5. Our necks are under persecution: we labor, and have no rest
5. Super colla nostra (vel, cervicibus nostris) persecutionem passi sumus; laboravimus non requies nobis.
Here he says that the people were oppressed with a grievous bondage. It is, indeed, a metaphorical expression when he says, that people suffered persecution on their necks. Enemies may sometimes be troublesome to us, either before our face, or behind our backs, or by our sides; but when they so domineer as to ride on our necks, in this kind of insult. there is extreme degradation. Hence the Prophet here complains of the servile and even disgraceful oppression of the people when he says, that the Jews
But the Prophet sets forth here this indignity, that he might turn God to mercy; that is, that the Chaldeans thus oppressed as they pleased the chosen people.
He adds, that they
1 Not one of the versions or the Targ., though they all differ, gives a satisfactory rendering of this clause. Some take, "on our neck we have been pursued," as meaning, We have been closely pursued. So Gataker. Others, as Lowth and Henderson, regarding
On our neck (closely) have we been pursued,
We labored and had no rest.
Then comes in what they did when thus pursued by their enemies, --
To Egypt gave we the hand,
To Assyria, to be satisfied with bread.
To give the hand, in this case, was to put it forth as suppliants to ask help. This seems to refer to a, time previous to their exile. -- Ed.
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