Lamentations 5:13

13 Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood.

Lamentations 5:13 in Other Translations

13 They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood.
13 Young men are compelled to grind at the mill, and boys stagger under loads of wood.
13 Young men are led away to work at millstones, and boys stagger under heavy loads of wood.
13 Strapping young men were put to women's work, mere boys forced to do men's work.
13 Young men labor at millstones; boys stumble under [loads of] wood.

Lamentations 5:13 Meaning and Commentary

Lamentations 5:13

They took the young men to grind
In the mill, which was laborious service; and which persons were sometimes put to, by way of punishment; and was the punishment of servants; see ( Judges 16:21 ) . Some render it, "the young men bore the grist" F24; carried the corn, the meal ground, from place to place. The Targum is,

``the young men carried the millstones;''
and so Jarchi, they put millstones upon their shoulders, and burdens so as to weary them. Ben Melech, from their Rabbins, relates, that there were no millstones in Babylon; wherefore the Chaldeans put them upon the young men of Israel, to carry them thither. The Vulgate Latin version is,
``they abused the young men in an unchaste manner;''
suggesting something obscene intended by grinding; see ( Job 31:10 ) ; but the context will not admit of such a sense: and the children fell under the wood;
such loads of wood were laid upon them, that they could not bear them, but fell under them. Aben Ezra understands it of moving the wood of the mill, of turning the wooden handle of it; or the wooden post, the rider or runner, by which the upper millstone was turned: this their strength was not equal to, and so failed. The Targum interprets it of a wooden gibbet, or gallows; some wooden engine seems to be had in view, used as a punishment, which was put upon their necks, something like a pillory; which they were not able to stand up under, but fell.

F24 (wavn Nwxj Myrwxb) "juvenes farinam portaverunt"; so some in Gataker; "juvenes molam tulerunt", Cocceius; "juvenes ad molendum portant", Junius & Tremellius.

Lamentations 5:13 In-Context

11 Women have been violated in Zion, and virgins in the towns of Judah.
12 Princes have been hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect.
13 Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood.
14 The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music.
15 Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.
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