at their breast, 2
but my people 3 are cruel,
like ostriches 4 in the desert.
4:4 The infant’s tongue sticks
to the roof of its mouth due to thirst;
little children beg for bread, 5
but no one gives them even a morsel. 6
cooked their own children,
who became their food, 8
2 tn Heb “draw out the breast and suckle their young.”
3 tn Heb “the daughter of my people.”
4 tc The MT Kethib form כִּי עֵנִים (ki ’enim) is by all accounts a textual corruption for כַּיְעֵנִים (kay’enim, “like ostriches”) which is preserved in the Qere and the medieval Hebrew
5 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.
6 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).
7 tn Heb “the hands of compassionate women.”
9 tn Heb “the daughter of my people.”
10 tn Heb “in the destruction of the daughter of my people.”