Lamentations 5

1 Remember, LORD, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace.
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.
3 We have become fatherless, our mothers are widows.
4 We must buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price.
5 Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are weary and find no rest.
6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread.
7 Our ancestors sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment.
8 Slaves rule over us, and there is no one to free us from their hands.
9 We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the desert.
10 Our skin is hot as an oven, feverish from hunger.
11 Women have been violated in Zion, and virgins in the towns of Judah.
12 Princes have been hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect.
13 Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood.
14 The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music.
15 Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.
16 The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned!
17 Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim
18 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate, with jackals prowling over it.
19 You, LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.
20 Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long?
21 Restore us to yourself, LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old
22 unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.

Lamentations 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The Jewish nation supplicating the Divine favour.

Verses 1-16 Is any afflicted? Let him pray; and let him in prayer pour out his complaint to God. The people of God do so here; they complain not of evils feared, but of evils felt. If penitent and patient under what we suffer for the sins of our fathers, we may expect that He who punishes, will return in mercy to us. They acknowledge, Woe unto us that we have sinned! All our woes are owing to our own sin and folly. Though our sins and God's just displeasure cause our sufferings, we may hope in his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, and his kind providence. But the sins of a man's whole life will be punished with vengeance at last, unless he obtains an interest in Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree.

Verses 17-22 The people of God express deep concern for the ruins of the temple, more than for any other of their calamities. But whatever changes there are on earth, God is still the same, and remains for ever wise and holy, just and good; with Him there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. They earnestly pray to God for mercy and grace; Turn us to thee, O Lord. God never leaves any till they first leave him; if he turns them to him in a way of duty, no doubt he will quickly return to them in a way of mercy. If God by his grace renew our hearts, he will by his favour renew our days. Troubles may cause our hearts to be faint, and our eyes to be dim, but the way to the mercy-seat of our reconciled God is open. Let us, in all our trials, put our whole trust and confidence in his mercy; let us confess our sins, and pour out our hearts before him. Let us watch against repinings and despondency; for we surely know, that it shall be well in the end with all that trust in, fear, love, and serve the Lord. Are not the Lord's judgments in the earth the same as in Jeremiah's days? Let Zion then be remembered by us in our prayers, and her welfare be sought above every earthly joy. Spare, Lord, spare thy people, and give not thine heritage to reproach, for the heathen to rule over them.

Cross References 37

  • 1. Psalms 44:13-16; Psalms 89:50
  • 2. Psalms 79:1
  • 3. S Psalms 109:11
  • 4. Zephaniah 1:13
  • 5. Jeremiah 17:4
  • 6. S Exodus 22:24; Jeremiah 15:8; S Jeremiah 18:21
  • 7. S Isaiah 55:1; Ezekiel 4:16-17
  • 8. Isaiah 3:1
  • 9. S Nehemiah 9:37; Isaiah 47:6
  • 10. S Joshua 1:13
  • 11. Jeremiah 2:36; Hosea 5:13; Hosea 7:11; Hosea 9:3
  • 12. S Jeremiah 31:29
  • 13. Jeremiah 14:20; Jeremiah 16:12
  • 14. Nehemiah 5:15
  • 15. Zechariah 11:6
  • 16. S Job 30:30; S Lamentations 4:8-9
  • 17. S Genesis 34:29; Zechariah 14:2
  • 18. S Leviticus 19:32
  • 19. S Lamentations 2:6; Lamentations 4:16
  • 20. S Isaiah 24:8; Jeremiah 7:34
  • 21. S Jeremiah 25:10; Amos 8:10
  • 22. Psalms 89:39; S Jeremiah 13:18
  • 23. S Job 19:9
  • 24. S Isaiah 3:11; Jeremiah 14:20
  • 25. S Isaiah 1:5
  • 26. S Jeremiah 8:18
  • 27. Psalms 6:7
  • 28. S Job 16:8
  • 29. Psalms 74:2-3
  • 30. S Isaiah 27:10; Micah 3:12
  • 31. S 1 Chronicles 16:31
  • 32. S Psalms 45:6; Psalms 102:12,24-27
  • 33. S Psalms 13:1; Psalms 44:24
  • 34. S Psalms 71:11
  • 35. S Psalms 80:3; Isaiah 60:20-22
  • 36. S Psalms 53:5; Psalms 60:1-2; S Jeremiah 6:30
  • 37. S Isaiah 64:9

Chapter Summary


In this chapter are reckoned up the various calamities and distresses of the Jews in Babylon, which the Lord is desired to remember and consider, La 5:1-16; their great concern for the desolation of the temple in particular is expressed, La 5:17,18; and the chapter is concluded with a prayer that God would show favour to them, and turn them to him, and renew their prosperity as of old, though he had rejected them, and been wroth with them, La 5:19-22.

Lamentations 5 Commentaries

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