Do not be afraid (Jer 46:27-46:28)

“‘As for you!

Have no fear!

My servant Jacob!

Do not be dismayed!

O Israel!

I am going to save you

From far away.

I will save your offspring

From the land

Of their captivity.

Jacob shall return.

They shall have quiet.

They shall have ease.

No one shall make them afraid.

As for you!

Have no fear!

My servant Jacob!

I am with you!

I will save you!’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will make an end

Of all the nations

Among whom

I have banished you.

But I will not make

An end of you.

I will chastise you

In just measure.

I will by no means

Leave you unpunished.’”

This passage is almost word for word like chapter 30: 11-12. Yahweh, via Jeremiah, said that Israel or Jacob did not have to fear or be dismayed. Yahweh was going to save them and their offspring from their captivity, even though he was far away. They would return and have peace and quiet. No one would make them afraid, because Yahweh was with them. He was going to bring an end to all the nations where the Israelites had been scattered. These countries would come to an end, but the Israelites would not come to an end. The Israelites were going to be chastised, but in a just measure, since they would not escape unpunished.

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.

Do not be afraid (Jer 30:10-30:11)

“Yahweh says.

‘As for you!

Have no fear!

My servant Jacob!

Do not be dismayed!

O Israel!

I am going to save you

From far away.

I will save your offspring

From the land

Of their captivity.

Jacob shall return.

They shall have quiet.

They shall have ease.

No one shall make them afraid.

I am with you!

I will save you!’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will make an end

Of all the nations

Among whom

I have scattered you.

But of you,

I will not make an end.

I will chastise you

In just measure.

I will by no means

Leave you unpunished.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, said that Israel or Jacob did not have to fear or be dismayed. Yahweh was going to save them and their offspring from their captivity, even though he was far away. They would return and have peace and quiet. No one would make them afraid, because Yahweh was with them. He was going to bring an end to all the nations where the Israelites had been scattered. These countries would come to an end, but the Israelites would not come to an end. The Israelites were going to be chastised, but in a just measure, since they would not escape unpunished.

Yahweh is the great one (Jer 10:6-10:7)

“There is none like you!

Yahweh! You are great!

Your name is great in might!

Who would not fear you?

O King of the nations!

That is your due.

Among all the wise ones of the nations,

In all their kingdoms,

There is no one like you.”

Jeremiah proclaims in strong terms that there is no one like Yahweh, his God. Yahweh is great. Everyone should fear Yahweh. Thus they should give him his due, since he is the king of all the nations. Even among all the wise men, in all the various kingdoms, there is no one like Yahweh.

Yahweh’s call to Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-1:5)

“Now the word of Yahweh

Came to me saying.

‘Before I formed you in the womb,

I knew you.

Before you were born,

I consecrated you.

I appointed you

A prophet to the nations.’”

The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah. Yahweh told him that he was predestined to be a prophet before he was even formed in the womb. Yahweh knew him already. Before he was born, he was consecrated as a prophet. Yahweh has appointed him to be a prophet for all the nations.

The prayer for deliverance from foreign countries (Sir 36:1-36:12)

“Have mercy upon us!

O Lord!

God of all!

Put all the nations

In fear of you!

Lift up your hand

Against foreign nations!

Let them see your might!

As you have used us

To show your holiness to them,

So use them

To show your glory to us.

Then they will know,

As we have known,

That there is no God but you.

O Lord!

Give new signs!

Work other wonders!

Make your hand glorious!

Make your right arm glorious!

Rouse your anger!

Pour out your wrath!

Destroy the adversary!

Wipe out the enemy!

Hasten the day!

Remember the appointed time!

Let people recount

Your mighty deeds!

Let survivors be consumed

In the fiery wrath!

May those who harm your people

Meet destruction!

Crush the heads of hostile rulers

Who say.

‘There is no one but ourselves.’”

Sirach directs his prayer for deliverance directly to God, the Lord of all. He wanted God to put his fear into all the nations of the world, but especially those foreign nations. Thus they might understand the might, the holiness, and the glory of the Lord, just as they had known the Lord. He wanted new signs and wonders so that others could see the glorious arm and hand of the Lord. He wanted the Lord to get angry and show his wrath against his enemies. They should be wiped out and destroyed. He wanted this to happen soon. He wanted his enemies crushed, especially those proud rulers who thought that they could exist by themselves without God.

Simon’s speech in Jerusalem (1 Macc 13:1-13:6)

“Simon heard that Trypho had assembled a large army to invade the land of Judah and destroy it. He saw that the people were trembling and fearful. So he went up to Jerusalem. He gathered the people together. He encouraged them, saying to them.

‘You yourselves know

What great things

My brothers and I

And the house of my father

Have done for the laws and the sanctuary.

You know also the wars

And the difficulties

That my brothers and I have seen.

By reason of this,

All my brothers have perished for the sake of Israel.

I alone am left.

Now, far be it from me

To spare my life

In any time of distress.

I am not better than my brothers.

But I will avenge my nation

And the sanctuary

And your wives and children.

All the nations have gathered together out of hatred to destroy us.’”

Simon, who was the governor of the coastal states, saw how afraid the Israelites were. He knew that Trypho had a large army that was attempting to destroy the people of Judah. He went to Jerusalem to gather the people there in a great assembly. He spoke to the people to encourage them to keep going. He reminded them of what his family had done. His father and all his brothers had died fighting for Judah and the law. He was the only one left, even though he was not better than his brothers. Simon had assumed that Jonathan was dead and not captured. He wanted to avenge all the nations that had attacked the Jewish people. He was going to defend the sanctuary, their wives, and their children.