The punishments (Lam 4:22-4:22)

Taw

“The punishment

Of your iniquity,

O daughter Zion,

Is accomplished.

He will keep you

In exile

No longer.

But your iniquity,

O daughter Edom,

He will punish.

He will uncover

Your sins.”

The good news was that the punishment of Zion was over. They would no longer be in exile. However, Edom was about to be punished, as their sins would be uncovered. This last verse of this Lamentation starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Taw, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in this last acrostic poem.

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Destroy the enemies (Lam 3:64-3:66)

Taw

“Pay them back

For their deeds!

O Yahweh!

According to the work

Of their hands,

Give them anguish

Of heart!

May your curse

Be on them!

Pursue them

In anger!

Destroy them

From under Yahweh’s heavens!”

This personal lament ends with a plea to Yahweh to destroy his enemies. This author was very clear. He wanted his enemies paid back for what they had done. Yahweh was to use his own hands and his own anger. They were to receive an anguished heart. They should be cursed, pursued, and destroyed. They should be wiped out from under God’s heavens. These three verses start with the final Hebrew consonant letter Taw, since this is the last section of this acrostic poem.

The day of Yahweh’s anger (Lam 2:22-2:22)

Taw

“You invited

My enemies

From all around

As if for a festival day.

On the day

Of the anger

Of Yahweh,

No one escaped.

No one survived.

Those whom I bore,

Those whom I reared,

My enemy destroyed.”

Jerusalem blamed Yahweh for inviting its enemies from all over to come and have a great feast. On the day of Yahweh’s anger, no one escaped or survived from Jerusalem. Now the enemies of Jerusalem have destroyed all the people who were born and raised in Jerusalem. Thus Yahweh’s anger was to blame for all the havoc and death that happened in Jerusalem. This final verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Taw. This acrostic poem ends with the personification of Jerusalem speaking about Yahweh’s day of anger.

The personal guilt (Lam 1:22-1:22)

Taw

“Let all their evil doing

Come before you!

Deal with them,

As you have dealt

With me,

Because of all my transgressions.

My groans are many.

My heart is faint.”

A final personal lament from Jerusalem brings this poem to an end. Jerusalem admitted that she had transgressed the law.   She spoke with many groans and a faint heart. However, she wanted all the evil doings of others to also come before Yahweh, so that he could deal with them as he had dealt with Jerusalem. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Taw, the last consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

God would listen to Job (Job 31:35-31:37)

“O that I had one to hear me!

Here is my signature!

Let the Almighty Shaddai answer me!

O that I had the indictment written by my adversary!

Surely I would carry it on my shoulder.

I would bind it on me like a crown.

I would give him an account of all my steps.

Like a prince I would approach him.”

Job wanted God, the almighty Shaddai to listen to him. Job was willing to give his signature which would have been the Hebrew “taw,” the last letter of Semitic alphabets. More than listening, Job wanted an answer to his prayers and petitions. He wanted a written indictment against him so that he could defend himself. This sounds like he lived in a time where legal documents were disputed. He wanted to explain his whole life. He had nothing to hide. He would wear this indictment on his shoulders or like a crown on his head.