We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Related Content

Lamentations

Richard J. Clifford

The book of Lamentations consists of five prayers of complaint, mourning before God the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Since Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 and a new one constructed in 520, the prayers must have been composed in the sixty‐six‐year period when the Temple lay in ruins. The confusion and anguish of the prayers suggest they were composed shortly after the destruction in 586. In form, the poems are acrostic, that is, the initial word of each verse or each stanza begins with a successive letter of the twenty‐two‐letter Hebrew alphabet. Each poem, therefore, has either twenty‐two stanzas or twenty‐two verses. Although the fifth poem does not use initial letters of the alphabet, it also has twenty‐two verses and so, in a broad sense, is acrostic. In the Hebrew Bible, the poems are called by the opening word of the first line of the first poem, »ekah, “How lonely she is now, the once crowded city!” In antiquity, literary works were often known by their opening words. Jewish tradition follows this ancient usage. In the Christian Bible, “Lamentations” is the title of the work; it is the English translation of the Septuagint (Greek) title threnoi, “lamentations.”

First‐time readers may find the five poems dreary, repetitive, and far too comfortable with the role of victim. Closer study reveals subtle dramatic movement within each poem and between the poems; a range of emotions is skillfully explored and expressed—grief, anger, something near despair, acceptance, glimmers of hope and joy, and an indomitable will to carry on. Though many people today tend to exclude such “negative” feelings from their prayers and thoughts, Lamentations considers such feelings an inescapable part of life and makes them the stuff of prayer.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice