20. Yet hear the word of the Lord, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbor lamentation:
20. Itaque audite mulieres sermonem Jehovae, et percipiant aures vestrae sermonem oris ejus, et docete filias vestras luctum, et unaquaeque (mulier, ad verbum) sociam (vel, propinquam) suam planctum:
21. For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.
21. Quia ascendit mors in fenestras nostras, intravit in palatia nostra ad excidendum infantem e platea (e via publica) electos (hoc est adolescentes, etiam in flore oetatis et vigore) in compitis.
He proceeds with the same subject, but adopts another figure. He then somewhat changes the comparison; for he had bidden them before to hire women to excite to mourning by fictitious tears, but he now addresses women in general; as though he had said, that such would be the mourning, that hired lamentations would not be sufficient, for the calamity would touch all hearts, and that mercenary wailing would not be real.
Why he addresses women may be accounted for in two ways: the softness of women more easily leads them to weep; there may be also here an indirect condemnation of the men, that they were deaf and so hardened that no threatenings terrified them. But the first seems to be the most suitable reason here, provided we still understand that real mourning is opposed to reigned mourning. Then Jeremiah passes from the particular to the general; that is, after having spoken of hired women, he now includes all women; for lamentation would prevail in every city, and also in every house: Hear then,
And he adds,
And by way of explanation he adds,
And what he adds respecting palaces bears the same import; as though he had said, "Were our houses even fortified, and were they not. only commodious habitations, but made like citadels, yet God could not be excluded; for his power can penetrate through the highest and the thickest walls, so that a palace is to him like the weakest and frailest cottage." We hence see that by this comparison he checks that foolisll confidence by which the Jews had deceived themselves, and by which they were as yet inebriated.
He then adds,
1 The objection, that there is an inconsisteney in saying that death entered through the windows to cut off children from the street, disappears, when we consider that the Jews thought themselves safe because their gates were dosed and their city fortified. Be it so, says the Prophet, yet death will enter, if not through the gates, yet through the windows, and through our towers, and it will destroy the children who play in our streets, and our young men assembled in the squares and the wide places of our city. That those collected at Jerusalem are here meant, is evident from the nineteenth verse. Then, in the next verse, he refers to those who still continued in the country. And this accounts for the change made in the sentence, which has puzzled some expounders, and induced them to propose emendations. The verse may be thus rendered, --
For climbed has death through our windows, It has come through our towers, To cut off the child from the street, The young men from the broad streets.
Though the gates were closed, yet death came in, not only through windows, or any openings there might have been, but also through strong towers. -- Ed.
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