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July 27, 2012 / attilashrugs

On Lamentations, (Eicah) and Tisha B’Av

ON EICAH, LAMENTATIONS AND TISHA B’AV

The Book Of Lamentations is read on Tisha B’Av.  Tisha B’Av means simply the Ninth (Tisha) of the Hebrew month of Av.  This is a day “made for misfortunes”.  Rabbinic Tradition names several misfortunes as falling on this same day.  (Recall, that the Hebrew Calendar differs from our solar calendar in that it is primarily based upon the Moon, with some tweaking to keep the months from drifting out of their proper seasons.
This “day for misfortunes” includes many of the traumatic days of Jewish History.  The major events are the Destructions of The Temples.  The Babylonians burned the Temple, built by Solomon, during the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.

The Babylonians burned the Temple on Tisha B’Av.  Five Hundred years later the Romans burned the Second Temple; on Tisha B’Av.  After the final Jewish War, the Romans plowed under the grounds of the temple and its surroundings.  Again on Tisha B’Av.

Long before the Temple was built, before even Israel returned to The Land of the Patriarchs, Tisha B’Av had already begun its tradition as a “day for misfortunes”.  When the Spies returned to the camp after scouting out The Land for forty days, they agreed that it was a great land, but that they would be unable to conquer it, for the size of the inhabitants.  The returning spies spoke of cities of mighty walls, and that they were as grasshoppers in their own eyes compared to the inhabitants.  They exaggerated and claimed they saw Nephilim there.  The Israelites bewailed their fate.  They wept and complained to Moses for taking them out of Egypt and the “soft life” of slavery.
The Israelites had just witnessed the plagues on Egypt, the splitting of the sea, the appearance of the Glory of God at Sinai.  Yet, fear over came them, and panic spreads like a disease.  The people even threatened Moses.  Moses learned to intercede before the Lord for B’nai Yisrael. YHVH offered to Moses to make him the father of a mighty nation instead of Israel.  Moses’ pleas for mercy for the people were answered.  However, YHVH decreed that not one of the men of military age at the time of the Spies would live to see the Land.  This decree: on Tisha B’Av.

Skipping ahead, England exiled its Jews on Tisha B’Av in the reign of Edward the Confessor.  Spain gave Tisha B’Av of 1492 as the deadline for Jews to be out of Spain, or to have converted to Roman Catholicism.

World War I is said to have begun on Tisha B’Av.  This day of misfortune included the entire world.  When asked where Hitler was born the “wit”, Lady Astor quickly said “in Versailles”.  For the Treaty of Versailles ending officially WWI laid the groundwork for the economic and political collapse of Germany, and for the rise of Adolf Hitler.  (Though, with misfortune comes opportunity: the British conquest of the Ottoman Empire opened up the potential for a Jewish National Homeland. In this light, it has been postulated that The Messiah will be born on this day.  It will be He who restores the world to Edenic beauty and morality.)

Jeremiah wrote this book “Lamentations” or in Hebrew “Eicah” in an “alphabetical” anagram: with each verse (or set of verses) beginning with Alef, then Bet, then Gimel etc to Tav, the final letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  However, in chapters 2, 3 and 4, Jeremiah reverses the order at letter 16 and 17.  In these chapters letter 17 Pe, precedes Ayin letter16.

Eichah, the name of the book comes from the first word of significance in the first sentence; as most of the Hebrew names of the Biblical books are derived.  Eichah means “Alas”. 1 HOW DOTH the city sit solitary that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great or greatest among the nations, and princes among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

