by Jerry Vines

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Funeral Songs for a Prodigal City (10 of 10)
Jerry Vines

I do not know that you will very often hear a study from the book of Lamentations. I'm going to give you an overall view. I certainly won't take in all of the verses of these five chapters, but I'm going to try to give you the essence of the message of the book of Lamentations and show you why it is in our Bible and show you what the message of it is for the twenty-first century and for you and for me in the year 2005.

The book of Lamentations takes its English title from the Latin Vulgate, which is a Latin version of the Old Testament. Lamentations means a funeral dirge or a funeral song.

In the Hebrew Bible it takes its title from the first word of Lamentations. Our English version translates it ''How.'' ''How does the city sit solitary?'' It's the Hebrew word eykah. It could be translated ''alas.'' One paraphrase put it this way, ''Oh, oh, oh.'' It is a word of mourning. It is a word of sorrow. It is a word of grief. ''Alas, the city sits desolate that was full of people.''

It is a picture of mourning for the city of Jerusalem which has fallen. The city of Jerusalem has been taken, and now we are going to read a funeral dirge.

There are about five funeral songs in the book of the Lamentations. We'll look at those five songs in our study this evening.

It's important for us to tie the book of Lamentations with the book of Jeremiah. In Jeremiah, chapter 52, we have the historical account of the fall of the city of Jerusalem. You may remember that Jeremiah had been predicting to the people that Jerusalem was going to fall, that it would be overtaken by its enemies, and that the people would be carried away into Babylonian captive.

Jeremiah 52 records the facts of history. The book of Lamentations records the feelings of the heart, the emotions involved in seeing this city fall, and seeing its citizens carried away into captivity.

It is believed that Jeremiah is the author of this parti ...

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