Background: The Hebrew title of this book is “‘ekah” meaning (How…!). It could also be referred to as “qinot” meaning “lamentations”. The author remains anonymous but some scholars point to Jeremiah as a possible option of authorship. Each chapter of this poetic literature, except for chapter 3, is 22 verses in length which is the amount of number of Hebrew letters. This entire piece of literature is about lamenting over the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
1:1-11 Judah and Jerusalem have gone into Babylonian captivity at this point. The “city” is Jerusalem that lies deserted and wasted. This is a lament in the third person style over Jerusalem. Jerusalem is personified as a woman and the sin of the people have led to her destruction.
1:12-16 Jerusalem is now speaking in the first person here. This passage describes the suffering of the city personified as a person from its enemies. “Virgin Daughter of Judah” is the personification of Judah.
1:17-22 This sections starts out in third person and then switches to first person.The distress of the city is great and there is no comfort in sight. “the day” mentioned here refers to God’s judgment upon the nations who have scorned and rejoiced at Jerusalem’s suffering.