The naked Jerusalem (Ezek 23:29-23:30)

“They shall deal

With you

In hatred.

They shall take away

All the fruit

Of your labor.

They shall leave you

Naked.

They shall leave you

Bare.

The nakedness

Of your prostitution activities

Shall be exposed.

Your lewdness

Has brought this

Upon you.

Your prostitution activities

Have brought this

Upon you.

Because you played

The whore

With the nations,

You polluted yourself

With their idols.”

Yahweh said that Jerusalem would be exposed. Everyone would see their nakedness. Her former angry and hateful lovers were going to take away all the fruits of her labor. She would be left naked and bare, as her sexual prostitution actions would be seen by all. Her lewd behavior would be out in the open. She had played the whore with all these different nations. She had polluted herself with all their idols.

Advertisements

Yahweh’s judgment of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:38-16:39)

“I will judge you

As a woman

Who commits adultery.

I will judge you

As one who sheds blood.

I will bring

Blood upon you

In wrath,

In jealousy.

I will deliver you

Into their hands.

They shall throw down

Your platform.

They shall break down

Your lofty places.

They shall strip you

Of your clothes.

They will take

Your beautiful objects.

They will leave you naked.

They will leave you bare.”

Yahweh was going to pass judgment on Jerusalem. He was going to treat Jerusalem like a woman who had committed adultery. He was going to judge her as one who had shed blood. Yahweh was going to bring his wrath and jealousy upon her. He was going to hand her over to her former lovers. They would throw down her platforms and break up her lofty places that were at the street corners and in the public squares. They would strip her of her clothes and take her beautiful jewels. Finally, they would leave her naked and bare.

Yahweh was compassionate (Ezek 16:6-16:7)

“I passed by you.

I saw you

Flailing about

In your blood.

As you lay

In your blood,

I said to you.

‘Live!

Grow up

Like a plant

Of the field.’

You grew up.

You became tall.

You arrived

At full womanhood.

Your breasts

Were formed.

Your hair had grown.

Yet you were naked.

You were bare.”

Yahweh passed by this infant Jerusalem in the field, flailing about in its blood. However, Yahweh took compassion and told the bloody baby in the field that it should live and grow up. So this baby Jerusalem grew up like a tall plant in the field. In fact, this baby girl grew to become a woman with fully formed breasts and long hair. However, she was still naked and bare.

Yahweh will destroy the wall (Ezek 13:13-13:14)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God.

‘In my wrath,

I will make

A stormy wind

Break out.

In my anger,

There will be

A deluge of rain.

In my wrath,

There will be

Hailstones

To destroy it.

I will break down

The wall

That you have smeared

With whitewash.

I will

Bring it

To the ground,

So that its foundation

Will be laid bare.

When it falls,

You shall perish

Within it.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh said that he was angry about the whitewashed wall. He was going to send stormy wind, pouring rain, and hailstones to destroy this smeared whitewashed wall. He was going to bring it to the ground and bare its foundations. In fact, the people would perish inside the walls. They all would learn that he, Yahweh, was God.

The destruction of Edom (Jer 49:10-49:11)

“But as for me,

I have stripped

Esau bare.

I have uncovered

His hiding places.

He is not able

To conceal himself.

His offspring are destroyed.

His kinsfolk are no more.

His neighbors are no more.

He is no more.

Leave your orphans!

I will keep them alive.

Let your widows trust

In me.”

Yahweh clearly says that he has destroyed Edom, the home of Esau, Jacob’s brother. He has stripped them bare, since they no longer have any hiding places. The men, their offspring, their families, and their neighbors have all been wiped out. They are no longer living anymore. However, Yahweh has a word of consolation for the Edomites.   He was going to take care of their orphans and widows. Somehow, the orphans and widows were the privileged protected ones, whether in Israel or not.

Commentary on the burden of Yahweh (Jer 23:34-23:38)

“As for the prophet,

The priest,

Or one of the people

Who say.

‘The burden of Yahweh.’

I will punish them.

I will punish their households.

Thus shall you say,

To one another,

Among yourselves.

‘What has Yahweh answered?

‘What has Yahweh spoken?’

But ‘the burden of Yahweh’

You shall mention no more.

The burden is

Everyone’s own word.

Thus you pervert

The words of the living God.

Yahweh of hosts!

Our God!

Thus you shall ask the prophet.

‘What has Yahweh answered you?’

‘What has Yahweh spoken?’

But if you say.

‘The burden of Yahweh.’

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Because you have said

These words,

‘The burden of Yahweh,

When I sent to you,

Saying,

‘You shall not say.

‘The burden of Yahweh.’”

This commentary on the “burden of Yahweh” seems to be a later addition trying to explain why you should never say “The burden of Yahweh.” A burden is something that you bare. Perhaps it is the heavy burden that the prophet Jeremiah’s words brought to the people. Yahweh was going to punish people and their households who said that the word of Yahweh was a burden. Rather, it seems like it should be a blessing. The prophet, the priest, or the people all should never mention the “burden of Yahweh.” They should say that Yahweh has spoken or answered them. He has not given them a burden, since this would be a perversion of the word of God. Simply put, stop using the term burden when speaking about God and his words.

The response of Yahweh (Isa 6:11-6:13)

“Then I said.

‘How long?

O Lord!’

Yahweh said.

‘Until cities lie waste

Without inhabitants.

Until houses are

Without people.

Until the land is

Utterly desolate.

Until Yahweh sends

Everyone far away.

Until vast is

The emptiness

In the midst of the land.

Even if a tenth part remains in it,

It will be burned again.

It will be like a terebinth.

It will be like an oak

Whose stump remains standing

When it is felled.’

The holy seed is its stump.”

Isaiah wanted to know how long his prophetic work would have to be. Yahweh responded with an indication that the holy land would be destroyed. He would continue until the cities had nobody living in them, until there were houses abandoned, left empty. The land would be desolate. Everybody would be sent away, so that the land itself would be left bare. Probably a tenth of those would remain. Just like when an oak tree or a terebinth bush is burned, the stump still remained until someone came along to dig it up and chop it into pieces. Likewise, the holy seed of Israel is like a stump.