Lamentations 4:20

Lamentations 4:20

The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was
taken in their pits
Or "the Messiah", or "the Christ of the Lord" {n}; not Josiah, as the Targum; and so Jarchi and others; for though he was the Lord's anointed, and the life of the people, being the head of them, as every king is, especially a good one; yet he was slain, and not taken, and much less in their pits, and that not by the Chaldeans, but by the Egyptians; nor did the kingdom cease with him, or the end of the Jewish state then come, which continued some years after: but rather Zedekiah, as Aben Ezra and others, the last of the kings of Judah, with whom all agrees; he was the Lord's anointed as king, and the preserver of the lives and liberties of the people, at least as they hoped; but when the city was taken by the Chaldeans, and he fled for his life, they pursued him, and took him; he fell into their hands, their pits, snares, and nets, as was foretold he should; and which are sometimes called the net and snare of the Lord; see ( Ezekiel 12:13 ) ( 17:20 ) ; (See Gill on Lamentations 4:19). Many of the ancient Christian writers apply this to Christ; and particularly Theodoret takes it to be a direct prophecy of him and his sufferings. Vatablus, who interprets it of Josiah, makes him to be a type of Christ; as Calvin does Zedekiah, of whom he expounds the words; and the Targum, in the king of Spain's Bible, is,

``the King Messiah, who was beloved by us, as the breath of the spirit of life, which is in our nostrils.''
What is here said may be applied to Christ; he is the life of men, he gives them life and breath, and in him they live and move; their spiritual life is from him, and is maintained and preserved by him; he lives in his people, and they in him, and they cannot live without him, no more than a man without his breath: he is the Christ of God, anointed with the Holy Ghost to the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King; and from whom Christians have their holy unction and their name: he was taken, not by the Chaldeans, but by the wicked Jews; who looked upon him as a very mischievous person, as if he had been an evil beast, a beast of prey, though the pure spotless Lamb of God; and they dug pits, laid snares, and formed schemes to take him, and at last did, and with wicked hands crucified him, and slew him; though not without his own and his Father's will and knowledge, ( Acts 2:23 ) ; of whom we said, under his shadow we shall live among the Heathen;
in the midst of the nations round about them, unmolested by them, none daring to meddle with them; at least safe from being carried captive, as now they were. Though Jeconiah was taken and carried into Babylon, yet Zedekiah being placed upon the throne, the Jews hoped to live peaceable and quiet lives under his government, undisturbed by their neighbours; the wise and good government of a prince, and protection under it, being sometimes compared in Scripture to the shadow of a rock or tree, ( Isaiah 32:2 ) ( Ezekiel 31:6 ) ( Daniel 4:12 ) ; but now it was all over with them; their hope was gone, he being taken. Something like this may be observed in the disciples of Christ; they hoped he would have restored the kingdom to Israel, and they should have lived gloriously under his government; they trusted that it was he that should have redeemed Israel; but, when he was taken and crucified, their hope was in a manner gone, ( Luke 24:21 ) . True believers in Christ do live peaceably, comfortably, and safely under him; they are among the Heathen, among the men of the world, liable to their reproaches, insults, and injuries; Christ is a tree, to which he is often compared, one and another, that casts a delightful, reviving, refreshing, and fructifying shadow, under which they sit with great delight, pleasure, and profit, ( Song of Solomon 2:3 ) ( Hosea 14:7 ) ; he is a rock, the shadow of which affords rest to weary souls, and shelters from the heat of divine wrath, the fiery law of God, and darts of Satan, and persecutions of men, ( Isaiah 32:2 ) ( Isaiah 25:4 Isaiah 25:5 ) ; and under his government, protection, and power, they dwell safely, that sin cannot destroy them, nor Satan devour them, nor the world hurt them; here they live spiritually, and shall never die eternally, ( Jeremiah 23:5 Jeremiah 23:6 ) ( Psalms 91:1 ) .
FOOTNOTES:

F14 (hwhy xyvm) (cristov kuriov) , Sept. "Christus Dominus", V. L. "Christus Domini", Pagninus.
Read Lamentations 4:20