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CHAPTER 1 Aug. 31 
The Suffering of Jerusalem
How the city sits solitary, that was full of people! She has become a widow, she who was once great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a tributary! 2She weeps bitterly in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they are become her enemies. 3Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest: all her persecutors overtook her within the narrows. 4The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn assembly; all her gates are desolate, her priests do sigh: her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness. 5Her adversaries are become the head, her enemies prosper; for Yahweh has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her young children are gone into captivity before the adversary. 6From the daughter of Zion all her majesty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, they are gone without strength before the pursuer. 7Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that were from the days of old. When her people fell into the hand of the adversary, no one helped her; the adversaries saw her, they mocked at her desolations. 8Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore she has become as an unclean thing; all who honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yes, she sighs, and turns backward. 9Her filthiness was in her skirts; she didn’t remember her latter end; therefore is she come down wonderfully; she has no comforter: see, Yahweh, my affliction; for the enemy has magnified himself. 10The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things: for she has seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom You commanded that they should not enter into Your assembly. 11All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for food to refresh the soul: look, Yahweh, and see; for I am become abject.
Jerusalem Confesses Her Transgressions
12Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look, and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me, with which Yahweh has afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger. 13From on high has He sent fire into my bones, and it prevails against them; He has spread a net for my feet, He has turned me back: He has made me desolate and faint all the day. 14The yoke of my transgressions is bound by His hand; they are knit together, they have come up on my neck; He has made my strength to fail: the Lord has delivered me into their hands, against whom I am not able to stand. 15The Lord has set at nothing all my mighty men in the midst of me; He has called a solemn assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord has trodden as in a wine press the virgin daughter of Judah. 16For these things I weep; my eye, my eye runs down with water; because the comforter who should refresh my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy has prevailed.17Zion spreads forth her hands; there is none to comfort her; Yahweh has commanded concerning Jacob, that those who are around him should be his adversaries: Jerusalem is among them as an unclean thing. 18Yahweh is righteous; for I have rebelled against His commandment: please hear, all you peoples, and see my sorrow: my virgins and my young men are gone into captivity. 19I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: my priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city, while they sought themselves food to refresh their souls. 20See, Yahweh; for I am in distress; my heart is troubled; my heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: abroad the sword bereaves, at home there is as death. 21They have heard that I sigh; there is none to comfort me; all my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that You have done it: You will bring the day that You have proclaimed, and they shall be like me.  22Let all their wickedness come before You; do to them, as You have done to me for all my transgressions: for my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.


1:1 God speaks as if He is married to Israel, and that even in their sufferings, He would suffer with them, as a husband suffers with his wife: “the destroyer will come upon us” (Jer. 6:22,26) even sounds as if God let Himself in a way be ‘destroyed’ in Israel’s destruction; for each of us dies a little in the death of those we love. The idea of God being destroyed in the destruction of His people may be the basis of the descriptions of Zion as being left widowed (here and Is. 54:1-8). We ask the question- if she was a widow, who died? Her husband, God, was as it were dead. The very idea of the death of the immortal God is awful and obnoxious. But this was and is the depth of God’s feelings at His peoples’ destruction, but it paves the way for the idea of God somehow being “in Christ” at His death. 
1:9 No comforter-Seeing God knows all things, we should have total openness with God; this is why some of the great heroes of faith apparently openly question God, because they realized that if they felt something internally, then God knew this anyway. Thus Jeremiah complains that Zion has no comforter- in clear reference to the prophecies of Is. 40:1 that when Judah went into captivity, they would have a comforter. When Jeremiah complains that “The comforter who should refresh my soul is far from me” (:16) he is surely saying ‘The prophesied comforter of Isaiah just simply hasn’t come!’. He had his doubts- and he expresses them openly to God. We can find this same openness in prayer before God if we have a living relationship with Him.
1:18 In Jer. 15:15-19, Jeremiah asks for vengeance on his persecutors, and accuses God of deceiving him. God’s response is to ask him to repent of this, so that he can resume his prophetic work. Perhaps Jeremiah had this incident in mind when he commented: “Yahweh is righteous; for I have rebelled against His commandment”. This indicates that at least in Jeremiah’s case, he was not irresistibly carried along by the Spirit in some kind of ecstasy, having no option but to speak God’s word. His speaking of God’s word required that he shared the essentially loving and gracious spirit / disposition of his God; and he struggled to have this. Note too how repentance requires a specific, sober recognition that God is right and we were wrong- repentance isn’t a mere shrugging of the shoulders and half-second acceptance that we messed up.