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Posted by Bruce Kahl on December 24, 2002

In Reply to: ORIGIN III posted by Frank on December 24, 2002

: A very good morning to all.
: "The sins of our fathers,"
: from a bible?

: Merry Christmas,
: Frank

Lamentations 5
Old Testament

Verse 1-16 - Is any afflicted? Let him pray; and let him in prayer pour out his complaint to God. The people of God do so here; they complain not of evils feared, but of evils felt. If penitent and patient under what we suffer for the sins of our fathers, we may expect that He who punishes, will return in mercy to us. They acknowledge, Woe unto us that we have sinned! All our woes are owing to our own sin and folly. Though our sins and God's just displeasure cause our sufferings, we may hope in his pardoning mercy, his sanctifying grace, and his kind providence. But the sins of a man's whole life will be punished with vengeance at last, unless he obtains an interest in Him who bare our sins in his own body on the tree.

The book of Lamentations consists of five distinct poems, each in its own chapter. Each of the first four psalms is an alphabetic acrostic of one form or another. An acrostic utilizes the letters of the alphabet to develop a scheme. In the case of chapters 1-2, the first letter of each three line stanza begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet (twenty-two letters in all), so that the first triplet begins with a (aleph in Hebrew), the second with b (beth), and so forth. Chapter 4 consists of couplets rather than triplets in the same scheme. Chapter 3 consists of twenty-two triplets where each line of the triplet begins with the same letter of the alphabet in acrostic progression. Chapter 5 consists of twenty-two single lines without any observable alphabetic progression. Whatever the reason for these elaborate acrostic schemes, they do give evidence of the considerable poetic craftsmanship of the composer. The poems were not artlessly constructed.

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