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Lamentations 3:5

5. He hath builded against me, and encompassed me with gall and travail.

5. Ædificavit contra me, et circumdedit felle et molestia.


The words, as translated, may seem harsh, yet they have no common beauty in Hebrew. The Prophet says he was blocked up and straitened as it were by walls; and as we shall see, he repeats this comparison three times; in other words, indeed, but for the same purpose.

God, he says, hath built against me, as, when we wish to besiege any one, we build mounds, so that there may be no escape. This, then, is the sort of building of which the Prophet now speaks: God, he says, holds me confined all around, so that there is no way of escape open to me.

He then gives a clearer explanation, that he was surrounded by gall 175175     The Sept., the Targ., and the Arab. render this “my head;” but the Vulg. and the Syr., “gall.” It occurs again in Lamentations 2:19, and is rendered “gall” by the Targ. and all the versions. He was “surrounded with gall,” with what was bitter to him, and “with faintness,” with what made him to faint. Hence, in the next verse, he represents himself as being like the dead. — Ed. or poison and trouble. He mentions poison first, and then, without a figure, he shews what that poison was, even that he was afflicted with many troubles. He afterwards adds, —

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