1 Samuel
2 Samuel
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles

Song of Songs



1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy
2 Timothy

1 Peter
2 Peter
1 John
2 John
3 John

Revelation 1-11
Revelation 12-22

Notes on Lamentations
From the Original 1599 Geneva Bible Notes

La 1:1

1:1 How doth {a} the city sit desolate, [that was] full of people! [how] is she become as a widow! she [that was] great among the nations, {b} [and] princess among the provinces, [how] is she become a slave!

      (a) The prophet wonders at the great judgment of God, seeing Jerusalem, which was so strong and so full of people, to be now destroyed and desolate.
      (b) Who had chief rule over many provinces and countries.

La 1:2

1:2 She weepeth bitterly in the {c} night, and her tears [are] on her cheeks: among all her {d} lovers she hath none to comfort [her]: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

      (c) So that she takes no rest.
      (d) Meaning the Egyptians and Assyrians who promised help.

La 1:3

1:3 Judah is gone into captivity because {e} of affliction, and because of great servitude: she dwelleth among the nations, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her in the midst of distress.

      (e) For her cruelty toward the poor and oppression of servants, Jer 34:11 .

La 1:4

1:4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come {f} to the solemn feasts: all her gates are desolate: her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, and she [is] in bitterness.

      (f) As they used to come up with mirth and joy, Ps 42:4 .

La 1:5

1:5 Her adversaries {g} are the head, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

      (g) That is, have rule over her, De 28:41 .

La 1:6

1:6 And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty hath departed: her princes are become {h} like harts [that] find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.

      (h) As men pined away with sorrow and that have no courage.

La 1:7

1:7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people {i} fell into the hand of the enemy, and none helped her: the adversaries saw her, [and] mocked at her {k} sabbaths.

      (i) In her misery she considered the great benefits and commodities that she had lost.
      (k) At her religion and serving of God, which was the greatest grief to the godly.

La 1:9

1:9 {l} Her filthiness [is] in her skirts; she remembereth not her latter end; therefore she hath been wonderfully abased: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified [himself].

      (l) She is not ashamed of her sin, although it is revealed.

La 1:10

1:10 The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things: for she hath seen [that] the nations entered into her sanctuary, whom {m} thou didst command [that] they should not enter into thy congregation.

      (m) God forbids the Ammonites and Moabites to enter into the congregation of the Lord, and under them he comprehends all enemies, De 23:3 .

La 1:12

1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there is any {n} sorrow like my sorrow, which hath fallen upon me, with which the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger.

      (n) Thus Jerusalem laments moving others to pity her and to learn by her example.

La 1:13

1:13 From above hath {o} he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate [and] faint all the day.

      (o) This declares that we should acknowledge God to be the author of all our afflictions to the intent that we might seek him for remedy.

La 1:14

1:14 The {p} yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are knit together, [and] come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into [their] hands, [from whom] I am not able to rise.

      (p) My heavy sins are continually before his eyes as he that ties a thing to his hand for a reminder.

La 1:15

1:15 The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty [men] in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, [as] in a {q} winepress.

      (q) He has trodden them underfoot as they tread grapes in the winepress.

La 1:17

1:17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands, [and there is] none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, [that] his adversaries [should be] around him: Jerusalem is {r} as a menstruous woman among them.

      (r) Who because of her pollution was separate from her husband, Le 15:19 and was abhorred for the time.

La 1:19

1:19 I called for my lovers, [but] they deceived me: my priests and my elders gave up the ghost in the city, while they {s} sought their food to relieve their souls.

      (s) That is, they died for hunger.

La 1:22

1:22 {t} Let all their wickedness come before thee; and do to them, as thou hast done to me for all my transgressions: for my sighs [are] many, and my heart [is] faint.

      (t) Of desiring vengeance against the enemy, See Geneva "Jer 11:20" and See Geneva "Jer 18:21"

La 2:1

2:1 How hath the Lord {a} covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, [and] cast down from {b} heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his {c} footstool in the day of his anger!

      (a) That is, brought her from prosperity to adversity.
      (b) Has given her a most sore fall.
      (c) Alluding to the temple, or to the ark of the covenant, which was called the footstool of the Lord, because they would not set their minds so low, but lift up their heart toward the heavens.

La 2:3

2:3 He hath cut off in [his] fierce anger all the {d} horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his {e} right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, [which] devoureth on every side.

