The Book of Lamentations

Lamentations 2:5 - The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

Lamentations 5:19-22 - Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, [and] forsake us so long time? Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Lamentations
Hebrew Name - Eikah "How"
Greek Name - Threnos "Lament"
Author - Jeremiah (According to Tradition)
Date - 588 BC Approximately
Theme - 5 Poetic laments over the destruction of Jerusalem
Types and Shadows - In Lamentations Jesus is the weeping prophet

Summary of The Book of Lamentations

Quick Overview of Lamentations. – –1 – – a destroyed Jerusalem cries out for mercy – – 2 – –the Lord's chastisement and the effects – – 3 – – a cry from the heart of a chastened people – – 4 – – the horrors surrounding the siege and the fall of the city of Jerusalem – – 5 – – a lament and prayer for the restoration of Jerusalem.

In the Hebrew the word for the name of the book of Lamentations is "Eikah" which means "How." The book of  Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah according to Jewish tradition. The book contains five poems that depict the condition of the forsaken city of Jerusalem which had been burnt to the ground and utterly demolished by the Babylonians on the ninth of Av in the Jewish calendar in 586 BC, in contrast to the magnificent splendor that it once possessed. The reason for God's chastisement on the people of Judah and on the city of Jerusalem are spelled out in the form of an appeal made to God to remember the great suffering of his people and to take vengeance upon the conquerors of His city and the people of Judah.

The first four poems are arranged in an acrostic form with each containing 22 verses which correspond with the 22 consonants of the Hebrew alphabet. In chapter 3 each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is allotted 3 of the 66 verses which comprise the poem. Some conclude that the reason for this was because Israel had sinned from beginning to end (A-Z, or in the Hebrew aleph-tav).

Jeremiah, who wrote the lamentations was an eyewitness of the events, and this brought him great sorrow for he knew the people, he knew the city, he knew the children, and he knew the festivities that existed among the people of Judah.

Interesting note: The Jewish translators of the Septuagint (LXX) attribute Jeremiah as the author of the Lamentations, and so do other ancient translations: The Aramaic Targum, the Latin Vulgate, and the Syriac Peshitta, and the Babylonian Talmud.

Outline of the Book of Lamentations

The five lament poems are outlined here:

Lamentations 1 - Jerusalem's desolation is lamented
Lamentations 2 - God's wrath against the city of Jerusalem
Lamentations 3 - God's faithfulness is acknowledged
Lamentations 4 - God's faithfulness is viewed as chastisement
Lamentations 5 - God's faithfulness is worthy of trust

More About the Book of Lamentations
Lamentations in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament


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The Story of the Bible - The Old Testament, Quick Summary, About, Divisions, Timeline, Charts, Maps, Creation, Adam and Eve, The Flood, The Tower of Babel, Abraham the First Hebrew, Isaac, Son of Promise, Jacob and the 12 Tribes, Joseph and Egypt, Moses and the Exodus, The Giving of the Law, The Tabernacle, The Wilderness Wanderings, Joshua and the Promised Land, The Judges, Samuel the Prophet, Saul, Israel's First King, King David, King Solomon, The Divided Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom of Israel, The Southern Kingdom of Judah, The Assyrian Captivity, The Babylonian Captivity, The Return From Babylon, The Prophets, The Messiah, Conclusion, Bibliography and Credits

Summary of the Old Testament Books - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Read the Old Testament Stories - The 7 Days of Creation, The Fall of Man, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark


Bibliography Resources on the Old Testament

A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Revised and Expanded by Archer, 508 Pages, Pub. 2007

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