1611 King James Version (KJV)


Chapter 5

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1 Remember, O Lord, what is come vpon vs: consider and beholde our reproch.

2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliants.

3 We are orphanes and fatherlesse, our mothers are as widowes.

4 We haue drunken our water for money, our wood is sold vnto vs.

5 Our neckes are vnder persecution: we labour and haue no rest.

6 We haue giuen the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.

7 Our fathers haue sinned and are not, and wee haue borne their iniquities.

8 Seruants haue ruled ouer vs: there is none that doeth deliuer vs out of their hand.

9 We gate our bread with the perill of our liues, because of the sword of the wildernesse.

10 Our skinne was blacke like an ouen, because of the terrible famine.

11 They rauished the women in Zion, and the maides in the cities of Iudah.

12 Princes are hanged vp by their hand: the faces of Elders were not honoured.

13 They tooke the young men to grinde, and the children fell vnder the wood.

14 The Elders haue ceased from the gate, the young men from their musicke.

15 The ioy of our heart is ceased, our daunce is turned into mourning.

16 The crowne is fallen from our head: Woe vnto vs, that wee haue sinned.

17 For this our heart is faint, for these things our eyes are dimme.

18 Because of the mountaine of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walke vpon it.

19 Thou, O Lord, remainest for euer: thy throne from generation to generation.

20 Wherefore doest thou forget vs for euer, and forsake vs so long time?

21 Turne thou vs vnto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned: renew our dayes as of old.

22 But thou hast vtterly reiected vs: thou art very wroth against vs.

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Commentary for Lamentations 5

The Jewish nation supplicating the Divine favour.1-16 Is any afflicted? Let him pray; and let him in prayer pour out his complaint to God. The people of God do so here; they complain not of evils feared, but of evils felt. If penitent and patient under what we suffer for the sins of our fathers, we may expect that He who punishes, will return in mercy to us. They acknowledge, Woe unto us that we have sinned! All our woes are owing to our own sin and folly. Though our sins and God's just displeasure cause our sufferings, we may hope in his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, and his kind providence. But the sins of a man's whole life will be punished with vengeance at last, unless he obtains an interest in Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree.

17-22 The people of God express deep concern for the ruins of the temple, more than for any other of their calamities. But whatever changes there are on earth, God is still the same, and remains for ever wise and holy, just and good; with Him there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. They earnestly pray to God for mercy and grace; Turn us to thee, O Lord. God never leaves any till they first leave him; if he turns them to him in a way of duty, no doubt he will quickly return to them in a way of mercy. If God by his grace renew our hearts, he will by his favour renew our days. Troubles may cause our hearts to be faint, and our eyes to be dim, but the way to the mercy-seat of our reconciled God is open. Let us, in all our trials, put our whole trust and confidence in his mercy; let us confess our sins, and pour out our hearts before him. Let us watch against repinings and despondency; for we surely know, that it shall be well in the end with all that trust in, fear, love, and serve the Lord. Are not the Lord's judgments in the earth the same as in Jeremiah's days? Let Zion then be remembered by us in our prayers, and her welfare be sought above every earthly joy. Spare, Lord, spare thy people, and give not thine heritage to reproach, for the heathen to rule over them.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Lamentations 5

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