The third curse against their towns (Hab 2:12-2:14)

“Woe to you!

You build a town

By bloodshed!

You found a city

On iniquity!

Is it not from Yahweh of hosts

That people labor,

Only to feed the flames?

Do nations weary themselves

For nothing?

The earth will be filled

With the knowledge

Of the glory of Yahweh,

As the waters cover the sea.”

Habakkuk issued his 3rd woe or curse against the Chaldeans, because they built their towns with bloodshed and founded their cities on iniquity.  They forced the people into building their cities with free labor.  However, the flames of a fire would come to destroy them.  They were wasting their time, because these towns and cities would not last.  The end result was that the earth would be filled with the knowledge and glory of Yahweh, just as water covered the sea.

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Like the grasshopper locusts (Nah 3:15-3:17)

“There the fire

Will devour you.

The sword

Will cut you off.

It will devour you

Like the locusts.

Multiply yourselves

Like the locusts!

Multiply yourselves

Like the grasshoppers!

You increased

Your merchants

More than the stars

Of the heavens.

The locust sheds its skin.

Then it flies away.

Your guards are

Like grasshoppers.

Your scribes are

Like swarms of locusts,

Settling on the fences,

On a day of cold,

When the sun rises,

They fly away.

No one knows

Where they have gone.”

A fire would destroy Nineveh, while the sword would chase people away.  The city would be decimated, as if a swarm of locusts had come through there.  They would have to multiply themselves like grasshoppers or locusts, as their merchants had done in the past.  These commercial envoys of Nineveh were as numerous as the stars.  Just as the locust sheds its skin, so that it can fly away, the guards at Nineveh would be like grasshoppers, hip hopping away.  Their scribes were like swarms of locusts sitting on a fence on a cold day.  However, when the sun came up the next day, these scribes would fly off, where no one would know where they went.  As this was going to happen to Nineveh, no one would know where in the world they went.

Seek Yahweh (Am 5:4-5:6)

“Thus says Yahweh

To the house of Israel.

‘Seek me!

Live!

But do not seek Bethel!

Do not enter into Gilgal!

Do not cross over to Beer-sheba!

Gilgal shall surely go into exile!

Bethel shall come to nothing!

Seek Yahweh!

Live!

Otherwise,

He will break out

Against the house of Joseph,

Like fire.

It will devour Bethel,

With no one to quench it.’”

Amos has Yahweh tell the house of Israel to seek him, so that they might live. However, they were not to seek Yahweh at the religious places of the idols at Bethel or Gilgal, since nothing would come of that. They were not to go to Beer-sheba either, which was south of Judah, like a resort place. Instead, they were to seek out Yahweh, so that they could live. Yahweh was going to break out against the house of Joseph, Ephraim, and devour Bethel, the capital city, with a fire that no one could put out.

Like Sodom and Gomorrah

“I overthrew some of you,

As when God overthrew

Sodom and Gomorrah.

You were

Like a brand

Snatched

From the fire.

Yet you did not

Return to me,’

Says Yahweh.”

Amos has yet another oracle of Yahweh with the same theme about the failure to return to Yahweh. This time, Yahweh overthrew some of them like in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, chapter 19. These Israelites were like a brand taken from a fire. Despite all these problems, the northern kingdom Israelites still refused Yahweh.

The cry to Yahweh (Joel 1:19-1:20)

“To you!

O Yahweh!

I cry!

Fire has devoured

The pastures

Of the wilderness.

Flames have burned

All the trees

Of the field.

Even the wild animals

Cry to you.

Because the water streams

Are dried up.

Fire has devoured

The pastures

Of the wilderness.”

Joel cried out to Yahweh. He called the drought of this locust plague a fire. He repeated twice that this fire had devoured the pastures in the wilderness. The dry flames had burned the trees of the fields. The wild animals were also crying out to Yahweh. The streams of water had dried up. This was a desperate situation.

The destruction of Magog (Ezek 39:6-39:6)

“I will send fire

On Magog,

On those who live securely

In the coastlands.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

For no apparent reason, Yahweh set a fire in Magog, the homeland of Gog. Why he also sent fire to the coastland towns was not clear. The main reason given was that they would know that he was Yahweh God.

 

The boiling rusted pot (Ezek 24:9-24:11)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Woe to the bloody city!

I will even make

The pile great!

Heap up the logs!

Kindle the fire!

Boil the meat well!

Mix in the spices!

Let the bones

Be burned!

Stand it empty

Upon the coals!

Thus it may become hot.

Its copper will glow.

Its filth

Will melt in it.

Its rust

Will be consumed.’”

Once again Yahweh, via Ezekiel, pronounced a curse against the bloody city of Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to pile up logs and kindle a fire. He wanted to boil the meat with lots of spices. He wanted this meal so well cooked that even the bones would be burned. He wanted this pot to stand empty on the hot coals until its copper glowed. He had hoped that the filth would melt out of this pot. That way, all the rust would be consumed and gone, since this burning pot was Jerusalem.