4:1 How is the a gold become dim! [how] is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.
(a) By the gold he means the princes, as by the stones he understands the priests. 4:2 The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen b pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!
(b) Which are of small value and have no honour. 4:3 Even the sea monsters c draw out the breast, they nurse their young ones: the daughter of my people [is become] cruel, like the d ostriches in the wilderness.
(c) Though the dragons are cruel, yet they pity their young, and nourish them, which Jerusalem does not do. 4:8 Their e visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
(d) The women forsake their children as the ostrich does her eggs, ( Job 39:17 ).
(e) They who were before most in Gods favour are now in greatest abomination to him. 4:9 [They that are] slain with the sword are better than [they that are] slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for [lack of] the f fruits of the field.
(f) For lack of food they pine away and consume. 4:13 For the sins of her prophets, [and] the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of g her,
(g) He means that these things are come to pass therefore, contrary to all mens expectations. 4:14 They have wandered [as] blind [men] h in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that i men could not touch their garments.
(h) Some refer this to the blind men who as they went, stumbled on the blood, of which the city was full. 4:16 The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no longer regard them: k they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.
(i) Meaning the heathen who came to destroy them could not abide them.
(k) That is, the enemies. 4:17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for l a nation [that] could not save [us].
(l) He shows two principal causes for their destruction: their cruelty and their vain confidence in man: for they trusted in the help of the Egyptians. 4:20 The m breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.
(m) Our king Josiah, in whom stood our hope of Gods favour and on whom depended our state and life was slain, whom he calls anointed, because he was a figure of Christ. 4:21 Rejoice and be glad, n O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through to thee: thou shalt be drunk, and shalt make thyself naked.
(n) This is spoken by derision. 4:22 The punishment of thy iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he o will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thy iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will disclose thy sins.
(o) He comforts the Church because after seventy years their sorrows will have an end while the wicked would be tormented for ever.