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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Lamentations 5

Verse 1

The prayer, &c. This title is not in Hebrew, Septuagint, &c. Theodoret has passed over the chapter, as if he doubted of its authenticity. It does not follow the order of Hebrew letters like the preceding, and seems to be a form of prayer for those who retired into Egypt. (Calmet) --- Jeremias foresees what would happen, and prays as the people would do. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Aliens. The Idumeans seized and kept possession of the southern parts.

Verse 3

Father. Many had none surviving, and all had lost their king. (Worthington)

Verse 4

Water. Even this was not given for nothing.

Verse 6

Hand; engaged to serve Egyptians, Babylonians, (Calmet) or other nations, to procure sustenance. (Worthington)

Verse 7

Iniquities. This was the usual complaint of the Jews, (chap. xxxi. 29.) as if they had committed no offence themselves. If any virtuous people were involved in common ruin, they bore it with resignation, and acknowledged that they had deserved it, 1 Esdras ix. 6., and 2 Esdras i. 6., and Esther xiv. 6., and Daniel iii. 29.

Verse 8

Servants. One had command over another, Matthew xxiv. 45. The Chaldeans were like slaves, and the race of Cham was condemned to servitude, Genesis ix. 26. (Calmet) --- The Jews had formerly dominion over Edom, &c., who now treated them so cruelly. (Menochius) (Lyranus)

Verse 9

Sword. Any one might kill us.

Verse 11

Oppressed. Hebrew, "afflicted." Brutal insolence prevailed. (Calmet)

Verse 12

Hand. Thus Leonidas was treated, after his head was cut off, by Xerxes. (Herodotus vii. 238.)

Verse 13

Indecently, like the Sodomites. Hebrew, "they made the young men grind" at the mill, in their prison, (Haydock) as Samson (Judges xvi. 21.) and Sedecias (according to the Septuagint, chap. lii. 11.) were forced to do. To grind is often used in a bad sense; but it is not necessary to adopt it here. (Calmet) (Amama) --- The Chaldeans treated their captives without pity or shame. (Haydock) --- Wood; burdens, or stumbling-blocks, unless they were crucified; or, "roasted," if we admit a small alteration in the Hebrew, chap. iv. 10. (Calmet) --- They were forced to grind naked, and were beaten with staves. (Worthington)

Verse 14

Gates, where sentence was usually passed. (Haydock) --- The Jews had judges at Babylon, (Daniel xiii. 5.) but not at first, nor everywhere.

Verse 16

Crown, used at feasts; (Calmet) or, we have lost the sovereign power. (Worthington)

Verse 17

Dim, the natural consequence of extreme want, 1 Kings xiv. 27.

Verse 18

Foxes, which were very common, Judges xv. 4. Thus, Horace says: Agros atque lares patrios, habitandaque fana

Apris relinquet et edacibus lupis. (Epod. 16.)

Verse 21

Convert. Thy grace must work upon our hearts, (Calmet) before we can expect redress, (Haydock) and an end of our banishment. (Tirinus) (Grotius) --- Beginning, when our fathers observed the law. (St. Thomas Aquinas) (Menochius) See chap. xxxi. 18.; St. Augustine, City of God ii., and iv. (Worthington)

Verse 22

CHAPTER V.

Thou hast. We might read with an interrogation, (Haydock) in Hebrew, "Hast thou?" &c. The Jews superstitiously repeat the last verse, for fear of ending the book in an ominous manner, as they do at the end of Isaias and Malachias. (Calmet) --- Having treated us so severely, stop thy hand. (Worthington) --- But I perceive it will be in vain to beg for redress till the seventy years be expired. (Menochius)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Lamentations 5". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/lamentations-5.html. 1859.