Lamentations 2:15

15 All who pass along the way clap their hands at you; 1they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem: "Is this the city that was called 2the perfection of beauty, 3the joy of all the earth?"

Lamentations 2:15 Meaning and Commentary

Lamentations 2:15

All that pass by clap [their] hands at thee
Travellers that passed by, and saw Jerusalem in ruins, clapped their hands at it, by way of rejoicing, as well pleased at the sight. This must be understood, not of the inhabitants of the land, but of strangers, who had no good will to it; though they seem to be distinguished from their implacable enemies in ( Lamentations 2:16 ) : they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem;
by way of scorn and derision; hereby expressing their contempt of her, and the pleasure and satisfaction they took in seeing her in this condition: [saying, is] this the city that [men] call the perfection of beauty,
the joy of the whole earth?
a complete city, a most beautiful one for its situation; for its fortifications by nature and art; for its spacious buildings, palaces, and towers; and especially for the magnificent temple in it, and the residence of the God of heaven there, and that pompous worship of him there performed; on account of all which, and the abundant blessings of goodness bestowed upon the inhabitants, they had reason to rejoice more than all the men of the world besides; as well as they contributed many ways to the good and happiness of all nations; this is what had been said by themselves, ( Psalms 48:2 ) ( 50:2 ) ; and had even been owned by others; by the forefathers of those very persons that now insult over it. So the Targum,

``is this the city which our fathers that were of old said? &c.''
nor do they by these words deny, but rather own, that it had been what was said of it; but now the case was otherwise; instead of being a perfect beauty, it was a perfect heap of rubbish; instead of being the joy of the whole earth, it was the offscouring of all things.

Lamentations 2:15 In-Context

13 What can I say for you, to what compare you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is vast as the sea; who can heal you?
14 Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.
15 All who pass along the way clap their hands at you; they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem: "Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of all the earth?"
16 All your enemies rail against you; they hiss, they gnash their teeth, they cry: "We have swallowed her! Ah, this is the day we longed for; now we have it; we see it!"
17 The LORD has done what he purposed; he has carried out his word, which he commanded long ago; he has thrown down without pity; he has made the enemy rejoice over you and exalted the might of your foes.

Cross References 3

  • 1. See 2 Chronicles 29:8
  • 2. Psalms 48:2; Ezekiel 16:14
  • 3. Psalms 48:2; Ezekiel 16:14