The weakness of his enemies (Nah 1:8-1:8)

Kaph

“Yahweh will make a full end

Of his adversaries.

He will pursue

His enemies

Into darkness.”

According to the last of these Hebrew letters, Kaph, Yahweh would not be kind to his enemies.  He would put an end to them and pursue them until they lived in darkness, presumably death.

The fire of Yahweh (Lam 4:11-4:11)

Kaph

“Yahweh gave

Full vent

To his wrath.

He poured out

His hot anger.

He kindled

A fire

In Zion,

That consumed

Its foundations.”

Yahweh was angry at Jerusalem. Thus he vented his anger when he started a fire in Zion that consumed it down to its foundations. Yahweh, not the Babylonians, set the city on fire. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph in this acrostic poem.

Yahweh has compassion (Lam 3:31-3:33)

Kaph

“Yahweh will not

Reject forever.

Although he causes grief,

He will have compassion

According to the abundance

Of his steadfast love.

He does not willingly

Afflict anyone.

He does not willingly

Grieve anyone.”

This grieving author talks about the compassion of Yahweh, since Yahweh was not going to reject him forever. Yahweh definitely caused him grief, but he is compassionate with his abundant steadfast love. Then in a strange statement that almost contradicts what was said earlier, this author proclaims that Yahweh does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. In fact, that had been the main complaint earlier in this poem. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph in this acrostic poem.

A personal lamentation (Lam 2:11-2:11)

Kaph

“My eyes are spent

With weeping.

My stomach churns.

My bile is poured out

On the ground.

Because of the destruction

Of my people.

Because infants

Faint.

Babies faint

In the streets

Of the city.”

Now this poem turns to the author of this work as he was personally weeping. His stomach was churning, so that he was throwing up. He was upset because of the destruction of his people. Infants and babies were fainting in the streets of this desolate city. Once again, we have a personal bleak picture of the wasted city of Jerusalem describing the remaining helpless young people. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The lack of food (Lam 1:11-1:11)

Kaph

“All her people groan.

They search for bread.

They trade

Their treasures

For food

To revive

Their strength.

‘Look!

Yahweh!

See!

How worthless

I have become!’”

Once again, we have the shift from a third person description about Jerusalem to a first person singular Jerusalem itself praying directly to Yahweh, the God of Israel. All the people were groaning due to the lack of bread or nourishment. They were trading their treasures for food, which makes sense. They wanted to revive their strength. This verse ends with the first person singular plea to Yahweh. Jerusalem laments how worthless she has become. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

My troubles (Ps 119:81-119:88)

Kaph

“My soul languishes for your salvation.

I hope in your word.

My eyes fail with watching for your promise.

I ask.

‘When will you comfort me?’

I have become like a wineskin in the smoke.

Yet I have not forgotten your statutes.

How long must your servant endure?

When will you judge those who persecute me?

Arrogant men have dug pitfalls for me.

They flout your law.

All your commandments are enduring.

I am persecuted without cause.

Help me!

They have almost made an end of me on earth.

But I have not forsaken your precepts.

In your steadfast love,

Spare my life!

Thus I may keep the decrees of your mouth.”

This psalmist was in a bad situation. He longed for salvation because he hoped in the word of God. His eyes were failing. He wanted to know when Yahweh would comfort him. Even though he was like a smoking wineskin, he still had not forgotten the statutes of Yahweh. He wanted to know how long he had to wait before God would judge and persecute the arrogant men who were setting pitfalls for him. They were flouting the law so that he was persecuted without any real reason. He cried to God for help. They had almost killed him. Despite all this, the psalmist still had not forsaken the precepts of Yahweh. Yahweh’s steadfast love had spared his life. He had the decrees of Yahweh in his mouth. So ends this section on the eleventh consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Kaph.