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Lamentations 2:4-5

Context

ד (Dalet)

2:4 He prepared his bow 1  like an enemy;

his right hand was ready to shoot. 2 

Like a foe he killed everyone,

even our strong young men; 3 

he has poured out his anger like fire

on the tent 4  of Daughter Zion.

ה (He)

2:5 The Lord, 5  like an enemy,

destroyed 6  Israel.

He destroyed 7  all her palaces;

he ruined her 8  fortified cities.

He made everyone in Daughter Judah

mourn and lament. 9 

1 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.

2 tn Heb “His right hand is stationed.”

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

4 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).

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

6 tn Heb “swallowed up.”

7 tn Heb “swallowed up.”

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

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



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