The moaning and mourning in Moab (Jer 48:36-48:37)

“Therefore my heart

Moans for Moab,

Like a flute.

My heart moans

Like a flute

For the people

Of Kir-heres.

The riches

That they had gained,

Has perished.

Every head

Is shaved.

Every beard

Is cut off.

On all the hands,

There are gashes.

On the loins,

There are sack cloths.”

Yahweh’s heart moans for Moab like a flute. The same is true of the people of Kir-heres, a major city in Moab, dedicated to the sun. All the richness that Moab had attained has now perished. Their heads are shaven and their beards are cut off. Their hands are all gashed, as they are also wearing sackcloth. These were all the signs of someone in mourning.

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Prayer of suffering (Isa 38:12-38:15)

“My dwelling is plucked up.

My dwelling is removed from me

Like a shepherd’s tent.

Like a weaver,

I have rolled up my life.

He cuts me off from the loom.

From day to night,

You bring me to an end.

I cry for help

Until morning.

Like a lion,

He breaks all my bones.

From day to night,

You bring me to an end.

I clamor

Like a swallow,

Like a crane.

I moan

Like a dove.

My eyes are weary

With looking upward.

O Lord!

I am oppressed!

Be my security!

But what can I say?

He has spoken to me.

He himself has done it.

All my sleep has fled.

Because of the bitterness of my soul.”

Second Isaiah has King Hezekiah suffering a lot. He has lost his dwelling so that all he has is a tent, like a shepherd. His life has been rolled up so that he is like a weaver who cannot get to his loom. He suffers both day and night as he cries all night. His bones are broken as if from a lion’s attack. He clamors like a swallow or a crane and moans like a dove. He is weary from looking up. He wanted Yahweh to be his security because he was oppressed. What can he say? Yahweh has told him about what he has done to him. He cannot sleep because of his bitter soul. This king is depressed.