Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:4 - 1:4

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:4 - 1:4


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Zion (i.e., Jerusalem, as the holy city) is laid waste; feasts and rejoicing have disappeared from it. "The ways of Zion" are neither the streets of Jerusalem (Rosenmüller), which are called חוּצֹות, nor the highways or main roads leading to Zion from different directions (Thenius, who erroneously assumes that the temple, which was situated on Moriah, together with its fore-courts, could only be reached through Zion), but the roads or highways leading to Jerusalem. These are "mourning," i.e., in plain language, desolate, deserted, because there are no longer any going up to Jerusalem to observe the feasts. For this same reason the gates of Zion (i.e., the city gates) are also in ruins, because there is no longer any one going out and in through them, and men no longer assemble there. The reason why the priests and the virgins are here conjoined as representatives of the inhabitants of Jerusalem is, that lamentation is made over the cessation of the religious feasts. The virgins are here considered as those who enlivened the national festivals by playing, singing, and dancing: Jer 31:13; Psa 68:26; Jdg 21:19, Jdg 21:21; Exo 15:20. נֻגֹות (Niphal of יָגָה) is used here, as in Zep 2:13, of sorrow over the cessation of the festivals. Following the arbitrary rendering, ἀγόμενοι, of the lxx, Ewald would alter the word in the text into נְהוּגֹות, "carried captive." But there is no necessity for this: he does not observe that this rendering does not harmonize with the parallelism of the clauses, and that נָהַג means to drive away, but not to lead captive.

(Note: See, however, 1Sa 20:2, with Keil's own rendering, and Isa 20:4, with Delitzsch's translation. - Tr.)

וְהִיא, "and she (Zion) herself" is in bitterness (cf. Rth 1:13, Rth 1:20), i.e., she feels bitter sorrow. In Lam 1:6, Lam 1:7, are mentioned the causes of this grief.