Lamentations 2:10New English Translation (NET Bible)
10 The elders of Daughter Zion sit[a] on the ground in silence.[b] They have thrown dirt on their heads; They have dressed in sackcloth.[c] Jerusalem’s young women[d] stare down at the ground.[e]
Lamentations 2:10tc Consonantal ישׁבו (yshvy) is vocalized by the MT as יֵשְׁבוּ (yeshevu), Qal imperfect third person masculine plural from יָשַׁב (yashav, “to sit”): “they sit on the ground.” However, the ancient versions (Aramaic Targum, Greek Septuagint, Syriac Peshitta, Latin Vulgate) reflect a Qal perfect vocalization: יָשְׁבוּ (yashevu, “they have sat [down]”).
Lamentations 2:10tnHeb “they sit on the ground; they are silent.” Based on meter, the two verbs יִדְּמוּ…יֵשְׁבוּ (yeshevu…yiddemu, “they sit…they are silent”) are in the same half of the line. Joined without a ו (vav) conjunction they form a verbal hendiadys. The first functions in its full verbal sense while the second functions adverbially: “they sit in silence.” The verb יִדְּמוּ (yiddemu) may mean to be silent or to wail.
Lamentations 2:10tnHeb “they have girded themselves with sackcloth.” sn Along with putting dirt on one’s head, wearing sackcloth was a sign of mourning.
Lamentations 2:10tnHeb “the virgins of Jerusalem.” The term “virgins” is a metonymy of association, standing for single young women who are not yet married. These single women are in grief because their potential suitors have been killed. The elders, old men, and young women function together as a merism for all of the survivors (F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp, Lamentations [IBC], 92).
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