This general lament introduces many of the themes of the book.
How: lit. “alas, how…” From greatness to widowhood, from a queen to a slave are typical of the poet's stylistic contrasts.
Even though Judah as a whole sometimes appears, the main focus is on Jerusalem and the temple.
Countless sins: this theme of sin is to be contrasted with that of innocence, as in
; or the sin of a specific group, as in
; or the sins of the forebears, as in
Daughter of Zion: a term of endearment for Zion, personifying the temple mount area.
The backward look seems to come after the passing of many years.
This verse is a stereotyped description of the enemy; see Ps. 74.4–8
You passers-by: perhaps the other nations; see v. 18
Rank on rank against me: the role of the LORD as an enemy warrior, as in Isa. 10.5–11
Here the observer in
The city's confession of sin; see Deut. 28.15–68
. Into captivity:
see 2 Kgs. 25.11
Hasten the day: though somewhat incongruous with v. 15
, this is a call for God's wrath on the enemy, as in
3.64–66; see also Ps. 83.9–18
Your access is brought to you by: