Reading Through the Bible - LAMENTATIONS

Some Books of the bible are very short and some are very long but this one is one of the shortest.

It is also one of the most "not read" books which may be attributed to its title.


25th book of the OT 
25th book of the Bible

What is it?

The Book of LAMENTATIONS is counted as one of the books of  Prophecy in the Old Testament.

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Lamentations is not so much prophecy as it is a lament over what had become of Jerusalem after the invasion and how it all could have been avoided"

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"A collection of dirges lamenting the fall of Jerusalem after the Babylonian attacks."

How Long is it?

It has 5 chapters but some of them are quite long by Word Count.

When was it Written?

It is thought to have been written in 585 BC. due to the fact that the invasion and exile was in 586 BC.

Who Wrote it?

The Prophet Jeremiah

How does it start?

It starts with despair and sadness in Chapter 1 v 1

"How lonely sits the city
That was full of people!
How like a widow is she,
Who was great among the nations!
The princess among the provinces
Has become a slave!"

but it does not dwell here and chapter 3 shines through with some of the great qualities of God 

with God's love and mercy in verses 22-23


and God's goodness in verses 25-26

and God's comfort in verses 25-26

but also with good advice from Jeremiah in verses 40 - 41

Who was it Written to?

This is a hard question to answer as it is Jeremiah lamenting as he walked through the streets after the invasion and exile so we cannot say it was spoken or written directly to specific people but more as a warning in general for everyone about disobeying God. 

Why was it Written? 

It was written because Jeremiah was so disappointed  that the people had not walked as God wanted and this had led to the invasion and exile to Babylon.

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"The people had rejected their God and His prophets. Before they ever entered the promised land, Israel was given a choice: remain loyal to God and enjoy His blessings and prosperity, or worship other gods and be exiled from their land (that’s from Deuteronomy). Israel followed other gods, showed injustice to the poor, and ignored God’s laws."

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"While not considered a story the book is a very visual and spiritual look at the horror that had become of Judah just after the Babylonian invasion and exile."

What is unusual about Lamentations compared to other books of Prophecy?

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"It is the only book of prophecy that looks more backwards than forwards."

How does it end?

It ends with a prayer to God in chapter 5 which ends with some hope in verses 19 - 22

"Why do You forget us forever,
And forsake us for so long a time?
Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be [b]restored;
Renew our days as of old,
Unless You have utterly rejected us,
And are very angry with us!"

Quick outline of Lamentations

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

  1. Jerusalem: punished and in pain (1)
  2. The Lord’s anger on Jerusalem (2)
  3. The individual’s distress turns to hope (3)
  4. The siege of Jerusalem (4)
  5. A plea for God’s mercy (5)