The anointed king (Lam 4:20-4:20)

Resh

“Yahweh’s anointed,

The breath

Of our life,

Was taken

In their pits.

This is the one

Of whom

We said.

‘Under his shadow

We shall live

Among the nations.’”

Using the first personal plural, they extol Yahweh’s anointed one, the king of Judah, King Zedekiah. He was the breath of their life, but he fell into a pit and was captured. They had agreed to live under his shadow, but now he was no more. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh in this acrostic poem.

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The saving redemption (Lam 3:58-3:60)

Resh

“You have taken up

My cause!

O Yahweh!

You have redeemed

My life!

You have seen

The wrong

Done to me!

O Yahweh!

Judge my cause!

You have seen

All their malice!

You have seen

All their plots

Against me!”

This personalized lament continued, but this time on a positive note. Yahweh has taken up his cause. He has redeemed his life. He has seen the wrong things that were done to him. Yahweh was going to judge his case, since he saw all the malice that other people have done against him with their various plots. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh in this acrostic poem.

A cry to Yahweh for help (Lam 2:20-2:20)

Resh

“Look!

Yahweh!

Consider!

To whom have

You done this?

Should women

Eat their offspring?

Should they eat

The children

That they have borne?

Should priests

With prophets

Be killed In the sanctuary

Of Yahweh?”

This author continued to remind people to turn to Yahweh. He wanted Yahweh to consider what was happening there. Yahweh should have pity on the left over people in Jerusalem. Women were so hungry that they were eating their new born children, practicing cannibalism. This was also mentioned in Jeremiah, chapter 19. Priests and prophets were being killed in the sanctuary of Yahweh. However, the sanctuary was already destroyed. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

Distressed Jerusalem (Lam 1:20-1:20)

Resh

“See!

O Yahweh!

How distressed I am!

My stomach churns!

My heart is

Wrung within me.

Because I have been

Very rebellious.

In the street,

The sword bereaves.

In the house,

It is like death.”

Once again, we are back to a personal lament from Jerusalem itself about how distressed Jerusalem is. This personified Jerusalem has a stomach that churns and a heart that has dried up. Jerusalem admitted that she had been very rebellious. However, the sword was in bereavement in the streets, because every house was like a house of death. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

Rescue me (Ps 119:153-119:160)

Resh

“Look on my misery!

Rescue me!

I do not forget your law.

Plead my cause!

Redeem me!

Give me life

According to your promise!

Salvation is far from the wicked.

They do not seek your statutes.

Great is your mercy!

Yahweh!

Give me life

According to your justice!

Many are my persecutors.

Many are my adversaries.

Yet I do not swerve from your decrees.

I look at the faithless with disgust.

Because they do not keep your commands.

Consider how I love your precepts!

Preserve my life

According to your steadfast love!

The sum of your word is truth.

Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.”

This psalmist wanted to be rescued from his misery because he had not forgotten the law. He wanted a defense attorney and a redeemer. He wanted his life as Yahweh had promised. The wicked would not be saved because they did not seek Yahweh’s statutes. Yahweh’s mercy was great so that his justice would also help him. Although he had many persecutors and adversaries the psalmist did not swerve from Yahweh’s decrees. He looked at the unfaithful in disgust because they did not keep Yahweh’s commands. He, on the other hand, loved Yahweh’s precepts. He wanted his life preserved because of Yahweh’s love. The word of Yahweh is truth so that every one of his just ordinances would endure forever. So ends this section on the twentieth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Resh.