Zion's Sufferings
Lamentations 5:5
Our necks are under persecution: we labor, and have no rest.

1. The words explained. This is the miserable servitude of a conquered people, this is the insulting and domineering pride of a potent and victorious enemy. When enemies come in power, menaces and insultations speak the pride, the venom, and bitterness of their hearts, whilst the Egyptians are Israel's masters, they will make their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar, and cause them to serve with rigour (Exodus 1:13, 14).

2. Insultations, aggravations of the Church's miseries. You may see by the deportment of these Assyrians to the Jews, what was their disposition, what was their nature. If you open the vessel you may taste the liquor. You may judge of wicked men's hearts by their speeches, by their usage of the saints (Matthew 12:34).

3. Wicked men care not what they do to augment the troubles of the saints.

4. The reason why their necks are under persecution. But why do they complain of the yoke, the burden, the persecution upon their necks; what, were not the rest of their members sensible of the pressure? though the rest were affected, yet now the principal weight lies upon their necks, because themselves had ever been a stiff-necked people before the Lord (Isaiah 48:4; Jeremiah 7:25, 26; Ezekiel 22:29). You may sometimes read of people's sin in the punishments that are laid upon them by the Lord (Hosea 4:6, 14; Zechariah 7:12, 13).

5. Sorrow without intermission very grievous. Intermissions are mercies, but pressures continued are very tedious; hop? deferred breaketh the heart, and misery daily augmented cannot but be crushing to the spirit. Wicked men, when they get God's people under their commands, are very insatiable in their exactions (Exodus 5:7, 8; Lamentations 1:3). But what have this people done that they can have no laxation, no ease, no rest, in the land of Babylon? There be two sins in special for which God brings this evil upon a people, violence to others (Jeremiah 51:34, 35, 38), and insatiableness or restlessness in the ways of sin. It is very likely God now pays her home with her own coin. She hath been exacting, and grating upon her servants; she is now a servant, and her masters do the like unto herself. She would not cease or rest from sin, now God hath laid restlessness upon her as a punishment for sin.

(D. Swift.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest.

WEB: Our pursuers are on our necks: We are weary, and have no rest.

Zion's Sufferings
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