Yahweh can dry up the sea and the rivers (Nah 1:4-1:4)

Gimel

“Yahweh rebukes

The sea.

He makes it dry.

He dries up

All the rivers.”

In this Hebrew letter, Gimel, Yahweh was able to rebuke the sea, since he controlled it.  He was able to dry up the large seas and the smaller rivers.

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Caring for the young (Lam 4:3-4:3)

Gimel

“Even the jackals

Offer their breast.

They nurse

Their young.

But my people

Have become cruel,

Like the ostriches

In the wilderness.”

How do you care for the young children and infants? This author points out that even the wild jackals nurse their young infants. However, his people, meaning those left in Jerusalem, have become cruel. They are more like the ostriches in the desert wilderness. Somehow ostriches were considered cruel. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Gimel in this acrostic poem.

The walled in situation (Lam 3:7-3:9)

Gimel

“Yahweh has walled me about

So that I cannot escape.

He has put heavy chains

On me.

Although I call,

Although I cry for help,

He shuts out

My prayer.

He has blocked

My ways

With hewn stones.

He has made

My paths crooked.”

This author feels walled in. He cannot escape, because he has heavy chains on him. When he calls for help, no one listens to him. Yahweh has blocked his way with carved stone walls. He can no longer walk a straight path, since all his paths are crooked, like a maze. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Gimel in this acrostic poem.

The great fire (Lam 2:3-2:3)

Gimel

“He has cut down,

In fierce anger,

All the might

Of Israel.

He has withdrawn

His right hand

From them

In the face

Of the enemy.

He has burned

Like a flaming fire

In Jacob,

Consuming all around.”

Yahweh was so angry that he cut down the might of Israel. He withdrew his supporting hand so that the enemy was able to succeed. He destroyed everything that belonged to Jacob by burning it up. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Gimel. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

 

The exile of Judah (Lam 1:3-1:3)

Gimel

“Judah has gone

Into exile

With suffering,

With hard servitude.

She lives now

Among the nations.

But she finds

No resting place.

Her pursuers have all

Overtaken her

In the midst

Of her distress.”

Judah was the territory that included Jerusalem. The Judeans were sent into exile with suffering and servitude also. They now live among other countries. Thus they have no resting place, since her enemies have overtaken them even while they were still in distress. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Gimel. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The trustworthy servant (Ps 119:17-119:24)

Gimel

“Deal bountifully with your servant.

Thus I may live and observe your word.

Open my eyes!

Thus I may behold

Wondrous things out of your law.

I am an alien in the land.

Do not hide your commandments from me!

My soul is consumed with longing

For your ordinances at all times.

You rebuke the insolent.

You rebuke the accursed ones,

You rebuke those who wander from your commandments.

Take away from me their scorn and contempt.

I have kept your decrees.

Even though princes sit plotting against me,

Your servant will meditate on your statutes.

Your decrees are my delight.

They are my counselors.”

This psalmist maintained that he was a trustworthy servant. He wanted to live and observe the word of God. He wanted his eyes opened so that he could see all the wondrous things of the law. He was like an alien in his own land. He did not want Yahweh to hide the commandments from him. He was consumed with following the laws of Yahweh. He knew that Yahweh rebuked those who wandered from keeping his commandments, the insolent and the accursed ones. Even if other princes were plotting against him, this psalmist would continue to meditate on Yahweh’s statutes. The psalmist delighted in Yahweh’s decrees since they were like his counselors. Thus this section on the third consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Gimel, came to an end.