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Lamentations 5:1

1. Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.

1. Memento (recordare,) Jehova, quid sit nobis (hoc est, quomodo nobiscum agatur.) aspice et vide opprobrium nostrum.

 

This prayer ought to be read as unconnected with the Lamentations, for the initial letters of the verses are not written according to the order of the Alphabet; yet it is a complaint rather than a prayer; for Jeremiah mentions those things which had happened to the people in their extreme calamity in order to turn God to compassion and mercy.

He says first, Remember what has happened to us; and then in the second part he explains himself, Look and see our reproach Now the words, though brief and concise, yet contain a useful doctrine — that God is pleased to bring help to the miserable when their evils come to an account before him, especially when they are unjustly oppressed. It is, indeed, certain that nothing is unknown to God, but this mode of speaking is according to the perceptions of men; for we think that God disregards our miseries, or we imagine that his back is turned to us when he does not immediately succor us. But as I have said, he is simply to be asked to look on our evils, for we know what he testifies of himself; so that as he claims to himself the office of helping the miserable and the unjustly oppressed, we ought to acquiesce in this consolation, that as soon as he is pleased to look on the evils we suffer, aid is at the same time prepared for us.

There is mention especially made of reproach, that the indignity might move God the more: for it was for this end that he took the people under his protection, that they might be for his glory and honor, as Moses says. As, then, it was God’s will that the riches of his glory should appear in that people, nothing could have been more inconsistent that that instead of glory they should have nothing but disgrace and reproach. This, then, is the reason why the Prophet makes a special mention of the reproach of the people. It follows, —

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