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Lamentations 2:15-16

Context

ס (Samek)

2:15 All who passed by on the road

clapped their hands to mock you. 1 

They sneered and shook their heads

at Daughter Jerusalem.

“Ha! Is this the city they called 2 

‘The perfection of beauty, 3 

the source of joy of the whole earth!’?” 4 

פ (Pe)

2:16 All your enemies

gloated over you. 5 

They sneered and gnashed their teeth;

they said, “We have destroyed 6  her!

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

We have lived to see it!” 7 

1 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).

2 tn Heb “of which they said.”

3 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.

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

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

6 tn Heb “We have swallowed!”

7 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.



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