Lamentations 2:5
The Lord is like an enemy; He has swallowed up Israel. He has swallowed up all her palaces and destroyed her strongholds. He has multiplied mourning and lamentation for the Daughter of Judah.
Jehovah Reckoned as an EnemyD. Young Lamentations 2:5
ChastisementsJ. Udall.Lamentations 2:1-9
Spoiled HabitationsJ. Udall.Lamentations 2:1-9
Strength DespoiledJ. Udall.Lamentations 2:1-9
Divine DispleasureJ. Udall.Lamentations 2:4-5
God as an EnemyW. P. Adeney, M. A.Lamentations 2:4-5
The Divine AngerJ. Udall.Lamentations 2:4-5

I. HOW FAR WAS THERE REALITY UNDER THIS APPEARANCE OF ENMITY? God might look like an enemy, but it did not therefore follow that he was one. But even if Jehovah behaved himself like an enemy, it must also be asked whether there was not a necessity that he should do so. If Israel had to say, "Jehovah acts as an enemy towards us," Jehovah had to say, "My people act as an enemy towards me." These people had now for a long time been travelling in the wrong way, and it was in the very nature of things that the more they advanced the morn opposition should multiply and become intensified. God not only appeared to be an enemy, but in certain respects he really was an enemy. He hated the evil that had risen to such a height among those whom he had taken for his own. Our love for evil is ever the measure of his hate of it; and the more determined we are to cling to it, the more his hostility will appear. God himself always keeps in the same path of law and righteousness and order. When we, according to our measure, follow in his footsteps, then real opposition there cannot be; but the moment we think fit to become a law to ourselves and do what is right in our own eyes, then inevitably he must oppose us.

II. THIS ENMITY WAS LARGELY IN APPEARANCE ONLY. When Israel said that Jehovah was as an enemy, they got their idea of enmity from the hostile proceedings of individuals and communities. But God cannot be the enemy of any man as men are enemies one to another. His motives are different and so are the results of all his opposition. One man forming hostile plans against another acts from malicious motives, or at all events from selfish ones. There is no basis of reason in what he does. He is not hostile to the lower in order that he may show himself friendly to the higher. Besides, we must not look merely at outward manifestations of enmity. There may be the deepest enmity and greatest power of inflicting injury where outwardly all looks harmless. Those who profess to be our friends and whom we reckon to be our friends may yet inflict worse injuries than all avowed enemies taken together. God is the true Friend of every man, however he may be thought at times to put on the appearance of an enemy. - Y.

