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Lamentations 2:20

20. Behold, O LORD, and consider to whom thou hast done this. Shall the women eat their fruit, and children of a span long? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

20. Vide, Jehova, et aspice cui feceris sic; an comedent mulieres fructum suum (hoc est, foetus suos,) parvulos educationis? An occidetur in sanctuario Domini sacerdos et propheta?


Here, also, Jeremiah dictates words, or a form of prayer to the Jews. And this complaint availed to excite pity, that God had thus afflicted, not strangers, but the people whom he had adopted. Interpreters do, indeed, give another explanation, “See, Jehovah, To whom hast thou done this?” that is, Has any people been ever so severely afflicted? But I do not think that the comparison is made here, which they seek to make, but that the people only set before God the covenant which he had made with their fathers, as though they said, “O Lord, hadst thou thus cruelly raged against strangers, there would have been nothing so wonderful; but since we are thine heritage, and the blessed seed of Abraham, since thou hast been pleased to choose us as thy peculiar people, what can this mean, that, thou treatest us with so much severity?”

We now, then, perceive the real meaning of the Prophet, when, in the person of the people, he speaks thus, See, and look on, Jehovah, to whom thou hast done this; for thou hast had to do with thy children: not that the Jews could allege any worthiness; but the gratuitous election of God must have been abundantly sufficient to draw forth mercy. Nor do the faithful here simply ask God to see, but they add another word, Look on. By the two words they more fully express the indignity of what had happened, as though they said, that it was like a prodigy that God’s people should be so severely afflicted, who had been chosen by him: see, then, to whom thou hast done this

And this mode of praying was very common, as we find it said in the Psalms,

“Pour forth thy wrath on the nations which know not thee, and on the kingdoms which call not on thy name.” (Psalm 79:6.)

And a similar passage we have before observed in our Prophet. (Jeremiah 10:25.) The sum of what is said is, that there was a just reason why God should turn to mercy, and be thus reconciled to his people, because he had not to do with aliens, but with his own family, whom he had been pleased to adopt. But the rest I shall defer until tomorrow.

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