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Lamentations 2:3

Context

ג (Gimel)

2:3 In fierce anger 1  he destroyed 2 

the whole army 3  of Israel.

He withdrew his right hand 4 

as the enemy attacked. 5 

He was like a raging fire in the land of Jacob; 6 

it consumed everything around it. 7 

1 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.

2 tn Heb “cut off, scattered.”

3 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]).

4 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.

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

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

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



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