Lamentations 2

1 How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, And hasn’t remembered his footstool in the day of his anger. 2 The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied: 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. 3 He has cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel; He has drawn back his right hand from before the enemy: He has burnt up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around. 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. 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 in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. 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, has despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest. 7 The Lord has cast off his altar, he has abhorred his sanctuary; He has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces: they have made a noise in the LORD’s house, as in the day of a solemn assembly. 8 The LORD has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He has stretched out the line, he has not withdrawn his hand from destroying; He has made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together. 9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he has destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are amongst the nations where the law is not; yes, her prophets find no vision from the LORD. 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. 11 My eyes do 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. 12 They tell 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. 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 great like the sea: who can heal you? 14 Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captivity, but have seen for you false revelations and causes of banishment. 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? 16 All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you; 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. 17 The LORD has done that which he purposed; 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. 18 Their heart cried to the Lord: wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night; give yourself no respite; don’t let the apple of your eye cease. 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 towards him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street. 20 Look, LORD, and see to whom you have done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord? 21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: you have killed them in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered, and not pitied. 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: those that I have dandled and brought up has my enemy consumed.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-9

A sad representation is here made of the state of God’s church, of Jacob and Israel; but the notice seems mostly to refer to the hand of the Lord in their calamities. Yet God is not an enemy to his people, when he is angry with them and corrects them. And gates and bars stand in no stead when God withdraws his protection. It is just with God to cast down those by judgments, who debase themselves by sin; and to deprive those of the benefit and comfort of sabbaths and ordinances, who have not duly valued nor observed them. What should they do with Bibles, who make no improvement of them? Those who misuse God’s prophets, justly lose them. It becomes necessary, though painful, to turn the thoughts of the afflicted to the hand of God lifted up against them, and to their sins as the source of their miseries.

Verses 10-22

Causes for lamentation are described. Multitudes perished by famine. Even little children were slain by their mother’s hands, and eaten, according to the threatening, Deut. 28:53. Multitudes fell by the sword. Their false prophets deceived them. And their neighbours laughed at them. It is a great sin to jest at others’ miseries, and adds much affliction to the afflicted. Their enemies triumphed over them. The enemies of the church are apt to take its shocks for its ruins; but they will find themselves deceived. Calls to lamentation are given; and comforts for the cure of these lamentations are sought. Prayer is a salve for every sore, even the sorest; a remedy for every malady, even the most grievous. Our business in prayer is to refer our case to the Lord, and leave it with him. His will be done. Let us fear God, and walk humbly before him, and take heed lest we fall.

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