Punishment for forgetting Yahweh (Hos 13:6-13:8)

“When I fed them,

They were satisfied.

They were satisfied,

So that

Their heart was proud.

Therefore,

They forgot me.

So,

I will become

Like a lion to them.

Like a leopard,

I will lurk

Beside the way.

I will fall upon them

Like a bear

Robbed of her cubs.

I will tear open

The covering

Of their heart.

I will devour them

Like a lion.

Just like a wild animal

Would mangle them.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, warned the Israelites that he had fed them. Once they were satisfied with food, they had become proud. They forgot all about Yahweh. Thus, he was going to become like a lion or leopard lurking along their paths. He would attack them, like a bear who had been robbed of cubs. He was going to tear open the covering around their hearts. He would devour them like a wild animal would mangle its prey. They had better watch out.

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The punishment of Gibeah (Hos 10:9-10:10)

“Since the days of Gibeah,

You have sinned!

O Israel!

There they have continued.

Shall not war overtake them

In Gibeah?

I will come

Against the wayward people

To punish them.

Nations shall be gathered

Against them,

When they are punished

For their double iniquity.”

Gibeah was just north of Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin. The first battle of Gibeah was at the time of the Judges, chapters 19-21. The men of Gibeah raped the wife of an Ephraim Levite. However, he got the other tribes of Israel to attack the people of Benjamin. Finally, the Israelites were successful in defeating the people of Gibeah, in the territory of Benjamin. Clearly, the men of Gibeah had sinned. So, had Israel. Thus, the Israelites were successful. Now it looks like there would be another fight against Gibeah that was once destroyed. They would be punished again for their double iniquity, since they had raped 2 women. They also would not turn over the men who did this.

The southern campaign in Palestine (Dan 11:22-11:24)

“Armies

Shall be utterly swept away

Before him.

They shall be broken

Before him.

This includes

The prince of the covenant as well.

After an alliance is made

With him,

He shall act deceitfully.

He shall become strong

With a small party.

Without warning,

He shall come

Into the richest parts

Of the province.

He shall do

What none of his predecessors

Had ever done.

He shall lavish

Plunder,

Spoil,

Wealth,

On them.

He shall devise plans

Against strongholds,

But only for a time.”

This king of the north from Syria and Babylon, King Antiochus IV, would go south to Judea or Palestine. He would take his armies and go against the prince of the covenant, probably the Jerusalem high priest, Onias III. He was going to act deceitfully and become strong with a small party of his own. He even was going to attack the rich areas of Israel to plunder, spoil, and give wealth to his friends, something his predecessors had never done. He even would temporarily make plans against the various strongholds.

The fall of Gog (Ezek 39:3-39:5)

“‘I will strike

Your bow

From your left hand.

I will make

Your arrows

Drop out

Of your right hand.

You shall fall

Upon the mountains

Of Israel.

You!

All your troops!

The people

That are with you!

I will give you

To the birds

Of prey

Of every sort.

I will give you

To the wild animals

To be devoured.

You shall fall

In the open field.

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God!”

Suddenly, after enticing Gog to attack the Israelite mountains, Yahweh struck back at him. Yahweh was going to knock the bow out of his left hand and, at the same time, he was going to have him drop the arrows from his right hand. Gog and his army were then going to fall in the mountains of Israel. Not just Gog, but all his troops and all the people with them would be given over to the birds of prey and the wild animals to be devoured in the open fields. There should be no doubt, because Yahweh God has spoken.

Gog’s plan of attack (Ezek 38:11-38:12)

“‘You will say!

‘I will go up

Against the land

Of unwalled villages.

I will fall upon

The quiet people

Who live in safety.

All of them live

Without walls.

They have no bars.

They have no gates.’

You want

To seize spoil.

You want

To carry off plunder.

You want to assail

The waste places

That are now inhabited.

You want to assail

The people

Who were gathered

From the nations.

You want to assail,

Those who are acquiring cattle.

You want to assail

Those with goods,

Who live

At the center

Of the earth.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel said that Gog would say to himself that he would go up against this land of unwalled villages. He was going to attack these quiet safe people. They lived without walls with no bars or gates. Gog wanted to seize the spoils and plunder this former wasted land that was now inhabited. These people had been gathered from the various nations. Now they were acquiring cattle with other goods as well. They lived at the center of the earth. Where was the center of earth? Of course, it was Jerusalem. Everyone thinks that where they live is the center of the world.

Gold (Lam 4:1-4:1)

Aleph

“How the gold

Has grown dim!

How the pure gold

Is changed!

The sacred stones

Lie scattered

At the head

Of every street.”

This lamentation begins with talk about the dimming gold and sacred stones scattered all over the streets, especially at the head of the street or the street corners. This is a reference to the holy treasures and vessels of the Temple that have been stolen due to the attack on Jerusalem. This first verse of this single verse acrostic poem starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Aleph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

The vicious animals (Lam 3:10-3:12)

Daleth

“Yahweh is

Like a bear

Lying in wait.

Yahweh is

Like a lion

In hiding.

He led me

Off my way.

He tore me to pieces.

He has made me

Desolate.

He bent his bow.

He set me

As a mark

For his arrow.”

Yahweh was like a bear or a lion waiting to attack this author. He was afraid to be torn into pieces since he had become desolate. Meanwhile, Yahweh has aimed his bow and arrow at him. This is a man in a lot of trouble. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Daleth in this acrostic poem.