Lamentations 5

Listen to Lamentations 5
1 LORD, remember what has happened to us. See how we have been disgraced!
2 Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.
3 We are orphaned and fatherless. Our mothers are widowed.
4 We have to pay for water to drink, and even firewood is expensive.
5 Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are exhausted but are given no rest.
6 We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough food to survive.
7 Our ancestors sinned, but they have died— and we are suffering the punishment they deserved!
8 Slaves have now become our masters; there is no one left to rescue us.
9 We hunt for food at the risk of our lives, for violence rules the countryside.
10 The famine has blackened our skin as though baked in an oven.
11 Our enemies rape the women in Jerusalem and the young girls in all the towns of Judah.
12 Our princes are being hanged by their thumbs, and our elders are treated with contempt.
13 Young men are led away to work at millstones, and boys stagger under heavy loads of wood.
14 The elders no longer sit in the city gates; the young men no longer dance and sing.
15 Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning.
16 The garlands have fallen from our heads. Weep for us because we have sinned.
17 Our hearts are sick and weary, and our eyes grow dim with tears.
18 For Jerusalem is empty and desolate, a place haunted by jackals.
19 But LORD, you remain the same forever! Your throne continues from generation to generation.
20 Why do you continue to forget us? Why have you abandoned us for so long?
21 Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!
22 Or have you utterly rejected us? Are you angry with us still?

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.

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO LAMENTATIONS 5

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