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Bible Commentaries
Lamentations 2

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verses 1-22

Lam 2:1-22

Jehovah had poured out His anger and

wrath upon a disobedient people

(Lamentations 2:1-22)

How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He hath cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, And hath not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger. The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: He hath thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He hath brought them down to the ground; he hath profaned the kingdom and the princes thereof. He hath cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel; He hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy: And he hath burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about. He hath bent his bow like an enemy, he hath stood with his right hand as an adversary, And hath slain all that were pleasant to the eye: In the tent of the daughter of Zion he hath poured out his wrath like fire (Lamentations 2:1-4).

Jeremiah had proclaimed to the rebellious nation of Judah that Jehovah God would fight against them as their enemy for their sinful deeds“ (Jer”. 21:5)“.Note the repeated use of the terms wrath and fierce anger. Tracing back the reason for these actions and emotions we find the source being Judah s sin. God is made angry and filled with wrath against those who continue in their sins!

The Lord is become as an enemy, he hath swallowed up Israel; He hath swallowed up all her palaces, he hath destroyed his strongholds; And he hath multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he hath destroyed his place of assembly: Jehovah hath caused solemn assembly and sabbath to be forgotten in Zion, And hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest. The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary; He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces: They have made a noise in the house of Jehovah, as in the day of a solemn assembly (Lamentations 2:5-7).

The words “wrath” and “anger” are used six times in the first six verses. The people of Judah continued to worship Jehovah even though Jeremiah had revealed its fruitlessness. Judah considered her worship acceptable (Jeremiah 11:15; Jeremiah 14:11-12; Jeremiah 26:2) while the’ Lord saw it as unacceptable (Jeremiah 6:20). To further illustrate the polluted nature and the Lord s rejection of their worship, Jeremiah stated that Jehovah had violently taken away the tabernacle, destroyed the place of assembly, cast off His altar, abhorred his sanctuary, and “ despised both king and priest.

Jehovah hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He hath stretched out the line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying; And he hath made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together. Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not; Yea, her prophets find no vision from Jehovah. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, they keep silence; They have cast up dust upon their heads; They have girded themselves with sackcloth: The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground (Lamentations 2:8-10).

Not only was the place of worship destroyed with the king and priest, but the cities walls were torn down. No walls meant no gates and no closures to the city for protection. Such a state found (destruction of place of worship, city, and walls along with no king, priest, or prophet that speaks from God) its remaining citizens (elders and virgins of Jerusalem) sitting “ on the ground in deep depression.

Mine eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled; My liver is poured upon the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, Because the young children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city. They say to their mothers, Where is grain and wine? When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, When their soul is poured out into their mothers’ bosom. What shall I testify unto thee? what shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to thee, that I maycomfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?(Lamentations 2:11-13).

As Jeremiah beheld the crying babies and young children swooning through the streets in weakness and misery, his heart was broken. Overcome with emotions the prophet broke out in tears that he could not stop. His pain was as deep as the liver within his body. Though the prophet would that the situation was better, he realized that the wound of sin was deep and was incurable at this point (cf. Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 46:11). It is because of verses such as these that Jeremiah has often been referred to as the weeping prophet.

Thy prophets have seen for thee false and foolish visions; And they have not uncovered thine iniquity, to bring back thy captivity, But have seen for thee false oracles and causes of banishment (Lamentations 2:14).

Jeremiah had previously exposed the false prophets and their false doctrines, yet the people Interestingly,” we see here what the duty of the prophet was. They should have uncovered iniquity rather than cover it up. Rather than comforting sinners in their error ’(cf. Jeremiah 23:13-17), they should have exposed their sins and called for their repentance! God s people today are to expose rather than tolerate (cf. Ephesians 5:11)!

All that pass by clap their hands at thee; They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, [saying], Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth? All thine enemies have opened their mouth wide against thee; They hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up; Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it (Lamentations 2:15-16).

