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God’s Warnings Fulfilled


How the Lord in his anger

has humiliated daughter Zion!

He has thrown down from heaven to earth

the splendor of Israel;

he has not remembered his footstool

in the day of his anger.



The Lord has destroyed without mercy

all the dwellings of Jacob;

in his wrath he has broken down

the strongholds of daughter Judah;

he has brought down to the ground in dishonor

the kingdom and its rulers.



He has cut down in fierce anger

all the might of Israel;

he has withdrawn his right hand from them

in the face of the enemy;

he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,

consuming all around.



He has bent his bow like an enemy,

with his right hand set like a foe;

he has killed all in whom we took pride

in the tent of daughter Zion;

he has poured out his fury like fire.



The Lord has become like an enemy;

he has destroyed Israel.

He has destroyed all its palaces,

laid in ruins its strongholds,

and multiplied in daughter Judah

mourning and lamentation.



He has broken down his booth like a garden,

he has destroyed his tabernacle;

the L ord has abolished in Zion

festival and sabbath,

and in his fierce indignation has spurned

king and priest.



The Lord has scorned his altar,

disowned his sanctuary;

he has delivered into the hand of the enemy

the walls of her palaces;

a clamor was raised in the house of the L ord

as on a day of festival.



The L ord determined to lay in ruins

the wall of daughter Zion;

he stretched the line;

he did not withhold his hand from destroying;

he caused rampart and wall to lament;

they languish together.



Her gates have sunk into the ground;

he has ruined and broken her bars;

her king and princes are among the nations;

guidance is no more,

and her prophets obtain

no vision from the L ord.



The elders of daughter Zion

sit on the ground in silence;

they have thrown dust on their heads

and put on sackcloth;

the young girls of Jerusalem

have bowed their heads to the ground.



My eyes are spent with weeping;

my stomach churns;

my bile is poured out on the ground

because of the destruction of my people,

because infants and babes faint

in the streets of the city.



They cry to their mothers,

“Where is bread and wine?”

as they faint like the wounded

in the streets of the city,

as their life is poured out

on their mothers’ bosom.



What can I say for you, to what compare you,

O daughter Jerusalem?

To what can I liken you, that I may comfort you,

O virgin daughter Zion?

For vast as the sea is your ruin;

who can heal you?



Your prophets have seen for you

false and deceptive visions;

they have not exposed your iniquity

to restore your fortunes,

but have seen oracles for you

that are false and misleading.



All who pass along the way

clap their hands at you;

they hiss and wag their heads

at daughter Jerusalem;

“Is this the city that was called

the perfection of beauty,

the joy of all the earth?”



All your enemies

open their mouths against you;

they hiss, they gnash their teeth,

they cry: “We have devoured her!

Ah, this is the day we longed for;

at last we have seen it!”



The L ord has done what he purposed,

he has carried out his threat;

as he ordained long ago,

he has demolished without pity;

he has made the enemy rejoice over you,

and exalted the might of your foes.



Cry aloud to the Lord!

O wall of daughter Zion!

Let tears stream down like a torrent

day and night!

Give yourself no rest,

your eyes no respite!



Arise, cry out in the night,

at the beginning of the watches!

Pour out your heart like water

before the presence of the Lord!

Lift your hands to him

for the lives of your children,

who faint for hunger

at the head of every street.



Look, O L ord, and consider!

To whom have you done this?

Should women eat their offspring,

the children they have borne?

Should priest and prophet be killed

in the sanctuary of the Lord?



The young and the old are lying

on the ground in the streets;

my young women and my young men

have fallen by the sword;

in the day of your anger you have killed them,

slaughtering without mercy.



You invited my enemies from all around

as if for a day of festival;

and on the day of the anger of the L ord

no one escaped or survived;

those whom I bore and reared

my enemy has destroyed.


