Our Passage: Jeremiah 8:14-9:4; 9:10-15; 9:22-23
Weeping of Jeremiah
Marc Chagall, Weeping of Jeremiah (detail), 1956. Lithograph, Musée national Marc Chagall, Nice, France.
"Marc Chagall (1887–1985), the acclaimed Jewish artist, was born in Russia but moved to France in 1910. ... In this illustration, the prophet Jeremiah holds fast the Torah scroll, mourning the loss of Jews during the Holocaust and oblivious to the people around him."
Source: https://www.bibleodyssey.org/tools/image-gallery/j/jeremiah-arts-chagall (visited 10/10/2021)
See also: Ismar David, "Reflections: Lamentations" (artwork for the JPS "Five Megilloth and Jonah") https://www.ismardavidarchive.org/work/reflections-lamentations/
"There is a Balm in Gilead" (with reference to Jeremiah 8:22), start approx 1.20
The prophet's lament (8:18-23)
John Bright (Union Theological Seminary of Virginia; d. 1995), Jeremiah (Anchor Bible Series, v. 21, 1965)
"One cannot be certain whether the prophet has here, with vivid imagination, projected himself into the midst of a disaster lying yet in the future, or whether these words were wrung from him as disaster actually struck. But the latter is more likely. The catastrophe described here seems clearly to be invasion, and scarcely (as some think) some lesser misfortune such as a drought. Perhaps the disturbed days prior to the Babylonian attack in 598/7, when (cf. Jer. 35:11, II Kings 24:2) the country was being ravaged by guerrilla bands, supply the setting." pp 65-66
Dalit Rom-Shiloni (Tel Aviv Univ.), Commentary to Jeremiah, The Jewish Study Bible (Oxford 2014)
Comment to 8:21-23. This second lament (DR: following vv. 18-20), unlike the first, does not accuse the people of any crime, and does not see God as involved in causing distress, but is a desperate call for salvation.
Michael Fishbane (U. of Chicago), Haftarot, JPS Bible Commentary, 2002
Equally puzzling is whether Jeremiah spoke the lament in Jer. 8:23, "Oh, that [mi yitten] my head were water," as well as the one in 9:1, "Oh, to be [mi yitteneni] in the desert," or whether the second lament is actually proclaimed by God Himself. The implications are momentous, but the passage remains ambiguous--due no doubt to the complex state of the prophet's consciousness and his identification with God's will and pathos."
"The intense symbiosis between Jeremiah and God is also a theme in rabbinic midrash. In one late formulation dealing with the exile and destruction, Rabbi Aha has God usurp Jeremiah's own words (from Jer. 8:23) when He says: "Israel cries during the night and Jeremiah cries during the day, but I shall cry day and night, as it is said: 'I would weep day and night for the slain of mhy people'" (Yalkut Shimoni, Jeremiah, 279)." -- p. 452
For every brother takes advantage (9.3)
Knowing God (earnest devotion) (9:23)
Michael Fishbane on Jer. 9:23 (p. 160, commentary to the Haftarah for Tzav)
Jeremiah 9:23 shows the link between these divine attributes (chesed, mishpat, tzedakah) and the covenant ideal.