Lamentations 4:17

17 1Our eyes failed, ever watching 2vainly for help; in our watching we watched for 3a nation which could not save.

Lamentations 4:17 Meaning and Commentary

Lamentations 4:17

As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help
Or, "while we were yet" F8; a nation, a people, a body politic, in our own land, before the city of Jerusalem was taken, we were looking for help, as was promised us; but it proved a vain help, none was given us; for which we kept looking to the last, till our eyes failed, and we could look no longer; no help appeared, nor was there any prospect or probability of it, and therefore gave all up: in our watching we watched for a nation [that] could not save [us];
not the Romans, as the Targum, but the Egyptians; these promised them help and relief, and therefore in their watching they watched, or vehemently watched, and wistfully looked out for it, but all in vain; for though these made an attempt to help them, they durst not proceed; were obliged to retire, not being a match for the Chaldean army, and so could not save them, or break up the siege, and relieve them.


F8 (hnydwe) "quum adhuc essemus", Munster: Piscator.

Lamentations 4:17 In-Context

15 "Away! Unclean!" people cried at them. "Away! Away! Do not touch!" So they became fugitives and wanderers; people said among the nations, "They shall stay with us no longer."
16 The LORD himself has scattered them; he will regard them no more; no honor was shown to the priests, no favor to the elders.
17 Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save.
18 They dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets; our end drew near; our days were numbered, for our end had come.
19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles in the heavens; they chased us on the mountains; they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Psalms 119:82, 123; [Jeremiah 3:23]
  • 2. Psalms 119:82, 123; [Jeremiah 3:23]
  • 3. Jeremiah 37:7, 8