The lonely city (Lam 1:1-Lam 1:1)

Aleph

“How lonely

Sits the city

That once was

Full of people!

How like a widow,

She has become!

She that was great

Among the nations!

She that was

A princess

Among the provinces!

She has become

A vassal.”

This first verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Aleph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem. This author laments that this once inhabited city is now lonely like a widow. This city was great among the nations like a princess, but now it has become a vassal slave. Thus the tone for these lamentations has been set. Although not explicitly mentioned here, the obvious reference is to the lonely city Jerusalem.

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The arrogance of Moab (Isa 16:6-16:7)

“We have heard

Of the pride of Moab.

How proud he is!

We have heard

Of his arrogance.

We have heard

Of his pride.

We have heard

Of his insolence.

His boasts are false.

Therefore let Moab wail!

Let everyone wail for Moab!

Mourn!

It is utterly stricken.

They cry for

The raisin-cakes of Kir-hareseth.”

Isaiah here assumes the first person plural “we,” instead of the first person singular, “I.” Now the tone is not as forgiving. They have heard of the pride, the arrogance, and insolence of Moab. Those Moabites make false boasts. Therefore, let them cry. Let everyone wail away, because they have been decimated. They cry out for their raisin cakes from Kir-hareseth. The raisin cakes were made from the grapes that dried up. These must have been some good bakery cakes from the town of Kir or Kerak in Moab, the probable names for Kir-hareseth.