Study questions, maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study the Old Testament book of Lamentations.
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- Author: Jeremiah, probably soon after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC (although the author is not identified in the book).
- The title, “Lamentations,” was derived from a translation of the title as found in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Septuagint, and conveys the idea of “loud cries.”
- The entire book is poetic.
- Themes: Mourning over Jerusalem’s destruction; confession of sin and acknowledgment of God’s justice; hope in God’s future restoration
- Jeremiah sometimes speaks for himself, sometimes speaks for the captives and sometimes speaks for the personified city of Jerusalem.
For more detail, see: Chronology of Jeremiah
- Chapter 1 – The Destruction of Jerusalem
- Chapter 2 – The Anger of YHWH
- Chapter 3 – The Prayer for Mercy
- Chapter 4 – The Siege of Jerusalem
- Chapter 5 – The Prayer for Restoration
- The first, second, fourth and fifth laments all contain 22 verses, reflecting the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
- Each verse in the first and second laments contains three poetic lines.
- Each verse in the fourth contains two lines.
- Each verse in the fifth contains but one line.
- The first four laments are alphabetic acrostics.
- In the first, second and fourth, each numbered verse begins with the letter of the Hebrew alphabet dictated by the traditional order of that alphabet.
- The third (middle) lament the three lines of each unit all begin with the sequenced order of the letters of the alphabet (thus three aleph lines followed by three beth lines, etc.)
- The fifth lament continues to reflect the alphabetic pattern in its 22-line structure, but the initial letters of these lines do not follow the alphabetic sequence.
Background & Outlines
- Jeremiah Chronology
- Jeremiah in the New Testament
- Chart: Bible History at a glance
- Blue Letter Bible: Old Testament Timeline
- Biblehub: The Divided Kingdom
- Chart: Kings of Israel & Judah
- Bible Atlas: Assyria
- Bible Atlas: Babylon
- Bible Atlas: Jerusalem
- Ray C Stedman: Overview of the Book
- John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background
- NIV: Introduction to Lamentations
- ESV: Introduction to Lamentations
- ESV: The Global Message of Lamentations
- James van Dine: Analysis of Lamentations
- JVernon McGee: Notes and Outlines – Jeremiah and Lamentations
- David Malick: An Introduction to the Book of Lamentations
- David Malick: An Argument of the Book of Lamentations
- James Orr: Key to Lamentations
- Charles Swindoll: Book of Lamentations Overview
Maps from Bible-History.com
Maps from Holman Bible Atlas
The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah
- The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1)
- The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (2)
- The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah (3)
- The Campaign of Shishak
- Conflicts between Israel and Aram-Damascus
- The Omride Dynasty
- The Golden Ages of the 9th & 8th centuries BCE
- Phoenician Trade and Civilization
- Trade Routes throughout the Middle East
- Elijah and Elisha
- The Revolt of Jehu
- The Rise of Assyria
- Israel & Judah in the days of Jeroboam II and Uzziah
- The Assyrian Empire under Tiglath-Pileser III
- Fall of Samaria and Deportation of Israelites
- The Fall of the Kingdom of Israel
- Assyrian Districts after the Fall of Samaria
- Prophets of the 8th Century BCE
Judah Alone amid International Powers
- Hezekiah’s Preparation for Revolt
- Judah under King Hezekiah
- Hezekiah’s Jerusalem
- Sennacherib’s Campaign against Judah
- Assyria in the 7th century BCE
- The Rise of the Neo-Babylonian Empire
- The Reign of Josiah
- The Districts of Judah under King Josiah
- The Golden Age of King Josiah
- Nebuchadnezzar’s Campaigns against Judah
The Persian Period
- LORD (46x/43v) – Strong’s H3068 in Lam 1:5; Lam 1:9; Lam 1:11; Lam 1:12; Lam 1:17; Lam 1:18; Lam 1:20; Lam 2:6; Lam 2:7; Lam 2:8; Lam 2:9; Lam 2:17; Lam 2:20; Lam 2:22; Lam 3:18; Lam 3:22; Lam 3:24; Lam 3:25; Lam 3:26; Lam 3:40; Lam 3:50; Lam 3:55; Lam 3:59; Lam 3:61; Lam 3:64; Lam 3:66; Lam 4:11; Lam 4:16; Lam 4:20; Lam 5:1; Lam 5:19; Lam 5:21; Strong’s H136 in Lam 1:14; Lam 1:15; Lam 2:1; Lam 2:2; Lam 2:5; Lam 2:7; Lam 2:18; Lam 2:19; Lam 2:20; Lam 3:31; Lam 3:36; Lam 3:37; Lam 3:58;
- how (6x/5v) -Strong’s H351a in Lam 1:1; Lam 2:1; Lam 4:1; Lam 4:2.; Strong’s H4100 in Lam 2:13.
