Summary of Lamentations

Summary of Lamentations

Chapter by Chapter:

Lamentations 1-2: Jerusalem is Miserable/Desolation in Jerusalem

Lamentations 3-5: Prayer of Jeremiah/The Estate of Zion/Sorrowful Zion

The Book of Lamentations in the King James Version along with many other versions of the Bible actually describes the book as the Lamentations of Jeremiah. However, it is not a 100% fact that Jeremiah even wrote the book. I assume that is was in fact Jeremiah and throughout my study of Lamentations I refer to Jeremiah as having written the book of Lamentations. However, it is of no importance as to who wrote the book.

The book consists of five separate poems:

  • Chapter one the prophet dwells on the manifold miseries oppressed by which the city sits as a solitary widow, weeping sorely.
  • Chapter 2 these miseries are described in connection with national sins and acts of God.
  • Chapter 3 speaks of hope for the people of God. The chastisement would only be for their good; a better day would come out of the chastisement.
  • Chapter 4 laments the ruin and desolation that had come upon the city and temple, and blames only the people’s sins.
  • Chapter 5 is a prayer that Zion’s reproach may be taken away in the repentance and recovery of the people.

Lamentations 3-5

Lamentations 3-5

Chapter 3: Prayer of Jeremiah

Jeremiah speaks about Judah and their calamity. He starts the chapter off by saying; “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.” (Lamentations 3:1) Jeremiah explains that God himself can sometimes lead us into darkness, but like any loving Father, the Lord may put us in situations for our own good. Jeremiah writes; “Remembering mine affliction and my misery… My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” (Lamentations 3:19-21) Because Jeremiah had to go through hard times, he remembered them and that remembrance of his own affliction brought him a sense a security and hope.

We must remember when going through hard times that “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:21) God is always there for us, even if it appears that we are all alone and without help. Sometimes God just wants us to figure things out on our own and only steps in when we truly can no longer fend for ourselves. Patience is something that must be learned and sometimes God will test our patience, but for those who wait for him… have a promise:

“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:25)

Everyone goes through trials in their lives, Jeremiah tells us that is it best for “…a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” (Lamentations 3:27) So “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again unto the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” (Lamentations 3:40-41) If you are young and going through hard times, rejoice! For it truly is better to go through those struggles in our youth, then it is at any other time in our lives. It helps to build us and make us stronger.

We need to realize that it may seem like our prayers go un-answered or that the Lord “…hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.” (Lamentations 3:44) But we need to be persistent and patient, because “…though he [God] cause grief, yet will he have compassion… For he doth not afflict willingly…” (Lamentations 3:32-33) God does not enjoy having to see us un-happy or miserable, but he does it because He knows that is the only way to make us stronger and better people. For this world is like a giant classroom. If we pass the test, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father for eternity.

Chapter 4: The Estate of Zion

Jeremiah laments over the estate of Zion and the pitiful people that they have become. They have become desolation, because they have sinned and basked in iniquities. Jeremiah says that it is better to “…be slain with the sword… than they that be slain with hunger… hands of pitiful women have sodden [soaked/boiled] their own children: they were their meat in the destruction…” (Lamentations 4:9-10) How sick is that? The people had truly sunk to a new low and it is no wonder why this book is called the Lamentations of Jeremiah, he was disgusted.

Chapter 5: Sorrowful Zion

Jeremiah recites in prayer the sorrowful estate of Zion. The people have been humiliated, and dancing has turned to mourning. Jeremiah explains that “Our fathers have sinned, are not; and we have borne their iniquities.” (Lamentations 5:7) We must remember that we are accountable for our own actions and not the sins of our parents or anyone else for that matter.


Lamentations 1-2

Lamentations 1-2

Chapter 1: Jerusalem is Miserable

“How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations…” (Lamentations 1:1) Jerusalem has become desolate; beauty has departed from the daughter of Zion. Jerusalem and its inhabitants have sinned and become filthy. Jeremiah laments the state of Jerusalem.

Chapter 2: Desolation in Jerusalem

The daughter of Zion is covered with the cloud of the Lord’s anger. The Lord has been pitiless. He has burned against Judah like a flaming fire. The Lord is now an enemy. He has taken away his tabernacle or in other words his presence has departed. Feasts and Sabbaths are forgotten in Zion. The elders are girded with sackcloth casting dust on their heads. Enemies hiss and gnash their teeth. Young and the old lie in the streets, dead.