He hath bent His bow like an enemy.
If God is tormenting His people in fierce anger, it must be because He is their enemy — so the sad-hearted patriot reasons. First, we have the earthly side of the process. The daughter of Zion is covered with a cloud — a metaphor more striking in the brilliant East than in our habitually sombre climate. There it would suggest unwonted gloom — the loss of the customary light of heaven, rare distress, and excessive melancholy. But there is more than gloom. A mere cloud may lift, and discover everything unaltered by the passing shadow. The distress that has fallen on Jerusalem is not thus superficial and transient. She herself has suffered a fatal fall. The Language is now varied; instead of "the daughter of Zion" we have "the beauty of Israel." The use of the larger title, Israel, is not a little significant. It shows that the elegist is alive to the idea of the fundamental unity of his race, a unity which could not be destroyed by centuries of intertribal warfare. It has been suggested with probability that by the expression "the beauty of Israel" the elegist intended to indicate the temple. This magnificent pile of buildings, crowning one of the hills of Jerusalem, and shining with gold in "barbaric splendour," was the central object of beauty among all the people who revered the worship it enshrined. Its situation would naturally suggest the language here employed. Still keeping in mind the temple, the poet tells us that God has forgotten His footstool. He seems to be thinking of the mercy seat over the ark, the spot at which God was thought to show Himself propitious to Israel on the great day of atonement, and which was looked upon as the very centre of the Divine presence. No miracle intervenes to punish the heathen for their sacrilege. Yes, surely God must have forgotten His footstool! So it seems to the sorrowful Jew, perplexed at the impunity with which this crime has been committed. But the mischief is not confined to the central shrine. It has extended to remote country regions and simple rustic folk. The shepherd's hut has shared the fate of the temple of the Lord. All the habitations of Jacob — a phrase which in the original points to country cottages — have been swallowed up. The holiest is not spared on account of its sanctity, neither is the lowliest on account of its obscurity. The calamity extends to all districts, to all things, to all classes. If the shepherd's cot is contrasted with the temple and the ark because of its simplicity, the fortress may be contrasted with this defenceless hut because of its strength. Yet even the strongholds have been thrown down. More than this, the action of the Jews' army has been paralysed by the God who had been its strength and support in the glorious olden time. It is as though the right hand of the warrior had been seized from behind and drawn back at the moment when it was raised to strike a blow for deliverance. The consequence is that the flower of the army, "all that were pleasant to the eye," are slain. Israel herself is swallowed up, while her palaces and fortresses are demolished. The climax of this mystery of Divine destruction is reached when God destroys His own temple. The elegist returns to the dreadful subject as though fascinated by the terror of it. According to the strict translation of the original, God is mid to have violently taken away His tabernacle "as a garden." At the siege of a city the fruit gardens that encircle it are the first victims of the destroyer's axe. Lying out beyond the walls they are entirely unprotected, while the impediments they offer to the movements of troops and instruments of war induce the commander to order their early demolition. Thus Titus had the trees cleared from the Mount of Olives, so that one of the first incidents in the Roman siege of Jerusalem must have been the destruction of the Garden of Gethsemane. Now the poet compares the ease with which the great, massive temple — itself a powerful fortress, and enclosed within the city wails — was demolished, with the simple process of scouring the outlying gardens. The deeper thought that God rejects His sanctuary because His people have first rejected Him is not brought forward just now. Yet this solution of the mystery is prepared by a contemplation of the utter failure of the old ritual of atonement. Evidently that is not always effective, for here it has broken down entirely; then can it ever be inherently efficacious? It cannot be enough to trust to a sanctuary and ceremonies which God Himself destroys. The first thing to be noticed in this unhestitating ascription to God of positive enmity is the striking evidence it contains of faith in the Divine power, presence, and activity. The victorious army of the Babylonians filled the field as completely in the old time as that of the Germans in the modern event. Yet the poet simply ignores its existence. He passes it with sublime indifference, his mind filled with the thought of the unseen Power behind. He knows that the action of the true God is supreme in everything that happens, whether the event be favourable or unfavourable to His people. Perhaps it is only owing to the dreary materialism of current thought that we should be less likely to discover an indication of the enmity of God in some huge national calamity. Still, although this idea of the elegist is a fruit of his unshaken faith in the universal sway of God, it startles and shocks us, and we shrink from it almost as though it contained some blasphemous suggestion. Is the elegist only expressing his own feelings? Have we a right to affirm that there can be no objective truth in the awful idea of the enmity of God? In the first place, we have no warrant for asserting that God will never act in direct and intentional opposition to any of His creatures. There is one obvious occasion when He certainly does this. The man who resists the laws of nature finds those laws working against him. The laws of nature are, as Kingsley said, but the ways of God. If they are opposing a man, God is opposing that man. But God does not confine His action to the realm of physical processes. His providence works through the whole course of events in the world's history. What we see evidently operating in nature we may infer to be equally active in less visible regions. Then, if we believe in a God who rules and works in the world, we cannot suppose that His activity is confined to aiding what is good. It is unreasonable to imagine that He stands aside in passive negligence of evil. And if He concerns Himself to thwart evil, what is this but manifesting Himself as the enemy of the evil-doer? It may be contended, on the other side, that there is a world of difference between antagonistic actions and unfriendly feelings, and that the former by no means imply the latter. Still, for the time being, the opposition is a reality, and a reality which to all intents and purposes is one of enmity, since it resists, frustrates, hurts. Nor is this all. We have no reason to deny that God can have real anger. We must believe that Jesus Christ was as truly revealing the Father when He was moved with indignation as when He was moved with compassion. His mission was a war against all evil, and therefore, though not waged with carnal weapons, a war against evil men. The Jewish authorities were perfectly right in perceiving this fact. They persecuted Him as their enemy; and He was their enemy. This statement is no contradiction to the gracious truth that He desired to save all men, and therefore even these men. If God's enmity to any soul were eternal, it would conflict with His love. But if He is at the present time actively opposing a man, and if He is doing this in anger, in the wrath of righteousness against sin, it is only quibbling with words to deny that for the time being He is a very real enemy to that man.

(W. P. Adeney, M. A.)

1. Where God is angry, there is nothing to be looked for but destruction and ill success in all things.

2. God punisheth sin in His children in this world as severely as ii they were reprobates.(1) To declare that He is not partial, but hateth sin in those whom He most of all loveth.(2) That it may appear what great wrath remaineth for the ungodly (1 Peter 4:17).

3. Though God show all outward signs of enmity against His Church, yet is His love everlasting thereunto.

4. God's anger is never in vain, but effecteth punishment upon them with whom He is angry.

5. God regardeth not the most precious things that are amongst the sons of men, in respect of declaring His justice against sin.

(J. Udall.)

