The great return (Zech 10:8-10:11)

“I will signal for them.

I will gather them in.

I have redeemed them.

They shall be

As numerous

As they were before.

Though I scattered them

Among the nations,

Yet in far countries

They shall remember me.

They shall rear their children.

They shall return.

I will bring them home

From the land of Egypt.

I will gather them

From Assyria.

I will bring them

To the land of Gilead.

I will bring them

To Lebanon,

Until there is no room for them.

They shall pass through

The sea of distress.

The waves of the sea

Shall be struck down.

The depths of the Nile

Shall dry up.

The pride of Assyria

Shall be laid low.

The scepter of Egypt

Shall depart.”

Yahweh was going to give a signal for the Israelites to gather, since he had redeemed them from their captivity.  They would be as numerous as they were before.  Even though they were scattered among many distant countries, they raised their children there before they returned.  Yahweh was going to bring them home from Egypt and Assyria.  He was going to put them in Gilead, the east side of the Jordan River, or in Lebanon, on the seacoast, until there was no more room for them there.  They would have no problems, since Yahweh was going to lead them through distressed seas, mild waves, and the deep dry Nile River.  The pride of Assyria would be brought down, while the control of the Egyptian rule or scepter would leave.

Oracle of restoration (Mic 7:11-7:13)

“This is a day

For the building

Of your walls!

In that day,

The boundary

Shall be far extended.

In that day,

They will come

To you,

From Assyria to Egypt,

From Egypt to the River,

From sea to sea,

From mountain to mountain.

But the earth

Will be desolate,

Because of its inhabitants,

For the fruit of their doings.”

This is a post-exilic call to restore Israel.  They would build walls around their buildings.  They would have an extended boundary for their country.  The Israelites would all return from Assyria to Egypt, from the Nile River to the Euphrates River, from sea to sea, and mountain to mountain, from everywhere.  However, the earth would be desolate, because of what the living people were doing.  The fruit of their activity left them in bad shape, desolate.

The defeat of the Assyrians (Mic 5:5-5:6)

“If the Assyrians come

Into our land,

If they tread

Upon our soil,

We will raise

Against them

Seven shepherds

With eight installed

As rulers.

They shall rule

The land of Assyria

With the sword.

They shall rule

The land of Nimrod

With the drawn sword.

They shall deliver us

From the Assyrians,

If they come into our land,

If they tread within our border.”

If and when the Assyrians came into their land of Israel, the Israelites, would raise up against them.  If these Assyrians treaded on their Israelite soil, they would have 7 shepherds, the full amount necessary, or 8 rulers, more than the perfect 7, to take care of the situation.  They would, in fact, rule Assyria with a drawn sword.  They would take over the land of Nimrod, another name for Assyria.  They would be delivered from the Assyrians, if they tried to come into their land and walk across their border.  This sounded like a strong warning, but were the Assyrians listening?

The exile is coming (Am 5:27-5:27)

“‘Therefore,

I will take you

Into exile,

Beyond Damascus.’

Says Yahweh.

His name is

The God of hosts.”

Amos ends this chapter with an oracle from Yahweh, who was going to send them into exile, beyond Damascus into Assyria. This was Yahweh, the God of the heavenly armies or hosts.

Ephraim continues in falsehood (Hos 12:1-12:1)

“Ephraim herds the wind.

Ephraim pursues the east wind

All day long.

They multiply falsehoods.

They multiply violence.

They make a treaty

With Assyria.

Their oil is carried

To Egypt.”

Ephraim followed and gathered the wind to itself. They were all day long pursuing the east wind, the destructive wind. They were full of lies and violence. They made a treaty with Assyria that led to their ruin. They gave gifts of oil to Egypt to keep them from attacking.

The return from exile (Hos 11:10-11:11)

“They shall go after Yahweh.

He will roar

Like a lion.

When he roars,

His children

Shall come trembling

From the west.

They shall come trembling

Like birds

From Egypt.

They shall come trembling

Like doves

From the land of Assyria.

‘I will return them

To their homes.’

Says Yahweh.”

The compassion of Yahweh will lead the Israelites to return to Israel and Ephraim. Yahweh would roar like a lion. When his children, the Israelites, heard this roar, they would come trembling back to Israel. They would come from the west, like birds from Egypt. They would also return like trembling doves from Assyria. Yahweh said that he would return them to their homes.

The punishment is coming (Hos 11:5-11:7)

“They shall return

To the land of Egypt.

Assyria

Shall be their king.

They have refused

To return to me.

The sword rages

In their cities.

It consumes

Their oracle priests.

It devours them

Because of their schemes.

My people

Are bent

On turning away

From me.

They call to

The Most High,

But he does not

Raise them up at all.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, warned them that their punishment was coming. They would be exiled to Egypt. Assyria would be their new king. They had refused to return to Yahweh. Thus, the killing sword would rage in their cities. The oracle priests at their various idol worship sites would be destroyed. They would all die because of their schemes. They were bent on turning away from Yahweh. Thus, when they called out for help, they would not get an answer.