The enemies of Jerusalem (Bar 4:30-4:35)

“Take courage!

O Jerusalem!

The one who named you

Will comfort you.

Wretched will be

Those who mistreated you!

They rejoiced at your fall.

Wretched will be

The cities

That your children

Served as slaves!

Wretched will be

The city

That received your offspring!

She rejoiced

At your fall.

She was glad

For your ruin.

Now she will be grieved

At her own desolation.

I will take away her pride

In her great population.

Her insolence

Will be turned to grief.

Fire will come upon her

from the Everlasting One

For many days.

For a long time,

She will be inhabited

By demons.”

Now there is a turn, as this author speaks directly to Jerusalem instead of Jerusalem herself complaining. Jerusalem was encouraged to be courageous. She would be comforted. However, those who mistreated her and rejoiced at her fall will be miserable. The cities where the children of Jerusalem served as slaves would be miserable also. The city of Babylon, that received the children of Jerusalem, rejoiced and was glad at the downfall and ruin of Jerusalem. Now they will be grieved at their own desolation. The pride of those people and their insolence will be turned to grief. The Everlasting One, not Yahweh, will bring fire upon it for many days. For a long time it will be inhabited by demons.

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The enemies of Jerusalem (Lam 2:16-2:16)

Phe

“All your enemies

Open their mouths

Against you.

They hiss,

They gnash

Their teeth.

They cry.

‘We have devoured her!

O!

This is the day

We longed for!

At last,

We have seen it!’”

Once again, this author portrays the words and attitudes of outsiders, the enemies of Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. They have opened their mouths against Jerusalem. They have hissed and gnashed their teeth. They have proclaimed that they had now devoured Jerusalem. The day that they longed for had arrived as they saw it with their own eyes. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Phe. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.