desolated Jerusalem. Any spiritual lameness, hesitancy or indecision would be removed. Through the prophet Isaiah, God encouraged them: “At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does.” (Isa. 35:6) God’s nation had limped and suffered a fall into captivity, but “in that day,” said Jehovah, “I will gather her that was limping; . . . and I shall certainly make her that was limping a remnant, and her that was removed far off a mighty nation.”—Mic. 4:6, 7; Zeph. 3:19.
Further comforting his people, Jehovah promised, as their King, to protect them from aggressors. He described the helplessness of Zion’s enemies as a ship with its tacklings loosed, its mast wobbling and without sail. Then he said: “At that time even spoil [of the enemy] in abundance will have to be divided up; the lame ones themselves will actually take a big plunder.” Even those not usually able to have part in taking plunder would at that time be strong enough to share.—Isa. 33:23.
Consideration for spiritually lame ones
The Christian writer of the letter to the Hebrews pointed out that among them were many spiritually immature ones, who should be making better progress. (Heb. 5:12-14) Then, after speaking of discipline, he said: “Keep making straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather that it may be healed.” (Heb. 12:13) Even stronger ones should carefully watch how they walk in their Christian course, so that the weaker, spiritually “lame” ones would not stumble or injure themselves. If those stronger in faith used their spiritual freedom to do certain things that were lawful, those weaker in faith might be stumbled by their actions.—Rom. 15:1.
The apostle Paul sets forth as an example of this principle the matter of eating and drinking. (Rom. 14:13-18, 21) In this passage he counsels, in part: “Make this your decision, not to put before a brother a stumbling block or a cause for tripping.” He says: “It is well not to eat flesh or to drink wine or do anything over which your brother stumbles.”—Compare 1 Corinthians 8:7-13.
On the other hand, the apostle shows, a Christian should strengthen his own spiritual ‘legs’ so that he will not limp or be stumbled by what occurs or by what someone else does. He should make himself strong so as to keep steadily in the Christian course. Paul says: “Let the one eating not look down on the one not eating, and let the one not eating not judge the one eating, for God has welcomed that one.” (Rom. 14:3) This principle was expressed by the psalmist: “Abundant peace belongs to those loving your law, and for them there is no stumbling block.” (Ps. 119:165) Those loving God’s law will not be caused to limp with spiritual lameness over any matter.
Lameness has caused many tears. Just as Jesus Christ healed many lame and maimed persons when he was on earth, even restoring dried-up or amputated body parts (Mark 3:1, 5; Luke 22:50, 51), by means of “a new heaven” God’s Son will again perform these cures. This he will accomplish completely as God’s High Priest and King, wiping out every tear from the eyes of humankind.—Matt. 8:16, 17; Rev. 21:1, 4.
(Laʹmech) [perhaps, a strong youth].
1. The son of Methushael and a descendant of Cain. (Gen. 4:17, 18) His lifetime was overlapped by that of Adam. Lamech is the first polygamist of Bible record, having two wives at the same time, Adah and Zillah. (Gen. 4:19) By Adah he had sons named Jabal, “the founder of those who dwell in tents and have livestock,” and Jubal, “the founder of all those who handle the harp and the pipe.” (Gen. 4:20, 21) By Zillah, Lamech became the father of Tubal-cain, “the forger of every sort of tool of copper and iron,” and a daughter named Naamah.—Gen. 4:22.
The poem that Lamech composed for his wives (Gen. 4:23, 24) reflects the violent spirit of that day. Lamech’s poem ran:
“Hear my voice, you wives of Lamech;
Give ear to my saying:
A man I have killed for wounding me,
Yes, a young man for giving me a blow.
If seven times Cain is to be avenged,
Then Lamech seventy times and seven.”
Evidently Lamech was presenting a case of self-defense, pleading that his act was not one of deliberate murder, like that of Cain. Lamech claimed that, in defending himself, he had killed the man who struck and wounded him. Therefore, his poem stood as a plea for immunity against anyone desiring to get revenge against him for killing his attacker.
It appears that none of Cain’s descendants, which would include Lamech’s offspring, survived the Flood.
2. A descendant of Seth; son of Methuselah and father of Noah. (Gen. 5:25, 28, 29; 1 Chron. 1:1-4) This Lamech’s lifetime was likewise overlapped by that of Adam. Lamech had faith in God and, after calling his son’s name Noah (which means “rest; consolation”), he uttered the words: “This one will bring us comfort from our work and from the pain of our hands resulting from the ground which Jehovah has cursed.” (Gen. 5:29) These words found fulfillment when the curse on the ground was lifted during Noah’s lifetime. (Gen. 8:21) Lamech had other sons and daughters. He lived 777 years, dying about five years before the Flood. (Gen. 5:30, 31) His name is listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ at Luke 3:36.
The twelfth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, also used later, outside the Hebrew Scriptures, to denote the number thirty.
Laʹmedh corresponds generally to our English “l,” which is derived from it through the Greek lamʹbda. In the Hebrew, the psalmist uses this letter at the beginning of each of the eight verses at Psalm 119:89-96.
LAMENTATIONS, BOOK OF
In Biblical days lamentations or dirges were composed and chanted for deceased friends (2 Sam. 1:17-27), devastated nations (Amos 5:1, 2) and ruined cities (Ezek. 27:2, 32-36). The book of Lamentations furnishes an inspired example of such mournful, composition. It consists of five lyrical poems (in five chapters) lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem at Babylonian hands in 607 B.C.E.
The book acknowledges that Jehovah justly brought punishment upon Jerusalem and Judah due to the error of his people. (Lam. 1:5, 18) It also highlights God’s loving-kindness and mercy and shows that Jehovah is good to the one hoping in him.—Lam. 3:22, 25.
In the Hebrew this book is named by the opening word ʼEh·khahʹ, which means “How!” The Septuagint translators called the book Threʹnoi, meaning “Dirges; Laments.” In the Talmud it is identified by the term Qi·nohthʹ, meaning “Dirges; Elegies,” and it is called Lamentationes (Latin) by Jerome. The English name “Lamentations” comes from this latter title.
PLACE IN THE BIBLE CANON
In the Hebrew canon the book of Lamentations is usually counted in among the five Meghil·lohthʹ (Rolls), consisting of The Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther. However, in ancient copies of the Hebrew Scriptures the book of Lamentations is said to have followed the book of Jeremiah, as it does in English Bibles of today.