Lamentations talks about the Babylonians.
The third of the Prophetical Books, and the twenty-fifth book of the Bible, is the Book of Lamentations. It is the second book to be written by the prophet Jeremiah, and, where the first book looks forward, warning of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, Lamentations looks back in mourning at the fate of the city and its people. It contains five poems which describe the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and grieve for its loss. But the Book of Lamentations also reminds us of God's faithfulness and that He will not abandon His chosen people. God's mercies remain for those who answer His call.
The loss felt by the city is akin to the loss of a widow, and its past greatness was like that of a princess.
"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people!
how is she become as a widow!
she that was great among the nations,
and princess among the provinces,
how is she become tributary!
She weepeth sore in the night,
and her tears are on her cheeks:
among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her:
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
they are become her enemies"
God had promised that in the future the enemies of Israel would be destroyed.
"They have heard that I sigh:
there is none to comfort me:
all mine enemies have heard of my trouble;
they are glad that thou hast done it:
thou wilt bring the day that thou hast called,
and they shall be like unto me.
Let all their wickedness come before thee;
and do unto them, as thou hast done unto me
for all my transgressions:
for my sighs are many,
and my heart is faint"
"Mine eyes do fail with tears,
my bowels are troubled,
my liver is poured upon the earth,
for the destruction of the daughter of my people;
because the children and the sucklings
swoon in the streets of the city.
They say to their mothers,
Where is corn and wine?
when they swooned as the wounded
in the streets of the city,
when their soul was poured out
into their mothers’ bosom."
The poem also contains descriptions of the destruction of the temple, the walls, the gates and the palaces
Jeremiah wants the people to ask for God's mercy.
"Arise, cry out in the night:
in the beginning of the watches
pour out thine heart like water
before the face of the Lord:
lift up thy hands toward him
for the life of thy young children,
that faint for hunger in the top of every street"
Jeremiah wants the people not to be angry at God for allowing the disaster to occur, but to have faith that God will protect them.
"It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul;
therefore will I hope in him"
"Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us:
thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied.
Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud,
that our prayer should not pass through.
Thou hast made us as the offscouring
and refuse in the midst of the people."
Although it seems that God has forgotten His people, Jeremiah knows that He will show mercy on those in exile
God was angry because the prophets and priests had killed innocent people.
"The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world,
would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy
should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.
For the sins of her prophets,
and the iniquities of her priests,
that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,
they have wandered as blind men in the streets,
they have polluted themselves with blood,
so that men could not touch their garments"
"Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
that dwellest in the land of Uz;
the cup also shall pass through unto thee:
thou shalt be drunken,
and shalt make thyself naked.
The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished,
O daughter of Zion;
he will no more carry thee away into captivity:
he will visit thine iniquity,
O daughter of Edom;
he will discover thy sins"
Jeremiah says that though the Jews' punishment will one day come to an end, Edom's punishment will last forever
Jeremiah says that God never changes, unlike His people. He asks God to turn them back towards Him.
"Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever;
thy throne from generation to generation.
Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever,
and forsake us so long time?
Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned;
renew our days as of old"
It is the end of Jeremiah's prayer and he knows that God's judgement against His people was just.
"But thou hast utterly rejected us;
thou art very wroth against us"