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Lamentations 4:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Her Nazarites were purer than snow - נזיר nazir does not always signify a person separated under a religious vow; it sometimes denotes what is chief or eminent. It is applied to Joseph, Genesis 49:26.

Blayney therefore translates here, Her Nobles.

"Her nobles were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk;

They were ruddier on the bone than rubies; their veining was the sapphires."

On which he remarks: - "In the first line the whiteness of their skin is described, and in the second, their flesh;" and as גזר gazar signifies to divide and intersect, as the blue veins do on the surface of the body, these are without doubt intended.

Milk will most certainly well apply to the whiteness of the skin; the beautiful ruby to the ruddiness of the flesh; and the sapphire, in its clear transcendent purple, to the veins in a fine complexion. The reverse of this state, as described in the following verse, needs no explanation. The face was a dismal dark brown, the flesh gone, the skin shrivelled, and apparently wrapped round the bones.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The Nazarites from their temperance were remarkable for health and personal beauty, besides being held in religious veneration.

Rubies - Or, corals.

Their polishing was of sapphire - Or, their shape was “a sapphire.” The allusion is no longer to color, but to form. Their shape was exact and faultless as the cutting of a precious stone.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
What a change is here! Sin tarnishes the beauty of the most exalted powers and the most excellent gifts; but that gold, tried in the fire, which Christ bestows, never will be taken from us; its outward appearance may be dimmed, but its real value can never be changed. The horrors of the siege and destruction of Jerusalem are again described. Beholding the sad consequences of sin in the church of old, let us seriously consider to what the same causes may justly bring down the church now. But, Lord, though we have gone from thee in rebellion, yet turn to us, and turn our hearts to thee, that we may fear thy name. Come to us, bless us with awakening, converting, renewing, confirming grace.
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