Lamentations 2

1 ALEPH. How has the Lord darkened in his wrath the daughter of Sion! he has cast down the glory of Israel from heaven to earth, and has not remembered his footstool.
2 BETH. In the day of his wrath the Lord has overwhelmed as in the sea, not spared: he has brought down in his fury all the beautiful things of Jacob; he has brought down to the ground the strong-holds of the daughter of Juda; he has profaned her kings and her princes.
3 GIMEL. He has broken in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he has turned back his right hand from the face of the enemy, and has kindled a flame in Jacob as a fire, and it has devoured all things round about.
4 DALETH. He has bent his bow as an opposing enemy: he has strengthened his right hand as an adversary, and has destroyed all the desirable things of my eyes in the tabernacle of the daughter of Sion: he has poured forth his anger as fire.
5 HE. The Lord is become as an enemy: he has overwhelmed Israel as in the sea, he has overwhelmed her palaces: he has destroyed her strong-holds, and has multiplied the afflicted and humbled ones to the daughter of Juda.
6 VAU. And he has scattered his tabernacle as a vine, he has marred his feast: the Lord has forgotten the feast and the sabbath which he appointed in Sion, and in the fury of his wrath has vexed the king, and priest, and prince.
7 ZAIN. The Lord has rejected his altar, he has cast off his sanctuary, he has broken by the hand of the enemy the wall of her palaces; they have uttered their voice in the house of the Lord as on a feast day.
8 HETH. And he has turned to destroy the wall of the daughter of Sion: he has stretched out the measuring line, he has not turned back his hand from afflicting : therefore the bulwark mourned, and the wall was weakened with it.
9 TETH. Her gates are sunk into the ground: he has destroyed and broken to pieces her bars, her king and her prince among the Gentiles: there is no law, nay, her prophets have seen no vision from the Lord.
10 JOD. The elders of the daughter of Sion have sat upon the ground, they have kept silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloths: they have brought down to the ground the chief virgins in Jerusalem.
11 CHAPH. Mine eyes have failed with tears, my heart is troubled, my glory is cast down to the ground, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; while the infant and suckling swoon in the streets of the city.
12 LAMED. They said to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? while they fainted like wounded men in the streets of the city, while their souls were poured out into their mother's bosom.
13 MEM. What shall I testify to thee, or what shall I compare to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? who shall save and comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? for the cup of thy destruction is enlarged: who shall heal thee?
14 NUN. Thy prophets have seen for thee vanities and folly: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn back thy captivity; but they have seen for thee vain burdens, and worthless visions.
15 SAMECH. All that go by the way have clapped their hands at thee; they have hissed and shaken their head at the daughter of Jerusalem. Is this the city, they say, the crown of joy of all the earth?
16 AIN. All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they have hissed and gnashed their teeth, and said, We have swallowed her up: moreover this is the day which we looked for; we have found it, we have seen it.
17 PHE. The Lord has done that which he purposed; he has accomplished his word, the things which he commanded from the ancient days: he has thrown down, and has not spared: and he has caused the enemy to rejoice over thee, he has exalted the horn of him that afflicted thee.
18 TSADE. Their heart cried to the Lord, Ye walls of Sion, pour down tears like torrents day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eyes cease.
19 KOPH. Arise, rejoice in the night at the beginning of thy watch: pour out thy heart as water before the face of the Lord; lift up thy hands to him for the life of thine infants, who faint for hunger at the top of all the streets.
20 RHECHS. Behold, O Lord, and see for whom thou has gathered thus. Shall the women eat the fruit of their womb? the cook has made a gathering: shall the infants sucking at the breasts be slain? wilt thou slay the priest and prophet in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 CHSEN. The child and old man have lain down in the street: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity: thou hast slain with the sword and with famine; in the day of thy wrath thou hast mangled , thou has not spared.
22 THAU. He has called my sojourners round about to a solemn day, and there was not in the day of the wrath of the Lord any one that escaped or was left; whereas I have strengthened and multiplied all mine enemies.

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


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 Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.