      (d) Meaning the glory and strength, as in 1Sa 2:1 .
      (e) That is, his comfort which he was wont to send us, when our enemies oppressed us.

La 2:4

2:4 He {f} hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all [that were] pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire.

      (f) Showing that there is no remedy but destruction where God is the enemy.

La 2:7

2:7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a {g} noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.

      (g) As the people were accustomed to praising God to the solemn feasts with a loud voice, so now the enemies blaspheme him with shouting and cry.

La 2:8

2:8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart {h} and the wall to lament; they languished together.

      (h) This is a figurative speech as that was, when he said the ways lamented, La 1:4 meaning that this sorrow was so great that the insensible things had their part of it.

La 2:13

2:13 {i} What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach [is] great like the sea: who can heal thee?

      (i) Meaning that her calamity was so evident that it needed no witnesses.

La 2:14

2:14 Thy prophets have {k} seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not revealed thy iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.

      (k) Because the false prophets called themselves seers, as the others were called, therefore he shows that they saw amiss because they did not reprove the people's faults, but flattered them in their sins, which was the cause of their destruction.

La 3:1

3:1 I [am] the man [that] hath seen {a} affliction by the rod of his wrath.

      (a) The prophet complains of the punishments and afflictions that he endured by the false prophets and hypocrites when he declared the destruction of Jerusalem, as in Jer 20:1,2 .

La 3:5

3:5 He hath {b} built against me, and surrounded [me] with gall and labour.

      (b) He speaks this as one that felt God's heavy judgment, which he greatly feared, and therefore sets them out with this diversity of words.

La 3:8

3:8 Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my {c} prayer.

      (c) This is a great temptation for the godly when they do not see the fruit of their prayers and causes them to think that they are not heard, which thing God uses so that they might pray more earnestly and often.

La 3:9

3:9 He hath {d} inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.

      (d) And keeps me in hold as a prisoner.

La 3:10

3:10 {e} He [was] to me [as] a bear lying in wait, [and as] a lion in secret places.

      (e) He has no pity on me.

La 3:15

3:15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunk with {f} wormwood.

      (f) With great anguish and sorrow he has made me lose my sense.

La 3:18

3:18 And I said, My strength and my {g} hope hath perished from the LORD:

      (g) Thus with pain he was driven to and fro between hope and despair, as the godly often are, yet in the end the spirit gets the victory.

La 3:20

3:20 My soul hath [them] still in remembrance, and is humbled {h} in me.

      (h) He shows that God thus uses to exercise his, to the intent that by this they may know themselves, and feel his mercies.

La 3:22

3:22 [It is of] the LORD'S {i} mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

      (i) Considering the wickedness of man it is a marvel that any remains alive: but only that God for his own mercies sake and for his promise will ever have his Church remain, though they are never so few in number, Isa 1:9 .

La 3:23

3:23 [They are] new {k} every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.

      (k) We feel your benefits daily.

La 3:24

3:24 The LORD [is] my {l} portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

      (l) The godly put their whole confidence in God, and therefore look for no other inheritance, as Ps 16:5 .

La 3:27

3:27 [It is] good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his {m} youth.

      (m) He shows that we can never begin too soon to be exercised under the cross, that when the afflictions grow greater, our patience also by experience may be stronger.

La 3:28

3:28 He sitteth alone {n} and keepeth silence, because he hath borne [it] upon him.

      (n) He murmurs not against God, but is patient.

La 3:29

3:29 He putteth his {o} mouth in the dust; if there may be hope.

      (o) He humbles himself as they who fall down with their face to the ground, and so with patience waits for comfort.

La 3:33

3:33 For he doth not {p} afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

      (p) He takes no pleasure in it, but does it of necessity for our amendment, when he permits the wicked to oppress the poor.

La 3:36

3:36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord {q} approveth not.

      (q) He does not delight in it.

La 3:37

3:37 Who [is] he [that] saith, and it cometh to pass, [when] the Lord {r} commandeth [it] not?

      (r) He shows that nothing is done without God's providence.

La 3:38

3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not {s} evil and good?

      (s) That is, adversity and prosperity, Am 3:6 .

La 3:39

3:39 Why doth a living {t} man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

      (t) When God afflicts him.

La 3:41

3:41 Let us lift up {u} our heart with [our] hands to God in the heavens.

      (u) That is, both hearts and hands: for else to lift up the hands is but hypocrisy.

