The Israelites will use Gog’s weapons for their fires (Ezek 39:9-39:10)

“‘Then those who live

In the towns

Of Israel

Will go out.

They will make fires

Of the weapons.

They will burn them,

Shields

Bucklers,

Bows

Arrows,

Hand pikes,

Spears.

They will make fires

Of them

For seven years.

They will not need

To take wood

Out of the field

Or cut down

Any tree

In the forests.

They will make

Their fires

Of the weapons.

They will despoil

Those who despoiled them.

They will plunder

Those who plundered them.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that the Israelites in the various towns would gather all the weapons from the army of Gog. They would use weapons in place of wood to keep their fires going for 7 years. They were going to burn all the equipment that they found, whether it was shields, hand bucklers, bows, arrows, pikes, or spears. Thus, they would not have to go out and collect wood for their fires. They would not have to cut down trees in the forest for their house fires. This was a form or recycling by saving the trees, since they used war weapons as fuel for your home. They would get the spoils and plunder of those who had tried to do the same to them.

Advertisements

A lamentation about the moral corruption of Judah (Jer 9:1-9:3)

“‘O that my head were a spring of water!

O that my eyes were a fountain of tears!

Thus I might weep day and night

For the slain of my poor people!

O that I had in the desert

A traveler’s lodging place!

Thus I might leave my people!

Thus I might go away from them!

They are all adulterers.

They are a band of traitors.

They bend their tongue

Like bows.

They have grown strong in the land

Because of falsehood,

Not because of truth.

They proceed from evil to evil.

They do not know me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh that speaks out about his lament over the corruption in Judah. Yahweh wished that he had a head with a spring of water or fountain of tears in his eyes, so that he could weep all day and night for the dead people of Judah. He wished that he had a lodging place in the desert so that he could get away from his poor people. They were all adulterers and traitors. They bent their tongues like bows with all their falsehood, instead of truth. They simply went from one evil to another evil. They did not even know Yahweh. It was a terrible scene. There is a slight discrepancy of the verse numbers since this first verse in the Jerusalem Bible is the last of the preceding chapter. However, I will follow the Revised Standard edition numbering for this chapter.

The invasion of Assyria (Isa 5:26-5:30)

“Yahweh will raise a signal

For a nation far away.

He will whistle for a people

At the ends of the earth.

Here they come!

Swiftly!

Speedily!

None are weary.

None stumbles.

None slumbers.

None sleeps.

Not a loin cloth is loose.

Not a sandal-thong broken.

Their arrows are sharp.

All their bows bent.

Their horses’ hoofs seem like flint.

Their wheels seem like the whirlwind.

Their roaring is like a lion.

Like young lions,

They roar.

They growl.

They seize their prey.

They carry it off.

None can rescue it.

They will roar over it

On that day,

Like the roaring of the sea.

If one looks to the land,

There is only darkness.

There is only distress.

The light grows dark

With clouds.”

This oracle of Isaiah probably refers to one of the various Assyrian invasions of Judah and Jerusalem between 735-701 BCE. The nation from far away may be the Babylonians who will execute God’s judgment on them. These invaders are actually acting on Yahweh’s behalf since he gave them a signal and a whistle. They are going to come speedily, swiftly, not stumbling, sleeping, or growing weary. Their loin clothes and sandals are tight and ready to go. Their spears, bows and arrows, as well as horses are on the move. They roar like a lion about to eat its prey. They roar like a sea storm about to hit land. There will be darkness and distress, as everything will be cloudy.

The peaceful ending (Ps 46:8-46:11)

“Come!

Behold the works of Yahweh!

See what desolations

He has brought on the earth!

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth.

He breaks the bow.

He shatters the spear.

He burns the shields with fire.

‘Be still!

Know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations!

I am exalted in the earth!’

Yahweh of hosts is with us.

The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Selah

The psalmist wants you to come and see the work of Yahweh. He has brought a peaceful desolation to earth. Wars have ceased. All the bows and spears have been broken. The shields have been burned. Everyone should know that Yahweh is truly God since he is exalted among the nations and on earth. Then this psalm ends with the refrain of Yahweh, the God of Jacob, as his refuge. Like in the preceding section, there is the Selah, the musical interlude pause.

God is truly the king (Ps 44:4-44:8)

“You are my king!

You are my God!

You commanded victories for Jacob.

Through you

We push down our foes.

Through your name

We tread down our assailants.

Not in my bow do I trust.

Nor can my sword save me.

But you have saved us from our foes.

You have put to confusion

Those who hate us.

In God

We have boasted continually.

We will give thanks to your name forever.”

Selah

God is their king since he commanded the victories of Jacob. Actually most of the time he reference was to Israel rather than Jacob. Because of God they were able to put down foes. Because of his name they were able to tread down their assailants. They had not trusted in their bows and arrows or swords. God has saved them from their foes. He forced those who hate God into confusion. They continue to boast in his name forever. However, here there is no indication of the name of Yahweh as it had been earlier.   This section ends with the Selah, a meditative musical pause.

The wicked will fall on their own sword (Ps 37:14-37:15)

Het     

“The wicked draw the sword.

The wicked bend their bows.

They want to bring down the poor and needy.

They want to kill those who walk uprightly.

But their sword shall enter their own heart.

Their bows shall be broken.”

The wicked have their swords with bows and arrows. They are ready to bring down the poor and the needy. They wanted to kill all those who walked upright in the way of Yahweh. However, their own swords will enter their own hearts. They bows will be broken so that they cannot shoot any arrows.

The fate of the wicked ones (Ps 7:12-7:16)

“If one does not repent,

God will sharpen his sword.

He has bent and strung his bow.

He has prepared his deadly weapons,

He makes his arrows fiery shafts.

See how they conceive evil!

They are pregnant with mischief.

They bring forth lies.

They make a pit.

They dig it out.

They fall into the hole that they have made.

Their mischief returns upon their own heads.

On their own heads violence descends.”

If the wicked ones do not repent, God will sharpen his sword against them. The bows and arrows will be ready like deadly fiery arrows. Notice that the wicked ones are always conceiving evil. In a colorful phrase, they are pregnant with mischief. The result of their pregnancy is lies. They dig out pits to snare people, but they fall into their own traps. Thus their conceived mischief and violence returns and descends on their own heads. The tables are turned on the violent wicked ones.