Then he says first, that his tabernacle had been overthrown by God. They who render it “cottage” extenuate too much what is spoken of; nor does the Prophet simply compare the sanctuary of God to a cottage. Then I take tabernacle in a good sense. With regard to the verb חמם, chemes, as it means to migrate, they properly render it, as I think, who give this version, that God had removed his tabernacle; nor do I disapprove of repeating the word tabernacle. God, then, had removed his tabernacle, as though it were a cottage in a garden. Watchmen, as it appears from the first chapter of Isaiah, had then cottages in their gardens, but only for a time, as is the case at this day with those who watch over their vineyards; they have, until the time of vintage, small chests in which they conceal themselves. The Prophet then says, that though God’s tabernacle was honorable, and of high dignity, it was yet like a cottage in a garden. It is not, however, a simple comparison, as before stated, and therefore I reject the opinion of those who render it cottage, for it is not suitable, and it would be unmeaning. God, then, hath removed his tabernacle as a garden, that is, the sanctuary where he dwelt. And how did he remove it? even as a garden-cottage. And as watchers of gardens were wont to construct their little cots of leaves of trees and slight materials, so the Prophet, in order to increase commiseration, says, that the sacred habitation of God was like a cottage in a garden, because it was removed from one place to another; and thus he intimates that God regarded as nothing what he had previously adorned with singular excellencies. 151151     The word שכו is rendered by the versions in the sense of סכו, “his tabernacle;” but by so doing they make it the same in effect with מועדו, “his place of meeting,” in the following clause. The verb חמס never means what Calvin says, to migrate or to remove, but to cast off, or to throw down, that is, with force or violence. Then שר, a fence or enclosure, is what suits the verb, —

   6. And he has thrown down as that of a garden his enclosure,
He has destroyed his assembling-place; Forgotten hath Jehovah in Sion the assembly and the Sabbath; And has cast off, in the foaming of his wrath, the king and the priest.

   The “enclosure,” or fence, refers to the courts which surrounded the Temple; hence the place where the people assembled was destroyed. God had regarded it no more than the fence of a common garden. There is “fence” understood after כ, no uncommon thing in Hebrew. — Ed.

He then adds, that God had destroyed his testimony. By the word, מועד, muod, he means the same throughout; but some confine it to the ark of the covenant, and of this I do not disapprove. We must yet bear in mind the design of the Prophet, which was to shew that by the entire ruin of the Temple the covenant of God was in a manner abolished. It is, indeed, certain, that God had not forgotten his faithfulness and constancy, but this abolition of his covenant refers to what appeared to men. He then says, that the sanctuary which was, as it were, the testimony of God’s favor, had been overthrown. Now, as he repeats again the word מועד, muod, it may be that he thus refers to the Tabernacle, either because the holy assemblies met there, or because it had been solemnly dedicated, that God might there hold intercourse with his people. For מועד, muod, means a fixed time, it means an assembly, it means a festival, and sometimes it means a sacrifice; and all these signification’s are not unsuitable: yet when he says that God had destroyed his testimony, I apply this to the Tabernacle itself, or, if it seems to any preferable, to the ark of the covenant; though the former is the most suitable, because it was a place consecrated, as it has been stated, for mutual intercourse.

He afterwards says, that God had forgotten the assembly, the sacrifice, or the tabernacle; for it is the same word again, but it seems not to be taken in the same sense. Then I think that מועד, muod, is to be taken here for the assembly. As he had previously said, that the place where the holy assemblies met had been overthrown or destroyed, so now he says, that God had no care for all those assemblies, as though they had been buried in perpetual oblivion; for he mentions also the Sabbath, which corresponds with the subject. God, then, had forgotten all the assemblies as well as the Sabbath. There is, again, as to this last word, a part stated for the whole, for this word was no doubt intended to include all the festivals. The meaning of the passage then is, that the impiety of the people had been so great, that God, having, as it were, forgotten his covenant, had inflicted such a dreadful punishment, that religion, for a time, was in a manner trodden under foot.

He says, in the last place, that the king and the priest had been rejected by God. We have already said, that these were as two pledges of God’s paternal favor; for, on the one hand, he who reigned from the posterity of David was a living image of Christ; and on the other hand, there was always a high-priest from the posterity of Aaron to reconcile men to God. It was then the same as though God shewed himself in every way propitious to the chosen people. Then their true happiness was founded on the kingdom and the priesthood; for the kingdom was, as it were, a mark of God’s favor for their defense, and the priesthood was to them the means by which reconciliation with God was obtained. When, therefore, God wholly disregarded the king and the priest, it became hence evident, that he was greatly displeased with his people, having thus, in a manner, obliterated his favors. It follows, —

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