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
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
The Book of Lamentations