The second curse against their evil gains (Hab 2:9-2:11)

“Woe to you!

You get evil gain

For your houses!

You set your nest

On high,

To be safe

From the reach of harm.

You have devised shame

For your house,

By cutting off many people.

You have forfeited

Your life.

The very stones

Will cry out

From the wall.

The plaster

Will respond

From the woodwork.”

Habakkuk’s 2nd woe or curse against the Chaldeans was about their house or dynasty.  They had gathered evil things, so that they could build up their dynasty or houses.  They set their houses on high perches, safe from the reach of any harm.  By cutting off so many people to protect their own lives, they have brought shame to their dynasty.  Thus, the very stones and the plaster of their walls and woodwork would respond and cry out to them.

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The restoration in Samaria (Jer 31:4-31:6)

“Again I will build you!

You shall be built!

O virgin Israel!

Again you shall take

Your tambourines!

You shall go forth

In the dance

Of the merrymakers!

Again you shall plant vineyards

On the mountains of Samaria.

The planters shall plant.

They shall enjoy the fruit.

There shall be a day

When sentinels will call

In the hill country

Of Ephraim.

‘Come!

Let us go up to Zion!

Let us go to Yahweh

Our God.’”

Yahweh was going to build up his virgin Israel again. Once again, they would have tambourines, merrymaking, and dancing. They would be able to plant vineyards on the Samarian mountains. Clearly, this was an outreach to the old northern Israelites who had been captured in 721 BCE. Their vineyard planters would enjoy the fruit of their crops. There would even come a day when the hill country of Ephraim, just north of Benjamin, would cry out that that they were going to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh, their God. In other words, the local places of worship in the north would be abandoned. They would all worship their one God, Yahweh. This was the wish of Yahweh, via Jeremiah.

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 hope for Zion (Isa 62:10-62:12)

“Go through!

Go through the gates!

Prepare the way for the people!

Build up!

Build up the highway!

Clear it of stones!

Lift up an ensign

Over the people!

Yahweh has proclaimed

To the ends of the earth.

Say to daughter Zion!

‘See!

Your salvation comes!

His reward is with him!

His recompense is before him.’

They shall be called.

‘The holy people!

The redeemed of Yahweh!’

You shall be called.

‘Sought out!

A city not forsaken.’”

Here we have a summary of all that had proceeded. The Israelites were to go through the gates in order to prepare a way for the others to come. They were to build up the highway and clear it of stones so that it would be a level road to walk on. They were to lift up a symbolic sign over the people. Yahweh has proclaimed to the ends of the earth that his daughter Zion will be saved. Zion was to receive their rewards and compensation. They were to be called the holy people, the people redeemed by Yahweh. They would be a city sought out and not forsaken. Jerusalem would be restored as a shining city on a hill.

Poem of consolation (Isa 57:14-57:15)

“It shall be said.

‘Build up!

Build up!

Prepare the way!

Remove every obstruction

From my people’s way.’

Thus says the high lofty One

Who inhabits eternity,

Whose name is Holy.

‘I dwell in the high holy place.

I also dwell with those

Who are contrite,

Who are humble in spirit,

In order to revive

The spirit of the humble,

In order to revive

The heart of the contrite.’”

Third Isaiah says that they should build up the way for God’s people. They were to prepare this way by removing all obstructions. Then the one holy eternal one said that he dwelt in his high holy place. However, he also dwelt with the contrite and the humble of spirit. He wanted to revive the spirit of the humble and the heart of the contrite.

Cendebeus, commander of the coastal country (1 Macc 15:37-15:41)

“Meanwhile King Trypho embarked on a ship as he escaped to Orthosia. Then King Antiochus made Cendebeus the commander-in-chief of the coastal country. He gave him troops of infantry and cavalry. He commanded him to encamp against Judea. He commanded him to build up Kedron and fortify its gates. He was to make war on the people. However, the king was going to pursue Trypho. So Cendebeus came to Jamnia. He began to provoke the people and invade Judea. He took the people captive and killed them. He built up Kedron. Then he stationed horsemen and troops there, so that they might go out and make raids along the highways of Judea, as the king had ordered him.”

The siege at Dor did not work that well. King Trypho escaped from King Antiochus VII as he got on a boat and went to Orthosia, which was north of Tripolis. At the same time, King Antiochus VII was concerned about Simon and Judea. He made Cendebeus the commander of the coastal country with cavalry troops and infantry. His orders were to harass Judea, while the king went after King Trypho, so that he could claim the throne. Cendebeus built up the town of Kedron, probably southwest of Ekron, where he stationed horses and troops so that they could go out and make raids on the Judea highways, as he had been ordered to do.