Lamentations

1611 King James Version (KJV)

 

Lamentations
Chapter 4

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1 How is the gold become dimme! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuarie are powred out in the top of euery streete.

2 The precious sonnes of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the worke of the hands of the potter!

3 Euen the sea-monsters draw out the breast, they giue sucke to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruell, like the ostriches in the wildernesse.

4 The tongue of the sucking child cleaueth to the roofe of his mouth for thirst: the young children aske bread, and no man breaketh it vnto them.

5 They that did feede delicatly, are desolate in the streetes: they that were brought vp in scarlet, embrace dounghilles.

6 For the punishment of the iniquitie of the daughter of my people, is greater then the punishment of the sinne of Sodom, that was ouerthrowen as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.

7 Her Nazarites were purer then snow, they were whiter then milke, they were more ruddie in body then rubies, their polishing was of Saphir.

8 Their visage is blacker then a cole: they are not knowen in the streets: their skinne cleaueth to their bones: it is withered, it is become like a sticke.

9 They that bee slaine with the sword, are better then they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.

10 The hands of the pitifull women haue sodden their owne children, they were their meate in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11 The Lord hath accomplished his furie, he hath powred out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath deuoured the foundations thereof.

12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world would not haue beleeued, that the aduersarie and the enemie should haue entred into the gates of Ierusalem.

13 For the sinnes of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that haue shed the blood of the iust in the middest of her:

14 They haue wandred as blind men in the streetes, they haue polluted themselues with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.

15 They cryed vnto them; Depart yee, it is vncleane, depart, depart, touch not, when they fled away and wandred: they said among the heathen, They shall no more soiourne there.

16 The anger of the Lord hath diuided them, he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they fauoured not the elders.

17 As for vs, our eyes as yet failed for our vaine helpe: in our watching we haue watched for a nation that could not saue vs.

18 They hunt our steps that we cannot goe in our streets: our end is neere, our dayes are fulfilled, for our ende is come.

19 Our persecutours are swifter then the eagles of the heauen: they pursued vs vpon the mountaines, they laide waite for vs in the wildernesse.

20 The breath of our nostrels, the anointed of the Lord was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadowe we shall liue among the heathen.

21 Reioyce and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the lande of Uz, the cup also shall passe through vnto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thy selfe naked.

22 The punishment of thine iniquitie is accomplished, O daughter of Zion, he will no more carie thee away into captiuitie: hee will visit thine iniquitie, O daughter of Edom, hee will discouer thy sinnes.

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Commentary for Lamentations 4

The deplorable state of the nation is contrasted with its ancient prosperity.1-12 What a change is here! Sin tarnishes the beauty of the most exalted powers and the most excellent gifts; but that gold, tried in the fire, which Christ bestows, never will be taken from us; its outward appearance may be dimmed, but its real value can never be changed. The horrors of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem are again described. Beholding the sad consequences of sin in the church of old, let us seriously consider to what the same causes may justly bring down the church now. But, Lord, though we have gone from thee in rebellion, yet turn to us, and turn our hearts to thee, that we may fear thy name. Come to us, bless us with awakening, converting, renewing, confirming grace.

13-20 Nothing ripens a people more for ruin, nor fills the measure faster, than the sins of priests and prophets. The king himself cannot escape, for Divine vengeance pursues him. Our anointed King alone is the life of our souls; we may safely live under his shadow, and rejoice in Him in the midst of our enemies, for He is the true God and eternal life.

21,22 Here it is foretold that an end should be put to Zion's troubles. Not the fulness of punishment deserved, but of what God has determined to inflict. An end shall be put to Edom's triumphs. All the troubles of the church and of the believer will soon be accomplished. And the doom of their enemies approaches. The Lord will bring their sins to light, and they shall lie down in eternal sorrow. Edom here represents all the enemies of the church. And the corruption, and sin of Israel, which the prophet has proved to be universal, justifies the judgments of the Lord. It shows the need of that grace in Christ Jesus, which the sin and corruption of all mankind make so necessary.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Lamentations 4

  • Aaron
    It tells us out comes of sin
  • Robert
    They are Israelite, these are not Jews.
  • Sharon
    Without God we are blacker than coal. We are then heartless, evil and filled with iniquity, for we are God enemy. We are starving ourselves and disobedience to God cannot feed anyone. America is a nation that has forgotten God. We sing "O say can't you see" but we see not the tears running down their cheeks,nor do we hear their cries in this land. God hears their Cries and will repay this nation.
  • A disciple
    "As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us. They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come." "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Watch and pray Brethren!
  • Irene123
    V. 17 - sounds like today, doesn't it ..... ?
  • David
    Jamille, verse 8 "Their visage is blacker than a coal;" does not necessarily refer to the color of their skin, but of their facial expression, that of sadness and torment, as the book of Lamentations describes the plight of the Jews because of their disobedience.

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