The Meaning of Lamentations 4:20 Explained

Lamentations 4:20

KJV: The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.

YLT: The breath of our nostrils -- the anointed of Jehovah, Hath been captured in their pits, of whom we said: 'In his shadow we do live among nations.'

Darby: The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Jehovah, was taken in their pits; of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.

ASV: The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Jehovah, was taken in their pits; Of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.

What does Lamentations 4:20 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The enemy even captured the Davidic king, Zedekiah, who was as the very breath of life to the Judahites. The Judeans had evidently hoped to live under his authority in captivity, but now he was blind and in prison ( Jeremiah 52:7-11).
This section gives three causes for the siege: the sins of the priests and prophets ( Lamentations 4:13-16), reliance on foreign alliances ( Lamentations 4:17-19), and the capture of Zedekiah ( Lamentations 4:20).

Chapter Summary: Lamentations 4

1  Zion bewails her pitiful estate
13  She confesses her sins
21  Edom is threatened and Zion comforted

What do the individual words in Lamentations 4:20 mean?

The breath of our nostrils the anointed of Yahweh Was caught in their pits of whom we said Under his shadow we shall live among the nations -
ר֤וּחַ אַפֵּ֙ינוּ֙ מְשִׁ֣יחַ יְהוָ֔ה נִלְכַּ֖ד בִּשְׁחִיתוֹתָ֑ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָמַ֔רְנוּ בְּצִלּ֖וֹ נִֽחְיֶ֥ה בַגּוֹיִֽם ס

ר֤וּחַ  The  breath 
Parse: Noun, common singular construct
Root: רוּחַ  
Sense: wind, breath, mind, spirit.
אַפֵּ֙ינוּ֙  of  our  nostrils 
Parse: Noun, mdc, first person common plural
Root: אַף 
Sense: nostril, nose, face.
מְשִׁ֣יחַ  the  anointed 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular construct
Root: מָשִׁיחַ  
Sense: anointed, anointed one.
יְהוָ֔ה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
נִלְכַּ֖ד  Was  caught 
Parse: Verb, Nifal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: לָכַד  
Sense: to capture, take, seize.
בִּשְׁחִיתוֹתָ֑ם  in  their  pits 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, feminine plural construct, third person masculine plural
Root: שְׁחִית  
Sense: pit.
אֲשֶׁ֣ר  of  whom 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
אָמַ֔רְנוּ  we  said 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, first person common plural
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
בְּצִלּ֖וֹ  Under  his  shadow 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: צֵל  
Sense: shadow, shade.
נִֽחְיֶ֥ה  we  shall  live 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, first person common plural
Root: חָיָה  
Sense: to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live for ever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health.
בַגּוֹיִֽם  among  the  nations 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: גֹּוי 
Sense: nation, people.
ס  - 
Parse: Punctuation