Lamentations 3:16

16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;

Lamentations 3:16 Meaning and Commentary

Lamentations 3:16

He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones
With gritty bread, such as is made of corn ground with new millstones, the grit of which mixes with the flour; or with stony bread, as Seneca F14 calls a benefit troublesome to others; with bread that has little stones mixed with it, by eating of which the teeth are broken, as Jarchi observes: the phrase signifies afflictions and troubles, which are very grievous and disagreeable, like gravel in the mouth, as sin in its effects often proves, ( Proverbs 20:17 ) ; he hath covered me with ashes;
as mourners used to be; the word rendered "covered" is only used in this place. Aben Ezra renders it, "he hath defiled me"; and Jarchi and Ben Melech, from the Misnah, "he hath pressed me", without measure; see ( Luke 6:38 ) ; and so the Targum,

``he hath humbled me:''
but the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, render it, "he hath fed me with ashes"; which version is defended by Castel F15 and Noldius F16, and best agrees with the preceding clause; the sense is the same with ( Psalms 102:9 ) .

F14 "Pane lapidoso", Seneca De Beneficiis, l. 7.
F15 Lexic. Polyglott, col. 1791.
F16 Concordant. Ebr. Part. p. 168. No. 763.

Lamentations 3:16 In-Context

14 I have become the laughingstock of all my people, the object of their taunt-songs all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.
16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is;
18 so I say, "Gone is my glory, and all that I had hoped for from the Lord."