Lamentations 5

1 Remember, O Lord, what has happened to us: behold, and look on our reproach.
2 Our inheritance has been turned away to aliens, our houses to strangers:
3 we are become orphans, we have no father, our mothers are as widows.
4 We have drunk our water for money; our wood is sold to us on our neck:
5 we have been persecuted, we have laboured, we have had no rest.
6 Egypt gave the hand , Assur to their own satisfaction.
7 Our fathers sinned, are not: we have borne their iniquities.
8 Servants have ruled over us: there is none to ransom out of their hand.
9 We shall bring in our bread with our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness.
10 Our skin is blackened like an oven; they are convulsed, because of the storms of famine.
11 They humbled the women in Sion, the virgins in the cities of Juda.
12 Princes were hanged up by their hands: the elders were not honoured.
13 The chosen men lifted up weeping, and the youths fainted under the wood.
14 And the elders ceased from the gate, the chosen men ceased from their music.
15 The joy of our heart has ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
16 The crown has fallen our head: yea, woe to us! for we have sinned.
17 For this has grief come; our heart is sorrowful: for this our eyes are darkened.
18 Over the mountain of Sion, because it is made desolate, foxes have walked therein.
19 But thou, O Lord, shalt dwell for ever; thy throne to generation and generation.
20 Wherefore wilt thou utterly forget us, and abandon us a long time?
21 Turn us, O Lord, to thee, and we shall be turned; and renew our days as before.
22 For thou hast indeed rejected us; thou hast been very wroth against us.

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.

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

The Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.