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Lamentations 3:51

51. Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.

51. Oculus meus dolore afficit animam meam propter omes filias urbis meae (vel pro omnibus filiabus urbis meae.)

 

He had said, that his eye flowed down, and then, that it was like a fountain, from which many streams or rivers flowed: he now adopts another mode of speaking, that his eyes grieved his soul; and it is a sign of the greatest sorrow when he who weeps seeks some relief, and is at the same time overpowered by that external feeling. For many indulge in grief and inflame themselves; then the soul of man is like a fan to rouse the burning. But when we weep and our eyes shed tears, and when the mind in a manner exhausts itself, it is a proof of the greatest grief. And this great. grief Jeremiah wished to express by saying, that his eye troubled or grieved his soul

The latter part is explained in two ways: sonic render thus, “Because of all the daughters of my city.” But though this meaning is generally taken, I yet prefer the opinion of those who render the words thus, “More than all the daughters of my city,” for מן, men, denotes a comparison, as it is also a causative. He says, then, that he was given to grief more than all the young women. As the female sex, as it is well known, are more tender and softer than men, the Prophet amplifies his lamentation by this comparison, that in weeping he exceeded all the young women of the city, so that he had almost forgotten his manhood. Had he said, the daughters of the people, it might be explained as before, as referring either to the cities, or to the whole people, that is, the whole community. But when he mentions all the daughters of his city, I cannot otherwise take the passage but as setting forth a comparison, that is, that he could not moderate his grief, but was so seized with it as women are, and also young girls, whose hearts, as it has been already said, are still more tender. 200200     The versions and the Targ. give the first meaning, “because of the daughters of my city;” and the last words, “of my city,” seem to favor it; for had women as a sex been intended, they would not have been thus designated. — Ed. The rest to-morrow.


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