps it means “the young men take up [the labor of] mill grinding.” This expression is an example of synecdoche where the mill stands for the labor at the mill and then that labor stands for performing menial physical labor as servants. The surface reading, “young men carry hand mills,” does not portray any great adversity for them. The Vulgate translates as an abusive sexual metaphor (see D. R. Hillers, Lamentations [AB], 99), but this gives no known parallel to the second part of the verse.

498 tc Heb “boys trip over wood.” This phrase makes little sense. The translation adopts D. R. Hillers’ suggestion (Lamentations [AB], 99) of בְּעֶצֶב כָּשָׁלוּ (bÿetsev kashalu). Due to letter confusion and haplography the final ב (bet) of בְּעֶצֶב (bÿetsev) which looks like the כ (kaf) beginning the next word, was dropped. This verb can have an abstract noun after the preposition ב (bet) meaning “from, due to” rather than “over.”

499 tn Heb “the joy of our heart has ceased.”

500 tn Heb “are faint” or “are sick.” The adjective דַּוָּי (davvay, “faint”) is used in reference to emotional sorrow (e.g., Isa 1:5; Lam 1:22; Jer 8:18). The related adjective דָּוֶה (daveh) means “(physically) sick” and “(emotionally) sad,” while the related verb דָּוָה (davah) means “to be sad.” The cognate Aramaic term means “sorrow,” and the cognate Syriac term refers to “misery.”

501 tn Heb “our eyes are dim.” The physical description of losing sight is metaphorical, perhaps for being blinded by tears or more abstractly for being unable to see (= envision) any hope. The collocation “darkened eyes” is too rare to clarify the nuance.

502 tn The phrase “through our tears” is added in the translation for the sake of clarification.

503 tn Heb “jackals.” The term “jackals” is a synecdoche of species (= jackals) for general (= wild animals).

504 tn The Hebrew verb “forget” often means “to not pay attention to, ignore,” just as the Hebrew “remember” often means “to consider, attend to.”

sn The verbs “to forget” and “to remember” are often used figuratively in scripture when God is the subject, particularly in contexts of judgment (God forgets his people) and restoration of blessing (God remembers his people). In this case, the verb “to forget” functions as a hypocatastasis (implied comparison), drawing a comparison between God’s judgment and rejection of Jerusalem to a person forgetting that Jerusalem even exists. God’s judgment of Jerusalem was so intense and enduring that it seemed as though he had forgotten her. The synonymous parallelism makes this clear.

505 tc The Kethib is וְנָשׁוּב (vÿnashuv, “and we will return,” ו [vav] conjunction + Qal imperfect 1st person common plural from שׁוּב [shuv, “to return”]). The Qere is וְנָשׁוּבָה (vÿnashuvah, “and let us return,” ו [vav] conjunction + Qal cohortative 1st person common plural from שׁוּב [shuv, “to return”]).

tn The cohortative after a volitive indicates purpose (“so that”). There is a wordplay in Hebrew between “Bring us back” (Hiphil imperative of שׁוּב [shuv, “to return”]) and “let us return” (Qal imperfect of שׁוּב [shuv, “to return”]). This repetition of the root שׁוּב (shuv) is significant; it depicts a reciprocal relationship between God’s willingness to allow the nation to return to him on one hand and its national repentance on the other.

506 tn Heb “our days.” The term “days” is a synecdoche of time (= days) for what is experienced within that time span (= life) (e.g., Gen 5:4, 8, 11; 6:3; 9:29; 11:32; 25:7; 47:8, 9; Deut 22:19, 29; 23:7; Josh 24:31; Judg 2:7, 18; 2 Sam 19:35; Job 7:1, 16, 18; Pss 8:9; 39:5, 6; 90:9, 10, 12, 14; 103:15; Prov 31:12; Eccl 2:3; 5:17, 19; 6:3).

507 tn Heb “as of old.”

508 tn The compound conjunction כִּי אִם (kiim) functions to limit the preceding clause: “unless, or…” (e.g., Ruth 3:18; Isa 65:6; Amos 3:7) (BDB 474 s.v. 2.a): “Bring us back to yourself… unless you have utterly rejected us” (as in the present translation) or “Bring us back to yourself…Or have you utterly rejected us?” It is Jeremiah’s plea that the Lord be willing to relent of his anger and restore a repentant nation to himself; however, Jeremiah acknowledges that this wished-for restoration might not be possible if the Lord has become so angry with Jerusalem/Judah that he is determined to reject the nation once and for all. Then, Jerusalem/Judah’s restoration would be impossible.

509 tn Heb “Or have you utterly rejected us?” The construction מָאֹס מְאַסְתָּנוּ (maos mÿastanu), Qal infinitive absolute + Qal perfect 2nd person masculine singular from מָאַס (maas, “to reject”) is emphatic: the root מָאַס (maas) is repeated in these two verbal forms for emphasis.

510 tn Heb “Are you exceedingly angry with us?” The construction עַד־מְאֹד (’ad-mÿod) means “up to an abundance, to a great degree, exceedingly” (e.g., Gen 27:33, 34; 1 Sam 11:15; 25:36; 2 Sam 2:17; 1 Kgs 1:4; Pss 38:7, 9; 119:8, 43, 51, 107; Isa 64:9, 12; Lam 5:22; Dan 8:8; 11:25). Used in reference to God’s judgment, this phrase denotes total and irrevocable rejection by God and his refusal to forgive the sin and restore the people to a status under his grace and blessings, e.g., “Do not be angry beyond measure (עַד־מְאֹד, ’ad-mÿod), O Lord; do not remember our sins forever” (Isa 64:9) and “Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure (עַד־מְאֹד, ’ad-mÿod)?” (Isa 64:12). The sentiment is expressed well in TEV, “Or have you rejected us forever? Is there no limit to your anger?” and CEV, “Or do you despise us so much that you don’t want us?”



TIP #07: Use the Discovery Box to further explore word(s) and verse(s). [ALL]
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