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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Lamentation over Babylon (Isa 47:1-47:4)

“Come down!

Sit in the dust!

O virgin daughter Babylon!

Sit on the ground

Without a throne!

O daughter Chaldea!

You shall no more

Be called tender!

You shall no more

Be called delicate!

Take the millstones!

Grind the meal!

Remove your veil!

Strip off your robe!

Uncover your legs!

Pass through the rivers!

Your nakedness shall be uncovered.

Your shame shall be seen.

I will take vengeance.

I will spare no one.

Our Redeemer

Is the Holy One of Israel.

Yahweh of hosts

Is his name!”                                     

This is a unique kind of Hebrew lamentation. Yahweh God has stripped the unconquered virgin Babylon of its royal throne. The Chaldeans, who were from the southern part of Babylon, would no longer be considered tender and delicate. Now they were to do the work of slaves, grinding the meal with millstones. On top of that, they were to strip down, taking their veils off and removing their robes, so that their legs would be uncovered. They would be shamefully naked as washing in a river. Yahweh with his army was going to take vengeance on them, so that no one would be spared. Yahweh is the redeemer and the Holy One of Israel.

Stay inside your house (Isa 26:20-26:21)

“Come!

My people!

Enter your chambers!

Shut your doors

Behind you!

Hide yourselves

For a little while

Until the wrath is past!

Yahweh comes

From his place

To punish the inhabitants

Of the earth

For their iniquity.

The earth will disclose

The bloodshed on it.

The earth

Will no longer

Cover its slain.”

This section indicates that Isaiah wants everybody to stay inside their houses with their doors closed. They were to hide until the anger of the Lord had passed, much like the prototype Passover. Yahweh was going to come out of his place to punish the iniquitous inhabitants of this earth. There would be bloodshed everywhere. Dead people would lie all over the place uncovered. This would be a gruesome scene.