The acrostics of chapters 2, 3 and 4 of the Book of Lamentations follow the pe/ayin order. Although the acrostic in the first chapter in the received text follows the ayin/pe order, the text of the first chapter found in the Dead Sea texts follows the pe/ayin order. Surely the Dead Sea text reflects the original order.

The Book of Lamentations was likely composed between 586 and 538 B.C.E. None of the hope engendered by the proclamation of Cyrus is reflected in it.

In the two earliest manuscripts of the Septuagint of Proverbs 31:10–31 (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus), the translation of the pe verse precedes the translation of the ayin verse. These manuscripts were copied long ago, in the fourth century C.E. This suggests that there was a very old Hebrew text with the pe/ayin order.