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The Book of Lamentations: Chapter 1 and 2

The Book of Lamentations: Chapter 1 and 2


The book of Lamentation describes the funeral of a city.  It is a tearstained portrait of the once proud Jerusalem, now reduced to rubble by the invading Babylonians.  Jeremiah expresses his emotions in a five poem style of writing.  He uses all 22 Hebrews’ alphabets and in each chapter he declares his sorrow and anguish for the ruined Jerusalem.  Beginning each chapter with the first letter A (Aleph) he proclaims a death has occurred; Jerusalem lies barren.  Then, in the midst of this terrible holocaust, Jeremiah mightily cries out “Great is thy faithfulness” (Lam 3:23).  In the face of death and destruction, with life seemingly coming apart, Jeremiah turns great tragedy into a triumph of faith.  God has never fells His people in the past and He is not going to fells them now. God who has promised to remain faithful in the past will also be faithful in the future.  In this horrible time, Jeremiah continues to have hope and comfort in the God that he knows and loves.

I.       Chapter 1

A.     Jerusalem in Affliction v1-11

1.        From great to slave (vv. 1, 6, 7, 11)

2.        No comforter (vv. 2, 3)

3.        No spiritual life (vv. 4)

4.        Enemies becomes her master (vv. 5, 10)

5.        The Lord afflicted her because of her sins (vv. 5, 8, 9)

B.     The Lord Inflicted Jerusalem (12-22)

1.        Sorrow of Jeremiah (vv. 1, 16, 20)

2.        No one comfort Jeremiah (vv. 1, 17, 19, 20, 21)

3.        The wrath of God (vv. 13, 14, 15,)

4.        God righteous judgment (vv. 18, 22)

Chapter 1

1.         How lonely sits the city that was full of people!

How like a widow is she,

Who was great among the nations!

The princess among the provinces

has become a slave!

 2.        She weeps bitterly in the night,

her tears are on her cheeks;

among all her lovers she has none to comfort her.

All her friends have dealt treacherously with her;

they have become her enemies.

 3.        Judah has gone into captivity,

under affliction and

hard servitude;

she dwells among the nations,

she finds no rest; all

her persecutors overtake her in dire straits.

 4.  The roads to Zion mourn

because no one comes to the set feasts. All

her gates are desolate;

her priests sigh,

her virgins are afflicted, and

she is in bitterness.

 5.        Her adversaries have become the master,

her enemies prosper;

for the Lord has afflicted her

because of the multitude of her transgressions.

Her children have gone into captivity before the enemy.

 6.  And from the daughter of Zion all

her splendor has departed.

Her princes have become like deer        that find no pasture,

that flee without strength before the pursuer.

 7.  In the days of

her affliction and roaming,

Jerusalem remembers all her pleasant things that she had

in the days of old. When

her people fell into the hand of the enemy,

with no one to help her,

the adversaries saw her and

mocked at her downfall.

 8.        Jerusalem has sinned grievously, therefore

she has become vile.

All who honored her despise her because

they have seen her nakedness; yes, she sighs and turns away.

 9.        Her uncleanness is in her skirts;

she did not consider her destiny; therefore

her collapse was awesome;

she had no comforter. "O Lord, behold my affliction, for

the enemy has magnified himself!''

 10.                                                      The adversary has spread his hand

over all her pleasant things; for

she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary,

those whom You commanded not to enter Your congregation.

 11.      All her people sigh,

they seek bread;

they have given their valuables for food to restore life.

"See, O Lord, and consider, for I am scorned.''



 12.  "Is it nothing to you,

all you who pass by?

Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,

which has been brought on me,

which the Lord has inflicted on me in the day of His

fierce anger.

 13.      "From above

He has sent fire into my bones, and it overpowered them;

He has spread a net for my feet and turned me back;

He has made me desolate and faint all the day.

 14.      "The yoke of my transgressions was bound;

they were woven together by His hands, and thrust upon my neck.

He made my strength fail;

the Lord delivered me into the hands of those whom I am not able

to withstand.

15.                              The Lord has trampled underfoot all my mighty men in my midst;

He has called an assembly against me to crush my young men;

The Lord trampled as in a winepress the virgin daughter of Judah.

 16.  "For these things

I weep;

my eye,

my eye overflows with water;

because the comforter,

who should restore my life,

is far from me.

My children are desolate because the enemy prevailed.''

 17.      Zion spreads out her hands,

but there is no one to comfort her;

the Lord has commanded concerning Jacob that those around him

become his adversaries;

Jerusalem has become an unclean thing among them.


18.                   The Lord is righteous, for

I rebelled against His commandment.

Hear now,

all peoples, and

behold my sorrow;

my virgins and

my young men have gone into captivity.

