Verse 5. "Thou feedest them with the bread of tears." Their meat is seasoned with brine distilled from weeping eyes. Their meals, which were once such pleasant seasons of social merriment, are now like funeral feasts to which each man contributes his bitter morsel. Thy people ate bread of wheat before, but now they receive from thine own hand no better diet than bread of tears.
"And givest them tears to drink in great measure." Tears are both their food and their drink, and that without stint. They swallow tierces of tears, and swim in gulfs of grief, and all this by God's own appointment; not because their enemies have them in their power by force of arms, but because their God refuses to interpose. Tear bread is even more the fruit of the curse than to eat bread in the sweat of one's face, but it shall by divine love be turned into a greater blessing by ministering to our spiritual health.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 5. "In great measure." The Hebrew shalish is the name of a measure, so called of three, as containing a third part of the greatest measure, four times as big as the usual cup to drink in. Henry Ainsworth.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 5. Unpalatable provender.
- Analyze the Provision.
- Note the hand which sends it.
- Consider the healthfulness of the diet.
- Remember the alleviating accompaniments.