Distressed Jerusalem (Lam 1:20-1:20)

Resh

“See!

O Yahweh!

How distressed I am!

My stomach churns!

My heart is

Wrung within me.

Because I have been

Very rebellious.

In the street,

The sword bereaves.

In the house,

It is like death.”

Once again, we are back to a personal lament from Jerusalem itself about how distressed Jerusalem is. This personified Jerusalem has a stomach that churns and a heart that has dried up. Jerusalem admitted that she had been very rebellious. However, the sword was in bereavement in the streets, because every house was like a house of death. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The king agrees with Muchaeus (Esth 1:21-1:22)

“This speech advice pleased the king and the governors. The king did as Muchaeus had proposed and recommended. He sent the decree into all his kingdom, to every province in its own language, declaring that in every house respect should be shown to every husband.”

The king and the governors liked the ideas of Muchaeus. In fact, the king sent out a decree to everyone in his kingdom. Notice that he makes sure that it is the language of every country, recognizing that there would be differences in such a large kingdom. This was part of the Persian tolerance towards religions also since they did not want unification of religion and language. The decree stated that men needed to be respected in their own homes. There was no mention of Queen Vashti. This was a subtle put down of women. However, this all women drinking session seemed liked a feminist revolt of some sort. Thus the happy drinking session of the king ended in a downer as the queen for some unknown reason failed to show up because she might have been too busy with her own party. All we know is that she was not afraid of the king of 127 provinces. He, however, wanted to show that men were powerful in all marriages.