The laughing stock (Lam 3:13-3:15)

He

“Yahweh shot

Into my vitals

The arrows

Of his quiver.

I have become

The laughingstock

Of all my people.

I have become

The object

Of their taunt-songs

All day long.

He has filled me

With bitterness.

He has filled me

With wormwood.”

This suffering servant complains that Yahweh has shot an arrow into his vital organs. He has become the laughing stock of his people, as they sing taunting songs to and about him all day long. He has been filled with bitterness and forced to eat the bitter wormwood plant. This is a real unhappy dude. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter He in this acrostic poem.

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The traceless end of the unjust (Wis 5:9-5:13)

“All those things have vanished

Like a shadow.

They have vanished

Like a rumor that passes by.

They are

Like a ship that sails through the billowy water.

When it has passed

No trace can be found.

There is no track of its keel in the waves.

When a bird flies through the air,

No evidence of its passage is found.

The light air,

Lashed by the beat of its pinions,

Pierced by the force of its rushing flight,

Is traversed

By the movement of its wings.

Afterward no sign of its coming is found there.

When an arrow is shot at a target,

The air,

Thus divided,

Comes together at once.

Thus no one knows its pathway.

So we also,

As soon as we were born,

Ceased to be.

We had no sign of virtue to show.

But we were consumed in our wickedness.”

The ungodly and unjust have disappeared like a shadow. Here now, but gone when the sun stops shining. They are like a rumor that vanishes almost instantaneously. They are like a ship going in the sea. Once it is gone, there is no way to trace its path. The same is true on the bird in the air. Once gone, you are never sure of its precise path. The same goes for an arrow shot in the air. No one can tell its path. However, today we do have technology that can trace ships, birds, and arrows. So what? These unjust ones declared that they ceased to exist the day they were born, because they had no virtue. Thus they were consumed with wickedness.

Save David from his enemies (Ps 64:1-64:6)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David

“Hear my voice!

O God!

In my complaint!

Preserve my life

From the dreaded enemy.

Hide me

From the secret plots of the wicked.

Hide me

From the scheming of evildoers.

They whet their tongues like swords.

They aim bitter words like arrows.

They shoot from an ambush at the blameless.

They shoot suddenly.

They shoot without fear.

They hold fast to their evil purpose.

They talk of laying snares secretly.

They think.

‘Who can see us?

Who can search out our crimes?

We have thought out

A cunningly conceived plot.’

The human heart and mind are deep!”

Psalm 64 is a choral psalm of David. Once again David wanted to save his life from his enemies. He wanted to be hidden from the secret plots of the wicked and the schemes of the evildoers. Their tongues were like swords. Their words were like arrows from a bow and arrow. They shot suddenly and without fear from various ambushes. They laid secret snares for David with their evil purposes. They thought that no one saw them. No one was going after their crimes. They thought that they had a great cunning plan. Finally David notes that the human heart and mind are deep. This is a little bit like Psalm 58.