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Lam 5:1. The prophet is still lamenting the distressful conditions of his people in the siege. According to 2Ki 25:1-3 the siege lasted two years and threw the city of Jerusalem Into the horrors of famine and pestilence. These forms of distress had been predicted as a warning more than once (Isa 14:30; Jer 14:12); now the people cry unto the Lord for mercy.
Lam 5:2. Their property had been taken over by strangers which means those from the outside, and their houses were being occupied by aliens or foreigners.
Lam 5:3. These complaints were lit-eral, for the men had been slain in tbe conflict.
Lam 5:4. In a siege all necessities of life are always rationed and often then they are not obtainable. Under such conditions the prices of the important items are increased by those taking advantage of the emergency.
Lam 5:5. Neck is from a word that Strong defines, "The back of the neck (as that on which burdens are bound)." The verse refers to the hardships imposed on them.
Lam 5:7. This generation is con-fessing the sins of the preceding one. Borne their iniquities means they were suffering the results of the iniquities of the fathers.
Lam 5:6. Given the hand denotes a gesture of submission, and the people of Judah had done this toward these foreign nations in their distress for the lack of food.
Lam 5:9. After the city of Jerusalem had been overthrown by the siege it left the remaining inhabitants In a state of destitution. They bad to brave the wilderness in search of food and it was at the risk of the sword in the hands of the Arabs.
Lam 5:10. The ravages of famine on the conditions of health can scarcely be imagined. It will cause a form of Irritating heat that will be reflected from the skin. That is why the comparison is made to an oven.
Lam 5:11. It is an almost universal rule that where undue power is obtained. the commission of sex crimes takes place. The women of Judah were sacrificed to the lust of the Babylonian invaders.
Lam 5:12. Cruel tortures were inflicted upon the leading men, and no respect was paid to old age. the invaders being interested only in themselves.
Lam 5:13. To grind is from TECHOWM which Strong defines, “A hand mill; hence a millstone.'' Tills was what the young men had to work, and others had to carry such heavy loads of wood that they fell (staggered) under the load.
Lam 5:14. The gates of cities were the places of communication between them, and the elders or older men were the ones who occupied that position (Job 29:7-8). But that setup was absent, for the elders had been carried into captivity. Under these conditions the musicians would have no inclination to play.
Lam 5:15. This verse is somewhat general and refers to the same sadness of heart the other verses describe concerning their situation after the invasion.
Lam 5:16. This verse was true literally and figuratively. The king on the throne in Jerusalem was taken off to the land of Babylon. Also, the crown or glory of the nation had been removed by the humiliation of the exile.
Lam 5:17. The people of Judah had a prostrated feeling from both physical and mental causes. Their eyes had become dJm through much weeping.
Lam 5:18. Mountain is sometimes used figuratively; It is so used here. Zion was the capital of Judah and it had been made so desolate that wild creatures ran over it.
Lam 5:19. The mourning people of Judah could not refrain from noting the great contrast between the throne of God and those of men. The Changing from one generation to another does not alfect the throne of God, for he is infinite and perpetual in power.
Lam 5:20. The disconsolate people of Judah are stinging under the thoughts of their fallen state. Wherefore is from mah which Strong defines, "Properly in interrogation. What? how? why? when? Also an exclamation, what!” The Jews seemed to be astonished that their fortunes had fallen so low in view of the power of God. The term for ever is explained to mean so long time. Human experience tells one that a few years seem like many when he is in discomfort.
Lam 5:21. This verse may properly be regarded both as prophecy and present, desire. The unfortunate citizens of Judah were then in a state of complete dejection; those especially who were in the land of Babylon. They did not have the heart to sing religious songs, but instead they hanged their harps on the willows of the streams and sat down on the banks to meditate. This was also prophesied hundreds of years before by David in the 137th Psalm.
Lam 5:22. The book and chapter closes with a repetition of the terrible state of mind possessed by the cast-off nation of God. The expressions rep-resent the personal feelings of the righteous Jeremiah, a faithful prophet, and also those of the sinful nation who were suffering the just chastisement for their evil conduct.
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Lamentations 5". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/lamentations-5.html. 1952.