Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:10 - 1:10

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:10 - 1:10

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This is specially mentioned in Lam 1:10. The enemy has spread out his hand over all her jewels (מַחֲמַדֶּיהָ, the costly treasures of Jerusalem which were plundered), and even forced into the sanctuary of the Lord to spoil it of its treasures and vessels. C. B. Michaelis, Thenius, Gerlach, Nägelsbach, etc., would restrict the meaning of מַחֲמַדֶּיהָ to the precious things of the sanctuary; but not only are there no sufficient reasons for this, but the structure of the clauses is against it. Neither does the expression, "all our precious things," in Isa. 69:10, signify merely the articles used in public worship on which the people had placed their desire; nor are "all her pleasant vessels" merely the sacred vessels of the temple. In the latter passage, the suffix in מַחֲמַדֶּיהָ refers to Jerusalem; and inasmuch as the burning of all the palaces of the city (אַרְמְֹנתֶיהָ) has been mentioned immediately before, we are so much the less at liberty to restrict "all her precious vessels" to the vessels of the temple, and must rather, under that expression, include all the precious vessels of the city, i.e., of the palaces and the temple. And Delitzsch has already remarked, on Isa 64:10, that "under מַחֲמַדֶּיהָ may be included favourite spots, beautiful buildings, pleasure gardens; and only the parallelism induces us to think especially of articles used in public worship." But when Thenius, in the passage now before us, brings forward the succeeding words, "for she hath seen," as a proof that by "all her pleasant things" we are to understand especially the vessels and utensils of the temple, he shows that he has not duly considered the contents of the clause introduced by כִּי (for). The clause characterizes the enemy's forcing his way into the sanctuary, i.e., the temple of Jerusalem, as an unheard of act of sacrilege, because גֹּויִם were not to enter even into the קָהָל of Jahveh. The subject treated of is not by any means the robbing of the temple - the plundering of its utensils and vessels. The prohibition against the coming, i.e., the receiving of foreigners into the "congregation," is given, Deu 23:4, with regard to the Ammonites and Moabites: this neither refers to the jus connubii (Grotius, Rosenmüller), nor to the civil rights of Jewish citizens (Kalkschmidt), but to reception into religious communion with Israel, the ecclesia of the Old Covenant (קְהַל יהוה). In Deu 23:8, the restriction is relaxed in favour of the Edomites and Egyptians, but in Eze 44:7, Eze 44:9, in accordance with the ratio legis, extended to all uncircumcised sons of strangers. Hence, in the verse now before us, we must not, with Rosenmüller and Thenius, restrict the reference of גֹּויִם to the Ammonites and Moabites as accomplices of the Chaldeans in the capture of Jerusalem and the plundering of the temple (2Ki 24:2); rather the גֹּויִם are identical with those mentioned in the first member of the verse as צָר, i.e., the Chaldeans, so called not "because their army was made up of different nationalities, but because the word contains the notice of their being heathens, - profane ones who had forced into the sanctuary" (Gerlach). But if we look at the structure of the clauses, we find that "for she saw," etc., is parallel to "for the enemy hath boasted" of Lam 1:9; and the clause, "for she saw nations coming," etc., contains a further evidence of the deep humiliation of Jerusalem; so that we may take כִּי as showing the last step in a climax, since the connection of the thought is this: For the enemy hath boasted, spreading his hand over all her precious things, - he hath even forced his way into the sanctuary of the Lord. If this is mentioned as the greatest disgrace that could befall Jerusalem, then the spreading out of the hands over the precious things of Jerusalem cannot be understood of the plundering of the temple. The construction רָֽאֲתָּה גֹּויִם בָּא is in sense exactly similar to the Latin vidit gentes venisse, cf. Ewald, §284, b; and on the construction צִוִּיתָה לֹא יָבֹאוּ, cf. Ewald, §336, b. בַּקָהָל לָךְ does not stand for בִּקְהָֽלְךָ (lxx, Pareau, Rosenmüller), for הַקָהָל is not the congregation of Judah, but that of Jahveh; and the meaning is: They shall not come to thee, the people of God, into the congregation of the Lord.