, ,


Gone to exile


Among the peoples

no peace.

Her pursuers pounced
And trapped her tight.

Lamentations 1:3 (BHS/WHM 4.2)
3 גָּֽלְתָ֨ה יְהוּדָ֤ה מֵעֹ֙נִי֙ וּמֵרֹ֣ב עֲבֹדָ֔ה הִ֚יא יָשְׁבָ֣ה בַגּוֹיִ֔ם לֹ֥א מָצְאָ֖ה מָנ֑וֹחַ כָּל־רֹדְפֶ֥יהָ הִשִּׂיג֖וּהָ בֵּ֥ין הַמְּצָרִֽים׃ ס
גָּֽלְתָ֨ה יְהוּדָ֤ה מֵעֹ֙נִי֙ וּמֵרֹ֣ב עֲבֹדָ֔ה

The question is how to translate “min”: from or because of. Chou explains, “The key issue in this debate is whether the writer refers to events that took place before Jerusalem’s fall (warranting the translation “after”; see Provan, 38; Hillers, 7, 19; Longman, 344) or because of Jerusalem’s fall (warranting the translation “because of”).” Abner Chou, Lamentations: Evangelical Exegetical Commentary, Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014), La 1:3.

I think the stronger argument lies with “because of”: her current state is one of slavery and solitude. The phrase “among the nations (people)” is a common phrase in the OT: 76 uses. In those places where it mentions judgment, it is a negative phrase: Israel will be cast out among the nations. For example, “And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.” Leviticus 26:33 (ESV)

The instant verse contains direct allusions to Deuteronomy 28

Deuteronomy 28:64–65 (ESV)
64 “And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but the Lord will give you there a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul.

Thus, the distress afflictions and much servitude is what will happen in their exile for sin.

Rather than directly translate the “min”, I used an ellipsis.
הִ֚יא יָשְׁבָ֣ה בַגּוֹיִ֔ם לֹ֥א מָצְאָ֖ה מָנ֑וֹחַ
This clause is quite close to Deuteronomy 28:65, “וּבַגּוֹיִ֤ם הָהֵם֙ לֹ֣א תַרְגִּ֔יעַ וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה מָנ֖וֹח”

She dwelt/dwells among the nations
She finds no rest.

I used peoples/peace for alliteration
כָּל־רֹדְפֶ֥יהָ הִשִּׂיג֖וּהָ בֵּ֥ין הַמְּצָרִֽים׃

This is the reason for her distress: her pursuers caught her in a strait place.