The Lamentations of Jeremiah

Chapter 2

Jeremiah laments the misery of Jerusalem, 1-19. He complains thereof to God, 20-22.

[ALEPH - א]

How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion/
with a cloud in his anger,/
and cast down from heaven to the earth/
the beauty of Israel,/
and not remembered his footstool/
in the day of his anger!

[BET - ב]

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 polluted the kingdom and its princes.

[GIMEL - ג]

He has cut off in his fierce anger/
all the horn of Israel./
He has drawn back his right hand/
from before the enemy,/
and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire,/
which devours on every side.

[DALET - ד]

He has bent his bow like an enemy./
He stood with his right hand as an adversary/
and slew all who were pleasant to the eye/
in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion./
He poured out his fury like fire.

[HE - ה]

The Lord was as an enemy./
He has swallowed up Israel./
He has swallowed up all her palaces./
He has destroyed his strongholds/
and has increased in the daughter of Judah/
mourning and lamentation.

[VAV - ו]

And he has violently taken away his tabernacle/
as if it were of a garden./
He has destroyed his places of the assembly./
The LORD has caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths/
to be forgotten in Zion,/
and in the indignation of his anger/
has despised the king and the priest.

[ZAYIN - ז]

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 house of the LORD/
as in the day of a solemn feast.

[HET - ח]

The LORD has purposed to destroy/
the wall of the daughter of Zion./
He has stretched out a line./
He has not withdrawn his hand from destroying./
Therefore, he made the rampart and the wall to lament./
They languished together.

[TET - ט]

Her gates are sunk into the ground./
He has destroyed and broken her bars./
Her king and her princes are among the Gentiles./
The law is no more./
Her prophets also find/
no vision from the LORD.

[YOD - י]

10 The elders of the daughter of Zion/
sit upon the ground and keep silence./
They have cast up dust upon their heads./
They have girded themselves with sackcloth./
The virgins of Jerusalem hang down/
their heads to the ground.

[KAF - כ]

11 My eyes fail with tears./
My heart is troubled./
My liver is poured upon the earth/
for the destruction of the daughter of my people,/
because the children and the infants swoon/
in the streets of the city.

[LAMED - ל]

12 They say to their mothers,/
"Where is grain and wine?"/
when they swooned as the wounded/
in the streets of the city,/
when their soul was poured out/
into their mothers' bosom.

[MEM - מ]

13 What thing shall I take to witness for you?/
What thing shall I compare to you,/
O daughter of Jerusalem?/
What shall I equal to you so that I may comfort you,/
O virgin daughter of Zion?/
For your breach is great like the sea./
Who can heal you?

[NUN - נ]

14 Your prophets have seen/
vain and foolish things for you./
And they have not revealed your iniquity/
to turn away your captivity,/
but have seen for you false burdens/
and causes of banishment.

[SAMEKH - ס]

15 All who 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 call/
The Perfection of Beauty,/
The Joy of the Whole Earth?"

[AYIN - ע]

16 All your enemies have opened/
their mouth 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 it. We have seen it."

[PE - פ]

17 The LORD has done that which he had devised./
He has fulfilled his word/
that he had commanded in the days of old./
He has thrown down and has not pitied./
He has caused your enemy to rejoice over you./
He has set up the horn of your adversaries.

[TSADI - צ]

18 Their heart cried to the Lord,/
"O wall of the daughter of Zion,/
let tears run down like a river/
day and night./
Give yourself no rest./
Do not let the apple of your eye cease.

[QOF - ק]

19 Arise, cry out in the night./
In the beginning of the watches/
pour out your heart like water/
before the face of the Lord./
Lift up your hands toward him/
for the life of your young children,/
who faint for hunger/
at the head of every street."

[RESH - ר]

20 Behold, O LORD, and consider/
to whom you have done this./
Shall the women eat their fruit,/
the children which they nursed?/
Shall the priest and the prophet be slain/
in the sanctuary of the Lord?

[SHIN - ש]

21 The young and the old lie/
on the ground in the streets./
My virgins and my young men/
have fallen by the sword./
You have slain them in the day of your anger./
You have killed and not pitied.

[TAV - ת]

22 You have called as in a solemn day/
my terrors around,/
so that in the day of the LORD'S anger/
no one escaped nor remained./
Those whom I have swaddled and brought up,/
my enemy has consumed.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Lamentations, Chapter 2[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

This chapter contains another alphabet in which the Prophet Jeremiah, or those he represents, lament the sad condition of Jerusalem, the destruction of the city and temple and of all persons and things relative to them and to its civil or church state, and that as being from the hand of the Lord himself, who is represented all along as the author thereof, because of their sins (Lamentations 2:1-9); and then the elders and virgins of Zion are represented as in great distress and weeping for those desolations, which were very much owing to the false prophets who had deceived them (Lamentations 2:10-14); and all this occasioned great rejoicing in the enemies of Zion (Lamentations 2:15-17); but sorrow of heart to Zion herself, who is called to weeping (Lamentations 2:18-19); and the chapter is concluded with an address to the Lord to take this her sorrowful case into consideration and show pity and compassion (Lamentations 2:20-22).