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This is another book of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah held the office of prophet. He is a product of grace. He was gregarious and he loved his friends. But in his ministry he foretold how the Jewish and Gentile nations would be ripped down and torn apart. What we call the Book of Lamentations - meaning a wail of grief over the dead - in the Hebrew actually meant 'how' (see Ecclesiastes 1:1 that begins 'how' - that is the same Hebrew word). This is a book of lamenting the administration of the 5th cycle of discipline to the Southern Kingdom of Judah in circa 586 BC.

Jeremiah's name means 'the one who the Lord stabilizes'. He is from the tribe of Levi and in the line of priests. He lived in Anathoth 5 miles North of Jerusalem in a very tough area - the land of Benjamin. He administered in the rule of Josiah. Josiah was the last great king in Judah. Jeremiah had a ministry under 5 kings of the kingdom of Judah (Josiah, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin/ Jeconiah/Coniah, Jehoahaz, and Zedekiah) and then also Nebuchadnezzar - see II Chronicles Chapter 36). His ministry in the land was 40 years from 626 BC to 586BC.

Throughout the book of Jeremiah, the doctrine of 'category II love' - between the Right Man (RM) and his Right Woman (RW) - is used in an analogy to 'category I love' - between God and Israel here (and later Gentile believers also). The original RW to God as RM was the nation of Israel.

Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations after the book of Jeremiah.

Chapter 1
{Note: The book of Jeremiah was his prophecy. This book is the funeral dearth of his country about to go out under the 5th Cycle of Discipline. The Title for the book in the Hebrew is the word for 'How'. But the book is about the lamentations of the people of Judah.}

1a~~How deserted lies the city
once so full of people!

  {The Analogy}
1b~~How like a widow is she {Judah}
who was once great among the nations.

1c~~She {Jerusalem - the capital of Judah}
was queen among the provinces.
How she has become a slave!

2a~~Bitterly she {the widow in the analogy}
weeps at night and her tears are on her cheeks
  {'she' refers to a believer left behind without doctrine in her soul -
  to handle the hard times of captivity - they rejected Jeremiah's

2b~~Among all her lovers
there is none to comfort her
  {when your comfort comes from anything but bible doctrine,
  this is your status}.

2c~~All her friends have betrayed her!
  {Judah was a fantastic trading nation at the time! All her 'friends'
  disappeared when she was attacked by Chaldea}

2d~~They are become her enemies
  {fair-weather friends become your enemies if you lose everything!}.

{Historical Data on the Southern Kingdom of Judea}
3a~~After affliction and harsh labor
Judah has gone into exile.

3b~~She dwells among the nations.
She finds no resting place.
All who pursued her
have overtaken her in the
midst of her distress
  {Chaldeans and the Egyptians who came to rescue her for payment
  turned around and ran}.

4~~The roads to Zion mourn
  {the hill in Jerusalem where the temple stood},
No one comes to her appointed feasts.
All her gates are desolate
  {no commerce in and out - economic depression and starvation}.
Her priests groan.
Her maidens grieve
  {gang raped by the Chaldeans and Edomites is one reason}.
And she is in bitter anguish
  {indicates their fear that it could still happen again!}.

{Note: In captivity, the feasts are no more. For a long time they had been ritual without reality anyway. All of these categories of people were in anguish - all strong believers (the young bible students of Jeremiah - were taken to Babylon in chains. These were the unbelievers and the baby believers.}

5~~Her foes have become her masters
  {Chaldeans and later the Edomites and Arab bandits
  raped and robbed}.
Her enemies are at ease
  {enjoying the prosperity of conquerors -
  the natural result of allowing your military to weaken}.
For Jehovah/God has brought her grief
because of her many sins.
Her children are gone into exile {see Psalm 119}
They are captives before the foe.

6~~All the splender has departed
from the daughter of Zion.
Her princes {aristocracy} are
like deer that find no pasture.
In weakness, they have fled
before the pursuer.

7~~Jerusalem remembers all her treasures
  {all they USED to have and is all gone!}
that were hers in the days of old.
When her people fell into the hand of the enemy,
there was no help for her.
The enemies looked at her,
and laughed at her in derision.

8~~Jerusalem has sinned greatly
and so has become unclean.
All who honored her, despise her
  {those nations who used to trade with her now despise her
  she was the capital of Free Enterprise},
for they have seen her nakedness
  {Jerusalem was now in ruins}.
Yes, she herself groans, and turns away.

