Reading the Bible Together – Lamentations


– The book we are reading this month is the Book of Lamentations, which is the 25th book of the Old Testament.

This will be the 55th book of the Bible we will have read, since commencing this initiative over three years ago in October 2015. (We have actually read Matthew and Joshua twice!) . There are a total of 66 books in the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Only 11 to go and we will have read the whole Bible together!

We will review this month’s book at  our Bible Study and Prayer Meeting on Thursday 4th July 2019.

Introduction to the Book of Lamentations

A Brief Overview

Bible Survey – Lamentations
Hebrew Name – Eikah “How”
Greek Name – Threnos “Lament”
Author – Jeremiah (According to Tradition)
Date – 588 BC Approximately
Theme – 5 Poetic laments over the destruction of Jerusalem
Types and Shadows – In Lamentations Jesus is the weeping prophet

Summary of The Book of Lamentations


  • Chapter 1 – A destroyed Jerusalem cries out for mercy.
  • Chapter 2 – The Lord’s chastisement and the effects.
  • Chapter 3 – A cry from the heart of a chastened people.
  • Chapter 4 – The horrors surrounding the siege and the fall of the city of Jerusalem.
  • Chapter 5 – A lament and prayer for the restoration of Jerusalem.

In the Hebrew the word for the name of the book of Lamentations is “Eikah” which means “How.” The book of Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah according to Jewish tradition. The book contains five poems that depict the condition of the forsaken city of Jerusalem which had been burnt to the ground and utterly demolished by the Babylonians on the ninth of Av in the Jewish calendar in 586 BC, in contrast to the magnificent splendor that it once possessed. The reason for God’s chastisement on the people of Judah and on the city of Jerusalem are spelled out in the form of an appeal made to God to remember the great suffering of his people and to take vengeance upon the conquerors of His city and the people of Judah.

The first four poems are arranged in an acrostic form with each containing 22 verses which correspond with the 22 consonants of the Hebrew alphabet. In chapter 3 each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is allotted 3 of the 66 verses which comprise the poem. Some conclude that the reason for this was because Israel had sinned from beginning to end (A-Z, or in the Hebrew aleph-tav).

Jeremiah, who wrote the lamentations was an eyewitness of the events, and this brought him great sorrow for he knew the people, he knew the city, he knew the children, and he knew the festivities that existed among the people of Judah.

Interesting note: The Jewish translators of the Septuagint (LXX) attribute Jeremiah as the author of the Lamentations, and so do other ancient translations: The Aramaic Targum, the Latin Vulgate, and the Syriac Peshitta, and the Babylonian Talmud.

The Five Lament Poems are outlined here:

Lamentations 1 – Jerusalem’s desolation is lamented
Lamentations 2 – God’s wrath against the city of Jerusalem
Lamentations 3 – God’s faithfulness is acknowledged
Lamentations 4 – God’s faithfulness is viewed as chastisement
Lamentations 5 – God’s faithfulness is worthy of trust

More information can be found HERE


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