Lamentations Chapter 1
1 How the city sits solitary, that was full of people! She has become as a widow, who was great amongst the nations! She who was a princess amongst the provinces has become a slave!
2 She weeps bitterly in the night. Her tears are on her cheeks. Amongst all her lovers she has no one to comfort her. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her. They have become her enemies.
3 Judah has gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude. She dwells amongst the nations. She finds no rest. All her persecutors overtook her within the straits.
4 The roads to Zion mourn, because no one comes to the solemn assembly. All her gates are desolate. Her priests sigh. Her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness.
5 Her adversaries have become the head. Her enemies prosper; for the LORD has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions. Her young children have gone into captivity before the adversary.
6 All majesty has departed from the daughter of Zion. Her princes have become like deer that find no pasture. They have gone without strength before the pursuer.
7 Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that were from the days of old; when her people fell into the hand of the adversary, and no one helped her. The adversaries saw her. They mocked at her desolations.
8 Jerusalem has grievously sinned. Therefore she has become unclean. All who honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness. Yes, she sighs, and turns backward.
9 Her filthiness was in her skirts. She didn't remember her latter end. Therefore she has come down astoundingly. She has no comforter. "See, LORD, my affliction; for the enemy has magnified himself."
10 The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things; for she has seen that the nations have entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom you commanded that they should not enter into your assembly.
11 All her people sigh. They seek bread. They have given their pleasant things for food to refresh their soul. "Look, LORD, and see; for I have become despised."
12 "Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look, and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me, with which the LORD has afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
13 "From on high has he sent fire into my bones, and it prevails against them. He has spread a net for my feet. He has turned me back. He has made me desolate and I faint all day long.
14 "The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand. They are knit together. They have come up on my neck. He made my strength fail. The Lord has delivered me into their hands, against whom I am not able to stand.
15 "The Lord has set at nothing all my mighty men within me. He has called a solemn assembly against me to crush my young men. The Lord has trodden the virgin daughter of Judah as in a wine press.
16 "For these things I weep. My eye, my eye runs down with water, because the comforter who should refresh my soul is far from me. My children are desolate, because the enemy has prevailed."
17 Zion spreads out her hands. There is no one to comfort her. The LORD has commanded concerning Jacob, that those who are around him should be his adversaries. Jerusalem is amongst them as an unclean thing.
18 "The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment. Please hear all you peoples, and see my sorrow. My virgins and my young men have gone into captivity.
19 "I called for my lovers, but they deceived me. My priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city, while they sought food for themselves to refresh their souls.
20 "Look, LORD; for I am in distress. My heart is troubled. My heart turns over within me, for I have grievously rebelled. Abroad, the sword bereaves. At home, it is like death.
21 "They have heard that I sigh. There is no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my trouble. They are glad that you have done it. You will bring the day that you have proclaimed, and they will be like me.
22 "Let all their wickedness come before you. Do to them as you have done to me for all my transgressions. For my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.
- Verse 5 (LORD)
- When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "LORD" or "GOD" is the translation of God's Proper Name.
- Verse 14 (Lord)
- The word translated "Lord" is "Adonai."
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Lamentations Chapter 1 Guide
In the Septuagint, the Lamentations are prefixed with the words, "And it came to pass that after Israel had been carried away captive, and Jerusalem made desolate, Jeremiah sat weeping, and lamented this lament over Jerusalem and said ..."
In this brief Book of Lamentation the spirit of the man is strikingly revealed. There is no exultation over the fulfilment of his predictions, and there is a twofold loyalty manifest throughout, first to God in the confession of sin, and then to his people in the expression of their sorrow.
In this first poem there are two clearly defined movements. The first (verses Lamentations 1:1-11) describes the desolation of the city, as to her relationships with other nations, and as to her internal condition, declaring the cause to be that "she hath grievously sinned." Under the figure of a widow sitting solitary, the prophet describes the city. "She that was great" has "become tributary," and is loverless and comfortless. Within, her desolation is overwhelming. The Temple is deserted, and her beauty has departed. With great care the prophet sets forth the cause of her diction. She had "grievously sinned," and has forgotten her latter end; and the prophet ends this description of the desolation by identifying himself with the sorrow and the sin in the words, "See, O Lord, and behold; for I am become vile."
In the second movement (verses Lamentations 1:12-22) the city, personified, bewails her diction, appealing to the passer-by, and describing her sorrow; then confesses the justice of the desolation which has overtaken her, crying to Jehovah for sympathy and deliverance.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.
Lamentations Chapter 1 Commentary
- The miserable state of Jerusalem, the just consequences of its sins. -- (1-11)
- Jerusalem represented as a captive female, lamenting, and seeking the mercy of God. -- (12-22)
The prophet sometimes speaks in his own person; at other times Jerusalem, as a distressed female, is the speaker, or some of the Jews. The description shows the miseries of the Jewish nation. Jerusalem became a captive and a slave, by reason of the greatness of her sins; and had no rest from suffering. If we allow sin, our greatest adversary, to have dominion over us, justly will other enemies also be suffered to have dominion. The people endured the extremities of famine and distress. In this sad condition Jerusalem acknowledged her sin, and entreated the Lord to look upon her case. This is the only way to make ourselves easy under our burdens; for it is the just anger of the Lord for man's transgressions, that has filled the earth with sorrows, lamentations, sickness, and death.
Jerusalem, sitting dejected on the ground, calls on those that passed by, to consider whether her example did not concern them. Her outward sufferings were great, but her inward sufferings were harder to bear, through the sense of guilt. Sorrow for sin must be great sorrow, and must affect the soul. Here we see the evil of sin, and may take warning to flee from the wrath to come. Whatever may be learned from the sufferings of Jerusalem, far more may be learned from the sufferings of Christ. Does he not from the cross speak to every one of us? Does he not say, Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Let all our sorrows lead us to the cross of Christ, lead us to mark his example, and cheerfully to follow him.
From the "Concise Commentary on the Bible" by Matthew Henry.