2 She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.

These verses are perfect to describe the day of the Babylonian Burning, and the entire period of Diaspora and even more relevant now, this very period in World Affairs.  For now, Jerusalem is full of people.  Yet, Judah or even the splendor of the United Kingdom of Solomon has not been great among the nations for this entire period.  Despite the building of the Second Temple, those who lived to see both said that if one only saw the second Temple and not the First, that person never saw a great temple or a beautiful building.  Even in its latter years when Herod the “Great” lavished wealth on the Temple to ingratiate himself with the Jewish People, the nation was clearly not powerful.  It can be said that from the time of the Babylonian catastrophe until this very day, the greatest of nations has become as a tributary.  But if one reads this as both Historical (not as history per se, but as Biblical history with license) and as Prophetic foreshadowing it may cause shivers.   For even under Solomon it is hard to understand Israel as the Greatest Nation.  But the United States, hmmm.  Ironically, the weekend before Tisha B’Av this year, 2011, (5771 after Creation) the USA for the first time lost its triple A credit rating.  Yesterday, actually in the afternoon, well after sunset in Jerusalem (when the 9th of Av had already begun), the US Stock Markets plunged to a depth of stunning proportion.  Today the volatility is palpable as the Dow plunges and soars, all the while Gold climbs.  And these verses will pertain to the modern state of Israel if they maintain more faith in America than the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  “She has no comforters for all her lovers”.  America, more so than the State of Israel, has had “lovers” among the nations.  We bailed out Europe during and after two world wars and a cold war.  We opened our markets to the world’s commerce to help jump-start the devastated economies of Europe, Japan and China.  Which of our Lovers recalls us with fondness?  And Ancient Israel: Egypt was her lover.  Solomon married the daughter of the Pharaoh, and it is said that Michael the Archangel rammed a staff into the sea, and surrounded it with stones and mud.  It became a great forest, which eventually became Rome!  Five hundred years after Solomon, Israel leaned upon Egypt as an ally against Babylon.  Jeremiah’s writings are filled with exhortations to not put faith in Egypt.  Egypt will be as a weak reed that shall shatter and cut your hand when it is leaned on in the time of need.  The punishment meted out to Egypt for this infidelity will be great, yet, nevertheless, Jerusalem fell and Nebuchadnezzar conquered.  Joseph, as Vizier of Egypt was given the daughter of the Egyptian priest of On to marry.  His sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, therefore have Egyptian as well as Israelite potential.  In Genesis Jacob blesses Ephraim Joseph’s younger son over that of the elder.  Ephraim would expand and spread over many nations.  He would be like a commonwealth of nations.  Many have read “commonwealth” and reflexively seen the British Commonwealth and struggled to rectify the younger and elder business.  Nevertheless, the English Speaking world rose to Global Preeminence, beyond any previous hegemon.  It is Britain that is called “Great”.  When Joseph complained to his father that he was blessing the younger before the elder, Jacob said I know, I know my son.  This is how it will be.  Yet the younger too shall be Great.  Great; Great Britain.  Today, (written last year last year 2011)  on Tisha B’Av the City Of London is aflame for the first time in history, not from invaders or would be invaders, but from its own youth.  It is hard to get a clear picture of just what demographic is pushing hardest at bringing down the System, but it is well known that many call London, Londonistan.  London can easily be considered a City that was Great with people and as the seat of the world reaching British Empire; she was truly a princess among tributaries.  But not today!  It seems that both the pillars of the Anglophone World are under siege, today.  Though both had been descending into apostasy for years, it is as if a tipping point has been reached. (This year, 2012, London is host to the neo-pagan spectacle of the Olympics!  Opening tonight as Tisha B’Av begins. Strangely there has been much talk about certain events transpiring in London this week that will be seen to represent giant steps on the road to Global Government.

3 Judah is gone into exile because of affliction, and because of great servitude; she dwelleth among the nations, she findeth no rest; all her pursuers overtook her within the straits.

4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn assembly; all her gates are desolate, her priests sigh; her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness.

5 Her adversaries are become the head, her enemies are at ease; for HaShem hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her young children are gone into captivity before the adversary.

6 And gone is from the daughter of Zion all her splendour; her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer.

 

Verse 5: Her adversaries are become the head.  Our enemies are at ease.  Listen to China, a nation of a billion dirt-poor peasants, with a nouveau riche upper class of a few million, lecture America on how to run an economy!  Well, actually, that is correct.  For America’s wealth came not from “running” or controlling the economy, but from leaving it to prosper, and having social admiration for success, not bitter class envy.  Russia, mocks the USA as a weak has been.  Even Iran’s dictator fears us not, nor the Tin Pot Chavez.  Look at 7. Jerusalem remembereth in the days of her affliction and of her anguish all her treasures that she had from the days of old; now that her people fall by the hand of the adversary, and none doth help her, the adversaries have seen her, they have mocked at her desolations.
The nations we rescued, and went to war to protect, (Japanese aggression upon China is what began the alienation of America from Japan, leading to Pearl Harbor), and opened our markets to help revive, now mock us!
8. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned, therefore she is become as one unclean; all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness; she herself also sigheth, and turneth backward.

