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Lamentations 1:21

21. They have heard that I sign; there is none to comfort me: all mine enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it; thou will bring the day that thou hast called, and they shall be like unto me.

21. Audierunt quod sum gemens, (hoc est, quod sim in luctu,) nec quisquam consolator mihi; omnes inimici mei audierunt malum meum, gavisi sunt quod tu feceris, et adduxeris diem, quem tu vocasti; atqui erunt sicuti ego.

 

The verb שמעו, shemou, is put down twice, but at the beginning without a nominative case: hence the sentence is defective, until in the second clause the word איבי aibi, is expressed. Jeremiah evidently says, that enemies had heard of the evils under which the people labored, even that they were sighing, and that no one showed them any kindness; for it is commonly the case that sympathy is manifested towards the miserable. By this circumstance he amplifies the grievousness of their punishment, there being no one, as before said, to administer any consolation. But it is repeated, that enemies had heard; for as there is nothing more bitter than reproaches, we seek in adversities to withdraw ourselves in a manner from the observation of men; but our evil is especially doubled, when we become a spectacle to enemies; for they derive joy from our adversities, and then exult over us. When, therefore, the chosen people said, that enemies had heard, they thus showed that nothing could be added to their miseries: They have heard, then, that I was sighing and that no one comforted me. Who had heard? all mine enemies; and they have rejoiced that thou hast done it

Jeremiah seems to intimate, that their enemies, being fully persuaded that God was displeased with his people, did on this account more freely rejoice; and at the same time they believed that it was all over with those miserable people with whom God was displeased. But I know not whether this view is well grounded. I indeed do not reject it, nor will I dispute with any one who may hold that the enemies rejoiced, because they thought that God was become the enemy of that people, whom he had before chosen and also protected: nor is this view unsuitable; for the reprobate then fully triumph when they can boast that God is adverse to us. But when no such thought comes to their minds, they yet cease not to rejoice when they see that we are oppressed and afflicted. Though, then, they may not think of God’s hand, yet they rejoice that it is done; that is, they rejoice that we are distressed, though they understand not who the author is. We may then take the meaning simply to be, that the enemies of the Church rejoiced at that calamity, without considering who the author of it was.

But, why is it expressed that God had done it? even to shew that while the ungodly think that fortune is unfavorable to us, it; is our duty to cast our eyes on God, for we ought not to judge of things according to their blindness. As, then, they ascribe not to God the glory due to him when they do not acknowledge him as judge, it ever behooves us to see by the eyes of faith what is hid from the natural perceptions of men, even that nothing happens to us except through the righteous judgment of God. Though, then, enemies had not wisdom to know how it was that the Church was afflicted, yet it behooved the Church itself to use by means of faith such a language as this, that God had done it; they rejoiced that thou hast done it

And it follows, Thou hast brought the day which thou hast called, or proclaimed; for קרא, kora, has sometimes this meaning. 147147     Our version is wrong in rendering this clause in the future tense. The reference is not to the day of vengeance to the Babylonians, but to the day of vengeance which God had brought on his own people. The versions, except the Syr., give the verb in the past tense.
   There are here two instances of כי being carried on to the next clause, —

   21. Heard have they that I sigh, that I have no comforter:
All mine enemies have heard of my evil; they have rejoiced
That thou hast done it, that thou hast brought the day thou hast announced;
But they shall be like myself.

    — Ed
In short, the faithful now confess not only that they were afflicted by God’s hand, but also that what the prophets had so often threatened, and what had been despised, was now fulfilled. For we have seen with what pertinacity that people rejected the threatenings given by the prophets: God had often exhorted them to repent, and also had proclaimed or fixed a time for them, but without effect. Therefore the faithful now reflect on what had not been sufficiently known before, even that the day was brought which had been often proclaimed. And thus they confessed, not only that they were worthy of punishment., but that it was the proper time for them to be chastised, as they had not repented after having been so often warned.

He adds, But they themselves shall be as I am. Here the future tense may be considered as optative, for presently a prayer follows which confirms this view. But we may also take the meaning to be simply this, — that the faithful began to take courage, as they looked forward to the time when God would render to the wicked according to their proud and disdainful exultation’s. It follows, —


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