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Lamentations has traditionally been ascribed to Jeremiah, probably on the grounds of the reference in 2 Chronicles 35:25 to the prophet composing a lament on the death of King Josiah, but there is no reference to Josiah in the book and no other reason to connect Lamentations to Jeremiah. Many Scholars believe there were multiple authors.

Lamentations is a collection of 5 poetic laments for the decay of society that led to the destruction of Jerusalem. The first four poems are written as acrostic shaving 22 verses, corresponding to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the first lines beginning with the first letter of the alphabet, the second with the second letter, and so on. Poem 3 has 66 verses, so that each letter begins three lines, and the fifth poem is not acrostic but still has 22 lines.

In the first poem the city [civil society] sits as a desolate like a weeping widow overcome with grief and miseries.

In poem 2 these miseries are described in connection with national sins which brought a consequence called the wrath of God.

Poem 3 speaks of hope for the people of God: the chastisement would only be for their good; a better day would dawn for them.

Poem 4 laments the ruin and desolation of the city [civil society] and temple which represents the daily ministration of the people, but traces it to the national sins and practices of the people.

Poem 5 is a prayer that Zion's reproach may be taken away in the repentance and return of the people to The Way of God. The five poems can be seen as the five truths in God's universe and apply to all times.

Lamentations | Lamentations 1 | Lamentations 2 | Lamentations 3 | Lamentations 4 | Lamentations 5

Preceded by: Jeremiah - Followed by: Ezekiel

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