9 Her filthiness was in her skirts, she was not mindful of her end; therefore is she come down wonderfully, she hath no comforter. ‘Behold, O HaShem, my affliction, for the enemy hath magnified himself.’

10 The adversary hath spread out his hand upon all her treasures; for she hath seen that the heathen are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom Thou didst command that they should not enter into Thy congregation.

11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for food to refresh the soul. ‘See, O HaShem, and behold, how abject I am become.’

 

And so it goes through the end of Chapter one.  But let us note that the acrostic is in alphabetical order.  This proves that the latter reversals of Ayin with Pe are not indicating a different order of letters at this time, or an erroneous understanding on the part of Jeremiah.

16 ‘For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water; because the comforter is far from me, even he that should refresh my soul; my children are desolate, because the enemy hath prevailed.’

17 Zion spreadeth forth her hands; there is none to comfort her; HaShem hath commanded concerning Jacob, that they that are round about him should be his adversaries; Jerusalem is among them as one unclean.

בישמ ,םחנמ ינממ קחר יכ–םימ הדרי יניע יניע ,היכוב ינא הלא לע

{ס}  .ביוא רבג יכ ,םיממוש ינב ויה ;ישפנ

;וירצ ויביבס  ,בקעיל הוהי הוצ–הל םחנמ ןיא  ,הידיב ןויצ השרפ

{ס}  .םהיניב ,הדנל םלשורי
התיה

Notice the correct order of Ayin and Pe ע, פ.
CHAPTER 2:  Here we will take a deeper look at the reversal of Ayin and Pe.  But we shall also survey other points of interest.  Verse 14, is a tribute to those who preach what those with itching ears wish to hear, rather than the Truth!
14 Thy prophets have seen visions for thee of vanity and delusion; and they have not uncovered thine iniquity, to bring back thy captivity; but have prophesied for thee burdens of vanity and seduction.

15 All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem: ‘Is this the city that men called the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth?’

Daughter Of Jerusalem”, is a phrase that Americans ought to dread.  The Pilgrims explicitly set forth to build a New Jerusalem.  They read deeply of the “Old” Testament.  Thus OT names are profuse in New England.  So much so that in the Revolutionary War and the War Of 1812 British soldiers and sailors referred to Americans as “Jonathans”.  Both the Pilgrims and the latter Boston Migrations saw themselves as like Israel, crossing the sea, conquering the Wilderness and resettling Canaan.  They did not know how much more than “as like” Israelites they were.  Before the Mayflower Pilgrims set foot on Cape Cod or Plymouth, the native populations were decimated by plagues that burnt unquenchably down from Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, where Europeans came ashore to dry their catch for the trip back to the fish markets of The Old World.  Fishing and whaling ships also traded with the Indians and introduced diseases for which they had zero immunity.  A mild cold, would become a deadly pneumonia destroying entire tribes.  Deuteronomy 5:10 -12

10And it shall be, when HaShem thy G-d shall bring thee into the land which He swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee–great and goodly cities, which thou didst not build,

11 and houses full of all good things, which thou didst not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which thou the didst not hew, vineyards and olive-trees, which thou didst not plant, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied–

12 then beware lest thou forget HaShem, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Because of the plagues that had preceded them, the Pilgrims set foot into a Post-Apocalyptic world of shattered Indian nations.  They unbeknownst literally settled in villages left abandoned.  They ate corn from cisterns they did not hue out.  And they ate crops like corn, squash and beans, which they did not plant.
They had the unbelievable good fortune of meeting Squanto; an Indian kidnapped by Spanish sailors and who wound up living on the grounds of a wealthy investor of the Pilgrims and learning English.  He hitched a ride with fishermen to Maine, and walked all the way home.  He was stunned by the devastation, the total loss of his entire tribe, and family.  His presence allowed the Pilgrims to negotiate with Massasoit the Sachem of the area.