Jeremiah had foretold that the passers-by would do this very thing; i.e., hiss and so forth to exercise scorn over the fallen city and nation (cf. Jeremiah 19:8).would not hear(cf.Jeremiah chapter 23). Their jealousy over the years against Jerusalem was now vindicated in their minds.

Jehovah hath done that which he purposed; He hath fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old; He hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: And he hath caused the enemy to rejoice over thee; He hath exalted the horn of thine adversaries. Their heart cried unto the Lord: O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night; Give thyself no respite; let not the apple of thine eye cease. Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; Pour out thy heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy that faint for hunger at the head of every street (Lamentations 2:17-19).

From the days of old Jehovah’ had purposed the destruction of his people, city, and tabernacle because of Judah s rebellious and sinful ways. Jeremiah had warned the people with tears (Jeremiah 14:17-18). The prophet called upon Judah to lift up her voice and hands to the Lord and to repent of her sinfulness. The sore famine that claimed the lives of their children ought to have motivated Judah to give “ in to their rebellious and stubborn ways.

See, O Jehovah, and behold to whom thou hast done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord? The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: Thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; Thou hast slaughtered, [and] not pitied. Thou hast called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side; And there was none that escaped or remained in the day of Jehovah’s anger: Those that I have dandled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed (Lamentations 2:20-22).

A gruesome and terrible picture is painted regarding the ongoing suffering within the city walls as Babylon put on the siege. Women age their children; prophet and priest were murdered in the sanctuary of the Lord; young and old were dying of famine and disease; and virgins and young men of war were dying by the sword. The fierce anger of Jehovah God had wiped them clean and had not pitied the people in their plight.

Such a scene strikes terror into the reader. The loving and merciful Jehovah God had now turned His face from His people. He had sent them prophet after prophet to ’cause them to repent and turn yet Judah rejected and even killed them. The time of Jehovah s visitation of wrath had now come, and there was none to escape.

These words illustrate that God was the Lord of justice (cf. Jeremiah 9:23). Those who reject His divine standards will face the same wrath and indignation at the coming of Jesus (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:6 ff). The word of God is replete with warnings against those who would not obey the Lord s commandments (cf. Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 63:1 ff; Revelation 6:14-17; Revelation 14:9-10; Revelation 14:19-20).young children,

God’s Anger at Sin

Questions on Lamentations 2:1-22

Open It

1. If a close friend turned against you, what would you do?

2. How do you respond to graphic scenes of starving children?

3. When have you had to plead on behalf of something or someone?

Explore It

4.What did the Lord do to the Daughter of Zion? (Lamentations 2:1-2)

5. What happened to Judah’s strength and power? (Lamentations 2:3)

6. What had the Lord become like to the Israelites? (Lamentations 2:4-5)

7. In His anger, what did the Lord allow to happen? (Lamentations 2:6-7)

8. What became of the city? (Lamentations 2:8-9)

9. How did the destruction of the city affect the elders and young women? (Lamentations 2:10)

10.How did the author respond to the harrowing scenes of destruction? (Lamentations 2:11)

11. What happened to the children because of the consequences of war? (Lamentations 2:11-12)

12. How deep was the trouble that had overtaken God’s people? (Lamentations 2:13)

13. How had the false prophets misled the people? (Lamentations 2:14)

14. How did Israel’s enemies respond to her ruin? (Lamentations 2:15-16)

15. What was the fearless message of the true prophets? (Lamentations 2:17)

16. What was the suffering city told to do? (Lamentations 2:18-22)

Get It

17. When have you felt the Lord’s silence or anger against you?

18. How do you respond when you are treated harshly by those closest to you?

19. God’s people had sinned and He punished them for it; how does God deal with our sin today?

20. Why do you think God allows suffering?

21. What popular false teachings are set forth today by religious leaders?

22. In what ways have Christians today become complacent about sin?

23. How should Christians respond to the horrors of famine?

24. What does it mean to you to cry to the Lord from the depths of your heart?

Apply It

25. What can you give to help provide food for a hungry child?

26. When can you spend some time in prayer for an individual or group of people going through intense suffering?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Lamentations 2". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/lamentations-2.html.
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