Lamentations 2

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English: American Standard Version         

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1 How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He hath cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, And hath not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.

2 The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: He hath thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He hath brought them down to the ground; he hath profaned the kingdom and the princes thereof.

3 He hath cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel; He hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy: And he hath burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.

4 He hath bent his bow like an enemy, he hath stood with his right hand as an adversary, And hath slain all that were pleasant to the eye: In the tent of the daughter of Zion he hath poured out his wrath like fire.

5 The Lord is become as an enemy, he hath swallowed up Israel; He hath swallowed up all her palaces, he hath destroyed his strongholds; And he hath multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he hath destroyed his place of assembly: Jehovah hath caused solemn assembly and sabbath to be forgotten in Zion, And hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.

7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary; He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces: They have made a noise in the house of Jehovah, as in the day of a solemn assembly.

8 Jehovah hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He hath stretched out the line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying; And he hath made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together.

9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not; Yea, her prophets find no vision from Jehovah.

10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, they keep silence; They have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.

11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled; My liver is poured upon the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, Because the young children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

12 They say to their mothers, Where is grain and wine? When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, When their soul is poured out into their mothers' bosom.

13 What shall I testify unto thee? what shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?

14 Thy prophets have seen for thee false and foolish visions; And they have not uncovered thine iniquity, to bring back thy captivity, But have seen for thee false oracles and causes of banishment.

15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, [saying], Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?

16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth wide against thee; They hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up; Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.

17 Jehovah hath done that which he purposed; he hath fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old; He hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: And he hath caused the enemy to rejoice over thee; he hath exalted the horn of thine adversaries.

18 Their heart cried unto the Lord: O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night; Give thyself no respite; let not the apple of thine eye cease.

19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; Pour out thy 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 at the head of every street.

20 See, O Jehovah, and behold to whom thou hast done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?

21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: Thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast slaughtered, [and] not pitied.

22 Thou hast called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side; And there was none that escaped or remained in the day of Jehovah's anger: Those that I have dandled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 120


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 402, 414, 921, 1071, 1460, 2015, 2162, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 20, 49, 158, 166, 270, 285, 299, ...


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 31, 69, 187, 195, 204, 304, 315, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 78

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:


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Word/Phrase Explanations

daughter of zion
'Virgin' and 'daughter of Zion' signify the church regarding the affection of good and truth.

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

heaven
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

remembered
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

Footstool
A footstool, as in Psalm 132:7, signifies the Lord's church in the earths. A footstool, as in Psalm 110:1, signifies the lowest region under the...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

swallowed
To 'swallow' signifies natural truth.

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

Strongholds
Strong holds,' as in Daniel 11:39, signify the aspects of self-derived intelligence confirmed by he literal sense of the Word.

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

ground
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

princes
Captains and Rulers (Jer. 51:23) signifies principal evils and falsities. Captains and Rulers (Ezek 33:6) signifies principal truths. See Chief Captains.

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

Fierce anger
'Fierce anger,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies grievous aversion from good.

Horn
'A horn,' when spoken of the Lord, signifies omnipotence. 'The little horn that rose up,' as mentioned in Daniel 7:3-8, signifies the full perversion of...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

Right hand
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

enemy
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

Bow
A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

slain
'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

eye
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

tent
'Tent' is used in the Word to signify the celestial and holy aspects of love, because in ancient time they performed holy worship in their...

wrath
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.

palaces
'A palace,' as in Psalm 144:12, represents the understanding in which truths have a beautiful form. They have a beautiful form when they are from...

Garden
A garden and paradise signify intellect and wisdom.

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

sabbath
In Exodus 31:13, 'verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep,' signifies continuous holy thought about the union of the Lord’s divine with His human.

forgotten
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

despised
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

altar
The first altar mentioned in the Word was built by Noah after he came out of the ark. On that altar, he sacrificed clean animals...

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

noise
'A voice crying,' and 'the voice of a cry,' are common expressions in the Word, and are applied whenever there is a noise or disturbance,...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

stretched out
The hand in the Bible represents power, which is easy to understand, so to reach out or stretch out the hand means to exercise power,...

gates
In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

prophets
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

vision
Vision is the innermost revelation, which is of perception. Visions are according to the state of humankind. The visions of people whose interiors are closed,...

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

Sit
'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

dust
'Powder' or 'dust' refers to love of self and the world.

heads
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

girded
To gird one’s self, as in John. 21:18, signifies to know and perceive truths in the light from good.

sackcloth
'Being clothed in sackcloth' signifies lamentation because of the devastation of truth in the church. 'Sackcloth,' as in Revelation 6:12, relates to destroyed good.

virgins
A ‘virgin’ in the Word means those who are in the Lord’s kingdom. –Secrets of Heaven 3081...

Jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

tears
'A tear' signifies grief because of a lack of understanding of truth.

liver
'The liver,' as in Exodus 29:13, signifies interior purification, and 'the caul above the liver,' the inferior good of the external or natural self.

sucklings
The infants in the street,' in Jeremiah 9:21, signify truth beginning to grow.

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

mothers
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

grain
Corn,' as in Genesis 42:2, here stands for a word in the original language which means 'breaking,' and also for a similar word meaning to...

Wine
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

bosom
"Bosom" in general terms means the chest, but more as the seat of the emotions than simply as part of the body. You'd think of...

comfort
When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

virgin
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

uncovered
'Unclothed' signifies being deprived of the truths of faith.

iniquity
In Isaiah 59:6, 'webs' and 'garments' signify aspects of the understanding, or thought, 'Iniquity' and 'violence,' aspects of the will, or works.

Captivity
Captivity and spoil (Daniel 11:33) signifies the deprivation of every truth and good.

pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

beauty
Beauty of his ornament (Ezek. 7:20) signifies the church and its doctrine.

opened
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

teeth
'Tooth,' as in Exodus 21:24, denotes the exterior understanding, and natural truth.

seen
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

commanded
To command is to give an order that something must be done, and is directed to an individual, or a group. It is an imperative,...

Days of old
The days of old (Psalms 77:5) signify states of the most ancient church, and years of ancient times, states of the ancient church.

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

rejoice
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

adversaries
Foes, or adversaries, denote the falsities of evil. Foes, or adversaries, when predicate of the Lord, signifies to avert falsities derived from evil.

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

river
A 'stream' signifies aspects of intelligence.

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

Pour out
Pouring out the vials upon the earth, which contained the plagues,' in Revelation 16:1, signifies influx of the reformed into the church, or into people...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

women
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

youth
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

streets
The phrase 'in the streets and synagogues' in Matthew 6:2, 5, and Luke 8:26-27, refers to a representative rite amongst the Jews to teach in...

fallen
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.


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