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Lamentations 1:15-17 New English Translation (NET Bible)

ס (Samek)

15 He rounded up[a] all my mighty ones;[b]
The Lord[c] did this[d] in[e] my midst.
He summoned an assembly[f] against me
to shatter my young men.
The Lord has stomped like grapes[g]
the virgin daughter, Judah.[h]

ע (Ayin)

16 I weep because of these things;
my eyes[i] flow with tears.[j]
For there is no one in sight who can comfort me[k]
or encourage me.[l]
My children[m] are desolated[n]
because an enemy has prevailed.

פ (Pe)

The Prophet Speaks

17 Zion spread out her hands,
but there is no one to comfort her.
The Lord has issued a decree against Jacob;
his neighbors[o] have become his enemies.
Jerusalem has become
like filthy garbage[p] in their midst.[q]


  1. Lamentations 1:15 tn The verb סָלַה (salah) occurs only twice in OT, once in Qal (Ps 119:118) and once here in Piel. It is possibly a by-form of סָלַל (salal, “to heap up”). It may also be related to Aramaic סלא (slʾ), meaning “to throw away,” and Assyrian salu/shalu, meaning “to hurl (away)” (AHw 1152) or “to kick up dust, shoot (arrows), reject, throw away?” (CAD 17:272). With people as its object shalu is used of people casting away their children, specifically meaning selling them on the market. The LXX translates סָלַה (salah) as ἐξῆρεν (exēren, “to remove, lead away”). Thus God is either (1) heaping them up (dead) in the city square, (2) putting them up for sale in the city square, or (3) leading them out of the city (into exile or to deprive it of defenders prior to attack). The English “round up” could accommodate any of these and is also a cattle term, which fits well with the use of the word “bulls” (see following note).
  2. Lamentations 1:15 tn Heb “bulls.” Metaphorically, bulls may refer to mighty ones, leaders, or warriors. F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp (Lamentations [IBC], 69) insightfully suggests that the Samek stanza presents an overarching dissonance by using terms associated with a celebratory feast (bulls, assembly, and a winepress) in sentences where God is abusing the normally expected celebrants, i.e., the “leaders” are the sacrifice.
  3. Lamentations 1:15 tc The MT reads אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay, “the Lord”) here rather than יהוה (YHWH, “the Lord”); this occurs again a second time later in this verse. See the tc note at 1:14.
  4. Lamentations 1:15 tn The verb is elided and understood from the preceding colon. Naming “my Lord” as the subject of the verb late, as it were, emphasizes the irony of the action taken by a person in this position.
  5. Lamentations 1:15 tc The MT reads the preposition בּ (bet, “in”) prefixed to קִרְבִּי (qirbi, “my midst”): בְּקִרְבִּי (beqirbi, “in my midst”); however, the LXX reads ἐκ μέσου μου (ek mesou mou) which may reflect a Vorlage of the preposition מִן (min, “from”): מִקִּרְבִּי (miqqirbi, “from my midst”). The LXX may have chosen ἐκ to accommodate understanding סִלָּה (sillah) as ἐξῆρεν (exēren, “to remove, lead away”). The textual deviation may have been caused by an unusual orthographic confusion.tn Or “out of my midst.” See the preceding tc note.
  6. Lamentations 1:15 tn Heb “an assembly.” The noun מוֹעֵד (moʿed, “assembly”) is normally used in reference to the annual religious festive assemblies of Israel (Ezek 45:17; Hos 9:5; Zeph 3:18; Zech 8:19), though a number of English versions take this “assembly” to refer to the invading army that attacks the city (e.g., NAB, NIV, TEV, NLT).
  7. Lamentations 1:15 tn Heb “a winepress he has stomped.” The noun גַּת (gat, “winepress”) functions as an adverbial accusative of location: “in a winepress.” The translation reflects the synecdoche that is involved—one stomps the grapes that are in the winepress, not the winepress itself.
  8. Lamentations 1:15 sn The expression the virgin daughter, Judah is used as an epithet, i.e., Virgin Judah or Maiden Judah, further reinforcing the feminine anthrpomorphism.
  9. Lamentations 1:16 tc The MT and several medieval Hebrew mss read עֵינִי עֵינִי (ʿeni, ʿeni, “my eye, my eye”). However, the second עֵינִי does not appear in several other medieval Hebrew mss, or in Old Greek, Syriac Peshitta, or Latin Vulgate.tn Heb “My eye, my eye.” The Hebrew text repeats the term for literary emphasis to stress the emotional distress of personified Jerusalem.
  10. Lamentations 1:16 tn Heb “with water.” The noun מַיִם (mayim, “water”) functions as an adverbial accusative of manner or impersonal instrument. The term מַיִם (mayim, “water”) is a metonymy of material (= water) for the thing formed (= tears).
  11. Lamentations 1:16 tn Heb “For a comforter is far from me.”
  12. Lamentations 1:16 tn The phrase מֵשִׁיב נַפְשִׁי (meshiv nafshi, “one who could cause my soul to return”) is a Hebrew idiom that means “one who could encourage me.” The noun נַפְשִׁי (nafshi) refers to the whole person (e.g., Gen 27:4, 25; 49:6; Lev 26:11, 30; Num 23:10; Judg 5:21; 16:30; Isa 1:14; Lam 3:24). When used with the noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh), the Hiphil הָשִׁיב (hashiv) of שׁוּב (shuv, “to turn, return”) means “to encourage, refresh, cheer” a person emotionally (Ruth 4:15; Pss 19:8; 23:3; Prov 25:13; Lam 1:11, 16, 19).
  13. Lamentations 1:16 tn Heb “my sons.” The term “my sons” (בַּנַי, banay) is a figurative description (hypocatastasis) of the former inhabitants of Jerusalem/Judah personified as the Lady Jerusalem’s children. Jerusalem mourns (and views) their devastation like a mother would her children.
  14. Lamentations 1:16 tn The verb שָׁמֵם (shamem) means “to be desolated.” The verb is used used in reference to land destroyed in battle and left “deserted” (Isa 49:8; Ezek 33:28; 35:12, 15; 36:4). When used in reference to persons, it describes the aftermath of a physical attack, such as rape (2 Sam 13:20) or military overthrow of a city (Isa 54:1; Lam 1:13, 16; 3:11).
  15. Lamentations 1:17 tn Heb “his neighbors,” which refers to the surrounding nations.
  16. Lamentations 1:17 tn The noun II נִדָּה (niddah, “unclean thing”) has three basic categories of meaning: (1) biological uncleanness: menstruation of a woman (Lev 12:2, 5; 15:19-33 [9x]; Num 19:9, 13, 20; 31:23; Ezek 18:6; 22:10; 36:17); (2) ceremonial uncleanness: moral impurity and idolatry (Lev 20:21; 2 Chr 29:5; Ezra 9:11; Zech 13:1); and (3) physical uncleanness: filthy garbage (Lam 1:17; Ezek 7:19, 20).
  17. Lamentations 1:17 tc The MT reads בֵּינֵיהֶם (benehem, “in them” = “in their midst”). The BHS editors suggest that this is a textual variation from an original text of בְּעֵינֵיהֶם (beʿenehem, “in their eyes” = “in their view”). The ע (ʿayin) might have dropped out due to orthographic confusion.tn Or “in their eyes.” See the preceding tc note.
New English Translation (NET)

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