The care of Yahweh (Lam 3:34-3:36)

Lamed

“When all

The prisoners

Of the land

Are crushed

Under foot,

Does Yahweh not see it?

When human rights

Are perverted

In the presence

Of the Most High,

Does Yahweh not see it?

When one’s case

Is subverted,

Does Yahweh not see it?”

In a strange way, this author seems to say that Yahweh sees bad things and lets them happen. Prisoners are being crushed. Human rights are perverted. Cases are subverted. The basic question is why doesn’t Yahweh do something, since he sees all this going on? These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Lamed in this acrostic poem.

The repentance (Jer 3:21-3:23)

“A voice on the bare heights

Is heard.

The plaintive weeping of Israel’s children

Is heard.

Because they have perverted their ways.

They have forgotten Yahweh

Their God.

‘Return!

O faithless children!

I will heal your faithlessness.’

‘Here we come to you.

You are Yahweh

Our God.

Truly the hills

Are a delusion.

The orgies on the mountains

Are a delusion.

Truly in Yahweh our God

Is the salvation of Israel.’”

The weeping of the children of Israel can be heard on the mountains from the useless pagan sites. They admit that they had perverted their ways. They had forgotten Yahweh, their God. Jeremiah wants these faithless children to return to Yahweh, their God, since they would be healed. In a remarkable response, these Israelites cry out that the hills and the orgies on the mountains were a delusion. They wanted to return to Yahweh, the God of salvation for Israel.