Lamentations 2

Judgment on Jerusalem



1 How the Lord has overshadowed Daughter Zion with His anger! He has thrown down Israel's glory from heaven to earth. He has abandoned His footstool[a][b] in the day of His anger.[c]


2 Without compassion[d] the Lord has swallowed up all the dwellings of Jacob. In His wrath He has demolished the fortified cities[e] of Daughter Judah. He brought [them] to the ground and defiled the kingdom and its leaders.[f]


3 He has cut off every horn[g] of Israel in His burning anger and withdrawn His right hand in the presence of the enemy. He has blazed against Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything [in its path].


4 Like an enemy He has bent His bow;[h] His right hand is positioned like an adversary. He has killed everyone who was loved,[i] pouring out His wrath like fire on the tent of Daughter Zion.


5 The Lord is like an enemy; He has swallowed up Israel. He swallowed up all its palaces and destroyed its fortified cities. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation within Daughter Judah.[j]


6 He has done violence to His temple[k] as if [it were] a garden [booth], destroying His place of meeting.[l] The Lord has abolished appointed festivals and Sabbaths in Zion. He has despised king and priest in His fierce anger.


7 The Lord has rejected His altar, repudiated His sanctuary;[m] He has handed the walls of her palaces over to the enemy. They have raised a shout in the house of the Lord as on the day of an appointed festival.


8 The Lord determined to destroy the wall of Daughter Zion. He stretched out a measuring line[n] and did not restrain Himself from destroying. He made the ramparts and walls grieve; together they waste away.


9 Zion's gates have fallen to the ground;[o] He has destroyed and shattered the bars on her [gates]. Her king and her leaders [live] among the nations, instruction[p] is no more, and even her prophets receive no vision from the Lord.[q]


10 The elders of Daughter Zion sit on the ground in silence. They have thrown dust on their heads[r] and put on sackcloth. The young women of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground.[s]


11 My eyes are worn out from weeping;[t] I am churning within. My heart is poured out in grief[u][v] because of the destruction of my dear people,[w] because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.


12 They cry out to their mothers: Where is the grain and wine?[x] as they faint like the wounded in the streets of the city, as their lives fade away in the arms of their mothers.


13 What can I say on your behalf? To what can I compare you, Daughter Jerusalem? What can I liken you to, so that I may console you, Virgin Daughter Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea. Who can heal you?[y]


14 Your prophets saw visions for you that were empty and deceptive;[z] they did not reveal your guilt and so restore your fortunes.[aa] They saw oracles for you that were empty and misleading.


15 All who pass by [scornfully] clap their hands[ab] at you. They hiss[ac] and shake their heads[ad] at Daughter Jerusalem: Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty,[ae] the joy of the whole earth?[af]


16 All your enemies open their mouths against you.[ag] They hiss and gnash [their] teeth,[ah] saying, "We have swallowed [her] up.[ai] This is the day we have waited for! We have lived to see [it]."


17 The Lord has done what He planned; He has accomplished His decree, which He ordained in days of old. He has demolished without compassion,[aj] letting the enemy gloat over you and exalting the horn of your adversaries.


18 The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. Wall of Daughter Zion,[ak] let [your] tears run down like a river day and night.[al] Give yourself no relief and your[am] eyes no rest.


19 Arise, cry out in the night, from the first watch of the night. Pour out your heart like water before the Lord's presence.[an] Lift up your hands to Him for the lives of your children who are fainting from hunger on the corner of every street.[ao]


20 Lord, look and consider who You have done this to. Should women eat their own children, the infants they have nurtured?[ap] Should priests and prophets be killed in the Lord's sanctuary?


21 [Both] young and old are lying on the ground in the streets. My young men and women have fallen by the sword. You have killed [them] in the day of Your anger, slaughtering without compassion.[aq]


22 You summoned my attackers[ar] on every side,[as] as if [for] an appointed festival day; on the day of the Lord's anger no one escaped or survived. My enemy has destroyed those I nurtured[at] and reared.

Lamentations 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Lamentation for the misery of Jerusalem.

Verses 1-9 A sad representation is here made of the state of God's church, of Jacob and Israel; but the notice seems mostly to refer to the hand of the Lord in their calamities. Yet God is not an enemy to his people, when he is angry with them and corrects them. And gates and bars stand in no stead when God withdraws his protection. It is just with God to cast down those by judgments, who debase themselves by sin; and to deprive those of the benefit and comfort of sabbaths and ordinances, who have not duly valued nor observed them. What should they do with Bibles, who make no improvement of them? Those who misuse God's prophets, justly lose them. It becomes necessary, though painful, to turn the thoughts of the afflicted to the hand of God lifted up against them, and to their sins as the source of their miseries.

Verses 10-22 Causes for lamentation are described. Multitudes perished by famine. Even little children were slain by their mother's hands, and eaten, according to the threatening, ( Deuteronomy 28:53 ) . Multitudes fell by the sword. Their false prophets deceived them. And their neighbours laughed at them. It is a great sin to jest at others' miseries, and adds much affliction to the afflicted. Their enemies triumphed over them. The enemies of the church are apt to take its shocks for its ruins; but they will find themselves deceived. Calls to lamentation are given; and comforts for the cure of these lamentations are sought. Prayer is a salve for every sore, even the sorest; a remedy for every malady, even the most grievous. Our business in prayer is to refer our case to the Lord, and leave it with him. His will be done. Let us fear God, and walk humbly before him, and take heed lest we fall.

Footnotes 46

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains another alphabet, in which the Prophet Jeremiah, or those he represents, lament the sad condition of Jerusalem; the destruction of the city and temple, and of all persons and things relative to them, and to its civil or church state; and that as being from the hand of the Lord himself, who is represented all along as the author thereof, because of their sins, La 2:1-9; and then the elders and virgins of Zion are represented as in great distress, and weeping for those desolations; which were very much owing to the false prophets, that had deceived them, La 2:10-14; and all this occasioned great rejoicing in the enemies of Zion, La 2:15-17; but sorrow of heart to Zion herself, who is called to weeping, La 2:18,19; and the chapter is concluded with an address to the Lord, to take this her sorrowful case into consideration, and show pity and compassion, La 2:20-22.

Lamentations 2 Commentaries

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