The crushing defeat of Zion (Lam 1:15-1:15)


“Yahweh has rejected

All my warriors

In the midst of me.

He proclaimed a time

Against me

To crush

My young men.

Yahweh has trodden

As in a wine press

The virgin daughter,


This lament continued with Jerusalem speaking in the first person. Yahweh has rejected all the warriors from Jerusalem and Judah. Yahweh, not the king of Babylon, has crushed the young men of Judah and Jerusalem. He has trodden and stomped over his virgin daughter, Judah, like a wine press. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Samek. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The northern invasion of Judah and Jerusalem (2 Chr 28:5-28:8)

“Therefore Yahweh his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people. He brought them to Damascus. King Ahaz was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter. King Pekah, son of King Remaliah, killed one hundred twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all of them were valiant warriors. Judah had abandoned Yahweh, the God of their ancestors. Zichri, a mighty warrior of Ephraim, killed the king’s son Maaseiah. He also killed Azrikam the commander of the palace and Elkanah the next in authority to the king. The men of Israel took captive two hundred thousand of their kin, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much booty from them. They brought the booty to Samaria”.

This is loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 16. However, this is a different point of view compared to 2 Kings about this invasion from the north. King Rezin was the last king of Aram in Damascus before King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria took over Damascus, and killed him. He sent his people into exile in Kir. Here he is not named. He is only listed as merely the king of Aram. The northern King Pekah of Israel joined with him to attack Jerusalem. Yahweh wanted them to defeat King Ahaz. In 2 Kings, they were unsuccessful because King Ahaz of Judah formed a coalition with the Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III. King Ahaz said he would be his servant and sent a present to the king to become a vassal and get protection. So King Tiglath-pileser III was happy to get the money since he was planning to attack Damascus anyway. Here, however, they are successful and there is no alliance with the Assyrian king until later in the story. They are so successful that a great number of people were taken captive to Damascus. However, King Pekah killed 120,000 Judean warriors in 1 day! That was a very busy day or a short war! On top of that, he took 200,000 people captive, including women and children. They also took their booty to Samaria. Thus this was a complete disaster. It does not seem like anybody was left in Judah.