Lamentations 1:1

Hebrew Bible

1 א (Alef) Alas! The city once full of people now sits all alone! The prominent lady among the nations has become a widow! The princess who once ruled the provinces has become a forced laborer! 2 ב (Bet) She weeps bitterly at night; tears stream down her cheeks. She has no one to comfort her among all her lovers. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies. 3 ג (Gimel) Judah has departed into exile under affliction and harsh oppression. She lives among the nations; she has found no resting place. All who pursued her overtook her in narrow straits.

Baruch 4:12


10 for I have seen the exile of my sons and daughters, which the Everlasting brought upon them. 11 With joy I nurtured them, but I sent them away with weeping and sorrow. 12 Let no one rejoice over me, a widow and bereaved of many; I was left desolate because of the sins of my children, because they turned away from the law of God. 13 They had no regard for his statutes; they did not walk in the ways of God's commandments, or tread the paths his righteousness showed them. 14 Let the neighbors of Zion come; remember the capture of my sons and daughters, which the Everlasting brought upon them.

 Notes and References

"... The unexpected reference to the widowhood of Jerusalem is surprising (Baruch 4:12a), because there was no previous mention of the city as a woman, or a wife. Added to that, the miserable isolation of the widow Jerusalem is not a result of the death of her husband, but because of the neglect of God’s commandments by her own children (Baruch 4:12b–13). It is noteworthy that the concept and the image of the widowhood of Jerusalem are found explicitly only in Baruch (compare Baruch 4:16). Although the metaphorical image of a marriage between YHWH and Jerusalem is already found in Ezekiel 16:1–8, it is used there in a negative sense (she is a whore) and with an ambivalent connotation. In contrast to Ezekiel 16, the sins are not here attributed to Jerusalem (compare Ezekiel 16:2–3), but to her children, i.e. the inhabitants of Jerusalem (compare Baruch 4:12b–13). In this way, there is not only a rehabilitation, or a release from guilt, but also a hypostasis of Jerusalem ..."

Elßner. Thomas R. "Emotions in Jerusalem's Prayer: Baruch and Lamentations" in Reif, Stefan C., and Renate Egger-Wenzel (eds.) Ancient Jewish Prayers and Emotions (pp. 71-81) De Gruyter, 2015

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