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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of Book of Lamentations

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]The first song  (Lam 1:1-22)
  A(1:1)  1:1 How lonely she is now, the once crowded city! (1:1)
1:2 With not one to console her of all her dear ones; (1:2)   
      C(1:3)      1:3 Yet where she lives among the nations she finds no place to rest: (1:3)
"1:4 All her gateways are deserted, her priests groan, (1:4)"   
          E(1:5)          1:5 The LORD has punished her for her many sins. (1:5)
            F(1:6)            1:6 Her princes, like rams that find no pasture (1:6)
              G(1:7)              1:7 she had no one to help her (1:7)
                H(1:8)                1:8 She herself groans and turns away. (1:8)
                  I(1:9)                  1:9 Her filth is on her skirt (1:9)
                    J(1:10)                    1:10 She has seen those nations enter her sanctuary (1:10)
                      K(1:11)                      1:11 Look O LORD, and see how worthless I have become! (1:11)
                      K'(1:12)                      1:12 look and see Whether there is any suffering like my suffering (1:12)
                    J'(1:13)                    1:13 He left me desolate, in pain all the day. (1:13)
                  I'(1:14)                  1:14 They have settled about my neck, he has brought my strength to its knees (1:14)
                H'(1:15)                1:15 The LORD has trodden in the wine press virgin daughter Judah. (1:15)
              G'(1:16)              1:16 Far from me are all who could console me, any who might revive me (1:16)
            F'(1:17)            1:17 Zion stretched out her hands, but there was no one to console her (1:17)
          E'(1:18)          1:18 I had defied his command (1:18)
1:19 My priests and my elders perished in the city (1:19)   
      C'(1:20)      1:20 Look, O LORD, upon my distress (1:20)
1:21 there is no one to console me (1:21)   
  A'(1:22)  1:22 My groans are many, and I am sick at heart. (1:22)
   A: Lamentation. B: No one to console. C: Sufferings. D: Priests. E: Rebellion. F: No one to console. G: No one to console. H: Her sufferings. I: Dirty. J: Devastation. K: To see.

[2]The second song  (Lam 2:1-22)
2:1 Unmindful of his footstool on the day of his wrath.(2:1)   
    B(2:2)    2:2 He has brought to the ground in dishonor her king and her princes. (2:2)
      C(2:3)      2:3 He broke off, in fiery wrath, the horn that was Israel's whole strength (2:3)
        D(2:4)        2:4 He took his stand as a foe, and slew all on whom the eye doted (2:4)
2:5 For daughter Judah he has multiplied moaning and groaning. (2:5)   
            F(2:6)            2:6 He has scorned in fierce wrath both king and priest. (2:6)
2:7 Who shout in the house of the LORD as on a feast day. (2:7)   
2:8 The LORD marked for destruction the wall of daughter Zion (2:8)   
2:9 And her prophets have not received any vision from the LORD. (2:9)   
2:10 On the ground in silence sit the old men of daughter Zion (2:10)   
                      K(2:11)                      2:11 As child and infant faint away in the open spaces of the town.(2:11)
                      K'(2:12)                      2:12 They ask their mothers, "Where is the cereal?" (2:12)
"2:13 To what can I liken or compare you, O daughter Jerusalem? (2:13)"   
2:14 Your prophets had for you false and specious visions (2:14)   
2:15 They hiss and wag their heads over daughter Jerusalem (2:15)   
2:16 All your enemies open their mouths against you (2:16)   
            F'(2:17)            2:17 Letting the enemy gloat over you and exalting the horn of your foes. (2:17)
"2:18 moan, O daughter Zion! (2:18)"   
        D'(2:19)        2:19 Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your little ones (2:19)
      C'(2:20)      2:20 Are priest and prophet to be slain in the sanctuary of the LORD?(2:20)
    B'(2:21)    2:21 Dead in the dust of the streets lie young and old (2:21)
"2:22 There was not, on the day of your wrath (2:22)"   
   A: Anger. B: Falling. C: Death of leaders. D: Beloved. E: Girls. F: Leaders. G: Enemies. H: Girls. I: Prophets. J: Girls. K: Infants.

