The false visions of the prophets (Lam 2:14-2:14)

Nun

“Your prophets

Have seen

False visions

For you.

They have seen

Deceptive visions.

They have not exposed

Your iniquity

In order to restore

Your fortunes.

But they have seen

False oracles,

Misleading oracles

For you.”

Now we have an element of guilt. This author blames their situation in Jerusalem on the false and deceptive visions of Yahweh’s prophets. Jeremiah often called them the happy prophets, who saw no harm coming. These prophets never challenged the people and their iniquity. They kept talking about restoration with their false and misleading oracles. It almost seems like this is an attempt to say that the prophets had the wrong visions or oracles from Yahweh, rather than the prophets misunderstood these visions or oracles of Yahweh. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Nun. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

Who can go into the sanctuary? (Ps 24:3-24:6)

“Who shall ascend the hill of Yahweh?

Who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,

Those who do not lift up their soul to what is false,

Those who do not swear deceitfully,

They will receive blessings from Yahweh.

Vindication comes from the God of their salvation.

Such is the company of those who seek him.

They are the ones who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Selah”

Who can enter the sanctuary or the holy place? Who can ascend the hill to be with Yahweh? They have to have clean hands and a pure heart. They cannot be false or deceptive. They will receive the blessings from Yahweh. Only God can vindicate their salvation. These are the ones who will seek and see the face of the God of Jacob. This section ends with a Selah, a musical pause or meditation. Notice that they are seeking the face of God of Jacob, not Israel.

Job challenges them to look at him (Job 6:28-6:30)

“But now,

Be pleased to look at me.

I will not lie to your face.

Turn!

I pray,

Let no wrong be done.

Turn now!

My vindication is at stake.

Is there any wrong on my tongue?

Cannot my taste discern calamity?”

In very strong terms, Job challenged his 3 friends to look him in the face. Had he been deceptive? Had he lied? Why were they accusing him of wrong doing?