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Lamentations 4:5

5. They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.

5. Qui comedebant ad delicias (hoc est, in deliciis, ad verbum, למעדנים,) perierunt in plateis; qui educati fuerant in coccino (ad coccinum,) amplexi sunt stercora.


Here he goes on farther, and says, that they had perished with famine who had been accustomed to the most delicate food. He had said generally that infants found nothing in their mothers’ breasts, but pined away with thirst, and also that children died through want of bread. But he now amplifies this calamity by saying, that this not only happened to the children of the common people, but also to those who had been brought up delicately, and had been clothed in scarlet and purple.

Then he says that they perished in the streets, and also that they embraced the dunghills, because they had no place to lie down, or because they sought food, as famished men do, on dunghills. 211211     The dunghills were collections of cow-dung and other things heaped together for fuel instead of wood. They had been brought up “on scarlet,” i.e., on scarlet couches, they were now glad to lie down anywhere, even on dunghills, and hence they are said to have embraced them, as though they had a love for them, —
   They who had fed on delicacies
Perished in the streets;
They who had been brought up on scarlet
Embraced the dunghills.

    — Ed
It seems to be a hyperbolical expression; but if we consider what the Prophet has already narrated and will again repeat, it ought not to appear incredible, that those who had been accustomed to delicacies embraced dunghills; for mothers cooked their own children and devoured them as beef or mutton. There is no doubt but that the siege, of which we have before read, drove the people to acts too degrading to be spoken of, especially when they had become blinded through so great a pertinacity, and had altogether hardened themselves in their madness against God. It follows, —

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