Lamentations 4:17

17 Moreover, our eyes failed, looking in vain for help; from our towers we watched for a nation that could not save us.

Read Lamentations 4:17 Using Other Translations

As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.
Our eyes failed, ever watching vainly for help; in our watching we watched for a nation which could not save.
We looked in vain for our allies to come and save us, but we were looking to nations that could not help us.

What does Lamentations 4:17 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
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.


FOOTNOTES:

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