The sinful prophets and priests (Lam 4:13-4:13)

Mem

“It was for the sins

Of her prophets

With the iniquities

Of her priests.

They shed

The blood

Of the righteous

In the midst of her.”

Yahweh was angry because the prophets had sinned and the priests had committed iniquities. They had shed the blood of the righteous in the middle of Jerusalem. Everyone was at fault, especially the leaders of the city who should have known better. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem in this acrostic poem.

The power of Yahweh (Lam 3:37-3:39)

Mem

“Who can command

To have it done,

If Yahweh

Has not ordained it?

Is it not

From the mouth

Of the Most High

That good

As well as evil comes?

Why should anyone,

Who draws breath,

Complain

About the punishment

Of their sins?”

This author indicates that nothing can get done without the consent of Yahweh. From the mouth of the Most High God comes both good and evil. Once again, there is the question of God and evil. No one should complain about the punishment for their sins from this almighty God. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem in this acrostic poem.

Does anything compare to Jerusalem (Lam 2:13-2:13)

Mem

“What can I say

To you?

To what shall

I compare you?

O daughter Jerusalem!

To what can I liken you?

How may I comfort you?

O virgin daughter Zion!

Vast as the sea

Is your ruin.

Who can heal you?”

Now the author laments about how to compare what has happened in Jerusalem. Is there anything comparable? How can he comfort Zion? This virgin daughter Zion is beyond healing. Her ruin is as vast as the sea. This author of the Lamentations really sounds like a distraught elderly widow who has lost her husband. Perhaps there is an element of exaggeration, as if no other city had ever suffered defeat or ruin. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The devastating fire in Zion (Lam 1:13-1:13)

Mem

“From on high.

He sent fire.

It went deep

Into my bones.

He spread

A net

For my feet.

He turned me back.

He has left me

Stunned.

I am faint

All day long.”

Yahweh sent a fire into the bones of the people of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is no longer a simple city, but a personification of the devastation. Yahweh spread a net for their feet. He turned them back so that they were stunned and faint all day long. This was a very personal lament from the city itself. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The sweet law (Ps 119:97-119:104)

Mem

“Oh!

How I love your law!

It is my meditation all day long.

Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies.

It is always with me.

I have more understanding than all my teachers.

Your decrees are my meditation.

I understand more than the aged.

I keep your precepts.

I hold back my feet from every evil way,

In order to keep your word.

I do not turn aside from your ordinances.

You have taught me.

How sweet are your words to my taste!

Sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Through your precepts I get understanding.

Therefore I hate every false way.”

This psalmist spoke about the sweet law. He loved the law as he meditated on it all day long. The commandments of Yahweh made him wiser than his enemies. The law was always with him. In fact, he had more understanding than his teachers because he meditated on the law. He understood more than the old folks because he kept those precepts. He stayed away from evil ways so that he could keep the law of Yahweh. He never turned away from the ordinances of Yahweh. The law was sweeter than honey, a famous phrase. He understood things because of Yahweh’s precepts. He hated all false ways. Thus this section on the thirteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Mem, came to an end.