19 I hear my dear people crying out throughout the length and breadth of the land. They are crying, ‘Is the Lord no longer in Zion? Is her divine King no longer there?’”The Lord answers, “Why then do they provoke me to anger with their images, with their worthless foreign idols?” 20 “They cry, ‘Harvest time has come and gone and the summer is over, and still we have not been delivered.’ 21 My heart is crushed because the daughter of my people55 are being crushed. I go about crying and grieving. I am overwhelmed with dismay. 22 There is still medicinal ointment available in Gilead! There is still a physician there! Why then have the daughter of my people60 not been restored to health?
11 כ (Kaf) My eyes are worn out from weeping; my stomach is in knots. My heart is poured out on the ground due to the destruction of my helpless people; children and infants faint in the town squares. 12 ל (Lamed) Children say to their mothers, “Where are food and drink?” They faint like a wounded warrior in the city squares. They die slowly in their mothers’ arms. 13 מ (Mem) With what can I equate you? To what can I compare you, O Daughter Jerusalem? To what can I liken you so that I might comfort you, O Virgin Daughter Zion? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you? 14 נ (Nun) Your prophets saw visions for you that were worthless whitewash. They failed to expose your sin so as to restore your fortunes. They saw oracles for you that were worthless lies. 15 ס (Samek) All who passed by on the road clapped their hands to mock you. They sneered and shook their heads at Daughter Jerusalem. “Ha! Is this the city they called ‘the perfection of beauty, the source of joy of the whole earth!’?”
Notes and References
"... Verses 11–13 are a lament for the children and Jerusalem. It is written by the poet in the first person and sounds like Jeremiah’s laments (Jeremiah 4:19; 8:21–9:1; 14:17). The speaker utters an intense lament over Jerusalem. He has cried so much that he has no tears left (cf. Lam. 1:16). The phrase on the ground is a link to the previous verse. This time it is literally the ‘liver’ (my heart, TNIV) that is being poured out on to the ground. Parry (2010:80) suggests that he might be vomiting. However, the expression may be used metaphorically to express his great grief, since the liver was regarded as the seat of the emotions (as Parry agrees) ... Verse 13 asks a series of questions to convey the same idea of hopelessness: Virgin Daughter Zion is deeply wounded and without hope. The same conclusion is found in the book of Jeremiah (6:14; 8:11; 8:21–22; 30:12–15, but see 30:17!) ..."
Lalleman-de Winkel, H. Jeremiah and Lamentations (pp. 335-336) InterVarsity Press, 2013
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