Daily Archives: October 8, 2017

October 8, 2017: Verse of the day

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5:16 The crown has fallen. Israel lost its line of kings wearing the crown. The Davidic monarchy was temporarily over and will not be resumed until Christ comes as King (Jer 23:5–8; Eze 37:24–28; Rev 19:1–21).[1]


5:16 The crown has fallen. Both the Davidic kingship (4:20) and Jerusalem itself were considered crowning glories (cf. Jer. 13:18). we have sinned. Punishment has followed transgression (cf. Lam. 1:5, 8, 14, 18, 22; 2:14; 3:42; 4:6, 13, 22).[2]


5:16 The crown. Some take this to refer to Jerusalem in particular (Lam. 1:1; 2:15; 5:18). Probably it represents the glory of Israel and Judah among the nations (Ex. 19:6).[3]


5:16 / Zion had been enthroned among the nations because of God’s blessing upon it. It was king. But because of its sin, its royal status has been removed. In another more literal sense, the crown has also fallen from the head of God’s people. With the Babylonian defeat of Judah, the last king of Judah, Zedekiah, was deposed, and not replaced.[4]


16 With liturgical loss stated plainly one more time in v 15, the people move toward a clear statement about the desolation of Zion in v 18. Now they say, “The crown has fallen from our head” (נפלה עטרת ראשׁנו). Berlin believes that the crown is the Davidic kingship. Thus she thinks the verse laments the loss of kingship and temple worship (124). Renkema, on the other hand, suggests that the crown may be Jerusalem itself, the city’s walls, or the temple on Zion; he then concludes that the temple is the best option given this verse’s similarity of content with chaps. 1 and 2 (616–17). Lamentations certainly mourns the loss of Zion more often than it does the loss of the Davidic kingship, though the latter concern emerges directly in 4:20. Kraus (90) notes that Jer 13:18 links the loss of kingship and the loss of the nation’s cities, so both images may be intended here, for Jerusalem’s devastation includes city, people, cult, and king.

The people confess the sins that have caused all this pain. As in 1:18–22, admission of guilt appears: “woe to us, for we have sinned” (אוי נא לנו כי חטאנו). This phrase includes the dual understanding that sin has occurred and that punishment has followed the sin, an understanding that marks 1:5, 8, 14, 18, 22; 2:14; 3:42; and 4:6, 13, 22 (Wiesmann, 259). It upholds God’s righteousness in the matter of Jerusalem’s demise (Weiser, 366). Renkema observes that אוי נא, “woe to us,” occurs only here and in Jer 4:31 and 45:3 (617–18). In the former text the daughter of Zion cries out before murderers, while in the latter text Jeremiah quotes Baruch’s self-pitying, though understandable, complaint about personal deprivation. The text reminds readers of prophetic warnings; Jerusalem has fallen according to the word of the Lord (see 1:21).

The book never wavers in its conviction that God has punished because of what the covenant people have done. It never moves away from the conviction that the long-announced day of the Lord has come upon Israel. At the same time, it never flags in prayer. It maintains a dogged determination to confess sin adequately enough to restore the people’s relationship with their covenant partner, who is also their judge.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (La 5:16). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1494). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1142). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[4] Longman, T., III. (2012). Jeremiah, Lamentations. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (p. 392). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Garrett, D. (2004). Song of Songs/Lamentations (Vol. 23B, p. 467). Dallas, TX: Word, Incorporated.