Good morning! Today we start the short book of “Lamentations”, which is reportedly the laments of Jeremiah at the start of exile. Chapters 1-2, like throughout the rest of the book, place the focus on the conditions in Jerusalem after the exile. As one author writes, “The vividness and local color found in this book, as well as the freshness and intensity of feeling expressed in it, suggest that the author was a Judean survivor remaining behind in the land and writing in close proximity to the catastrophic demise of the nation in 586 B.C.E.” After all hope of changing ways has passed, this text focuses on just lamenting the way things have turned out.
According to chapters 1-2, Jerusalem is a fraction of its old self, looking like nothing more than a deserted city after the exiles are carried away. The author here apparently survived the two-year siege, but witnessed as others died in the fight. We see through the author’s eyes several gruesome visions of children who die in the siege and the stripping of the city thereafter. The most definitive theological claim comes in 2:14, which lays blame for this calamitous defeat with the prophets. They told people what they wanted to hear, instead of what was the truth. People pleasers be warned—avoiding the truth can have deadly consequences for the self and others. Happy reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is Lamentations 3. Thanks for reading!