More of the great similarity betweenof the Pilgrims and ancient Israel is seen in Deuteronomy 7:17-21

17 If thou shalt say in thy heart: ‘These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?’

18 thou shalt not be afraid of them; thou shalt well remember what HaShem thy G-d did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt:

19 the great trials which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, whereby HaShem thy G-d brought thee out; so shall HaShem thy G-d do unto all the peoples of whom thou art afraid.

20 Moreover HaShem thy G-d will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and they that hide themselves, perish from before thee.

21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them; for HaShem thy G-d is in the midst of thee, a G-d great and awful.  

The “Hornet, or Swarm” is also translated as Plagues and Pestilences.  Ha-Tzir-ah is the word used.  Devarim is also used to describe bees, and pestilences, and words!

The Pilgrims benefited from Ha Tziriah emptying the land and disorganizing the survivors.  If not for this event there is no way the Pilgrims would have survived the winter. But that is not all there is.  Jacob promised the best of lands in the world to Joseph. Genesis 49: 22-26

22 Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain; its branches run over the wall.

23 The archers have dealt bitterly with him, and shot at him, and hated him;

24 But his bow abode firm, and the arms of his hands were made supple, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, from thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,

25 Even by the G-d of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee, with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that coucheth beneath, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.

26 The blessings of thy father are mighty beyond the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the prince among his brethren.
Therefore Joseph is promised a land far greater than that of the Patriarchs.  Joseph is to be a great worldly power.

“Daughter Of Jerusalem” ought to catch our breath away!

Now, here in verses 16 and 17, we have the first reversal of the letters starting the verses, from Ayin to Pe, as the normal progression goes to Pe, to Ayin, here.  Why would Jeremiah do this?  I believe he is sending us a message.  Those who would quickly read through Lamentations would miss this subtlety.  How few people read Lamentations at all, ever?  How few of these readers read it in conjunction with Tisha B’Av?  How few of those read it with an eye for Hebrew acrostics?  Not that many at all!  Not me!  I owe the recognition to the peculiar change in alphabetical order in chapters 2,3 and 4 to the Art Scroll edition’s commentary.  But though it is pointed out, no explanation is attempted.  I shall attempt to give my explanation.  In brief, The World reads it just the way it is numbered.  It paints the picture that The World wishes to believe; and which God allows them to believe for now. However, when read in the correct alphabetical order, by reversing the two verses, (or groups of verses), we see what Adenoi Tsavaot wishes us to see!

16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth wide against thee; they hiss and gnash the teeth; they say: ‘We have swallowed her up; certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.’

17 HaShem hath done that which He devised; He hath performed His word that He commanded in the days of old; He hath thrown down unsparingly; and He hath caused the enemy to rejoice over thee, He hath exalted the horn of thine adversaries.
Reading in the way of the world, we see what the enemies did, joyfully, enthusiastically, and proudly! ‘We have swallowed her up; certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.’  Is this not exactly how The World, sees this moment?  Hello, Daughter Of Jerusalem?  Do you hear this?  No?  Because our dumbed-down Biblically illiterate society believes that these events are due to the “inevitable forces of the internal contradictions of Capitalism”, if they have the capacity to express the vague emotions that pass for thought!  Or they believe we are facing strong “head winds” and may even be sliding into a double dip recession.
Has George Soros succeeded?  Has Obama successfully planted the charges for a controlled demolition of the Global Economy, dragged down by the death spiral of the USA?  Maybe.  Maybe they even secretly gloat about it.  Or maybe we Conspiracy Theorists are just nut jobs?  Or maybe, the answer is just none of the above.  Now, if you had read the second verse of this pair first, another scenario would have perhaps clicked into view?

