Lecture thirteenth

Lamentations 3:52

52. Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

52. Venando venati sunt tanquam passerem (vel, avem) inimici mei sine causa.


We shall see to the end of the chapter the various complaints, by which the Prophet deplored the miseries of his own nation, that he might at length obtain the mercy of God. He takes here the comparison of a bird or a sparrow. He says that the Chaldeans had been like fowlers, and the Jews like sparrows: and we know that there is neither prudence nor courage in birds. He, then, means that the Jews had been destitute of all help, having been exposed as a prey to their enemies, who were like fowlers.

And he seems to allude to the words of Solomon, when he says, that without a cause is the net spread for birds (Proverbs 1:17;) and he means that innocent men are circumvented by the wicked, when they spread for them their snares as it were on every side, while they are like the birds, who have no prudence to avoid them.

We now, then, understand the drift of what the Prophet says: he amplifies the indignity of their calamity by this comparison, -- that the Chaldeans at their pleasure plundered the miserable people, who were not able to resist them, who were indeed without any power to defend themselves. 1 It follows, --

1 The words literally are, --

Hunting hunted me like a bird
have mine enemies without a cause.
-- Ed.


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