Skip to main content

Lamentations: Day 1

According to the Septuagint (an early Greek translation of the Old Testament) and many Biblical scholars, Jeremiah the prophet wrote Lamentations, right after the destruction of Jerusalem. As we saw in Jeremiah, the people of Judah disobeyed God for generations. As a result, God raised the Babylonians against Judah. Their King, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, executed its officials and exiled many of its inhabitants, including Zedekiah its King.

Lamentations consists of five poems, one for each chapter. Chapters 1-4 are types of acrostic poems where each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Unger’s Bible Handbook, Merrill F. Unger). The English word “Lamentations” comes from a Greek verb meaning “to cry aloud”, which accurately describes the book’s content (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary).

Jeremiah observes and mourns the destruction of Jerusalem in Lamentations; he does not predict these events. In doing so, Lamentations shows us the consequences of the sins of Judah. The book also offers a cry for restoration and provides a glimpse of the hope we have in God our Savior.

In chapter one we see a lament in the first person (12-22). Jerusalem, a widow and a slave (1), declares its woes, professes its just punishment, and calls for vindication against its enemies (Unger). Jeremiah chapter 50 prophecies about the destruction of Babylon, which was fulfilled when the empire of Persia overwhelmed the Babylonians. God’s justice will prevail.

Key Verse:
“See, O LORD, how distressed I am! I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed, for I have been most rebellious. Outside, the sword bereaves; inside, there is only death.” ~ Lamentations 1:20

Questions to ponder:

  • How does Lamentations chapter 1 shape your attitude toward sin?
  • What are the consequences of sin for the believing Christian?
Close Menu