Lamentations 2

1 Aleph How has the Lord darkened the daughter of Zion in his anger! He has cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel and not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger!
2 Beth The Lord has destroyed and has not forgiven; he has destroyed in his wrath all the habitations of Jacob; he has thrown down to the ground the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he has polluted the kingdom and its princes.
3 Gimel He has cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel; he has caused his right hand to draw back in the presence of the enemy, and he burned in Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours round about.
4 Daleth He has bent his bow like an enemy; he strengthened his right hand as an adversary and slew everything of beauty that could be seen in the tent of the daughter of Zion; he poured out his fury like fire.
5 He The Lord was as an enemy, he has destroyed Israel; he has destroyed all her palaces; he has dissipated his strong holds and has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
6 Vau And he has violently taken away his tabernacle as if it were of a garden; he has destroyed his congregation; the LORD has caused the solemnities and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion and has rejected in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
7 Zain The Lord has cast off his altar; he has abhorred his sanctuary; he has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have shouted in the house of the LORD as in the day of a feast.
8 Cheth The LORD has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; he has stretched out the line; he has not withdrawn his hand from destroying; therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they were destroyed together.
9 Teth Her gates were thrown to the ground; he has destroyed and broken her bars; her king and her princes are carried off among the Gentiles; there is no law; nor have her prophets found vision from the LORD.
10 Jod The elders of the daughter of Zion sat upon the ground and are silent: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth; the daughters of Jerusalem hung their heads down to the ground.
11 Caph My eyes fail with tears; my bowels are troubled; my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people because the children and the sucklings faint in the streets of the city.
12 Lamed They said to their mothers, Where is the wheat and the wine? fainting as the dead in the streets of the city, pouring out their souls into their mothers’ bosom.
13 Mem What witness shall I take to thee? Or unto whom shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? Unto whom shall I compare thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is as great as the sea: who shall heal thee?
14 Nun Thy prophets have preached vanity and foolishness unto thee; and they have not uncovered thine iniquity to turn away thy captivity but have preached unto thee vain prophecies and digressions.
15 Samech All that passed by clapped their hands over thee and whistled and wagged their heads over the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?
16 Pe All thine enemies opened their mouths regarding thee; they whistled and gnashed their teeth; they said, Swallow her up; certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found it, we have seen it.
17 Ain The LORD has done that which he had determined; he has fulfilled his word that he had commanded from the time of old; he has destroyed and has not forgiven; and he has caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee; he has raised up the horn of thine adversaries.
18 Tsade Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion; let tears run down like a river day and night; give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease.
19 Koph Arise, cry out in the night; in the beginning of the watches; pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord; lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children that faint for hunger in the top of every street.
20 Resh Look, O LORD, and consider unto whom thou hast shaken thus. Shall the women eat their fruit, the little ones that they are bringing up? shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 Schin The young and the old lay on the ground in the streets; my virgins and my young men fell by the sword; thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed and hast not forgiven.
22 Tau Thou hast called as to a day of solemnity my terrors from everywhere, so that in the day of the LORD’s anger no one escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up my enemy has consumed.

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.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO LAMENTATIONS 2

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

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

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