Instead of the nations gloating on what “they had done”, all they had done was only what YHVH had ordained long ago!  In fact the word “hiss” caught my eye, and reminded me of the serpent in Eden, whose punishment was to slither on his belly, and his fate was to hiss at the heel of the woman’s (Eve’s) seed.  Notably as well, heel is the Torah’s explanation of Jacob’s name. (Gen. 25:26) The Serpent hissing at Jacob is as the putting to death of Yeshua, the descendent of Israel (Jacob) The crushing of the serpent’s head is as the overcoming of Death and HaSatan by Yeshua HaMoshiach.
When read in the correct alphabetic order the verses give a totally different sense.  Notably, Pe, means mouth; and Ayin, eye.  Normally Ayin precedes Pe, but here it is reversed   Notice the MOUTH imagery here.  “All your enemies jeered at you; they hiss and gnash their teeth.  We have devoured her!”  Yes, the nations glory, and exult in their “victory” over the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan”.  But we know the hand of the LORD did it.  Like when He whistled for Assyria, and they enthusiastically punished Israel twice for all her sins, YHVH vindicated her.  And will again.  (Assyria has carried on into this very age, but that is not for now.)  Like the ax handle thinking it could cut down the forest from which it was cut, the nations will feast on their “victory”, for but a brief time.

Verse 22 in Chapter two is worth a glance too!  ‘Thou hast called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side, and there was none in the day of YHVH’s anger that escaped or remained; those that I have dandled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.’  “Terror”, needs not be explained at all!  Though not in this case the very word for “violence” or “iniquity” is actually Hamas, in Hebrew!  One cannot make this stuff up!  Since Arabic is not that different from Hebrew, I wonder what Hamas means to its members?
CHAPTER 3:
From the first sentence this chapter evokes the mood of Jonah, Job, or The Passion, and Isaiah’s Man Of Constant Sorrows.
3:1-4

1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.

2 He hath led me and caused me to walk in darkness and not in light.

3 Surely against me He turneth His hand again and again all the day.

5 My flesh and my skin hath He worn out; He hath broken my bones.

Verse 1: Ani ha-gever raah ani.  Ani, as a homonym, has two meanings, in this verse. Ani: alef nun yud, means“I”; ayin nun yud; “affliction”.  “I am the man who has seen affliction”.  Almost like Jeremiah is saying I am affliction.

Verses 5-8 sound almost as if lifted from Jonah.

5 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.

6 He hath made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.

7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot go forth; He hath made my chain heavy.

Another translation of 5:  “He besieged me and encircled me with bitterness and travail”.  The Hebrew word translated as “bitterness” is Rosh.  This word’s most common definition by far, is “head”, not “bitterness!  So: He besieged and circled my head with woe, pain! Like Jonah, 2:5  The engulfing waters threatened me, 
   the deep surrounded me; 
   seaweed was wrapped around my head.  Which itself points to Matthew 27:29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

This is but one of the many instances where one may point to Yeshua as the One Man Israel; for the Jews themselves were crucified by Man, and the Prince Of This World.  Yeshua’s suffering in part was the fore knowledge of what The World would do to his brother and sisters in His name.  The Jews bore the suffering that kept the gates to The Kingdom from closing; so long as one of the Lost Sheep of Israel are missing, the door remains open for all who would enter.  The entire drama was enacted to collect the greatest harvest possible.  If Adam and Eve never ate from that fruit, paradise would have been maintained, but the population would be 2.  If the Northern Kingdom repented, and reunified with Judea, perhaps together Babylon would have been defeated, and Yeshua accepted and the end of the age would have come, and gone, with none of the nations given the possibility of entrance.  Through the rejection of Yeshua, due to a spiritual blindness placed upon the Jewish people in this regard has in effect kept the gates open.  It is like two magnets, seeking to connect with tremendous force; held apart by the suffering Jews.  But the Age of the Gentiles has passed.  Perhaps it ended when General Allenby fought the British Imperial Army into Jerusalem, ending 2000 years of rule by gentiles.  Joseph, as he did in Egypt, led the way into the place that God had planned for the Israelites.  Joshua ben Nun, was an Ephraimite, and he, a descendent of Joseph lead Israel into The Land.

Chapter 3, also is arranged differently than the other chapters.  Instead of each verse starting with a letter of the alphabet, and progressing, this chapter has triplets.  The first three verses begin with Alef.  The next three begin with Bet; and so on, with the caveat that Pe again precedes Ayin. 