The Lord was as an enemy
I. This oft repeating of one thing teacheth that it is hard to persuade God's people rightly to judge of and he afflicted with the afflictions that are upon them.(1) The ways of God are high beyond the reach of the sons of men.(2) We axe naturally of a blind and dull disposition, with much ado brought unto any good thing.

2. God hath no need of any people, but all have need of Him.

3. God will increase His plagues upon His children, where sin without repentance is increased.

4. God giveth many causes of sorrow when He punisheth His people.(1) He giveth a token that He is displeased, which is cause of greatest grief unto His children.(2) His punishments do usually cross our affections in the things that they are much set upon.

(a)Labour with ourselves that we may be affected with the crosses that are upon us.

(b)Seek to Him alone for succour in the time of our sorrow.

(J. Udall.)

Jacob, Jeremiah
Jerusalem, Zion
Daughter, Destroyed, Destruction, Enemy, Fighting, Fortresses, Grief, Holds, Houses, Increased, Increasing, Judah, Laid, Lamentation, Making, Moaning, Mourning, Multiplied, Multiplieth, Palaces, Places, Ruins, Sending, Sorrow, Strong, Strongholds, Swallowed, Waste
1. Jeremiah laments the misery of Jerusalem
20. He complains thereof to God

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Lamentations 2:5

     5899   lament
     7963   song

Lamentations 2:1-9

     1025   God, anger of
     8722   doubt, nature of

Lamentations 2:5-9

     5508   ruins

Watch-Night Service
"Ye virgin souls, arise! With all the dead awake; Unto salvation wise; Oil in your vessels take: Upstarting at the MIDNIGHT CRY, Behold Your heavenly bridegroom nigh." Two brethren then offered prayer for the Church and the World, that the new year might be clothed with glory by the spread of the knowledge of Jesus.--Then followed the EXPOSITION Psalm 90:1-22 "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Yea Jehovah, WE, they children, can say that thou hast been our home, our safe
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

Chel. The Court of the Women.
The Court of the Gentiles compassed the Temple and the courts on every side. The same also did Chel, or the Ante-murale. "That space was ten cubits broad, divided from the Court of the Gentiles by a fence, ten hand-breadths high; in which were thirteen breaches, which the kings of Greece had made: but the Jews had again repaired them, and had appointed thirteen adorations answering to them." Maimonides writes: "Inwards" (from the Court of the Gentiles) "was a fence, that encompassed on every side,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Appendix ix. List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings
THE following list contains the passages in the Old Testament applied to the Messiah or to Messianic times in the most ancient Jewish writings. They amount in all to 456, thus distributed: 75 from the Pentateuch, 243 from the Prophets, and 138 from the Hagiorgrapha, and supported by more than 558 separate quotations from Rabbinic writings. Despite all labour care, it can scarcely be hoped that the list is quite complete, although, it is hoped, no important passage has been omitted. The Rabbinic references
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Departure from Ireland. Death and Burial at Clairvaux.
[Sidenote: 1148, May (?)] 67. (30). Being asked once, in what place, if a choice were given him, he would prefer to spend his last day--for on this subject the brothers used to ask one another what place each would select for himself--he hesitated, and made no reply. But when they insisted, he said, "If I take my departure hence[821] I shall do so nowhere more gladly than whence I may rise together with our Apostle"[822]--he referred to St. Patrick; "but if it behoves me to make a pilgrimage, and
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

That the Ruler Should be Discreet in Keeping Silence, Profitable in Speech.
The ruler should be discreet in keeping silence, profitable in speech; lest he either utter what ought to be suppressed or suppress what he ought to utter. For, as incautious speaking leads into error, so indiscreet silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed. For often improvident rulers, fearing to lose human favour, shrink timidly from speaking freely the things that are right; and, according to the voice of the Truth (Joh. x. 12), serve unto the custody of the flock by no means
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
(Galilee.) ^C Luke XII. 1-59. ^c 1 In the meantime [that is, while these things were occurring in the Pharisee's house], when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, insomuch that they trod one upon another [in their eagerness to get near enough to Jesus to see and hear] , he began to say unto his disciples first of all [that is, as the first or most appropriate lesson], Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [This admonition is the key to the understanding
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The book familiarly known as the Lamentations consists of four elegies[1] (i., ii., iii., iv.) and a prayer (v.). The general theme of the elegies is the sorrow and desolation created by the destruction of Jerusalem[2] in 586 B.C.: the last poem (v.) is a prayer for deliverance from the long continued distress. The elegies are all alphabetic, and like most alphabetic poems (cf. Ps. cxix.) are marked by little continuity of thought. The first poem is a lament over Jerusalem, bereft, by the siege,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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