Lamentations 1:1 (ESV)

1 How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave.

The word that this verse (and the whole book) starts with is, “How!” This shows from the beginning the devastation and shock that the writer feels at Jerusalem’s destruction. After all, this city was once the city of King David and King Solomon, a city from which Israel ruled over the other nations. Now this city is humiliated and powerless, like a widow who sits and cries for her husband and children. The tragic contrast between Jerusalem’s present and her past will be seen right through chapter 1.