Since this chapter is in triplets, we shall look at the Ayin and Pe triplets.   In the order written:

פ 46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
 wide against us.

 פ 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, 
 ruin and destruction. ”

פ 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes 
 because my people are destroyed.

ע 49 My eyes will flow unceasingly, 
 without relief,

 ע 50 until the Lord looks down
 from heaven and sees.

ע 51 What I see brings grief to my soul
 because of all the women of my city.

Now placing the verses in corrected alef-tav order would be to read them perhaps from 51 backward to 46.  Interesting also in that Ayin means “eye” and Pe means “mouth”.

ע 51 My eye brings grief to my soul
 because of all the daughters of my city,

ע 50 until the Lord looks down
 from heaven and sees.

ע 49 My eyes will flow unceasingly, 
 without relief,
פ 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes 
 because my people are destroyed.

פ 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, 
 ruin and destruction. ”

פ 46 All our enemies have opened their mouths
 wide against us.

Reading in corrected alef-tav reveals Jeremiah once again telling us the order of disaster. He understands the woe and grief are from the lord. He reminds us that the suffering will continue until the lord looks down and sees, the destruction of the people.  The terror and pitfalls are secondary and incidental to the primary cause of the lord’s judgment.  And the mouths of the enemy are only a tertiary issue.  If and when the term of punishment ends, the lord will restore the People.  If it were G~d’s will the mouths of the foe would have no power.
Though not as telling as the corrected order of Chapter 2, still the corrected order of the triplets in Chapter 3 do remind us that despite the appearances of the disaster, the lord’s hand is present in the travails of the nation.

In the fourth Chapter, once again the verses are in Alef-Tav order with the exception of Ayin and Pe being reversed.  Like the other Chapters, there are twenty-two verses and twenty-two letters. Before we see what we may glean from applying a corrected Alef-Tav to verses 16 and 17, we might notice the unusual three mentions of “Gold” in 4:1 and 2.

1 How the gold has lost its luster! How the fine gold has changed! How the stones of the sanctuary lie scattered at every street corner!

2 The precious sons of Tziyon,
 as precious as fine gold —to think they are now worth no more than clay jars made by a potter!

The word for “gold” is different in each of the three cases.
The first occasion is ב ָָהָ ז (Strong’s H2091).  This word for gold is more weighted towards the appearance, or the color, gold.   So despite the dimness, we are told that the underlying quality is unchanged.
The second occasion the Hebrew word used is Strong’s H 3100.

ם תֶ   ֶּכ הַ
This Gold is used often poetically.  It also refers to that which is hidden away in treasuries, or that which is precious.  The verse seems to suggesting that not only has Israel acted profanely they have become profane in their very being.
The third time “gold” is used in the first two verses of chapter 4 is           ז    פָּ   בַּ Strong’s H6337.  This word for gold refers to solid gold, purified.  (Since the root is ז  פּ, I wonder if perhaps the Bet preceding it might be a scribal error.  Chet with a dagesh looks much like Bet. [ בּ    כ] If so, the Chet would be “like”, so it would be “like pure gold”.)

No matter, this third usage seems to speak for the very deepest nature or destiny.  From the initial, “gold color dimmed” with presumed unchanged inner nature, to the “finest gold is changed” is as if to say the rot reached from the surface into the depths of the people.  However, in the fullness of time the children of Zion are comparable to refined purified Gold, despite being treated cheap ceramics.
Let us now turn to 4: 16 and 17.  Here again are two verses with Ayin following Pe; the reverse of normal order.

פ 16 Adonai himself scattered them; he will no longer look after them; they had no respect for cohanim
and showed no kindness to the leaders.

ע 17 As for us, our eyes are worn out from looking in vain for help; we kept on watching and watching for a nation that couldn’t save us.
When we restore the normal order and read this in alef-tav order a very different and startling message is given!
ע 17As for us, our eyes are worn out from looking in vain for help; we kept on watching and watching for a nation that couldn’t save us.