{What about the Survivors?}
9~~Her filthiness clung to her skirts.
She did not consider her future.
Her fall was astounding.
There was no one to comfort her
  {every time you study doctrine you store up knowledge that brings
  the believer comfort in times of hardships}.
Look O Jehovah/God,
on my affliction.
For the enemy has triumphed.

10~~The enemy laid hands on her treasures
  {Jerusalem was the 'Wall Street' of the times}.
She saw pagans/gentiles/heathen
enter into her sanctuary . . .
  {they entered and robbed the Temple of God}
those You had forbidden
to enter Your assembly.

11~~All her people groan
as they search for bread
  {this was during the siege of Jerusalem}.
They bartered their treasures for food
to keep themselves alive
  {these Jews looked at 'wealth' as a system of security and
  it is NOT! Wealth is meaningless when people are starving!}.
Look, O Jehovah/God, and consider.
For I {personification of Jerusalem} am despised.

12a~~Is it nothing to you,
all you who pass by?
Look around, and see.
  {we can do this today. Look around and see Godless people in
  Godless cities and ask - will wealth protect them?}

12b~~Is any suffering like my suffering(?) . . .
that was inflicted upon me . . .
that Jehovah/God brought on me
in the day of His fierce anger?

{Note: Humans have never seen suffering like that when God is administering the 5th cycle of discipline. Divine discipline is like this for a reason! Reject God and His Word and you will KNOW what you have brought on YOURSELF!}

{Description of Apostate People Under 5th Cycle of Discipline}
13~~From on High
He has sent fire down into my bones
  {instead of the Wall of Fire for mature believers
  Apostate/Reversionists feel fire down in their bones},
He has spread a net for my feet.
He has turned me back.
He has made me desolate . . .
faint all day long.

14~~My sins have been bound into a yoke of slavery.
And, by His hands they were woven together.
They have come back upon my neck.
And the 'Adonay/Lord has sapped my strength,
and has delivered me over to those
I can not withstand.

15~~ The 'Adonay/Lord has rejected
all the warriors in my midst
  {there was a Jewish army but the politicians had
  badly neglected it so it crumbled in war time}.
He has summoned an army against me
to crush my young men {Chaldeans did this}.
In His winepress,
The 'Adonay/Lord has trampled
the maiden/virgin {b@thuwlah} daughter of Judah
  {administration of 5th cycle of discipline - see Leviticus Chapter 26
  and Deuteronomy 28: 49-67}.

16~~This is why I weep {says Jeremiah}.
My eyes overflow with tears.
No one is near to comfort me.
No one to restore my spirit
  {nephesh - means soul but is used for 'spiritual relation with God'}.
My children {Jeremiah's congregation} are destitute,
because the enemy has prevailed.

17~~ Zion stretches out her hands,
but there is no one to comfort her.
Jehovah/God has decreed for Jacob,
that his neighbors become his foes.
Jerusalem has become an unclean thing
among them
  {idiom: literally 'a woman menstruating'. A woman in her period,
  was considered unclean and had to be separated from others
  until this period was over}.

18~~ Jehovah/God is righteous.
For I have rebelled
  {rebellion in the soul}
against His commandment.
Hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow.
My maidens/virgins and my young men
have gone into captivity/exile
  {Daniel and other young people's hostage taking}.

19~~ I called for my allies/lovers {'ahab} . . .
  {refers to Egypt - after the death of Josiah}
{but} they deceived me.
My priests and my elders
'gave up the ghost'/perish {gava`}
in the city {Jerusalem}
  {reason? - natural result of their apostasy - reap what they
while they seek for food
to keep themselves alive
  {idiom: literally : 'to relieve their souls'}.

20~~ Behold, O Jehovah/God.
For I am in distress. {why?}
My emotions/bowels are troubled/tormented
  {describing when the emotion is dominating the soul}.
My 'right lobe'/heart is turned/disturbed within me
  {when the bowels rule, the heart can not think}.
I have been most rebellious
  {Jeremiah using 1st person to personify the people of
  Israel at the time God administered the 5th cycle of discipline}.
Outside the sword bereaves
  {describes the siege of Jerusalem},
at home there is only death
  {587BC siege resulted in mass starvation and death}.

21~~People have heard my {Jerusalem's} groaning.
But there is no one to comfort me.
All of my enemies have heard of my distress.
They rejoice at what you have done.
May You bring the day that you have announced,
so that they may become like me
  {their day of reckoning will also come some day}.

22~~ Let all their wickedness come before You.
Deal with them as You have dealt with me,
because of all my sins.
For groans are many,
and my heart/'right lobe' is faint.

{Note: Jeremiah is saying the people of Jerusalem were praying imprecatory prayers against the foes inflicting great pain on them.}