Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 3:40 - 3:40

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Lamentations 3:40 - 3:40

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Confession of sins, and complaint against the cruelty of enemies, as well as over the deep misery into which all the people have sunk. Lam 3:40-42. The acknowledgment of guilt implies to prayer, to which also there is a summons in Lam 3:40, Lam 3:41. The transitional idea is not, "Instead of grumbling in a sinful spirit, let us rather examine our conduct" (Thenius); for the summons to examine one's conduct is thereby placed in contrast with Lam 3:39, and the thought, "let every one mourn over his own sins," transformed into a prohibition of sinful complaint. The real transition link is given by Rosenmüller: quum mala nostra a peccatis nostris oriantur, culpas nostras et scrutemur et corrigamus. The searching of our ways, i.e., of our conduct, if it be entered on in an earnest spirit, must end in a return to the Lord, from whom we have departed. It is self-evident that עַד יהוה does not stand for אֶל יְיָ, but means as far as (even to) Jahveh, and indicates thorough conversion - no standing half-way. The lifting up of the heart to the hands, also, - not merely of the hands to God, - expresses earnest prayer, that comes from the heart. אֶל־כַּפַּיִם, to the hands (that are raised towards heaven). "To God in heaven," where His almighty throne is placed (Psa 2:4), that He may look down from thence (Lam 3:59) and send help. With Lam 3:42 begins the prayer, as is shown by the direct address to God in the second member. There is no need, however, on this account, for supplying לֵאמֹר before the first member; the command to pray is immediately followed by prayer, beginning with the confession of sins, and the recognition of God's chastisement; cf. Psa 106:6; Dan 9:5. נַחְנוּ is contrasted with אַתָּה. "Thou hast not pardoned," because Thy justice must inflict punishment.