Lamentations 2:5

5. The Lord was an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces; he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

5. Fuit Dominus tanquam hostis, perdidit Israelem, perdidit omnia palatia ejus, corrupit munitiones ejus, auxit in filia Jehudah fletum Et lamentationem.


These words might seem superfluous, since the Prophet has often repeated, that God was become an enemy to his own people; but we shall hereafter see, that though they were extremely afflicted, they yet did not rightly consider whence their calamity arose. As, then, they had become so stupified by their evils, that they did not turn their eyes to God, they were on this account often urged and stimulated, that they might at length understand by their evils that God was a judge. Now, as it was difficult to convince them of this truth, the Prophet did not think it enough briefly to touch on it, but found it necessary to dwell on it at large, so that the people might at length be roused from their insensibility.

He then says that God himself was to them as an enemy, lest the Israelites should fix their eyes on the Chaldeans, and thus think that they had been the chief movers of the war. He therefore says, that they had undertaken that war through the secret influence of God, and had carried it on successfully, because God endued them with his own power. And hence the faithful ought to have concluded, that nothing could have been more grievous than to have God as their adversary; for as long as they had suffered themselves to be defended by the hand of God, they were victorious, we know, over all their enemies, so that they could then brave all dangers with impunity. The Prophet now reminds them, that as they had been successful and prosperous under the defense and protection of God, so now they were miserable, for no other reason but that God fought against them. But we ought at the same time to bear in mind the truth, which we have noticed, that God is never angry with men without reason; and since he was especially inclined to shew favor to his people, we must understand that he would not have been thus indignant, had not necessity constrained him.

He has destroyed Israel, he says; he has destroyed all his palaces; and afterwards, he has dissipated or demolished all his fortresses; and finally, he has increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation; hynaw hynat tanie veanie, words derived from the same root, but joined together for the sake of amplifying, not only in this place,. but also in the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, and in other places. The meaning is, that God had not put an end to his vengeance, because the people had not resolved to put an end to their obstinate wickedness. He afterwards adds, --


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