La 3:51

3:51 My eye {x} affecteth my heart because of all the daughters of my city.

      (x) I am overcome with sore weeping for all my people.

La 3:53

3:53 They have cut off my life {y} in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.

      (y) Read Jer 37:16 how he was in the miry dungeon.

La 3:58

3:58 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my {z} soul; thou hast redeemed my life.

      (z) Meaning, the reason his life was in danger.

La 4:1

4:1 How is the {a} gold become dim! [how] is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.

      (a) By the gold he means the princes, as by the stones he understands the priests.

La 4:2

4:2 The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen {b} pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!

      (b) Which are of small value and have no honour.

La 4:3

4:3 Even the sea monsters {c} draw out the breast, they nurse their young ones: the daughter of my people [is become] cruel, like the {d} ostriches in the wilderness.

      (c) Though the dragons are cruel, yet they pity their young, and nourish them, which Jerusalem does not do.
      (d) The women forsake their children as the ostrich does her eggs, Job 39:17 .

La 4:8

4:8 Their {e} visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.

      (e) They who were before most in God's favour are now in greatest abomination to him.

La 4:9

4:9 [They that are] slain with the sword are better than [they that are] slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for [lack of] the {f} fruits of the field.

      (f) For lack of food they pine away and consume.

La 4:13

4:13 For the sins of her prophets, [and] the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of {g} her,

      (g) He means that these things are come to pass therefore, contrary to all men's expectations.

La 4:14

4:14 They have wandered [as] blind [men] {h} in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that {i} men could not touch their garments.

      (h) Some refer this to the blind men who as they went, stumbled on the blood, of which the city was full.
      (i) Meaning the heathen who came to destroy them could not abide them.

La 4:16

4:16 The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no longer regard them: {k} they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.

      (k) That is, the enemies.

La 4:17

4:17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for {l} a nation [that] could not save [us].

      (l) He shows two principal causes for their destruction: their cruelty and their vain confidence in man: for they trusted in the help of the Egyptians.

La 4:20

4:20 The {m} breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.

      (m) Our king Josiah, in whom stood our hope of God's favour and on whom depended our state and life was slain, whom he calls anointed, because he was a figure of Christ.

La 4:21

4:21 Rejoice and be glad, {n} O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through to thee: thou shalt be drunk, and shalt make thyself naked.

      (n) This is spoken by derision.

La 4:22

4:22 The punishment of thy iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he {o} will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thy iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will disclose thy sins.

      (o) He comforts the Church because after seventy years their sorrows will have an end while the wicked would be tormented for ever.

La 5:1

5:1 Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: {a} consider, and behold our reproach.

      (a) This prayer as is thought, was made when some of the people were carried away captive, others such as the poorest remained, and some went into Egypt and other places for comfort, though it seems that the prophet foreseeing their miseries to come, thus prayed.

La 5:4

5:4 We have drank our {b} water for money; our wood is sold to us.

      (b) Meaning their extreme servitude and bondage.

La 5:6

5:6 We have given the {c} hand [to] the Egyptians, [and to] the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.

      (c) We are joined in league and amity with them, or have submitted ourselves to them.

La 5:7

5:7 Our fathers have sinned, [and are] not; and we have borne {d} their iniquities.

      (d) As our fathers have been punished for their sins: so we that are guilty of the same sins are punished.

La 5:9

5:9 We procured our bread with [the peril of] our lives because of the sword {e} of the wilderness.

      (e) Because of the enemy that came from the wilderness and would not suffer us to go and seek our necessary food.

La 5:12

5:12 Princes were hung up by {f} their hand: the faces of elders were not honoured.

      (f) That is, by the enemies hand.

La 5:13

5:13 They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under {g} the wood.

      (g) Their slavery was so great, that they were not able to abide it.

La 5:14

5:14 The elders have ceased from the {h} gate, the young men from their music.

      (h) There were no more laws nor form of commonwealth.

La 5:17

5:17 For this our heart is faint; for these [things] our {i} eyes are dim.

      (i) With weeping.

La 5:19

5:19 Thou, O LORD, remainest for {k} ever; thy throne from generation to generation.

      (k) And therefore your covenant and mercies can never fail.

La 5:21

5:21 {l} Turn thou us to thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

      (l) By which is declared that it is not in man's power to turn to God, but is only his work to convert us, and thus God works in us before we can turn to him, Jer 31:18 .

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