Books of Bible
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. The author.
1. The human agent by whom this book came is not known with
a. Most of the book was written at a time of calamity for
b. It fits with the destruction of Jerusalem in the days of
c. The references to Egypt and the personal distress and
persecution of the writer all point to Jeremiah as the writer
of at least a major portion of the book.
d. For more information on the life of Jeremiah, see the
outline on the written prophecy of Jeremiah.
2. The Jews credit the book of Lamentations, at least a major
portion of it, to Jeremiah.
3. It is possible the book was written by more than one human
author and therefore it is not credited to anyone.
a. The book bears the marks of inspiration and that points to
a superhuman source.
b. Though the information came from God the Spirit by
revelation, the literary style, vocabulary, and education of
the human agent is preserved.
B. The background (a brief history of the city of Jerusalem from
the time of the conquest of Canaan to the time of Jesus).
1. When the Jews took Canaan under the leadership of Joshua,
a part of the city was occupied. The Jebusites were not forced
out of Jerusalem (Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:21).
2. David defeated the Jebusites and made Jerusalem the capital
(2 Sam. 2:6; 1 Chron. 11:4).
3. In the reign of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, Shishak of Egypt
defeated Jerusalem and took away "the treasures of the house
of the Lord" (1 Kings 14:25; 2 Chron. 12:2-9).
4. During the reign of Amaziah in Jerusalem, Joash of Israel
invaded Jerusalem, broke down 600 feet of the wall of the
city, and took away "all the gold and silver, and all the vessels
that were found in the house of God" (2 Chron. 25:20-24).
5. When Zedekiah ruled in Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon, invaded the land and destroyed the city, its wall, and
its temple, taking away "all the vessels of the house of God,
great and small" (2 Chron. 36:17-22).
6. Under Zerubbabel and Ezra the city temple rebuilt and the
city restored (Ezra 3:1 to 6:22).
7. Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria invaded Jerusalem, destroyed
the walls, sacked the city, and desecrated the temple.
8. Pompey, a Roman general, in 63 B.C., defeated Jerusalem,
tore down the walls and put the Jews under Roman control.
9. Under Herod the Great, a vassal of Rome, the city was
restored and the temple rebuilt in splendor. This was the
temple of Jesus' day.
10. Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple and the city
by the Romans (Matt. 24:4-31). To this day the temple and
its wall have not been rebuilt.
II. The Book.
1. The book of Lamentations is five chapters long and
expresses sorrow over the destruction of Jerusalem and its
temple, and other misfortunes of the Jews.
2. The book is a poem in alphabetical style (like the 119th
Psalm). Each chapter begins with a different letter of the 22
letter Hebrew alphabet, except the third chapter where the
first three verses begin with the first letter, the second
three with the second letter, and so on through the 22 letter
Hebrew alphabet. Each chapter has 22 verses, except the
third chapter which, of course, has 66 verses.
B. Solitary and ruined (1:1 to 2:22).
1. Prophecy fulfilled (1:1-22).
a. The city is deserted (1:1-11).
b. The people suffer (1:12-17).
c. Jehovah is vindicated (1:18-22).
2. Jeremiah grieves over the condition of Jerusalem (2:1-22).
a. Jehovah, not Nebuchadnezzar, is the cause of Jerusalem's
b. God's fierce anger is awful (2:20-22).
C. The suffering of Jeremiah (3:1-66).
1. The faithful mourn their hardship (3:1-21).
2. In hope they wait for the salvation of the Lord (3:22-36).
a. The unceasing mercies of God.
b. Jehovah is the secret of hope.
c. Suffering is only for a season.
3. God is just and his ways are right (3:37-54).
4. A prayer for deliverance (3:55-66).
D. The people suffer (4:1-22).
1. The gold is dimmed (4:1-12).
a. The innocent suffer.
b. The rich are impoverished.
c. Worse than Sodom.
d. Features are black as coal.
e. To die by the sword is better than to die from hunger.
f. Women boil and eat their own children.
g. The suffering is unbelievable.
E. A pitiful complaint (5:1-22).
1. Insult and abuse have been piled on Jerusalem (5:1-18).
2. Final appeal to God for the reversal of the judgment
3. After punishment comes restoration.