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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on Lamentations

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1.1–22 : The desolation of Zion (Jerusalem).

This general lament introduces many of the themes of the book.

1 :

How: lit. “alas, how…” From greatness to widowhood, from a queen to a slave are typical of the poet's stylistic contrasts.

3 :

Even though Judah as a whole sometimes appears, the main focus is on Jerusalem and the temple.

5 :

Countless sins: this theme of sin is to be contrasted with that of innocence, as in 3.52 ; or the sin of a specific group, as in 4.13 ; or the sins of the forebears, as in 5.7 .

6 :

Daughter of Zion: a term of endearment for Zion, personifying the temple mount area.

7 :

The backward look seems to come after the passing of many years.

10 :

This verse is a stereotyped description of the enemy; see Ps. 74.4–8 .

1.11c–22 : The voice is now the city herself speaking.

12 :

You passers-by: perhaps the other nations; see v. 18 .

15 :

Rank on rank against me: the role of the LORD as an enemy warrior, as in Isa. 10.5–11 .

17 :

Here the observer in 1.1–11b again comments.

18 :

The city's confession of sin; see Deut. 28.15–68 . Into captivity: see 2 Kgs. 25.11 .

21 :

Hasten the day: though somewhat incongruous with v. 15 , this is a call for God's wrath on the enemy, as in 3.64–66; see also Ps. 83.9–18 .

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