hath the Lord covered
the daughter of Zion
with a cloud in his anger,
and cast down from heaven unto the earth
the beauty of Israel,
and remembered not his footstool
in the day of his anger!
We begin with Zion and a lament. This verse reiterates Zion's fallen state and shame. His anger, an allusion to the King of Assyria indicates that the Lord personally caused the fall of Zion through him. He cast down from an exalted state to a humiliation. The day is the Day of Judgement in which the King of Assyria who is the Lord's anger has power over the entire earth.
2 The Lord hath swallowed up
all the habitations of Jacob,
and hath not pitied:
he hath thrown down in his wrath
the strong holds of the daughter of Judah;
he hath brought them down to the ground:
he hath polluted
the kingdom and the princes thereof.
The Lord lays waste without pity. Wrath or anger refers to the King of Assyria who razes Fair Judah's strongholds. So the Lord brings the whole kingdom and it's leaders low into dishonor.
3 He hath cut off in his fierce anger
all the horn of Israel:
he hath drawn back his right hand
from before the enemy,
and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire,
which devoureth round about.
Fierce or blazing anger is paralleled with right hand showing allusions to both the King of Assyria who is the anger and the Lord's Servant who is the right hand. All the might of Israel is cut down or killed. The right hand is withdrawn in the presence of the enemy. The Lord is making these things happen and ravages Jacob through the King of Assyria who consumes like a flaming fire on all sides.
4 He 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.
Bow is paralleled with right hand showing they are synonymous ideas just as enemy is paralleled with adversary and have the same meaning. The bow and right hand is the Lord's Servant who acts as an enemy or foe to God's people. The Lord through the instrumentality of the fire or King of Assyria slays all who delighted the eye in the tent of Fair Zion.
5 The Lord was as an enemy:
he hath swallowed up Israel,
he hath swallowed up all her palaces:
he hath destroyed his strong holds,
and hath increased in the daughter of Judah
mourning and lamentation.
The Lord himself acts as an enemy to his own people. He lays waste Israel. Lays waste all of her citadels. Destroys her strongholds. By doing this He has increased within Fair Judah mourning and moaning.
6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden:
he hath destroyed his places of the assembly:
the LORD hath caused
the solemn feasts and sabbaths
to be forgotten in Zion,
and hath despised in the indignation of his anger
the king and the priest.
The tabernacle or Booth is the Temple which is destroyed or stripped like a garden. He, the Lord, destroyed the dwelling place of Zion. He ends the festivals and sabbaths. By the hands of the King of Assyria who is raging anger He has spurned the king and priest. Both the political and religious leaders.
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 noise in the house of the LORD,
as in the day of a solemn feast.
The altar and sanctuary refer to the Temple which is rejected and disdained. The walls of it's citadels are given into the hand, the King of Assyria literally, and the Lord's Servant on a second level because he is an enemy and adversary in verse 4. When the temple is taken and destroyed they make a noise in the house of the Lord as if celebrating a festival day.
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 and the wall to lament;
they languished together.
The Lord resolved to destroy the wall of Fair Zion, he planned it and did not refrain from using his hand, the King of Assyria, to destroy. The wall and rampart lament and languish or more particularly the people on the wall and rampart.
9 Her gates are sunk into the ground;
he hath destroyed and broken her bars:
her king and her princes are among the Gentiles:
the law is no more;
her prophets also find
no vision from the LORD.
Her, Fair Zion, is utterly overthrown. Her gates sink into the ground and her bars are broken to bits implying a total and devastating destruction. Her king and leaders are in exile. There is no more instruction. Her prophets receive no vision from the Lord or revelation.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion
sit upon the ground, and keep silence:
they have cast up dust upon their heads;
they have girded themselves with sackcloth:
the virgins of Jerusalem hang down
their heads to the ground.
Those with seniority sit and keep silent and put dust on their heads. Something you would do when in a state of mourning. The girding of sackcloth also shows the destitute situation Zion finds itself in. The maidens bow down their heads to the ground, they don't even look up. They just stare at the ground.
11 Mine eyes do fail with tears,
my bowels are troubled,
my liver is poured upon the earth,
for the destruction of the daughter of my people;
because the children and the sucklings swoon
in the streets of the city.
The theme of weeping is repeated and we see the desolation is so immense it's as if the people's beings melt away. In verse 2 and 16 they weep and have no comfort. In 16 her children are desolate. In this verse they languish or swoon in the streets or squares of the city.
12 They say to their mothers,
Where is corn and wine?
when they swooned as the wounded
in the streets of the city,
when their soul was poured out
into their mothers' bosom.
The children ask their mothers where bread and wine are? Food and drink. They languish or swoon as if wounded in battle in the streets of the city as they die in their mothers laps.
13 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?
The question is asked to what can I compare Fair Jerusalem? Who is Fair Zion's equal in misery so she may be comforted. The breach being great like the sea may be a reference to the King of Assyria who is the sea in Isaiah. The questions of comparison and healing suggest that only the Lord can find a witness and only he can heal since he brought about the destruction and desolation. Indeed there will be a witness, all of her enemies will suffer the same fate, and she will be healed as they are destroyed. This is expressed more fully later in lamentations. As well as in Isaiah.
14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee:
and they have not discovered thine iniquity,
to turn away thy captivity;
but have seen for thee
false burdens and causes of banishment.
The religious leaders prophesied delusion and folly. They didn't expose her iniquity, which would have restored her fortunes, but they prophesied delusion and deception. They make us excuses as to why they have been humiliated and destroyed, which are not actually the reason.
15 All that pass by
clap their hands at thee;
they hiss and wag their head
at the daughter of Jerusalem,
saying, Is this the city that men call
The perfection of beauty,
The joy of the whole earth?
The people passing by Jerusalem clap their hands, which could refer to the King of Assyria and the Lord's Servant. The hissing and wagging of their heads shows just how far Jerusalem has fallen from grace. From exaltation where the city was called Perfect in Beauty and Joy of All the Earth to complete desolation and destruction.
16 All thine enemies
have opened their mouth against thee:
they hiss and gnash the teeth:
they say, We have swallowed her up:
certainly this is the day that we looked for;
we have found, we have seen it.
Her enemies are in a state of gloating over the destruction. They take pride that they have ruined her and make fun of her. They wanted this to happen and are boasting that they have lived to see it happen.
17 The LORD hath done that which he had devised;
he hath fulfilled his word
that he had commanded in the days of old:
he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied:
and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee,
he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.
God planned this long ago that he would throw down his own people without pity. Now He has accomplished it. He orchestrated things in such a way that His own people's enemies rejoice at their downfall and empowered thier enemies over them so they could be destroyed.
18 Their heart cried unto the Lord,
O wall of the daughter of Zion,
let tears run down like a river
day and night:
give thyself no rest;
let not the apple of thine eye cease.
In their state of ruin they cry out the Lord and literally weep continually. They have no rest. It's implying that they should continue to pray to God.
19 Arise, cry out in the night:
in the beginning of the watches
pour out thine heart like water
before the face of the Lord:
lift up thy hands toward him
for the life of thy young children,
that faint for hunger
in the top of every street.
They are told to arise and cry out in the night when the guards first start their shifts. To arise means to come up from their current situation. They are told to pour out their hearts like water in the presence of the Lord. The lifting of the hands to Him implies a form of prayer literally and may also refer to both the King of Assyria and the Lord's Servant. They should keep praying because of their children who are starving on every street corner.
20 Behold, O LORD, and consider
to whom thou hast done this.
Shall the women eat their fruit,
and children of a span long?
shall the priest and the prophet be slain
in the sanctuary of the Lord?
They ask the Lord to look and see to who he had brought this great destruction upon. The women are eating their own babies they are so hungry. The religious leaders are killed in the Temple.
21 The young and the old
lie on the ground in the streets:
my virgins and my young men
are fallen by the sword;
thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger;
thou hast killed, and not pitied.
Basically everyone the young and old the men and women have been killed on the day of wrath or the the Day of Judgement that God brought on his own people and so He killed them without pity.
22 Thou hast called as in a solemn day
my terrors round about,
so that in the day of the LORD'S anger
none escaped nor remained:
those that I have swaddled and brought up
hath mine enemy consumed.
Just like on a holy or solemn day, the Lord summoned Zion's neighbors from roundabout and none survived or escaped the destruction on the Day of Judgement. Their children were consumed by their enemies.