The taunts of the enemy (Lam 3:61-3:63)

Shin

“You have heard

Their taunts!

O Yahweh!

You have heard

All their plots

Against me!

The whispers

With the murmurs

Of my assailants

Are against me

All day long.

Whether they sit

Or whether they rise,

I am the object

Of their taunt songs.”

This personalized lamentation approach continues with a complaint against his enemies who taunt him. They plot against him with whispers and murmurs all day long. Whether they are sitting around or moving about, they continue to make him the object of their taunting songs. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Shin in this acrostic poem.

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The discussion about Jeremiah (Jer 38:4-38:5)

“Then the officials said

To the king.

‘This man ought

To be put to death.

Because he is discouraging

The soldiers

Who are left in this city.

He is discouraging

All the people,

By speaking such words

To them.

This man is not seeking

The welfare of this people,

But their harm.’

King Zedekiah said.

‘Here he is.

He is in your hands.

The king is powerless

Against you.’”

These four royal officials went to the king and said that Jeremiah ought to be put to death. They said that Jeremiah was discouraging the soldiers who were left in the city, since so many had died already. He was, in fact, discouraging everyone by talking the way he does about the fall of Jerusalem. He was not seeking to help the people, but to harm them. Then King Zedekiah said okay. He left all this in their hands. He would not object to anything that they did. However, he did not say that Jeremiah should die.