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Lamentations 4

1 - How the gold has become dim!The most pure gold has changed!The stones of the sanctuary are poured outat the head of every street.

2 - The precious sons of Zion,comparable to fine gold,how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers,the work of the hands of the potter!

3 - Even the jackals draw offer their breast.They nurse their young ones.But the daughter of my people has become cruel,like the ostriches in the wilderness.

4 - The tongue of the nursing child clings to the roof of his mouth for thirst.The young children ask bread,and no one breaks it for them.

5 - Those who ate delicacies are desolate in the streets.Those who were brought up in purple embrace dunghills.

6 - For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom,which was overthrown as in a moment.No hands were laid on her.

7 - Her nobles were purer than snow.They were whiter than milk.They were more ruddy in body than rubies.Their polishing was like sapphire.

8 - Their appearance is blacker than a coal.They are not known in the streets.Their skin clings to their bones.It is withered.It has become like a stick.

9 - Those who are killed with the sword are better than those who are killed with hunger;For these pine away, stricken through,for lack of the fruits of the field.

10 - The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children.They were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

11 - The LORD has accomplished his wrath.He has poured out his fierce anger.He has kindled a fire in Zion,which has devoured its foundations.

12 - The kings of the earth didn't believe,neither did all the inhabitants of the world,that the adversary and the enemy would enter into the gates of Jerusalem.

13 - It is because of the sins of her prophetsand the iniquities of her priests,That have shed the blood of the just in the middle of her.

14 - They wander as blind men in the streets.They are polluted with blood,So that men can't touch their garments.

15 - "Go away!" they cried to them."Unclean! Go away! Go away! Don't touch!When they fled away and wandered, men said among the nations,"They can't live here any more."

16 - The LORD's anger has scattered them.He will not pay attention to them any more.They didn't respect the persons of the priests.They didn't favor the elders.

17 - Our eyes still fail,looking in vain for our help.In our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save.

18 - They hunt our steps,so that we can't go in our streets.Our end is near.Our days are fulfilled,for our end has come.

19 - Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the sky.They chased us on the mountains.They set an ambush for us in the wilderness.

20 - The breath of our nostrils,the anointed of The LORD,was taken in their pits;of whom we said,under his shadow we will live among the nations.

21 - Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Edom,that dwells in the land of Uz.The cup will pass through to you also.You will be drunken,and will make yourself naked.

22 - The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, daughter of Zion.He will no more carry you away into captivity.He will visit your iniquity, daughter of Edom.He will uncover your sins.

Lamentations Images and Notes

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

The First Day. Light.

Summary of The Book of Lamentations

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 First Day. Light.

Lamentations Resources

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

The Book of Lamentations

More About the Book of Lamentations
Lamentations in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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