Does anything compare to Jerusalem (Lam 2:13-2:13)

Mem

“What can I say

To you?

To what shall

I compare you?

O daughter Jerusalem!

To what can I liken you?

How may I comfort you?

O virgin daughter Zion!

Vast as the sea

Is your ruin.

Who can heal you?”

Now the author laments about how to compare what has happened in Jerusalem. Is there anything comparable? How can he comfort Zion? This virgin daughter Zion is beyond healing. Her ruin is as vast as the sea. This author of the Lamentations really sounds like a distraught elderly widow who has lost her husband. Perhaps there is an element of exaggeration, as if no other city had ever suffered defeat or ruin. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

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Drying up of the Nile River (Isa 19:5-19:10)

“The waters of the Nile

Will be dried up.

The river

Will be parched.

It will be dry.

Its canals will become foul.

The branches of Egypt’s Nile

Will diminish.

They will dry up.

Reeds will rot away.

Rushes will rot away.

There will be bare places

By the Nile,

On the brink of the Nile.

All that is sown

By the Nile

Will dry up.

It will be driven away.

It will be no more.

The fishermen will mourn.

All who cast hooks

In the Nile

Will lament.

Those who spread nets

On the water

Will languish.

The workers in flax

Will be in despair.

The carders,

Those at the loom,

Will grow pale.

The weavers

Will be dismayed.

All who work for wages

Will be grieved.”

Next this oracle takes on a river, the Nile River. The waters will dry up with dire consequences to follow. The Nile River canals and branches will be foul smelling like dry wells. All the reeds, rushes, and plants along the river will dry up and rot away also. The fishermen will have a problem, since their hooks and nets will not catch anything. The flax and cotton looms will be useless. The weavers will be distraught. In fact, anyone who works for any kind of wages will be upset since the Nile River was so important for all kinds of commerce in Egypt.

Cry for help to God (Ps 55:1-55:3)

To the choirmaster leader with stringed instruments, a Maskil of David

“Give ear to my prayer!

O God!

Do not hide yourself from my supplication!

Attend to me!

Answer me!

I am troubled in my complaint.

I am distraught,

By the noise of the enemy,

Because of the clamor of the wicked,

They bring trouble upon me.

In anger,

They cherish enmity against me.”

Psalm 55 is a prayer of David.  He felt that he was being persecuted and betrayed.  Once again this is a choral psalm with stringed instruments attributed to David.  David wanted God to hear his prayer and not hide from him.  He wanted an answer right away.  He was in trouble and distraught because of his enemies, a common theme of these psalms.  The wicked enemies were out to get him.  He was going to call on God to help him.