Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:9 - 1:9

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 1:9 - 1:9


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In Lam 1:9 the figure if uncleanness is further developed. Her uncleanness sticks to the hems or skirts of her garment. טֻמְאָה is the defilement caused by touching a person or thing Levitically unclean, Lev 5:3; Lev 7:21; here, therefore, it means defilement by sins and crimes. This has now been revealed by the judgment, because she did not think of her end. These words point to the warning given in the song of Moses, Deu 32:29 : "If they were wise, they would understand this (that apostasy from the Lord brings heavy punishment after it), they would think of their end," i.e., the evil issue of continued resistance to God's commands. But the words are especially a quotation from Isa 47:7, where they are used of Babylon, that thought she would always remain mistress, and did not think of the end of her pride; therefore on her also came the sentence, "Come down from thy glory, sit in the dust," Isa 47:1, cf. Jer 48:18.

Jerusalem has now experienced this also; she has come down wonderfully, or fallen from the height of her glory into the depths of misery and disgrace, where she has none to comfort her, and is constrained to sigh, "O Lord, behold my misery!" These words are to be taken as a sign from the daughter of Zion, deeply humbled through shame and repentance for her sins. This is required by the whole tenor of the words, and confirmed by a comparison with Lam 1:11 and Lam 1:20. פְּלָאִים is used adverbially; cf. Ewald, §204, b [Gesenius, §100, 2, b.] There is no need for supplying anything after הִגְדִּיל, cf. Jer 48:26, Jer 48:42; Dan 8:4, Dan 8:8,Dan 8:11, Dan 8:25, although לַעֲשֹׂות originally stood with it, e.g., Joe 2:20; cf. Ewald, §122, c [and Gesenius' Lexicon, s.v. גָּדַל]. The clause כִּי הִגְדִּיל, which assigns the reason, refers not merely to the sighing of Jerusalem, but also to the words, "and she came down wonderfully." The boasting of the enemy shows itself in the regardless, arrogant treatment not merely of the people and their property, but also of their holy things.