The five chapters of Lamentations may be easily overlooked. Not only is it brief, but it is also sandwiched between the two giants of Old Testament prophecy, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Lamentations also deals with realities which we rather wish were not discussed - consequently the book is little studied. However, although there much here to challenge faith, there is much that builds it up. Lamentations was not written in the first instance to serve as warning to others, or to even keep alive the present memory of past suffering, it is the present that dominates the thought of the book.
And in that present are overiding thoughts - 'has God left us?'; 'Have we blown our chance as God's covenant people?' 'Is there a way forward towards the restoration?'
A popular view today is that Lamentations is a dreary book with nothing to say to today's society. The reality is that it could not be more relevant, more authentic.
Mentor combines a high view of Scripture with access to the latest academic theological research. This unique combinations allows the reader to see what recent scholarly research has discovered without losing sight of scripture.
Table of Contents:
A. Historical Setting
C. Literary Structure
D. Message of the Book
A. A Grief Observed (1:1-11)
B. Grief Felt (1:12-22)
A. Under the Cloud of the Lord’s Anger (2:1-10)
B. Distressed at Jerusalem’s Plight (2:11-17)
C. Zion’s Plea (2:18-22)
A. The Agony of Suffering (3:1-24)
B. Moving Out of Darkness (3:25-39)
C. Self-examination, Complaint and Grief (3:40-48)
D. Prayer Based on Past Experience (3:49-66)
A. Zion’s Continuing Torment (4:1-10)
B. Rejected by the Lord (4:11-16)
C. Helpless is man’s aid (4:17-20)
D. The Destiny of Edom and Zion (4:21-22)
A. Plea for Attention (5:1-18)
B. Restore us! (5:19-22)
John L. Mackay was the Principal of the Free Church College, Edinburgh where he taught Old Testament from 1983 until his retirement in 2013. He is a highly-respected Old Testament scholar and has authored several well-received commentaries on a range of Biblical books.