Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Lamentations of Jeremiah

Before we begin, a few conclusions. The Lamentations is in five chapters and there is, unlike the Song, no argument from me as to where the parts of this poem begin and end. Chapters 1, 2, and 4 are acrostic. That is the first letter in each verse is a unique letter of the alef-bet in sequence. So there are 22 verses in each of these chapters as in chapter 5 also.

Let no one say that a study of letters is unprofitable. These acrostics are more than a game for children. Only chapter 1 is a perfect acrostic in sequence. Chapters 2 and 4 have one letter pair reversed and out of sequence.

Chapter 3 is its own story. It is 66 verses. Guess what! Each trio of verses expresses the acrostic lament. Peh פ and Ayin ע are again in reverse order.  The normal order of the letters as I teach them in Sunday School is in the header of this blog thus:

א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת

The last chapter is not an acrostic. The first letter usage is as follows.
א2 ב2 ג0 ד0 ה1 ו0 ז2 ח0 ט0 י1 כ1 ל1 מ2 נ3 ס0 ע5 פ0 צ0 ק0 ר0 ש2 ת0

What does this say to us who read? I expect as always in these texts that there is more to discover.