3. We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.
3. Pupilli fuimus patre (non patre,) matres nostrae tanquam viduae.
Here the Prophet not only speaks in the person of the whole people, but utters also the groans and complaints of each; for this could not have been suitable to the whole Church, as he speaks of fathers and mothers. We hence see that this verse does not apply to the whole body, but to individual members, though every one of the people might have said that widows and orphans were everywhere seen.
Now, this usually happens when a nation is consumed either by pestilence or by war; for in one battle all do not so fall that a whole country becomes full of orphans. But the Prophet sets forth here the orphanage and widowhood occasioned through the continued vengeance of God, for he had not ceased to afflict the people until by degrees they were exhausted. It was, indeed, a sad spectacle to see among the chosen people so many widows, and also so many children deprived of their fathers. It, follows, --
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