פ 16 Adonai himself scattered them; he will no longer look after them; they had no respect for cohanim
and showed no kindness to the leaders.
****
This is quite a remarkable revelation.  It completely changes the nature of “them”.  Reading it as written, it seems as if “them” refers to the Judeans of the Southern Kingdom, the rump of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah. However, reading it in alef-tav it appears as if the scattered ones are the nation for whom the people of Jerusalem had been wearing out their eyes searching for.
I have elsewhere given my beliefs about the English-speaking peoples being the worldly power prophesied to emerge from Joseph, consisting of two brothers who have gored the nations to the ends of the earth.  If I am correct, this is a warning for the USA and the entire Anglosphere for right now, today!  If it so happens that Jerusalem searches in vain for the aid promised by the English-speaking peoples in its distress; the aid will indeed come.  However it will come from the Messiah.  However by then our nations shall be scattered, the lord who blessed our peoples with the blessings of the soil, mountains, rivers, and seas, with wealth, health, peace, will no longer look out for us.   (Americans have not seen war at home since the Civil War.  We are very complacent.) Otto von Bismarck is alleged to have muttered, ”God has a special providence for fools, drunks and the United States of America”?  Whether or not we see that providence in a drunk, and foolish United States remains to be seen.

The final chapter, chapter 5, has 22 verses. Though there are 22 Hebrew letters, I expected there to be some kind of order. There is none.   Below is the list of the twenty-two verses and the first letter of each.
Nothing jumps out.  But the 22 verses in the final chapter in a book of five chapters of alef-tav acrostics is screaming “Look closer!”

ז1

נ2

י3

מ4

ע5

מ6

א7

ע8

בּ9

ע10

נׁ11

שׂ12

בּ13

ז14

שׁ15

נ16

ע17

ע18

א19

ל20

ה21

כ22ּ

I arranged the verses in alef-tav order and put stars where that letter is missing from the list.  Where there are more than one verses with the same initial letter I merely placed them in order as they appeared.   This is Chapter Five in corrected Alef-Tav order.

א 7. Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.

19. Thou, O HaShem, art enthroned forever, Thy throne is from generation to generation.

ּבּ 9. We get our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness.

13. The young men have borne the mill, and the children have stumbled under the wood.

ג*

ד*

ה 21. Turn Thou us unto Thee, O HaShem, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

ו*

ז 1. Remember, O HaShem, what is come upon us; behold, and see our reproach.

14. The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music.

ח*

ט*

י 3. We are become orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.

כּ 22 Thou canst not have utterly rejected us, and be exceeding wroth against us!

ל 20. Wherefore dost Thou forget us forever, and forsake us so long time?
מ 4. We have drunk our water for money; our wood cometh to us for price.

6. We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to have bread enough;

נ 2. Our inheritance is turned unto strangers, our houses unto aliens.

11. They have ravished the women in Zion, the maidens in the cities of Judah.

16. The crown is fallen from our head; woe unto us! For we have sinned.

ס*

ע 5,8,10,17,18

5. To our very necks we are pursued; we labour, and have no rest.

8. Servants rule over us; there is none to deliver us out of their hand.

10. Our skin is hot like an oven because of the burning heat of famine.

17. For this our heart is faint, for these things our eyes are dim;

פ*

18. For the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.

צ*

ר*

ש 12. Princes are hanged up by their hand; the faces of elders are not honored.

15. The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.

ת*

_________________________
Perhaps one can rub one’s eyes long enough and make some kind of pattern.  But it really appears that the entire fifth chapter is a series of single sentence verses that do not move or build in any direction.  So if there is no message other than that contained in the single sentence verses, maybe the medium is the message?  I made a chart sort of the reverse of the one above.

What else is in the medium if not the message?  I discovered that of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alef-tav 11 letters are found as the first letter of the twenty-two verses.

Of the 22 letters, 11 letters used, 11 unused.  It is as if we have one half of the picture, and the other half is occluded.   It is like the bright side of the moon seen from earth, and the other unseen side.   It is also suggestive of the entire thrust of the Ayin Pe reversals.  Lamentations is written in the way the world would read it.  Within it is encoded the view from YHVK’s perspective.

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