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Best Commentaries on Lamentations

This page is current as of December 2023.

For recommendations on other books and an introduction to this series, visit
Best Commentaries on Each Book of the Bible.

Before turning to the expert recommendations, here is a recent commentary written by a trusted scholar that may be of interest. Because this volume is newly published, the commentators on the commentaries have not yet had opportunity to evaluate it. It would, though, come with my recommendation.

  • Michael Wilcock – Jeremiah & Lamentations: The Death of a Dream, and What Came After (Focus on the Bible). The Focus on the Bible commentaries have proven especially strong in interpreting the Old Testament so I expect this one will make a good addition to any library. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

And now, here are the expert recommendations:

Duane Garrett and Paul House – Song of Songs / Lamentations (Word Biblical Commentary). The WBC always seems to come with a warning about its unfortunate and unhelpful format. Still, many of the volumes are excellent, and the volume on Lamentations is said to be one of them (Garrett prepared the commentary on Song of Songs and House prepared the commentary on Lamentations). Keith Mathison says, “He deals with every aspect of the text and digs into the theology of the book. Although somewhat technical, it is very useful.” This sounds like as good a place to begin as any. (Amazon, Logos)

J. Andrew Dearman – Jeremiah / Lamentations (NIV Application Commentary). While the NIVAC is an uneven series, the volume covering Jeremiah and Lamentations is regarded as a sound choice for any reader, but especially the more general reader. Tremper Longman says it reflects, “A very sensitive theological reading that also brings these two books into touch with the contemporary world. In keeping with the series, Dearman does not deal with technical issues.” (Amazon, Westminster Books)

Philip Ryken – Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope (Preaching the Word). Ryken’s commentary is based on a sermon series he preached through the two books of Jeremiah while senior pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. His theological perspective is distinctly Evangelical and Reformed. Derek Thomas considers it “a superb expositional commentary” and points out that it includes a helpful index of sermon illustrations. Because it is based on sermons, it would make an ideal resource for someone interested in exploring the book devotionally. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

Tremper Longman – Jeremiah, Lamentations (New International Biblical Commentary). Tremper Longman is both a commentator and a commentator on the commentaries. His volume on Jeremiah and Lamentations is regarded as one of the best. Mathison says, “This recent commentary by a well-known evangelical author fills a gap by providing for a general audience the fruits of the most up-to-date scholarship on the book of Jeremiah [and Lamentations]. Although easily accessible, Longman provides numerous literary and theological insights into the book.” (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)

I had a difficult time finding a consensus fifth pick for Lamentations. Having said that, I would probably gravitate toward one of the conservative and/or Reformed series like Mentor. I trust John Mackay’s volume would be both accessible and firmly grounded in truth. (Amazon, Westminster Books, Logos)


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