“We would have been
We would have become
Hear the word of Yahweh!
You rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God!
You people of Gomorrah!”
This seems to be another oracle of Yahweh pronounced by Isaiah. Isaiah calls out the people of Jerusalem, comparing them to the rulers and inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah of Genesis fame, chapters 18-19. Jerusalem could have suffered the same fate as these famous fiery valley towns.
People laden with iniquity!
Offspring who do evil!
Children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken Yahweh.
They have despised the Holy One of Israel.
They are utterly estranged!”
Yahweh in his oracle, as pronounced by Isaiah, calls out the Israelites. He calls them a sinful nation of people who are criminals. Their children do evil things and act perversely. They have forsaken the Lord, Yahweh. They have despised the Holy One of Israel, God. They have utterly estranged themselves from Yahweh. Once again, it is not clear whether this oracle is against just the northern Israelites or also includes the people of Judah. Sometimes the term “Israel” is used for both and sometimes just for the northern Israelites.
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street.
In the squares,
She raises her voice.
At the busiest corner,
She cries out.
At the entrance of the city gates
‘O simple ones!
Will you love being simple?
Will scoffers delight in their scoffing?
Will fools hate knowledge?
Give heed to my reproof!
I will pour out my thoughts to you.
I will make my words known to you.’”
Wisdom is personified as a female here. She cries out in the streets and raises her voice in the city squares like a prophetess. She cries out and speaks at the busy corners and at the gate to the entrance to a city or town. She calls out people for being simple. She wanted to know why they were deriding her. How long would these fools hate knowledge? There is a lot of mention of scoffers in these proverbs. A scoffer is someone who mocks others, a kind of a cynic. Why would they not accept a criticism? Nevertheless wisdom was going to pour out her thoughts and make her words known to them.