The whole world trembles (Nah 1:5-1:5)

Vav

“The earth heaves

Before him.

The world heaves.

All who live in the world

Heave.”

With the Hebrew letter Vav, the whole world, including the earth and everybody in it, would tremble or heave back and forth.

The punishment (Lam 4:6-4:6)

Vav

“The chastisement

Of my people

Has been greater

Than the punishment

Of Sodom.

It was overthrown

In a moment,

Even though

No hand

Was laid on it.”

This author compares the punishment of Jerusalem to that of the city of Sodom in Genesis, chapter 19, which seemed to resonate in the Israelite imagination. In fact, the punishment to the people of Jerusalem during this siege was worse than that of Sodom, because this punishment was lingering and not quick. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Vav in this acrostic poem.

The forgotten happiness (Lam 3:16-3:18)

Vav

“Yahweh has made

My teeth grind

On gravel.

He made me

Cower in ashes.

My soul is bereft

Of peace.

I have forgotten

What happiness is.

So I say.

‘Gone is my glory,

All that I had hoped for

From Yahweh.’”

This suffering person proclaims that Yahweh has made him grind his teeth on gravel, which is not a pretty thought. Yahweh made him cower or be afraid with ashes on him, as if in mourning. His soul had no peace. He had forgotten what happiness was. All the glory that he had hoped for from Yahweh was gone. He was almost in despair. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Vav in this acrostic poem.

Yahweh has destroyed his own Temple (Lam 2:6-2:6)

Vav

“Yahweh

Has broken down

His booth

Like a garden.

He has destroyed

His tabernacle.

Yahweh has abolished

Festivals

Along with the Sabbath

In Zion.

His fierce indignation

Has spurned Kings

As well as priests.”

Yahweh has destroyed his own booth or tabernacle. Yahweh has abolished all Sabbath and festival worship services, mainly because there was no more Temple. In his fierce indignation, Yahweh has turned against his kings and priests. After all, a lot of people have died or gone into Babylonian captivity or, like Jeremiah, gone to Egypt or other places. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Vav. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The princes have fled (Lam 1:6-1:6)

Vav

“All her majesty

Has departed

From daughter Zion!

Her princes

Have become

Like stags

That find no pasture.

They fled

Without strength

Before the pursuer.”

All the great majesty that was part of Zion has now departed. Her princes have become like wandering stag deer with no place to pasture. They even fled without any strength before the pursuing Babylonians. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Vav. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

Steadfast love (Ps 119:41-119:48)

Vav

“Let your steadfast love come to me!

Yahweh!

Let your salvation come to me according to your promise!

Then I shall have an answer for those who taunt me.

I trust in your word.

Do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth.

My hope is in your ordinances.

I will keep your law continually,

Forever and ever.

I shall walk at liberty.

I have sought your precepts.

I will also speak of your decrees before kings.

I shall not be put to shame.

I find my delight in your commandments.

I love them!

I revere your commandments.

I love them!

I will meditate on your statutes.”

The psalmist wants the steadfast love of Yahweh to be with him. He wanted to be saved as Yahweh had promised. He trusted in the word of Yahweh. He did not want to be taunted. He had hope in the ordinances and laws of Yahweh. He wanted to continually walk in the liberty that God’s ordinances brought him. He wanted to tell kings about his God’s decrees. He delighted and loved the commandments of God. He wanted to meditate on all God’s statutes. So ends this section on the sixth consonant of the Hebrew alphabet, Vav.