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Lamentations 4:10

10. The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

10. Manus mulierum misericordium coxerunt foetus suos, fuerunt in alimenta ipis in contritione filiae populi mei.

 

Here Jeremiah refers to that disgraceful and abominable deed mentioned yesterday; for it was not only a barbarity, but a beastly savageness, when mothers boiled their own children. That it was done is evident from other writers; but the Prophet is to us a sufficient witness, who had seen it with his own eyes. He then says that the mothers were merciful, that no one might think that they were divested of every natural feeling; but he meant thus to set forth the blindness which proceeds from God’s dreadful vengeance. He does not, then, praise the mothers for their clemency, as though they felt as they ought to have done for their offspring; but. he intimates that though they would have been otherwise humane, they were yet seized with unusual madness, so that they boiled their own children, even their own bowels. We now, then, perceive the meaning of the word merciful, as applied to the mothers by the Prophet. It is not then to be deemed as a praise to them, as though they had a maternal love for their children; but his object was to set forth that monstrous act, which would not have sufficiently touched their minds, had he not testified that the mothers of whom he speaks were not so brutal as not to have gladly given food to their children; but that they were supernaturally blinded by furious madness. It follows —

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