Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 2:14 - 2:14

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 2:14 - 2:14

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From her prophets, Jerusalem can expect neither comfort nor healing. For they have brought this calamity upon her through their careless and foolish prophesyings. Those meant are the false prophets, whose conduct Jeremiah frequently denounced; cf. Jer 2:8; Jer 5:12; Jer 6:13., Jer 8:10; Jer 14:14., Jer 23:17, Jer 23:32; Jer 27:10, Jer 27:15. They prophesied vanity, - peace when there was no peace, - and תָפֵל, "absurdity," = תִּפְלָה, Jer 23:13. They did not expose the sin and guilt of the people with the view of their amendment and improvement, and thereby removing the misery into which they had fallen by their sin; nor did they endeavour to restore the people to their right relation towards the Lord, upon which their welfare depended, or to avert their being driven into exile. On הֵשִׁיב שְׁבוּת, cf. Jer 32:44. The meaning of this expression, as there unfolded, applies also to the passage now before us; and the translation, captivitatem avertere (Michaelis, Nägelsbach), or to "ward off thy captivity" (Luther, Thenius), is neither capable of vindication nor required by the context. Instead of healing the injuries of the people by discovering their sins, they have seen (prophesied) for them מַשְׂאֹות, "burdens," i.e., utterances of threatening import (not effata; see on Jer 23:33), which contained שָׁוְא, "emptiness," and מַדּוּחִים, "rejection." The combination of "emptiness" with "burdens" does not prevent the latter word from being applied to threatening oracles; for the threats of the false prophets did not refer to Judah, but were directed against the enemies of Israel. For instance, that they might promise the people speedy deliverance from exile, they placed the downfall of the Chaldean power in immediate prospect; cf. Jer 28:2-4, Jer 28:11. מַדּוּחִים, is ἅπ. λεγ. as a noun, and is also dependent on "burdens" (cf. Ewald, §289, c): it signifies ejection from the land, not "persecution" (Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Ewald, etc.), for Jeremiah uses נָדַח (in Niph. and Hiph.) always in the sense of rejection, expulsion from the country; and the word has here an unmistakeable reference to Jer 27:10, Jer 27:15 : "They prophesy lies to you, that they may eject you from your country."