Jeremiah describes the LORD’s anger against Zion. He weeps over the destruction of Jerusalem. Finally, Jerusalem prays to the LORD God.
VERSE 1. How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He has cast the beauty of Israel down from heaven to the earth, and hasn’t remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.
VERSE 2. The Lord has swallowed up all the dwellings of Jacob without pity. He has thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah. He has brought them down to the ground. He has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
VERSE 3. He has cut off all the horn of Israel in fierce anger. He has drawn back his right hand from before the enemy. He has burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around.
burned up Jacob like a flaming fire. This was not the fire of the Holy Spirit. No, this was actual flames.
In Jeremiah chapter 52, Captain Nebuzaradan of the Babylonian Empire burned Jerusalem to the ground: the temple, the king’s palace, the homes, and large buildings.
VERSE 4. He has bent his bow like an enemy. He has stood with his right hand as an adversary. Has killed all that were pleasant to the eye. In the tent of the daughter of Zion, he has poured out his wrath like fire.
VERSE 5. The Lord has become as an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces. He has destroyed his strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation in the daughter of Judah.
NIV translation. The Lord is like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation for the Daughter of Judah.
The Lord is like an enemy. The people had been deep in sin for a long time. They came to see the LORD God as their enemy.
That’s one of the deadly side-effects of sin. It destroys our sense of the LORD God.
VERSE 6. He has violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden. He has destroyed his place of assembly. The LORD has caused solemn assembly and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion. In the indignation of his anger, he has despised the king and the priest.
he has despised the king. The political leaders were so corrupt that they could NOT be reformed. They could only be overthrown.
and the priest. Like the political leaders, the religious leaders were also so corrupt that they could NOT be reformed. They too could only be overthrown.
VERSE 7. The Lord has cast off his altar. He has abhorred his sanctuary. He has given the walls of her palaces into the hand of the enemy. They have made a noise in the LORD’s house, as in the day of a solemn assembly.
VERSE 8. The LORD has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion. He has stretched out the line. He has not withdrawn his hand from destroying; He has made the rampart and wall lament. They languish together.
VERSE 9. Her gates have sunk into the ground. He has destroyed and broken her bars. Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not. Yes, her prophets find no vision from the LORD.
her prophets find no vision from the LORD. Here is another deadly side-effect of sin.The LORD God no longer sends messages or visions to the prophets. The gift of prophecy dries up. People no longer know what the LORD God is telling them.
VERSE 10. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground. They keep silence. They have cast up dust on their heads. They have clothed themselves with sackcloth. The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
The virgins of Jerusalem. What does the Book of Lamentations say about women? Here are all the verses we found in Lamentations that mention a woman. Read more »
VERSE 11. My eyes fail with tears. My heart is troubled. My liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city.
My eyes fail with tears. Jeremiah loved Jerusalem. He is deeply grieved that it was destroyed.
VERSE 12. They ask 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.
They ask their mothers. What does the Book of Lamentations say about women? Here are all the verses we found in Lamentations that mention a woman. Read more »
VERSE 13. What shall I testify to you? What shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion? For your breach is as big as the sea. Who can heal you?
VERSE 14. Your prophets have seen false and foolish visions for you. They have not uncovered your iniquity, to reverse your captivity, but have seen for you false revelations and causes of banishment.
NASB translation. Your prophets have seen for you False and foolish visions; And they have not exposed your iniquity So as to restore you from captivity, But they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.
False and foolish visions. Here is yet another deadly side-effect of sin. Without authentic prophets speaking authentic messages from God, there is a power vacuum. Fools rush in to fill it. They declare themselves prophets. They pretend to speak messages from God. However, the message is merely from themselves. They are false prophets.
VERSE 15. All that pass by clap their hands at you. 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’?”
NASB translation. All who pass along the way Clap their hands in derision at you; They hiss and shake their heads At the daughter of Jerusalem, “Is this the city of which they said, ‘ The perfection of beauty, A joy to all the earth’?”
The perfection of beauty. Another deadly side-effect of sin is that beauty is destroyed. Sin made Jerusalem ugly. And it makes us ugly.
In our own lives, God has given each of us beauty in some way or other. It might be physical. Or we might have a beautiful intellect. Perhaps we’re witty. Maybe we are inventive. Whatever the form of beauty, sin can destroy it.
A joy to all the earth. The LORD God meant for Jerusalem to be a joy. But this is another treasure that was destroyed by sin. Sin took away her own joy. And other people no longer found any joy in Jerusalem.
Sin does this to us. We lose our own joy. And we are no longer a joy to other people.
VERSE 16. All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you. They hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, “We have swallowed her up. Certainly this is the day that we looked for. We have found it. We have seen it.”
VERSE 17. The LORD has done that which he planned. He has fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old. He has thrown down, and has not pitied. He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you. He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.
VERSE 18. Their heart cried to the Lord. O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night. Give yourself no relief. Don’t let the your eyes rest.
let tears run down like a river. Jeremiah cried and cried and cried.
VERSE 19. Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift up your hands toward him for the life of your young children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.
VERSE 20. “Look, LORD, and see to whom you have done thus! Should the women eat their offspring, the children that they held and bounced on their knees? Should the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?
women. What does the Book of Lamentations say about women? Here are all the verses we found in Lamentations that mention a woman. Read more »
eat their offspring. This shows that one of the curses in Deuteronomy chapter 28 has been fulfilled:
Deuteronomy 28:53. You will eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies will distress you.
Lamentations 2:20. “Look, LORD, and see to whom you have done thus! Should the women eat their offspring, the children that they held and bounced on their knees? Should the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?
Ezekiel 5:10. Therefore the fathers will eat the sons within you, and the sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments on you; and I will scatter the whole remnant of you to all the winds.
VERSE 21. “The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets. My virgins and my young men have fallen by the sword. You have killed them in the day of your anger. You have slaughtered, and not pitied.
My virgins. What does the Book of Lamentations say about women? Here are all the verses we found in Lamentations that mention a woman. Read more »
VERSE 22. “You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side. There was no one that escaped or remained in the day of the LORD’s anger. My enemy has consumed those whom I have cared for and brought up.
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