The prayer from the pit (Lam 3:55-3:57)

Qoph

“I called

On your name!

O Yahweh!

From the depths

Of the pit!

You heard my plea!

‘Do not close

Your ear

To my cry

For help!

But give me relief!’

You came near

When I called

On you.

You said.

‘Do not fear!’”

This personalized lament continues with a prayer from the bottom of the pit. This author called out to Yahweh. Yahweh then heard his plea as he did not close his ears. He responded to his cry for relief as he came near to him. Yahweh told him not to fear. There may be a happy ending after all this lamentation. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph in this acrostic poem.

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The lost hunted one (Lam 3:52-3:54)

Cade

“My enemies,

Without cause,

Have hunted me

Like a bird.

They flung me

Alive

Into a pit.

They hurled stones

On me.

Water closed

Over my head.

I said.

‘I am lost.’”

This personal story continues. The author’s enemies have hunted him down like a bird, even though there was no reason to do so. They have flung him alive into a pit and threw stones over him. Then water closed over his head in this pit. He finally said that he was lost with no way out. This is reminiscent of Jeremiah in the cistern well under King Zedekiah in Jeremiah, chapter 38. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Cade in this acrostic poem.

The crying eyes (Lam 3:49-3:51)

Ayin

“My eyes will flow

Without ceasing.

They will flow

Without respite,

Until Yahweh

From heaven

Looks down,

Until Yahweh

Sees them.

My eyes

Cause me grief

At the fate

Of all the young women

In my city.”

The personal lament of this author continues. He was full of flowing, unceasing, and unstoppable tears. He wanted Yahweh to look down from heaven to see him crying. His eyes were causing him grief at what was happening to the young girls of his city. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Ayin in this acrostic poem.

The enemies (Lam 3:46-3:48)

Phe

“All our enemies

Have opened

Their mouths

Against us.

Panic has come

Upon us.

Pitfall has come

Upon us.

There is devastation.

There is destruction.

My eyes flow

With rivers of tears

Because of the destruction

Of my people.”

Once again, this author personalizes his experiences. He turned to his enemies who have railed against him and his friends. Panic, pitfalls, devastation, and destruction have come upon them. He had so many tears flowing that he could create a river, since he was crying about the destruction of his people. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Phe in this acrostic poem.

The impenetrable Yahweh (Lam 3:43-3:45)

Samek

“You have wrapped yourself

With anger.

You have pursued us.

You have killed us

Without pity.

You have wrapped yourself

With a cloud.

Thus no prayer

Can pass through.

You have made us filth.

You have made us rubbish.

Among the people.”

This author turns in an unanswered prayer towards Yahweh, addressing him in the second person singular. Yahweh had wrapped himself in anger and a cloud. He had pursued this author and his friends, killing them without pity. Their prayers to Yahweh could not penetrate through the clouds. They had become filth and rubbish among all people as they were forsaken and downtrodden. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Samek in this acrostic poem.

The proclamation of guilt (Lam 3:40-3:42)

Nun

“Let us test

Our ways!

Let us examine

Our ways!

Let us return

To Yahweh!

Let us lift up

Our hearts!

Let us lift up

Our hands To God

In heaven!

We have transgressed!

We have rebelled!

You have not

Forgiven us.”

This author admits his sinfulness. He wanted to examine and test all their ways of doing things. He and his friends wanted to return to Yahweh. Thus everyone should lift up their hearts and hands to the heavenly God. He and his comrades had transgressed and rebelled against Yahweh, their God in heaven. Thus Yahweh had not yet forgiven them. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Nun in this acrostic poem.

The power of Yahweh (Lam 3:37-3:39)

Mem

“Who can command

To have it done,

If Yahweh

Has not ordained it?

Is it not

From the mouth

Of the Most High

That good

As well as evil comes?

Why should anyone,

Who draws breath,

Complain

About the punishment

Of their sins?”

This author indicates that nothing can get done without the consent of Yahweh. From the mouth of the Most High God comes both good and evil. Once again, there is the question of God and evil. No one should complain about the punishment for their sins from this almighty God. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem in this acrostic poem.