King James Bible

King James Version (KJV)

King James Bible KJV

Lamentation


"(Heb. qinah), an elegy or dirge. The first example of this form" of poetry is the lament of David over Saul and Jonathan (2 Sam. 1:17-27). It was a frequent accompaniment of mourning (Amos "8:10). In 2 Sam. 3:33, 34 is recorded David's lament over Abner." Prophecy sometimes took the form of a lament when it predicted "calamity (Ezek. 27:2, 32; 28:12; 32:2, 16)."

"Called in the Hebrew canon 'Ekhah, meaning "How," being the" formula for the commencement of a song of wailing. It is the first word of the book (see 2 Sam. 1:19-27). The LXX. adopted "the name rendered "Lamentations" (Gr. threnoi = Heb. qinoth) now" "in common use, to denote the character of the book, in which the" prophet mourns over the desolations brought on the city and the holy land by Chaldeans. In the Hebrew Bible it is placed among the Khethubim. (See [348]BIBLE.) "As to its authorship, there is no room for hesitancy in following the LXX. and the Targum in ascribing it to Jeremiah. "The spirit, tone, language, and subject-matter are in accord" with the testimony of tradition in assigning it to him. "According to tradition, he retired after the destruction of" Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar to a cavern outside the Damascus "gate, where he wrote this book. That cavern is still pointed" "out. "In the face of a rocky hill, on the western side of the" "city, the local belief has placed `the grotto of Jeremiah.'" "There, in that fixed attitude of grief which Michael Angelo has" "immortalized, the prophet may well be supposed to have mourned" "the fall of his country" (Stanley, Jewish Church)." "The book consists of five separate poems. In chapter 1 the prophet dwells on the manifold miseries oppressed by which the city sits as a solitary widow weeping sorely. In chapter 2 these miseries are described in connection with the national sins that had caused them. Chapter 3 speaks of hope for the people of God. The chastisement would only be for their good; a better day would dawn for them. Chapter 4 laments the ruin and desolation "that had come upon the city and temple, but traces it only to" the people's sins. Chapter 5 is a prayer that Zion's reproach may be taken away in the repentance and recovery of the people. "The first four poems (chapters) are acrostics, like some of the "Psalms (25, 34, 37, 119), i.e., each verse begins with a letter" "of the Hebrew alphabet taken in order. The first, second, and" "fourth have each twenty-two verses, the number of the letters in" "the Hebrew alphabet. The third has sixty-six verses, in which" each three successive verses begin with the same letter. The fifth is not acrostic. "Speaking of the "Wailing-place (q.v.) of the Jews" at Jerusalem, "a portion of the old wall of the temple of Solomon, Schaff says:" There the Jews assemble every Friday afternoon to bewail the "downfall of the holy city, kissing the stone wall and watering" it with their tears. They repeat from their well-worn Hebrew Bibles and prayer-books the Lamentations of Jeremiah and "suitable Psalms."


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