King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Lamentations 2

Lamentation for the misery of Jerusalem.

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Lamentation for the misery of Jerusalem

1 How hath the LORD covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!

2 The LORD hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.

3 He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.

4 He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.

5 The LORD was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.

7 The LORD hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.

8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.

9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.

10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

12 They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers’ bosom.

13 What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.

15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?

16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.

17 The LORD hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.

18 Their heart cried unto the LORD, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.

19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the LORD: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.

20 Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword; thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed, and not pitied.

22 Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD’s anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Obscurity. He continues to bewail the misery of Jerusalem. — Heaven, the highest glory. Is. xiv. 12. — Stool; the temple, and the land. The ark fell not into the hands of the enemy. C. — The punishment which the Lord permits, is justly ascribed to Him. W.

Ver. 2. Unclean, or treated it as such. C. — Sept. “he hath accounted profane the kings.” H. — Joakim, Jechonias, Sedecias, and the royal family, were exposed to the greatest ignominy and sufferings. C.

Ver. 3. Horn: beauty and power, (H.) the two kingdoms, the fortresses, (C.) and all their strength, denoted by horns. W. — Hand; refusing us protection, and aiding the Chaldees.

Ver. 5. Women, suffering them to be abused. C. v. 11. 13.

Ver. 6. Tent: the temple, with the same indifference as if it had been a hut, built to guard the fruit of a garden. Is. v. 5. Ps. lxxix. 13. — Sabbaths. The Jews rested, but could offer no sacrifices in captivity. — Priest. Saraias was slain, and Sedecias imprisoned, &c. C. lii. 10. C.

Ver. 7. Cursed, or suffered it to be polluted, (W.) as he looked on it with horror, after it had been profaned by Achaz, &c. — Towers. Sept. “palaces;” bareon. — Feast. What a contrast! The temple used to resound with songs of praise and music: the Chaldees fill it with insolent shouts of victory.

Ver. 8. Line, to level it with the ground, (Is. xxxiv. 11. C.) or to treat it with just severity. Theod. — Bulwark. Lit. “the first wall,” (H.) or ditch, lined with palisades. Alexander ordered the towers to be levelled, and the horses’ manes to be cut, when Hephæstion died, to denote the general sorrow.

Ver. 9. Among, as slaves, or in prison. — Law has been neglected; and now it cannot be observed, as to the ceremonial part. There are no public instructions. — No vision. When Jeremias was consulted, he had to pray for ten days. C. xlii. 7.

Ver. 10. Ancients, even magistrates. C. — Canitiem multo deformat pulvere. Æn. x.

Ver. 11. Earth, by an overflowing of the bile, occasioned by grief. Job xvi. 14. C.

Ver. 13. Sea. This is an hyperbole, to express the greatness of sorrow, as the sea surpasses all other waters. W.

Ver. 14. Revelations. Heb. Masoth, “burdens” for the enemy. This sentence ought to come before and they, &c. as it is in the Vulg. H.

Ver. 16. Mouth, with scorn. Is. lvii. 4. Ps. xxxiv. 21.

Ver. 17. Old, by Moses, (Deut. xxviii. 15. 49. Lev. xxvi. 14.) Micheas, (C. xxvi. 18.) Holda, &c. C.

Ver. 18. Upon. Heb. and Sept. “O wall,” &c. v. 8. H.

Ver. 19. Watches. Jerusalem is here represented in the midst of danger and misery. C.

Ver. 20. Dealt. Lit. “gathered grapes.” C. i. 12. H. — Long; quite small. Ps. xxxviii. 9. This has been denounced, C. xix. 9. Deut. xxviii. 53. C. It took place at Samaria, and in the last siege of Jerusalem, (Jos. Bel. vii. and viii. W.) as well as at this time. H.

Ver. 21. Killed. Lit. “stricken” (H.) with unusual severity. W.

Ver. 22. About. The troops of the enemy resemble those multitudes, which come from all parts to Jerusalem. Many kings could not raise such an army. C.