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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Lamentations of Jeremiah

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Lamentations of Jeremiah. Contents— The lamentations are an elegaic poem on the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. The book consists of five separate poems, each complete in itself. The poetical form of this composition is a very elaborate alphabetical structure. The first four chapters are acrostics, like Psalms 25:1-22; Psalms 34:1-22; Psalms 37:1-40; Psalms 119:1-176, etc.—that is, every verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet in regular order. Chaps. 1, 2, and 4 contain 22 verses each, according to the number of Hebrew letters. The third chapter has three successive verses beginning with the same letter, making 66 verses in all. It soothed the weary years of the Babylonian exile, and afterward kept up a lively remembrance of the days of the deepest humiliation. On the ninth day of the month of Ab (July) it was read, year by year, with fasting and weeping, to commemorate the national misery and the final deliverance. The author is not named anywhere in the Bible, and the book is not quoted in the New Testament; but general tradition assigns the composition to Jeremiah, and this is the prevailing opinion.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Lamentations of Jeremiah'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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