Israel must bear its guilt (Hos 10:2-10:2)

“Their heart is false.

Now they must bear

Their guilt.

Yahweh will break down

Their altars.

Yahweh will destroy

Their pillars.”

As a consequence of their false heart and actions, Yahweh was going to break down and destroy their false god altars and pillars. They must bear their guilt.

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The attack on the city and the neighboring towns (Ezek 26:8-26:9)

“King Nebuchadnezzar

Will put to the sword

Your daughter towns

On the mainland.

He will set up

A siege wall

Against you.

He will cast up

A ramp

Against you.

He will raise a roof

Of shields

Against you.

He shall direct

The shock

Of his battering rams

Against your walls.

He will break down

Your towers

With his axes.”

King Nebuchadnezzar was going to kill people in the neighboring towns of Tyre that were further inland. However, he was also going to set up a siege wall against Tyre with a ramp and shields. He was going to use battering rams against their walls. He was going to break down their towers with axes.

The power of Yahweh is like a potter (Jer 18:7-18:10)

“At any moment,

I may declare

Concerning a nation

Or a kingdom,

That I will pluck it up.

I will break it down.

I will destroy it.

But if that nation,

Concerning which I have spoken,

Turns from its evil,

I will change my mind

About the disaster

That I intended to bring on it.

At another moment,

I may declare

Concerning a nation

Or a kingdom

That I will build it up.

I will plant it.

But if it does evil in my sight,

Not listening to my voice,

Then I will change my mind

About the good

That I had intended to do to it.”

Yahweh proclaimed, via Jeremiah, that at any time he could pluck up, break down, and destroy any nation or kingdom that he wanted to, since he was like the clay potter. All the countries in the world were like clay in his hands. If a country changed from its evil ways, he could change his mind about their impending disaster. Yahweh could also do the same for any nation or kingdom that he was trying to build up or plant. If they did evil in his sight by not listening to him, then Yahweh could change his mind about the good that he had intended to do for them. Thus Yahweh was like a potter who could destroy or mold as he saw fit the various countries and their people.

The power of Jeremiah comes from Yahweh (Jer 1:17-1:19)

“‘You!

Gird up your loins!

Stand up!

Tell them everything

That I command you!

Do not break down before them!

Or I will break you before them!

I for my part

Have made you today

A fortified city,

An iron pillar,

A bronze wall,

Against the whole land.

You will be against

The kings of Judah,

Its princes,

Its priests,

The people of the land.        

They will fight against you.

But they shall not prevail against you.

I am with you

To deliver you.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah will have the power of Yahweh behind him. Yahweh tells Jeremiah that he must get ready for a battle against others by standing up for Yahweh. He was to tell them everything that Yahweh had commanded him to say. He was not to break down or Yahweh would break him. He was going to be as strong as a fortified city, an iron pillar, or a bronze wall. However, Jeremiah was going to go against the whole land, including the kings, princes, priests, and all the people of Judah. They were going to fight against him, but they would not prevail, because Yahweh was with Jeremiah. Yahweh would save and deliver Jeremiah.

Yahweh will help Cyrus (Isa 45:2-45:3)

“I will go before you.

I will level the mountains.

I will break into pieces

The doors of bronze.

I will cut through the bars of iron.

I will give you the treasures of darkness.

I will give you riches hidden in secret places.

Thus you may know

That it is I,

Yahweh,

The God of Israel,

Who call you by your name.”

Second Isaiah says that Yahweh, in the first person singular, will clearly help Cyrus, since he will go before him to set things up for him. Yahweh was going to level the mountains. He was going to break down the bronze doors with their iron bars. He was going to give Cyrus the treasures and the riches from dark and secret places. In case there was any doubt, it was Yahweh, the God of Israel, who has called Cyrus by name to do his work.