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Lamentations 2:7

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.

7. Abominatus est Dominus altare suum, repulit (vel, rejecit procul ab animo suo) sanctuarium suum, tradidit in manum hostis muros palatiorum ejus, vocem ediderunt in domo Jehovae tanquam in die sacri conventus (vel, solemnis; iterum ponitur nomen מועד tamen accipitur vel pro conventu vel pro die festo.)

 

He proceeds with the same subject, and adopts similar words. He says first, that God had abominated his altar; 152152     Our version, “cast off,” gives the real meaning of the verb. — Ed. an expression not strictly proper, but the Prophet could not otherwise fully shew to the Jews what they deserved; for had he only spoken of the city, of the lands, of the palaces, of the vineyards, and, in short, of all their possessions, it would have been a much lighter matter; but when he says that God had counted as nothing all their sacred things, — the altar, the Temple, the ark of the covenant, and festive days, — when, therefore, he says, that God had not only disregarded, but had also cast away from him these things, which yet especially availed to conciliate his favor, the people must have hence perceived, except they were beyond measure stupid, how grievously they had provoked God’s wrath against themselves; for this was the same as though heaven and earth were blended together. Had there been an upsetting of all things, had the sun left its place and sunk into darkness, had the earth heaved upwards, the confusion would have hardly been more dreadful, than when God put forth thus his hand against the sanctuary, the altar, the festal days, and all their sacred things. But we must refer to the reason why this was done, even because the Temple had been long polluted by the iniquities of the people, and because all sacred things had been wickedly and disgracefully profaned. We now, then, understand the reason why the Prophet enlarged so much on a subject in itself sufficiently plain.

He afterwards adds, He hath delivered all the palaces, etc.; as though he had said, that the city had not been taken by the valor of enemies, but that the Chaldeans had fought under the authority and banner of God. He, in short, intimates that the Jews had miserably perished, because they perished through their own fault; and that the Chaldeans had proved victorious in battle, and had taken the city, not through their own courage or skill, but because God had resolved to punish that ungodly and wicked people.

It follows in the last place, that the enemies had made a noise in the temple of God as in the day of solemnity. Here also the Prophet shews, that God would have never suffered the enemies insolently to exult and to revel in the very Temple, had not the Israelites deserved all this; for the insolence of their enemies was not unknown to God, and he might have easily checked it if he pleased. Why, then, did he grant so much license to these profane enemies? even because the Jews themselves had previously polluted the Temple, so that he abhorred all their solemn assemblies, as also he declares by Isaiah, that he detested their festivals, Sabbaths, and new moons. (Isaiah 1:13, 14.) But it was a shocking change, when enemies entered the place which God had consecrated for himself, and there insolently boasted and uttered base and wicked calumnies against God! But the sadder the spectacle, the more detestable appeared the impiety of the people, which had been the cause of so great evils. For we ought ever to remember what I have often stated, that these circumstances were noticed by the Prophet, that the people might at length acknowledge themselves guilty as to all these evils, which they would have otherwise ascribed to the Chaldeans. That, then, the Chaldeans polluted the Temple, that they trod under foot all sacred things, all this the Prophet shews was to be ascribed to the Jews themselves, who had, through their own conduct, opened the Temple to the Chaldeans, who had exposed all sacred things to their will and pleasure. It follows, —


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