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ח (Khet)

Jerusalem committed terrible sin;[a]
therefore she became an object of scorn.[b]
All who admired[c] her have despised her[d]
because they have seen her nakedness.[e]
She groans aloud[f]
and turns away in shame.[g]

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Footnotes

  1. Lamentations 1:8 tc The MT reads חֵטְא (khetʾ, “sin”), but the BHS editors suggest the vocalization חָטֹא (khatoʾ, “sin”), Qal infinitive absolute.
  2. Lamentations 1:8 tn Heb “she has become an object of head-nodding” (לְנִידָה הָיָתָה, leniydah hayatah). This reflects the ancient Near Eastern custom of shaking the head in scorn (e.g., Jer 18:16; Ps 44:15 [14 HT]), hence the translation “object of scorn.” There is debate whether נִידָה (nidah) means (1) “object of head-shaking” from נוּד (nud, “to shake,” BDB 626-27 s.v. נוּד); (2) “unclean thing” from נָדַה (nadah, “to be impure”); or (3) “wanderer” from נָדַד (nadad, “to wander,” BDB 622 s.v. I נָדַד). The LXX and Rashi connected it to נָדַד (nadad, “to wander”); however, several important early Greek recensions (Aquila and Symmachus) and Syriac translated it as “unclean thing.” The modern English versions are split: (1) “unclean thing” (NASB); “unclean” (NIV); (2) “a mockery” (NRSV).
  3. Lamentations 1:8 sn The Piel participle of כָּבֵד (kaved) is infrequent and usually translated formulaically as those who honor someone. The feminine nuance may be best represented as “her admirers have despised her.”
  4. Lamentations 1:8 tn The verb הִזִּילוּהָ (hizziluha) is generally understood as a rare form of Hiphil perfect third person common plural + third person feminine singular suffix from I זָלַל (zalal, “to despise”): “they despise her.” This follows the I nun (ן) pattern with daghesh (dot) in zayin (ז) rather than the expected geminate pattern הִזִילּוּהָ (hizilluha) with daghesh in lamed (ל) (GKC 178-79 §67.l).
  5. Lamentations 1:8 sn The expression have seen her nakedness is a common metaphor to describe the plunder and looting of a city by a conquering army, probably drawn on the ignominious and heinous custom of raping the women of a conquered city as well.
  6. Lamentations 1:8 tn Heb “groan” or “sigh.” The verb אָנַח (ʾanakh, appearing only in Niphal) means “sigh” (BDB 58 s.v. 1) or “groan” (HALOT 70-71 s.v.) as an expression of grief (Prov 29:2; Isa 24:7; Lam 1:4, 8; Ezek 9:4; 21:11). The word גַּם (gam) is usually a particle meaning “also,” but has been shown from Ugaritic to have the meaning “aloud.” See T. McDaniel, “Philological Studies in Lamentations, I-II,” Bib 49 (1968): 31-32.
  7. Lamentations 1:8 tn Heb “and turns backward.”

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