The enemies (Lam 3:46-3:48)

Phe

“All our enemies

Have opened

Their mouths

Against us.

Panic has come

Upon us.

Pitfall has come

Upon us.

There is devastation.

There is destruction.

My eyes flow

With rivers of tears

Because of the destruction

Of my people.”

Once again, this author personalizes his experiences. He turned to his enemies who have railed against him and his friends. Panic, pitfalls, devastation, and destruction have come upon them. He had so many tears flowing that he could create a river, since he was crying about the destruction of his people. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Phe in this acrostic poem.

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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.