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CHAPTER 2 Sep. 1 
God's Punishment of Jerusalem
How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger! He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, and hasn’t remembered His footstool in the day of His anger. 2The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied: He has thrown down in His wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground; He has profaned the kingdom and its princes. 3He has cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel; He has drawn back His right hand from before the enemy: He has burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around. 4He has bent His bow like an enemy, He has stood with His right hand as an adversary, has killed all that were pleasant to the eye: in the tent of the daughter of Zion He has poured out His wrath like fire. 5The Lord has become as an enemy, He has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all her palaces, He has destroyed his strongholds; He has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. 6He has violently taken away His tent, as if it were just in a garden; He has destroyed His place of assembly: Yahweh has caused solemn assembly and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion, and has despised in the indignation of His anger the king and the priest. 7The Lord has cast off His altar, He has abhorred His sanctuary; He has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces: they have made a noise in the house of Yahweh, as in the day of a solemn assembly. 8Yahweh has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He has stretched out the line, He has not withdrawn His hand from destroying; He has made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together. 9Her gates are sunk into the ground; He has destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not; yes, her prophets find no vision from Yahweh.
The Suffering of the People
10The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground, they keep silence; they have cast up dust on their heads; they have clothed themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. 11My eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled; my liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city. 12They ask their mothers for grain and wine, whilst they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, with their soul poured out into their mothers’ bosom. 13What shall I testify to you? What shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion? For your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you? 14Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity, but have seen for you false oracles and causes of banishment. 15All that pass by clap their hands at you. 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 land? 16All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you; 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! 17Yahweh has done that which He purposed; He has fulfilled His word that He commanded in the days of old; He has thrown down, and has not pitied: He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; He has exalted the horn of your adversaries. 18Their heart cried to the Lord: wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night; give yourself no respite; don’t let the apple of your eye cease. 19Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street. 
Jerusalem Speaks
20Look, Yahweh, and see to whom You have done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord? 21The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: You have killed them in the day of Your anger; You have slaughtered, and not pitied. 22You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side; there was none that escaped or remained in the day of Yahweh’s anger: those that I have dandled and brought up has my enemy consumed.


2:1 Ascending to heaven and falling from heaven are Biblical idioms often used for increasing in pride and being humbled respectively - see too Job 20:6; Jer. 51:53 (about Babylon); Mt. 11:23 (about Capernaum). The language of falling from Heaven which we meet in the Bible isn’t therefore to be taken literally.
2:14 before the Babylonian invasion, Judah had been offered the prospect of eternally remaining in their land, if they repented (Jer. 7:7). And after it happened, Jeremiah commented: “Your prophets…did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity”. It could have been ‘warded off’ by the peoples’ repentance and the more powerful entreaty of the prophets. Note how Jeremiah, himself a prophet at the time, so wishes to take the blame upon himself for not pleading more powerfully with the people. Perhaps we will have similar feelings when the time of tribulation breaks forth in the very last days. Others’ repentance to some degree depends upon the depth of our entreaty. 

2:15 Christ on the cross was so clearly bearing the judgment of Israel’s sins when He was offered gall to quench His thirst (3:15) and when those from Jerusalem mocked and wagged their heads at Him. By baptism into His death we accept that the just judgment for our sins has been laid upon Him, and we will rise again with Him in resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5). We will therefore avoid the tendency to transfer our sin and the judgment for it onto others, and judge them harshly.

2:16 Gnash the teeth- There will be "gnashing of teeth" for the rejected at the last day (Mt. 8:12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Lk. 13:28). In the Old Testament, gnashing of teeth always means to hate somebody, often the righteous (here and Job 16:9; Ps. 35:16; 37:12; 112:10). Could it not be that the rejected hate their Lord and His people, who will be watching the judgment in some form, and therefore go and join the ranks of the embittered armies that come against Him? Or is their extreme hatred against themselves?
2:18 Jeremiah wanted his grief to be reflective of the grieving prayer of the remnant to their God. His grief really was and is to be the pattern for others. Attitudes to prayer influence others. Doubtless it influenced the Lord Himself, who wept over Zion (Lk. 19:41), inevitably holding Jeremiah in His mind. Note that Isaiah had prophesied that God would not rest until Zion be restored. Watchmen would be set upon Zion’s walls who would give Him no rest until the walls be rebuilt (Is. 62:1,6,7). At this time, Zion was felt by God to be the “apple of his eye” (Zech. 2:8). This prophesy started to be fulfilled straight after the Babylonian invasion when Jeremiah urged the desolated people to pray: “Let tears run down like a river day and night; give yourself no respite; don’t let the apple of your eye cease”. The prayerful remnant gave themselves no rest; and thus was fulfilled the prophecy that God would have no rest. Sincere prayer according to God’s will meant that there was a strong mutuality between the Father and those who prayed to Him. The apple of His eye was also theirs; and thus the prayers were ultimately answered and Zion was restored. Our spirit and His are united. All this speaks of an incredible personal bonding in prayer between the Creator and each, specific one of His creatures.