Notes & Commentary:
To. Hebrew is more expressive. (Calmet) --- "Who will give my head waters, (Haydock) or change it into water, and my
eyes into a fountain." (Calmet) --- Protestants, "Oh that my head were waters." (Haydock) --- The miseries of my people are
so great, (Calmet) a few tears would not suffice to bewail them. (Worthington)
Men. Why cannot I retire (Menochius) from this scene of misery, or afford some consolation to the captives? Septuagint,
"Who will give me the last station in the desert?" (Haydock)
Lies. They are bent on deceit (Calmet) and murder, (Haydock) ver. 8., and Psalm lxiii. 4., and cxix. 2.
Deceitfully. A man must guard against his relations and domestics, Micheas vii. 5., and Matthew viii. 35. (Calmet)
Iniquity. It is become natural to them. (St. Jerome) --- They cannot lay the blame on the violence of passion. They
sin on purpose. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "they have not left off, (6.) in order to be converted. Usury upon usury;
fraud upon fraud; they," &c. (Haydock)
Try them in the crucible of war, chap. vi. 27. (Calmet)
Owner. Hebrew mikne, "cattle," or (Haydock) "substance." (St. Jerome) --- Departed. Beasts and birds
will not continue long after men cease to cultivate the country. (Theodoret) (Chap. iv. 25., and xii. 4., and Sophonias i.
Sand. The stones were burnt to dust, 2 Esdras iv. 2. (Calmet)
Gall. Hebrew rosh, "poison," &c., Deuteronomy xxix. 18. (Haydock)
Consumed. Chap. xliv. 27. No country shall afford them protection. (Calmet) --- The richer sort were made captives,
and most of the people destroyed, but not all, chap. iv. 27. (Worthington)
Wise, in composing or singing the NŠnia, or mournful songs, recording the praises of the deceased. (Calmet)
--- "This custom still subsists in Judea: women go about with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, with mournful tunes,
exciting all to tears." (St. Jerome) --- Music was also used, Matthew ix. 23. Thus feigned tears, at least, would supply the
want of real ones.
For. This was the song. (Calmet) --- Streets. Death spares none. The least suspecting fall. (Haydock) --- It
enters by the windows, if the doors be shut, Joel ii. 8.
Speak. Our editions of the Septuagint omit this word, though St. Jerome found it in his copies, (Calmet) and in Theodotion,
expressed by "death;" while others rendered it, "speak," as the same letters dbr, may have both meanings, according
as people may please to pronounce them. (St. Jerome) --- Grabe supplies, "by death. (22.) These things, says the Lord."
Me. Virtue will save, when riches, &c., will prove useless. (Menochius) --- Phocilides, a pagan, said, (Calmet)
"Boast not of wisdom, strength, or riches great. One God is wise, and potent too, and rich." (Haydock)
Egypt. the uncircumcised shall be punished as well as Juda, if they transgress. Only the Jewish nation properly observed
the right of circumcision generally, or at first. Others imitated them, but with various ceremonies. (Calmet, Diss.) (Ezechiel
xxxi. 18., and Judith xiv. 6.) --- Hyrcan obliged the Idumeans to receive circumcision. (Josephus, Jewish Antiquities xiii.
17.) --- Round. The Arabs, &c., Leviticus xix. 27. (Calmet) --- Heart. All then became guilty, Romans ii.
25. (Menochius) --- Neither these nations nor Juda was circumcised in heart, and of course were hypocrites. (Worthington)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The prophet laments the miseries of his people: and their
sins, which are the cause of them. He exhorts them to repentance.
1 Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes?
and I will weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.
2 Who will give me in the wilderness a lodging-place of wayfaring men,
and I will leave my people, and depart from them? because they are all adulterers, an assembly of transgressors.
3 And they have bent their tongue, as a bow, for lies, and not for truth:
they have strengthened themselves upon the earth, for they have proceeded from evil to evil, and me they have not known, saith
4 Let every man take heed of his neighbour, and let him not trust in
any brother of his: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every friend will walk deceitfully.
5 And a man shall mock his brother, and they will not speak the truth:
for they have taught their tongue to speak lies: they have laboured to commit iniquity.
6 Thy habitation is in the midst of deceit: through deceit they have
refused to know me, saith the Lord.
7 Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts: Behold I will melt, and try
them: for what else shall I do before the daughter of my people?
8 *Their tongue is a piercing arrow, it hath spoken deceit: with his
mouth one speaketh peace with his friend, and secretly he lieth in wait for him.
9 Shall I not visit them for these things, saith the Lord? or
shall not my soul be revenged on such a nation?
10 For the mountains I will take up weeping and lamentation, and for
the beautiful places of the desert, mourning: because they are burnt up, for that there is not a man that passeth through
them: and they have not heard the voice of the owner: from the fowl of the air to the beasts, they are gone away and departed.
11 And I will make Jerusalem to be heaps of sand, and dens of dragons:
and I will make the cities of Juda desolate, for want of an inhabitant.
12 Who is the wise man, that may understand this, and to whom the word
of the mouth of the Lord may come, that he may declare this, why the land hath perished, and is burnt up like a wilderness,
which none passeth through?
13 And the Lord said: Because they have forsaken my law, which I gave
them, and have not heard my voice, and have not walked in it.
14 But they have gone after the perverseness of their own heart, and
after Baalim, which their fathers taught them.
15 Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: *Behold
I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
16 And I will scatter them among the nations, which they and their fathers
have not known: and I will send the sword after them, till they be consumed.
17 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Consider ye, and
call for the mourning women, and let them come: and send to them that are wise women, and let them make haste:
18 Let them hasten, and take up a lamentation for us: let our eyes shed
tears, and our eyelids run down with waters.
19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Sion: How are we wasted and
greatly confounded? because we have left the land, because our dwellings are cast down.
20 Hear therefore, ye women, the word of the Lord: and let your ears
receive the word of his mouth: and teach your daughters wailing: and every one her neighbour mourning.
21 For death is come up through our windows, it is entered into our houses,
to destroy the children from without, the young men from the streets.
22 Speak: Thus saith the Lord: Even the carcass of man shall fall as
dung upon the face of the country, and as grass behind the back of the mower, and there is none to gather it.
23 Thus saith the Lord: *Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and
let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches:
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and
knoweth me, for I am the Lord that exercise mercy, and judgment, and justice in the earth: for these things please me, saith
25 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, and I will visit upon every
one that hath the foreskin circumcised.
26 Upon Egypt, and upon Juda, and upon Edom, and upon the children of
Ammon, and upon Moab, and upon all that have their hair polled round, that dwell in the desert: for all the nations are uncircumcised
in the flesh, but all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
8: Psalm xxvii. 3.
15: Jeremias xxiii. 15.
23: 1 Corinthians i. 31.; 2 Corinthians x. 17.