The Poetical Books.
Jeremiah and Lamentations.
Number and Order of the Separate Books.
The Manner in which Josephus Mentions the Divine Books.
The Books of Samuel and Kings.
The Order of the Books
The Objection from the Unchangeableness of God is Answered from ...
Names and External Form of the Old Testament
Smith's Bible DictionaryLamentations of Jeremiah
Title. --The Hebrew title of this book, Ecah , is taken, like the titles of the five books of Moses, from the Hebrew word with which it opens. Author. --The poems included in this collection appear in the Hebrew canon with no name attached to them, but Jeremiah has been almost universally regarded as their author. Date. --The poems belong unmistakably to the last days of the kingdom, or the commencement of the exile, B.C. 629-586. They are written by one who speaks, with the vividness and intensity of an eye-witness, of the misery which he bewails. Contents. --The book consists of five chapter, each of which, however, is a separate poem, complete in itself, and having a distinct subject, but brought at the same time under a plan which includes them all. A complicated alphabetic structure pervades nearly the whole book. (1) Chs. 1,2 and 4 contain twenty-two verses each, arranged in alphabetic order, each verse falling into three nearly balanced clauses; ch. (Lamentations 2:19) forms an exception, as having a fourth clause. (2) Ch. 3 contains three short verses under each letter of the alphabet, the initial letter being three times repeated. (3) Ch. 5 contains the same number of verses as chs. 1,2,4, but without the alphabetic order. Jeremiah was not merely a patriot-poet, weeping over the ruin of his country; he was a prophet who had seen all this coming, and had foretold it as inevitable. There are perhaps few portions of the Old Testament which appear to have done the work they were meant to do more effectually than this. The book has supplied thousands with the fullest utterance for their sorrows in the critical periods of national or individual suffering. We may well believe that it soothed the weary years of the Babylonian exile. It enters largely into the order of the Latin Church for the services of passion-week. On the ninth day of the month of Ab (July-August), the Lamentations of Jeremiah were read, year by year, with fasting and weeping, to commemorate the misery out of which the people had been delivered.
ATS Bible DictionaryLamentations of Jeremiah
An elegiac poem, composed by the prophet on occasion of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The first two chapters principally describe the calamities of a the sieges of Jerusalem; the third deplores the persecution which Jeremiah himself had suffered; and fourth adverts to the ruin and desolation of the city and temple, and the misfortune of Zedekiah; and the fifth is a kind of form of prayer for the Jews in their captivity. At the close, the prophet speaks of the cruelty of the Edomites, who had insulted Jerusalem in her misery, and threatens them with the wrath of God, B. C. 586.
The first four chapters of the Lamentations are in the acrostic form; every verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in regular order. The first, second, and fourth chapters contain twentytwo verses each, according to the letters of the alphabet; the third chapter has three successive verses beginning with the same letter, making sixty-six in all. Moreover, all the verses in each chapter are nearly of the same length. The fifth chapter is not acrostic. See LETTERS. The style of Jeremiah's Lamentations is lively, tender, pathetic, and affecting. It was the talent of this prophet to write melancholy and moving elegies, 2 Chronicles 35:25; and never was a subject more worthy of tears, nor treated with more tender and affecting sentiments. One would think, as it has often been said, that every letter was written with a tear, and every word was the sob of a broken heart. Yet he does not forget that a covenant God still reigns.
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