[3]The third song  (Lam 3:1-66)
  A(3:1-3)  3:1 I am a man who knows affliction from the rod of his anger,(3:1)
    B(3:4-6)    3:4 He has worn away my flesh and my skin, he has broken my bones; (3:4)
      C(3:7-9)      3:8 Even when I cry out for help, he stops my prayer; (3:8)
        D(3:10-12)        3:10 A lurking bear he has been to me, a lion in ambush! (3:10)
          E(3:13-15)          3:13 He pierces my sides with shafts from his quiver. (3:13)
            F(3:16-18)            3:18 I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the LORD. (3:18)
              G(3:19-21)              3:19 The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; (3:19)
                H(3:22-24)                3:22 The favors of the LORD are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; (3:22)
                  I(3:25-27)                  3:25 Good is the LORD to one who waits for him, to the soul that seeks him; (3:25)
                    J(3:28-30)                    3:28 Let him sit alone and in silence, when it is laid upon him. (3:28)
                      K(3:31-33)                      3:31 For the Lord's rejection does not last forever; (3:31)
                      K'(3:34-36)                      3:36 When he presses a crooked claim, the Lord does not look on unconcerned. (3:36)
                    J'(3:37-39)                    3:38 Except it proceeds from the mouth of the Most High, whether the thing be good or bad! (3:38)
                  I'(3:40-42)                  3:40 Let us search and examine our ways that we may return to the LORD! (3:40)
                H'(3:43-45)                3:43 You veiled yourself in wrath and pursued us, you slew us and took no pity; (3:43)
              G'(3:46-48)              3:48 My eyes run with streams of water over the downfall of the daughter of my people. (3:48)
            F'(3:49-51)            3:50 Till the LORD from heaven looks down and sees. (3:50)
          E'(3:52-54)          3:53 They struck me down alive in the pit, and sealed me in with a stone. (3:53)
        D'(3:55-57)        3:55 I called upon your name, O LORD, from the bottom of the pit; (3:55)
      C'(3:58-60)      3:59 You see, O LORD, how I am wronged; do me justice! (3:59)
    B'(3:61-63)    3:61 You hear their insults, O LORD, (all their plots against me), (3:61)
  A'(3:64-66)  3:66 Pursue them in wrath and destroy them from under your heavens!(3:66)
   A: Anger. B: Sufferings. C: Wishing for salvation. D: Predicament. E: Attacks. F: Waiting for salvation. G: Sufferings. H: Judgement. I: Calling to the LORD. J: To endure hardships. K: The LORD doesn't forsake.

[4]The fourth song  (Lam 4:1-22)
  A(4:1)  4:1 How the sacred stones lie strewn at every street corner (4:1)
    B(4:2)    4:2 Now worth no more than earthen jars made by the hands of a potter! (4:2)
      C(4:3)      4:3 Even the jackals bare their breasts and suckle their young (4:3)
        D(4:4)        4:4 The babes cry for food, but there is no one to give it to them. (4:4)
          E(4:5)          4:5 Those accustomed to dainty food perish in the streets (4:5)
            F(4:6)            4:6 The punishment of the daughter of my people is greater than the penalty of Sodom (4:6)
              G(4:7)              4:7 Brighter than snow were her princes (4:7)
                H(4:8)                4:8 Now their appearance is blacker than soot (4:8)
                  I(4:9)                  4:9 Better for those who perish by the sword than for those who die of hunger (4:9)
                    J(4:10)                    4:10 The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children (4:10)
                      K(4:11)                      4:11 He has kindled a fire in Zion that has consumed her foundations. (4:11)
                      K'(4:12)                      4:12 That enemy or foe could enter the gates of Jerusalem. (4:12)
                    J'(4:13)                    4:13 Who shed in her midst the blood of the just! (4:13)
                  I'(4:14)                  4:14 They staggered blindly in the streets, soiled with blood (4:14)
                H'(4:15)                4:15 Away you unclean! (4:15)
              G'(4:16)              4:16 He does not receive the priests with favor, nor show kindness to the elders. (4:16)
            F'(4:17)            4:17 From our watchtower we watched for a nation that could not save us.(4:17)
          E'(4:18)          4:18 Men dogged our steps so that we could not walk in our streets (4:18)
        D'(4:19)        4:19 They harassed us on the mountains and waylaid us in the desert. (4:19)
      C'(4:20)      4:20 He in whose shadow we thought we could live on among the nations (4:20)
    B'(4:21)    4:21 To you also shall the cup be passed (4:21)
  A'(4:22)  4:22 he will not prolong your exile (4:22)
   A: Captivity. B: Vessel. C: To rely on. D: Sufferings. E: Town. F: Foreign country. G: Priests. H: Dirty. I: Bloody. J: Sacrifice. K: Destruction of Jerusalem.

[5]The fifth song  (Lam 5:1-22)
  A(5:1-5)  5:3 We have become orphans, fatherless; widowed are our mothers. (5:3)
"5:7 Our fathers, who sinned, are no more; but we bear their guilt.(5:7)"   
      C(5:10-15)      5:15 The joy of our hearts has ceased, our dance has turned into mourning; (5:15)
"5:16 woe to us, for we have sinned! (5:16)"   
  A'(5:19-22)  5:20 Why, then, should you forget us, abandon us so long a time? (5:20)
   A: To be forsaken. B: Sins. C: Lamentation.

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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