The weeping city (Lam 1:2-1:2)

Beth

“She weeps bitterly

In the night,

With tears

On her cheeks.

Among all her lovers

She has no one

To comfort her.

All her friends

Have dealt

Treacherously

With her.

They have become

Her enemies.”

Jerusalem is feminine. She weeps bitterly with tears on her checks. Her lovers have abandoned her, so that there is no one to comfort her. They have treated her badly and become her enemies. This was an obvious allusion to her former neighboring allies. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Beth. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

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The threat of the imminent exile (Jer 13:15-13:17)

“Hear!

Give ear!

Do not be haughty!

Yahweh has spoken.

Give glory to Yahweh!

Your God!

Before he brings darkness.

Give glory to Yahweh!

Your God!

Before your feet stumble

On the mountains at twilight.

While you look for light

He turns it into gloom.

He makes it deep darkness.

But if you will not listen,

My soul will weep in secret

For your pride.

My eyes will weep bitterly.

Tears will run down my cheeks

Because Yahweh’s flock

Has been taken captive.”

Jeremiah talks about an imminent captivity. They seem to have one last chance to listen to the words of Yahweh and not be proud. They would have to give glory to Yahweh, their God. Otherwise their feet would stumble as if they were on a mountain at twilight. The light was soon going to turn to darkness and gloom. If they did not listen to God, then Jeremiah would weep in secret because of their pride. He would weep bitterly with tears running down his cheeks, because they were going to be taken into captivity.