- Jerusalem (7x) – Strong’s H3389 in Lam 1:7; Lam 1:8; Lam 1:17; Lam 2:10; Lam 2:13; Lam 2:15; Lam 4:12.
- city (6x) – Strong’s H5892b in Lam 1:1; Lam 1:19; Lam 2:12; Lam 2:15; Lam 3:51; Strong’s H7151 in Lam 2:11.
- Zion (15x) – Strong’s H6726 in Lam 1:4; Lam 1:6; Lam 1:17; Lam 2:1; Lam 2:4; Lam 2:6; Lam 2:8; Lam 2:10; Lam 2:13; Lam 2:18; Lam 4:2; Lam 4:11; Lam 4:22; Lam 5:11; Lam 5:18.
- daughter (21x/19v) – Strong’s H1323 in Lam 1:6; Lam 1:15; Lam 2:1; Lam 2:2; Lam 2:4; Lam 2:5; Lam 2:8; Lam 2:10; Lam 2:11; Lam 2:13; Lam 2:15; Lam 2:18; Lam 3:48; Lam 4:3; Lam 4:6; Lam 4:10; Lam 4:21; Lam 4:22.
- enemy (9x)- Strong’s H340 in Lam 1:9; Lam 1:16; Lam 2:3; Lam 2:4; Lam 2:5; Lam 2:7; Lam 2:17; Lam 2:22; Lam 4:12; enemies (6x) – same word in Lam 1:2; Lam 1:5; Lam 1:21; Lam 2:16; Lam 3:46; Lam 3:52.
- adversary (5x) – Strong’s H686c in Lam 1:5; Lam 1:7; Lam 1:10; Lam 2:4; Lam 4:12; adversaries (4x) – same word; Lam 1:5; Lam 1:7; Lam 1:17; Lam 2:17.
- nations (5x) – Strong’s H1471 (among the) in Lam 1:1; Lam 1:3; Lam 1:10; Lam 2:9; Lam 4:15; Lam 4:20.
- sin (1x) – Strong’s H2403b in Lam 4:6; sinned (3x) – Strong’s H2398 in Lam 1:8; Lam 5:7; Lam 5:16.
- transgression (4x) – Strong’s H6588 in Lam 1:5; Lam 1:14; Lam 1:22.
- anger (9x) – Strong’s H639 in Lam 1:12; Lam 2:1; Lam 2:3; Lam 2:6; Lam 2:21; Lam 2:22; Lam 3:43; Lam 3:66; Lam 4:11.
- wrath (4x) – Strong’s H5678 Lam 2:2; Lam 3:1; Lam 4:11. ; Strong’s H2534 in Lam 2:4.
- reject/rejected (5x) – Strong’s H2186a in Lam 3:31; Lam 2:7 Lam 3:17; Strong’s H5541a in Lam 1:15; Strong’s H3988a in Lam 5:22.
- restore (4v) – Strong’s H7725 in Lam 1:11; Lam 1:19; Lam 2:14; Lam 5:21.
- hope (4x) – Strong’s H8431 in Lam 2:18; Strong’s H3176 in Lam 3:21; Lam 3:24; Strong’s H8651b in Lam 3:29.
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
- American Tract Society Dictionary: Lamentations of Jeremiah
- Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Lamentations, Theology of
- Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Lamentations
- Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Lamentations, Book of
- Fausset Bible Dictionary: Lamentations Of Jeremiah
- Holman Bible Dictionary: Lamentations, Book of
- Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Lamentation
- Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Lamentations
- Morrish Bible Dictionary: Lamentations of Jeremiah
- International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Lamentations, Book of
- McClintock and Strong: Lamentations, Book of,
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Lamentations, Book of
- The Jewish Encyclopedia: Lamentations
- 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: Lamentations
Commentaries & Study Bibles
- Top 5 Commentaries on the Book of Lamentations by Keith Mathison
- Best Commentaries on Lamentations – Challies Dot Com
- Best commentaries lamentations
- Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible: Lamentations
- Matthew Henry: Lamentations
- Albert Barnes Notes: Lamentations
- Reformation Study Bible Notes: Lamentations
- Geneva Study Bible: Lamentations
- Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Lamentations
- Donald Curtis: Lamentations: The Fall of Jerusalem
- Kay Daigle: Lamentations 3:22-23 (And other Scriptures) Anchored during Times of Grief
- Bob Deffinbaugh: The New Covenant in Jeremiah
- Homer Heater: Notes on Book of Lamentations
- Book of Lamentations – Bible Survey
- What are the Major Prophets and Minor Prophets?
- What should we learn from the life of Jeremiah?
- What is the Wailing Wall / Western Wall?
- What is the meaning of sackcloth and ashes?
- How can I learn to trust in the faithfulness of God?
- What is the Christian’s hope?
- His mercies are new every morning
- What does the Bible say about compassion?
- What is Tisha B’Av?