The Fullness of Divine Retribution from Aleph to Tav
How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people!
how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces,
how is she become tributary! She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks:
among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
they are become her enemies.
Lamentations 1:1ff (Spoke 3, Cycle 2)
The Book of Lamentations exemplifies the negative meaning of gamal as the
full recompense, complete repayment, and total retribution
given in accordance with one's actions. It is the saddest book in existence, which Baxter rightly
called "a cloudburst of grief, a river of tears, a sea of sobs." It portrays the spiritual effects of sin,
painted with an historical brush dipped in blood and tears, with death, destruction, pain, and
sorrow amplified beyond all measure. Its words can scarcely be taken in before the heart breaks first
with the knowledge that this represents the punishment Christ Himself bore for our sins,
and then with awesome fear of the God who promises to recompense (gamal) every soul according
as his works deserve. This is the savour of death spoken of in 2 Corinthians above
(BW book pg pg 154).
Lamentations records the utter desolation of Jerusalem and the exile of the survivors into the lands of the Gentiles.
It explicitly states that their punishment was due to their own sin:
Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her,
because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and
turneth backward. ... The LORD is righteous;
for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow: my virgins and
my young men are gone into captivity (galah).
Lamentations 1:8f (Spoke 3, Cycle 2)
God does not do anything half-way. He inspired the first four chapters of Lamentations as an
alphabetic acrostic to represent the fullness and completeness of
His Divine retribution from Aleph to Tav.
The alphabetic structure is easy to see in English because the number of verses in each chapter follow the
pattern of 22–22–66–22–22. The central chapter has 66 verses because there are three consecutive verses for each Letter.
The final chapter, though having 22 verses, is not written alphabetically and also differs from the
previous four chapters in that it is a prayer. The words God placed in these Alphabetic Verses give
profound insight into all aspects of His Word in the form of the Wheel, as seen in their frequent citation throughout
this book. And so it is now that we discover the essential nature of God's punishment of Jerusalem presented with
the fundamental KeyWord given in the first Gimel verse of the first chapter of Lamentations:
- AV Lamentations 1:3 Judah is gone into captivity (galah) because of affliction, and because of great servitude:
she dwelleth among the heathen, she findeth no rest: all her persecutors overtook her between the straits.
The KeyWord galah primarily means to uncover or to make naked,
and is often translated as reveal. It acquired the meaning of exile and captivity
from the idea of
making the land naked or bare of inhabitants. It is a very important word in Leviticus where it appears
twenty-four times in chapters 18 and 20 in the prohibitions against inappropriate nakedness:
None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover (galah)
their nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness
of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover (galah): she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover (galah)
Leviticus 18:1f (Spoke 3, Cycle 1)
This also is the basis of another primary meaning of galah – to reveal – which gives great insight into
the meaning of the wheel (galgal, BW Book pg 379).
God's punishment – the destruction of Jerusalem – came only after an extraordinarily detailed warning.
When God first gave the great promise of Fellowship with Him, which figures so prominently in the links between
Leviticus and 2 Corinthians above (BW book pg 155), He
immediately followed it with by dire warnings of the consequences of disobedience:
But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my
statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye
break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the
burning fever, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain,
for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they
that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for
all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of
your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
Leviticus 26:14ff (Spoke 3, Cycle 1)
This Divine Warning goes on for dozens of verses, thrice repeating the sevenfold increase of punishment for
continued obstinate disobedience, and culminating in the promise of utter destruction and desolation of both
Jerusalem and the Temple:
And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation,
and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation: and
your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and
will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
Leviticus 26:31ff (Spoke 3, Cycle 1)
These are the words of God's warning from Leviticus on Cycle 1 of Spoke 3. They were fulfilled in
Lamentations on Cycle 2 of Spoke 3. Note the specific refusal to smell the "sweet odours" which play a prominent role
in the links between the Books on Spoke 3 (BW book pg 153).
The precise balance of warning and retribution, as shown in the table below, is part of the horror of it all.
Solomon's words that "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good,
or whether it be evil" (Eccl 12:14) strike the soul in a new and disturbing way when we see their exact fulfillment
in the history of Israel.
Leviticus (Spoke 3, Cycle 1)
Lamentations (Spoke 3, Cycle 1)
|26:16 I will even appoint over you terror, consumption,
and the burning fever, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart:
and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
||1:12 Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and
see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me
in the day of his fierce anger.
|Chased by Enemies and Slain by the Sword|
|26:17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies:
they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
26:33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your
land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
|3:52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause. They have cut off my life
in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
2:21 The young and the old lie on the ground in the streets: my virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword;
thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; thou hast killed, and not pitied.
|26:26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven,
and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
||5:9 We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness.
Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.
|26:28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I,
will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons,
and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
||4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden (boiled) their own children: they were their
meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
|Desolation and Destruction|
|26:31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation,
and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation:
and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
||3:46 All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Fear and a snare is come upon us,
desolation and destruction. Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the
destruction of the
daughter of my people.
Next article: Zion has No Comforter!