Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:8 - 1:8

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:8 - 1:8

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But Jerusalem has brought this unutterable misery on herself through her grievous sins. חָֽטְאָה is intensified by the noun חֵטְא, instead of the inf. abs., as in Jer 46:5. Jerusalem has sinned grievously, and therefore has become an object of aversion. נִידָה does not mean εἰς σάλον (lxx), or instabilis (Vulgate); nor is it, with the Chaldee, Raschi, and most of the ancient expositors, to be derived fromנוּד: we must rather, with modern expositors, regard it as a lengthened form of נִדָּה, which indeed is the reading given in twenty codices of Kennicott. Regarding these forms, cf. Ewald, §84, a. נִדָּה (prop. what one should flee from) signifies in particular the uncleanness of the menstrual discharge in women, Lev 12:2, Lev 12:5, etc.; then the uncleanness of a woman in this condition, Lev 15:19, etc.; here it is transferred to Jerusalem, personified as such an unclean woman, and therefore shunned. הִזִּיל, the Hiphil of זָלַל (as to the form, cf. Ewald, §114, c), occurs only in this passage, and signifies to esteem lightly, the opposite of כַּבֵּד, to esteem, value highly; hence זֹולֵל, "despised," Lam 1:11, as in Jer 15:19. Those who formerly esteemed her - her friends, and those who honoured her, i.e., her allies - now despise her, because they have seen her nakedness. The nakedness of Jerusalem means her sins and vices that have now come to the light. She herself also, through the judgment that has befallen her, has come to see the infamy of her deeds, sighs over them, and turns away for shame, i.e., withdraws from the people so that they may no longer look on her in her shame.