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Lamentations 2:10

10. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

10. Sedent ad terram, silent senes filiae Sion, attollunt pulverem super caput suum, accincti sunt saccis; demiserunt (vel, demittunt) ad terram caput suum virgines (aut, puellae) Jerusalem.


The Prophet here strikingly represents the grievousness of the people’s calamity, when he says, that the elders, as in hopeless despair, were lying on the ground, that they cast dust on their heads, that they were clad in sackcloth, as it was usually done in very grievous sorrow, and that the virgins bent their heads down to the ground. The meaning is, that the elders knew not what to do, and led others. to join them in acts of fruitless and abject lamentation. We indeed know that young women are over-careful as to their form and beauty, and indulge themselves in pleasures; and that when they roll themselves with their face and hair on the ground, it is a token of extreme mourning. This is what the Prophet means.

They were wont indeed to put on sackcloth as a token of repentance, and to cast dust on their heads; but their minds were often so confused, that they only thus set forth their mourning and sorrow, and had no regard to God; and hypocrites, when they put on sackcloth, pretended to repent, but it was a false pretense. Now in this place the Prophet does not mean that the elders by adopting these rites professed to repent and humbly to solicit pardon; but refers to them only as tokens of sorrow; as though he had said, that the elders had no resources, and that the young women had no hope nor joy. For the elders did lie down on the ground, as it is usual with those who have no remedy. We now understand the meaning of the Prophet. 157157     The verse may be thus rendered, —

   10. They sit on the ground, they are silent, the elders of the daughter of Sion; They have cast dust on their head, they have girded on sackcloth; They have bent to the ground their head, the daughters of Jerusalem.

    — Ed
It follows, —

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