Read Lamentations one through five
Today I’m sharing my answers to the second page of the Book Overview Study. I know I’ve said it before, but my answers aren’t the “right” answers. Particularly when it comes to noticing repeated themes in the book, there could be several themes throughout. If your answers don’t line up with mine, I’d love to hear about it! Quite possibly you’re picking up on a theme that I have missed. (THIS is the joy of studying God’s Word in community!)
Are there any repeated words or phrases?
I did not notice any specific repeated words or phrases, but there are several different words to reference Israel’s sin. The author refers to it as sin (1:8), uncleanness (1:9), rebellion (1:20), and transgressions (1:22).
I noticed three repeated themes: Israel’s sin (and references to past transgressions/lovers/etc), references to grief (words like tears/broken bones/destruction), and God’s activity (whether actions of destruction or calling to God to act). This book doesn’t have the traditional repetition of themes as I’ve seen before, for example, in the book of Philippians. The thick and abundant use of metaphor makes themes harder to identify.
This is poetry – we know this because of the language used and the structure found in our English Bibles.
How will the genre effect interpretation?
Knowing that it is a poetical book will help us interpret the book through that lens. The language is extreme in places, and we will want to keep in mind that the language is poetic, using metaphors and similes to express the extreme emotions of the author.
PRAY & REFLECT
Thank God that His Word is infallible. Thank Him for making His Word available to us today. Ask Him to ready you to study this book of Lament – in His presence, with joy.