 19.                              I called for my lovers, but

they deceived me;

my priests and

my elders breathed their last in the city, while   they sought food to restore their life.



 20.      See, O Lord, that

I am in distress;

my soul is troubled;

my heart is overturned within me, for

I have been very rebellious.

Outside the sword bereaves,

at home it is like death.

 21.      They have heard that I sigh,

with no one to comfort me.

All my enemies have heard of my trouble;

they are glad that You have done it.

Bring on the day that You have announced,

that they may become like me.

22.            Let all their wickedness come before You, and

do to them as You have done to me

for all my transgressions; for

my sighs are many, and

my heart is faint.''


II.    Chapter 2

God’s Anger Toward Jerusalem

1.        Judgment (vv. 1-8, 17, 20-22)

2.        Ruined Jerusalem (vv. 9, 10, 12, 13, 14)

3.        Enemies mock Jerusalem (vv. 15, 16)

4.        Jeremiah’s tears (vv. 11)

Chapter 2

 1.        How     the        Lord has covered

the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger!

He cast down from heaven to the earth

the beauty of Israel, and

(He) did not remember His footstool in the day of His anger.

 2.                    The      Lord has swallowed up and

has not pitied all the habitations of Jacob

He has thrown down in His wrath the strongholds of

the daughter of Judah;

He has brought them down to the ground;

He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.

 3.                                He has cut off in fierce anger every horn of Israel;

He has drawn back His right hand from before the enemy.

He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire which devours all


 4.        Standing like an enemy,

He has bent His bow; with His right hand, like an adversary,

He has slain all who were pleasing to His eye; on the tent of the

daughter of Zion,

He has poured out His fury like fire.

 5.        The Lord was like an enemy.

He has swallowed up Israel,

He has swallowed up all her palaces;

He has destroyed her strongholds, and

has increased    mourning and

lamentation in the daughter of Judah.

 6.                                He has done violence to His tabernacle, As if it were a garden;

He has destroyed His place of assembly; the

Lord has caused the appointed feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten

in Zion. In His burning indignation

He has spurned the king and the priest.

 7.  The                        Lord has spurned His altar,

He has abandoned His sanctuary;

He has given up            the walls of her palaces into

the hand of the enemy.

They have made a noise in

the house of the Lord as

on the day of a set feast.

 8.  The                        Lord has purposed to destroy

the wall of the daughter of Zion.

He has stretched out a line;

He has not withdrawn His hand from destroying; therefore

He has caused the rampart and wall to lament;

they languished together.

 9.                                                                    Her gates have sunk into the ground;

He has destroyed and broken her bars.

Her king and her princes are among the

nations; the Law is no more, and

her prophets find no vision from the Lord.

 10.                                                                  The elders of the daughter of Zion

sit on the ground and keep silence; they throw dust on their heads and

gird themselves with sackcloth.

The virgins of Jerusalem bow their heads to

the ground.

11.       My eyes fail with tears,

my heart is troubled;

my bile is poured on the ground

because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,

because the children and the infants faint in the streets of the city.

 12.      They say to their mothers,

Where is grain and wine?'' as they swoon like the wounded in the

streets of the city, as

their life is poured out in their mothers' bosom.

 13.      How shall

I console you? To what shall

I liken you, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall

I compare with you, that

I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion?

For your ruin is spread wide as the sea;

who can heal you?

14.            Your prophets have seen for you           false and deceptive visions;

they have not                                        uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your

captives, but have envisioned for you

false prophecies and delusions.

 15.      All who pass by clap their hands at you;

they hiss and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem:

Is this the city that is called `the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth'?''

 16.      All your enemies have opened their mouth against you;

they hiss and gnash their teeth.

They say, "We have swallowed her up!

Surely this is the day     we have waited for;

we have found it,

we have seen it.''

 17.      The      Lord has done what He purposed;

He has fulfilled His word which He commanded in days of old.

He has thrown down and has not pitied, and

He has caused your enemy to rejoice over you;

He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.

 18.      Their heart cried out to the Lord,

O wall of the daughter of Zion,

let tears run down like a river day and night;

give yourself no relief;

give your eyes no rest.

19.       "Arise,                          cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches;

pour out your heart like water before the face of the


Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your

young children,

who faint from hunger at the

head of every street.''

 20.  "See, O Lord, and consider!

To whom have You done this?

Should the women eat their offspring,

the children they have cuddled?

Should the priest and prophet be slain in the

sanctuary of the Lord?





 21.                                                      Young and old lie on the ground in the streets;

my virgins and

my young men have fallen by the sword;

You have slain them in the day of Your anger,

you have slaughtered and not pitied.

22.            You have invited as to a feast day the terrors that surround me.

In the    day of the Lord's anger there was no

refugee or survivor.

Those whom I have      borne and

brought up my enemies have