Against Israel (Am 2:6-2:8)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘For three transgressions

Of Israel,

And for four,

I will not revoke

The punishment.

Because they sell

The righteous

For silver.

They sell the needy

For a pair of sandals.

They trample

The head of the poor

Into the dust

Of the earth.

They push the afflicted

Out of the way.

A father

With his son

Goes into the same girl.

So,

My holy name

Is profaned.

They lay themselves down

Beside every altar,

On garments

Taken in pledge.

In the house

Of their god,

They drink

The wine

Bought with fines

They imposed.”

Finally, Yahweh issued a diatribe against Israel itself. Yahweh, via Amos, invoked the same language or literary form as he had used against Damascus, the Philistines, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and Judah. He also used the same non-forgiving numeric formula of 3 and 4, as in Proverbs, chapter 30. The Israelites were, also involved in the slave trade, as they sold the righteous ones for silver. At the same time, they sold the needy for a pair of shoes or sandals. They trampled the heads of the poor into the dust of the earth. Both father and son would have sex with the same temple female prostitute. They profaned the holy name of Yahweh, as they laid down at any altar, with garments that they had taken as interest down payments. They drank wine in the houses of their gods bought with the fines that they had imposed on the poor people. They had committed serious crimes.

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Write a scroll or book (Jer 36:2-36:2)

“Take a scroll!

Write on it

All the words

That I have spoken

To you

Against Israel,

Against Judah,

Against all the nations,

From the day

I spoke to you,

From the days

Of King Josiah

Until today.”

Yahweh tells Jeremiah to write down all the oracles that he told him since the beginning of his prophetic work to the present. He was to get a scroll to write all these oracles that Yahweh had delivered to him against Israel, Judah, and all the nations. He was to go back to the beginning under King Josiah in 626 BCE. Thus this would have been about 20 years worth of Yahweh oracles, with most of it coming when King Josiah was king, since King Jehoiakim had been king for only 4 years. Thus we have some idea about what is in this Book of Jeremiah.