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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments


- Lamentations

by Joseph Sutcliffe


GRIEF is eloquent. Jeremiah saw the calamities of his country, and his sorrow flowed in elegiac strains. The poetry is elegant, and written alphabetically, as are several of the Psalms. The letters ע ain and פ pe are transposed. The prophet is supposed by ע ain, which is seventy when used numerically, to convey a hint that the captivity should continue seventy years. Josephus is very erroneous in supposing that the Lamentations were written on the death of Josiah; probably because an allusion seems to be made to his memory in chap. 4:20; but the leading subjects of the book cannot possibly be applied to that prince’s fail. Jeremiah did indeed lament over his deceased sovereign, as Ezra relates in 2 Chronicles 35:25; but that also affords no ground of forcing the nature of a whole poem. The words nevertheless indicate that the elegy on Josiah is interwoven in the poem.