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Sufferings sent by God (2:1-22)
In this poem the main theme is that the calamity that has befallen Judah has been the work of God. He has humbled the exalted nation; he has turned her glory into darkness (2:1). City and field, temple and fortress have been destroyed by him. They expected God to be the defender of his people, but he has been the attacker. Far from showing pity towards them, he has been angry with them (2-5).
God has destroyed the temple and left it looking like an old broken-down hut in a neglected garden. Religious festivals and ceremonies have ceased. In the sacred house of God, heathen soldiers have shouted wildly as they plundered and smashed (6-7). As builders are thorough in measuring and building a wall, so God has been thorough in destroying Jerusalem’s wall. He has allowed the enemy to invade the city, and now all Jerusalem’s leaders are gone (8-9).
The writer weeps as he describes the scene in Jerusalem at the height of the siege. Starvation is widespread, and the city’s leaders can do nothing to help. Children search the streets for scraps of food till eventually they collapse and die (10-13).
Now that the city has fallen, people can see how the false prophets misled them in giving assurances of deliverance. They should have spoken like the genuine prophets, who condemned the people’s sins and warned of God’s judgment if they did not repent (14; cf. Jeremiah 14:13-16; Jeremiah 23:14-17). Now the genuine prophets’ predictions of judgment have come true. Jerusalem’s enemies mock the fallen city (15-17; cf. Jeremiah 24:8-10; Jeremiah 27:12-15).
Again the writer pictures the heartbreaking scene in besieged Jerusalem, with starving people crying out to God for mercy. Some even kill their own children for food (18-20). As pilgrims flock to Jerusalem at the time of an annual festival, so enemy soldiers now pour into the city, but only to slaughter its citizens (21-22).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Lamentations 2". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17