Being pursued (Lam 4:19-4:19)

Qoph

“Our pursuers

Were swifter

Than the eagles

In the heavens.

They chased us

On the mountains.

They lay in wait

For us

In the wilderness.”

Continuing with the first person plural, the people of Jerusalem and this author believed that they were being pursued by their enemies that were faster than the eagles in the sky. Their foes chased them into the mountains and lay waiting to ambush them in the desert wilderness, since their enemies were all around them. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph in this acrostic poem.

Advertisements

Yahweh is David’s rock (Ps 18:31-18:42)

“Who is God except Yahweh?

Who is a rock, besides our God?

This is the God who girded me with strength.

He made my way safe.

He made my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He set me secure on the heights.

He trains my hands for war.

Thus my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me

The shield of your salvation.

Your right hand has supported me.

Your help has made me great.

You gave me a wide place for my steps under me.

My feet did not slip.

I pursued my enemies.

I overtook them.

I did not turn back

Until they were consumed.

I struck them down.

Thus they were not able to rise.

They fell under my feet.

You girded me with strength for the battle.

You made my assailants sink under me.

You made my enemies turn their backs to me.

Those who hated me

I destroyed.

They cried for help.

However, there was no one to save them.

They cried to Yahweh,

However he did not answer them.

I beat them fine.

They were like dust before the wind.

I cast them out

Like the mire of the streets.”

Once again, like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh was the strength and rock for David. His feet were like the hoofs of a deer in their ability to run fast. Yahweh made his arms so strong that he could even use a bronze bow. Yahweh made his feet steady so that he would never slip. When the battle raged, he was faster and stronger than his enemy. He crushed his enemies. They were utterly destroyed as they were struck down and fled. No one was there to save them, even when they cried out to Yahweh. David beat them like the dust of the earth. As usual, there was no indication of any empathy for enemies. He just wiped them out completely.

The cruel painful illness of King Antiochus IV (2 Macc 9:5-9:10)

“But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him an incurable and unseen blow. As soon as he stopped speaking he was seized with a pain in his bowels with sharp internal tortures, for which there was no relief. That was very just, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many and strange inflictions. Yet he did not in any way stop his insolence. He was even more filled with arrogance, breathing fire in his rage against the Jews. He gave orders to drive even faster. So it came about that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along. The fall was so hard as to torture every limb of his body. Thus only a little while before, he had thought in his super human arrogance that he could command the waves of the sea. He imagined that he could weigh the high mountains in a balance. Finally, he was brought down to earth. He was carried in a litter, making the power of God manifest to all. Worms swarmed all over the ungodly man’s body. While he was still living in anguish and pain, his flesh rotted away. Because of the stench, the whole army felt revulsion at his decay. Because of his intolerable stench, no one was able to carry the man who a little while before had thought that he could touch the stars of heaven.”

Here the cause of the illness of King Antiochus IV was not depression but the God of Israel who struck him down. Notice that it is the God of Israel not the almighty Shaddai God who struck him down. This biblical author went into great detail about his illness. The king had a bowel problem because he had tortured others with infliction of various stomach disorders. He still wanted to get to Jerusalem so he asked his chariot to go faster. However, then he fell out of the chariot causing him even more pain. King Antiochus IV had been arrogant so that he thought that he could command the sea waves, measure the height of mountains, and touch the stars. However, his body swarmed with worms as it rotted away. There was a terrible smell about him that kept people away from him. The great king was reduced to a smelly sick pain filled old man.