Lamentations 1:3

3 Judah has gone into exile with suffering and hard servitude; she lives now among the nations, and finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.

Lamentations 1:3 Meaning and Commentary

Lamentations 1:3

Judah is gone into captivity
Not only Jerusalem the metropolis of Judea was destroyed, but the whole country was ravaged, and the inhabitants of it carried captive into Babylon: because of affliction, and because of great servitude;
because of their sins in oppressing and afflicting their poor brethren, and retaining them in a state of bondage after their seven years' servitude, contrary to the law of God; for which they were threatened with captivity, ( Jeremiah 34:13-22 ) ; so the Targum,

``the house of Judah went into captivity, because they afflicted the fatherless and the widows; and because of the multitude of service which they caused their brethren the children of Israel to serve, who were sold unto them; and they did not proclaim liberty to their servants and maidens, who were of the seed of Israel:''
or, "through affliction, and through great servitude" F12; that is, through the affliction and servitude they suffered by the Chaldeans, into whose hands they fell; though some understand it of the Jews, who, to escape the affliction and servitude of the Chaldeans, went into a kind of voluntary captivity, fleeing to the countries of Moab, Ammon, and Edom, during the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; see ( Jeremiah 40:11 Jeremiah 40:12 ) ; she dwelleth among the Heathen; the uncircumcised and the unclean;
and so was deprived of both her civil and religious liberties; having no opportunity of worshipping God, and enjoying him in his courts, as formerly; and which must be very uncomfortable living, especially to those who were truly gracious: she findeth no rest.
The Targum adds,
``because of the hard service to which they subjected her;''
she found no natural rest, being carried from place to place; nor civil rest, being kept in hard bondage; nor spiritual rest, being deprived of the worship and ordinances of God; and being conscious of her sins, which had brought all this misery on her: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits;
having hunted her as men hunt wild beasts, and get them into some strait and difficult place, and then seize on them. The Targum interprets it, between the borders; or between the hedges, as Ben Melech; and so Jarchi, of the borders of a field and vineyard; and of a ditch on the one side and the other, that there is no room to escape; and who makes mention of a Midrash, that explains it not of place, but time, between the seventeenth day of Tammuz, and the ninth of Ab; see ( Jeremiah 52:7 Jeremiah 52:8 ) .

F12 (ynem) "per afflictionem"; (j) "hic, non [prae], sed per significat", Grotius; "[vel] prae afflictione, [sub.] a Chaldaeis perpessa"; so some in Vatablus.

Lamentations 1:3 In-Context

1 How lonely sits the city that once was full of people! How like a widow she has become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the provinces has become a vassal.
2 She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into exile with suffering and hard servitude; she lives now among the nations, and finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.
4 The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the festivals; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her young girls grieve, and her lot is bitter.
5 Her foes have become the masters, her enemies prosper, because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.