The fiery anger breaks rocks (Nah 1:6-1:6)

Heth

“Yahweh’s wrath

Is poured out

Like fire.

The rocks

Are broken into pieces

By him.”

According to the Hebrew letter Heth, Yahweh’s anger has been poured out like fire.  Once again, in a show of force, he was able to break all the rocks into pieces.

The bleak transformation of the Jerusalem princes (Lam 4:8-4:8)

Heth

“Now the visage

Of the Jerusalem princes

Is blacker

Than soot.

They are not recognized

In the streets.

Their skin

Has shriveled

On their bones.

It has become

As dry as wood.”

There has been a huge transformation of these Jerusalem princes. Now they are black like soot, instead of white. No one would recognize them. Their skin has shriveled up and become dry like wood. They are no longer good looking dudes. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Heth in this acrostic poem.

The faithful love of Yahweh (Lam 3:22-3:24)

Heth

“The steadfast love

Of Yahweh

Never ceases.

His mercies

Never come

To an end.

They are new

Every morning.

Great is

Your faithfulness.

‘Yahweh

Is my portion.’

Says my soul.

‘Therefore I will hope

In him.’”

This poem or lamentation took a new turn towards the faithful love of Yahweh. The former tone of pessimism turned to hope, since the steadfast love of Yahweh never ceased. His mercy has no end. Every morning the faithfulness of Yahweh re-appeared. This author depended on Yahweh so that he would hope in Yahweh. Suddenly, this despairing author has great hope in Yahweh. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Heth in this acrostic poem.

The ruined walls of Jerusalem (Lam 2:8-2:8)

Heth

“Yahweh determined

To lay in ruins

The wall

Of daughter Zion.

He stretched

The line.

He did not withhold

His hand

From destroying it.

He caused ramparts

To lament.

He caused the wall

To lament.

They languish together.”

Yahweh himself determined that the walls of Zion should be made a ruin. He stretched out the measuring line, like a surveyor, to determine how to do this. He did not restrain his hand from this work. He has caused the walls and ramparts of Jerusalem to lament and languish together. It seems that Yahweh is portrayed as personally overseeing the destruction of the Jerusalem walls because of his anger at them. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Heth. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The sins of Jerusalem (Lam 1:8-1:8)

Heth

“Jerusalem

Sinned grievously.

So she became

A mockery.

All who honored her

Now despise her.

They have seen

Her nakedness.

She herself groans.

She turns

Her face away.”

Clearly Jerusalem has sinned seriously. Jerusalem has become a mockery of itself. Those who once honored her, now despise her. They have seen her naked. She herself has groaned and turned her face away, since she has admitted her faults. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Heth. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The descendents of Canaan (1 Chr 1:13-1:16)

“Canaan became the father of Sidon his first-born, Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.”

Canaan was the fourth son of Ham. Canaan became the name of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern desert, with Lebanon to the north and the wilderness on the south. Canaan was the primary enemy of the biblical authors. Canaan had many sons. (1) Sidon or Zidon had a northern city named after him, a great Phoenician port that is now a city in Lebanon. (2) Heth was the forerunner of the Hittites, a powerful group in the 3rd millennium BCE, but still around in the 2nd and 1st millennium BCE. Canaan also had a whole bunch of people descendent from him. The (3) Jebusites were descendent from Jebus, the third son of Canaan. They seemed to have settled around what is now Jerusalem. The (4) Amorites were the descendents of the 4th son of Canaan, Emer. They lived in the southern area, south of the Dead Sea. Quite often they are referred to as the Canaanites. The north east (5) Girgashites lived around the Sea of Galilee and were only rarely mentioned, about 7 times, in the biblical literature. The (6) Hivites were living in northwest and central Canaan at the time of the invasion of Canaan. The (7) Arkites seem to have settled in the northern town of Arka, somehow connected to Sidon. The (8) Sinites, the (9) Arvadites, the (10) Zemarites, and the (11) Hamathites seem to be obscure groups that are not mentioned elsewhere in biblical literature, except here and in Genesis, chapter 10. Note that Canaan’s children will become the enemies of these biblical authors. The names of the individual children are not mentioned here, but just the groups that came out of them.