Lamentations 2

1 See how the Lord covered the city of Zion with the cloud of his anger! He threw Israel's glory down from heaven to earth. When he was angry, he turned his back on his own city.
2 Without pity the Lord swallowed up all of the homes of Jacob's people. When he was angry, he tore down the forts of the people of Judah. He brought their kingdom and its princes down to the ground in dishonor.
3 When he burned with anger, he took away Israel's power. He pulled back his powerful right hand as the enemy approached. His burning anger blazed out in Jacob's land. It burned up everything that was near it.
4 Like an enemy the Lord got his bow ready to use. He had a sword in his right hand. Like an enemy he destroyed everything that used to be pleasing to him. His anger blazed out like fire. It burned up the homes in the city of Zion.
5 The Lord was like an enemy. He swallowed up Israel. He swallowed up all of its palaces. He destroyed its forts. He filled the people of Judah with sorrow and sadness.
6 The LORD's temple was like a garden. But he completely destroyed it. He destroyed the place where he used to meet with his people. He made Zion's people forget their appointed feasts and Sabbath days. When he was very angry, he turned his back on king and priest alike.
7 The Lord deserted his altar. He left his temple. He handed the walls of Jerusalem's palaces over to its enemies. They shouted loudly in the house of the Lord. You would have thought it was the day of an appointed feast.
8 The LORD decided to tear down the walls around the city of Zion. He measured out what he wanted to destroy. Then he destroyed it with his powerful hand. He made even its towers and walls sing songs of sadness. All of them fell down.
9 Its gates sank down into the ground. He broke their metal bars and destroyed them. Its king and princes were taken away to other nations. There is no law anymore. Jerusalem's prophets no longer receive visions from the Lord.
10 The elders of the city of Zion sit silently on the ground. They have sprinkled dust on their heads. They've put on black clothes to show how sad they are. The young women of Jerusalem have bowed their heads toward the ground.
11 I've cried so much I can't see very well. I'm suffering deep down inside. My heart is broken because my people are destroyed. Children and babies are fainting in the streets of the city.
12 They say to their mothers, "Where can we find something to eat and drink?" They faint like wounded soldiers in the streets of the city. Their lives are slipping away in their mothers' arms.
13 City of Jerusalem, what can I say about you? What can I compare you to? People of Zion, what are you like? I want to comfort you. Your wound is as deep as the ocean. Who can heal you?
14 The visions of your prophets were lies. They weren't worth anything. They didn't show you the sins you had committed. So that's why you were captured. The messages they gave you were lies. They led you down the wrong path.
15 All those who pass by clap their hands and make fun of you. They laugh at you and shake their heads at the city of Jerusalem. They say, "Could that be the city that was called perfect and beautiful? Is that the city that brought joy to everyone on earth?"
16 All of your enemies open their mouths wide against you. They laugh at you and grind their teeth. They say, "We have swallowed Jerusalem's people up. This is the day we've waited for. And we've lived to see it."
17 The LORD has done what he planned to do. He has made what he said come true. He gave the command long ago. He has destroyed you without pity. He has let your enemies laugh at you. He has made them stronger than you are.
18 People in the city of Zion, cry out from your heart to the Lord. Let your tears flow like a river day and night. Don't stop at all. Don't give your eyes any rest.
19 Get up. Cry out as the night begins. Tell the Lord all of your troubles. Lift up your hands to him. Pray that the lives of your children will be spared. At every street corner they faint because they are so hungry.
20 Jerusalem says, "Lord, look at me. Think about my condition. Have you ever treated anyone else like this? Should women have to eat their babies? Should they eat the children they've taken care of? Should priests and prophets be killed in your own temple?
21 "Young people and old people alike lie dead in the dust of my streets. My young women and young men have been killed with swords. You killed them when you were angry. You put them to death without pity.
22 "You sent for terrors to come against me on every side. It was as if you were inviting people to enjoy a feast day. Because you were angry, no one escaped. No one was left alive. I took good care of my children and brought them up. But my enemies have destroyed them."

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

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