The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are woven together, and come up upon my neck: he has made my strength to fall, the Lord has delivered me into their hands, from whom I am not able to rise up.
All Commentaries on Lamentations 1:14 Go To Lamentations 1
IS WEAKENED: the sixth topic of complaint, as when looking forward to
receiving good from the Lord he fell into the greatest distress.
Historical interpretation THE YOKE HAS WATCHED: THE YOKE of iniquity is to sleep, to rest securely and unpunished in the numbness of negligence, but it watches in the HAND of the Lord, whence Jeremiah: I see a rod watching, to whom the Lord: I will watch over my word to perform it. Indeed, the sins are skulking for us being sluggish, but they watch in the HAND of the Lord, when they accuse us as revenge of just retribution. Hence: The voice of thy brother’s blood cries to me from the earth. THEY ARE FOLDED, just as a weight to press, AND PUT UPON MY NECK. Instead of a golden necklace she is encircled by a cord of iniquity, whence: Everyone is fast bound with the ropes of his own sins. Thus, she is given into the hands of the sinners, and she would not be able to rise, until the fullness of the gentiles enters, which NUN signifies, that is interpreted ‘everlasting’. Indeed, her yoke is everlasting, and her captivity eternal.
Allegorical interpretation THE YOKE HAS WATCHED: when the Church is disturbed by temptations, the yoke of her iniquities watches IN THE HAND OF THE LORD, and she is subjected to her enemies, invisible as well as visible, the collars being dismissed with, that the bridegroom had given her for decoration, whence she says sighing: THEY ARE FOLDED TOGETHER AND PUT UPON MY NECK. Hence Isaiah says: Because the daughters of Zion have walked with stretched out necks, one ought to strip her of all embellishment and among other things chains and necklaces. Chains hanging on the breast show the understanding of the mind. Necklaces signify every embellishment, which when disposed of, the men of the Church in an effeminate affection walk about with stretched out necks, they speak with winks of the eyes, clapping their hands and feet, to step with ordered pace, pursuing worldly glory. She is therefore justly burdened by the yoke of her INIQUITIES, who is deprived of such embellishments of virtue, whence her iniquities, FOLDED with an indissoluble cord and PUT UPON her NECK, are lamented, with which some limbs are suffocated, as we read that Judas hanged himself with a halter. Hence is added: MY STRENGTH IS WEAKENED, because the impious will be given to everlasting death, where their worm dies not, and the fire is not extinguished. For just as the sentence above, which is entitled MEN, that is ‘from them’, which, namely, the Lord sends from heaven, turns her to penitence, so NUN, that is interpreted ‘everlasting’, drives her to destruction because of the yoke of her iniquities, so that, by the just judgement of God and according to her impenitent heart, she will fall into everlasting punishment. She charges herself and deplores, not that the Church, predestined to life, is given to these punishments, but that it happens to her own limbs.
Moral interpretation THE YOKE HAS WATCHED: THE YOKE of the soul watches in THE HAND of the Lord, the soul, who has subjected herself to vices and evil deeds, unless she by making daily satisfaction puts them before her own eyes. Hence: My sin is always before me. For David wanted to watch and wash away his sins with tears, for their yoke not to stand watch in the hands of the Lord, whence: Turn away thy face from my sins. As if: ‘I wish not they would stand watch in your hand, but I watch against my sins and I atone for them with tears, for you not to put folded iniquities upon my neck, nor to deliver me ME INTO A HAND OUT OF WHICH I AM NOT ABLE TO RISE.’