The bad rulers (Mic 3:1-3:3)

“I said.

‘Listen!

You officials

Of Jacob!

You rulers

Of the house of Israel!

Should you not know justice?

You hate the good!

You love the evil!

You tear the skin

Off my people!

You tear the flesh

Off their bones!

You eat the flesh

Of my people!

You flay their skin

Off them!

You break their bones

In pieces!

You chop them up

Like meat in a kettle,

Like flesh in a caldron!’”

Micah has a bitter rebuke concerning the savage behavior of the leaders in Israel and Jacob.  Yahweh, via Micah, used descriptive language to explain what these leaders were doing to their people, treating them like cattle.  Micah wanted them to listen to what he had to say.  They hated the good things, but loved the evil things.  They were skinning the people, tearing off their flesh, and eating them like cannibals.  They were breaking their bones and chopping them up to boil them like meat in a kettle.  This was despicable behavior.

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Let the birds and animals bless God (Dan 3:58-3:59)

“Bless the Lord!

All birds of the air!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

All wild animals!

All cattle!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

The 3 men wanted all the birds of the air and all the wild and domestic animals to bless God, sing praises to him, and exalt him forever. There was no specific mention of any particular birds or animals, other than cattle.

The spoils of plunder (Ezek 38:13-38:13)

“Sheba,

Dedan,

The merchants of Tarshish,

With all its young warriors,

Will say to you.

‘Have you come

To seize spoil?

Have you assembled

Your troops

To carry off plunder?

Do you want

To carry away

Silver,

Gold,

Cattle,

With other goods?

Do you want

To seize

Great spoil?’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, now suddenly has the trading partners of Tyre from Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish, as found in chapter 27, show up in here. They realized that there would be a lot of things to plunder in Israel and Jerusalem. Tarshish had both merchants and warriors to gather up things. They wanted to know if Gog was there to plunder Israel? Would he take away its silver, gold, cattle, and other precious items? Would there be a great amount of stuff to take?

Against Hazor (Jer 49:30-49:33)

“‘Flee!

Wander far away!

Hide in deep places!

O inhabitants of Hazor!’

Says Yahweh.

‘King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Has made a plan

Against you.

He has formed a purpose

Against you.

‘Rise up!

Advance

Against a nation at ease,

That dwells securely.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They have no gates.

They have no bars.

They live alone.

Their camels

Shall become booty.

Their herds of cattle

Shall become a spoil.

I will scatter to every wind

Those who have shaven temples.

I will bring calamity

Against them

From every side.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Hazor shall become

A liar of jackals,

An everlasting waste.

No one shall live there.

No one shall settle in it.’”

The kingdom of Hazor was the more sedentary northwestern Arab tribes in the Arabian Desert, east of the Jordan River, in present day Saudi Arabia, not the Israelite town of Hazor. Yahweh warned them to flee and get out of there, because King Nebuchadnezzar had a plan against them. Even though they were at ease and secure, they had no gates, bars or fortresses, since they lived alone. The king of Babylon was going to take their flocks of cattle and their camels as the spoils of war. These shaven temple Hazor people would be scattered all over the place with all kinds of trouble on every side. These oasis tent towns would become a wasteland, as if they were not already. No one would want to live and settle there. This is like the previous warnings to other places, earlier in this chapter.

 

 

 

Remembering Moses (Isa 63:11-63:14)

“Then he remembered the days of old.

He remembered Moses his servant.

Where is the one

Who brought them up out of the sea?

Where are the shepherds of his flock?

Where is the one

Who put within them His Holy Spirit?

Who caused his glorious arm

To march at the right hand of Moses?

Who divided the waters before them?

Who made for himself an everlasting name?

Who led them through the depths?

Who was like a horse in the desert

So that they did not stumble?

Like cattle that go down into the valley,

The Spirit of Yahweh gave them rest.

Thus you led your people

To make for yourself a glorious name.”

Despite all their unfaithful actions, Yahweh kept his people safe as in the days of his servant Moses. In a series of questions, he reminds them of the good things in the past. He brought them out of the sea depths as he divided the waters with his mighty arms. Yahweh gave them the Holy Spirit to lead his flock like a shepherd. He was like a horse leading in the desert so that they would not stumble. He protected them like cattle in the valleys that finally got rest. He made his name glorious.

The good times to come (Isa 30:23-30:26)

“Yahweh will give rain for the seed

With which you sow the ground.

Grain will be the produce of the ground.

It will be rich

It will be plentiful.

On that day,

Your cattle will graze in broad pastures.

The oxen will till the ground.

The donkey will eat silage

That has been winnowed

With shovels and forks.

On every lofty mountain,

On every high hill,

There will be brooks running with water.

On this day of the great slaughter,

The towers will fall.

The light of the moon will be

Like the light of the sun.

The light of the sun

Will be sevenfold,

Like the light of seven days.

On the day

When Yahweh binds up

The hurt of his people,

He will heal the wounds

Inflicted by his own blows.”

In this future time, things will be good. Yahweh will send rain to make the seed grains grow rich and plentiful. The cattle will graze in large pastures. There will be plenty of winnowed silage for the working oxen and donkeys so that they can till the ground. All the mountains and the hills will have flowing brooks. The towers will fall on the day of slaughter. However, the light from the moon will be like that of the sun, while the light from the sun will be like the light of a week of sunlight. Yahweh will heal the wounds that people have suffered even from his own blows.

Wisdom is the best (Sir 40:18-40:21)

“Wealth makes life sweet.

Wages makes life sweet.

But better than either is

The one who finds wisdom.

Children establish one’s name.

Building a city establishes one’s name.

Better than either is

The one who finds wisdom.

Cattle make one prosperous.

Orchards make one prosperous.

But a blameless wife is

Accounted better than either.

Wine gladdens the heart.

Music gladdens the heart.

But the love of wisdom is

Better than either.”

Sirach makes a lot of comparisons in these proverbs. No matter what, wisdom is always better than anything else. It is the best. Certainly having wealth and wages make life sweet. However, finding wisdom is sweeter than both of them. Having children and building a city will establish your name, but the one who finds wisdom is better established. Having cattle and orchards can make you prosperous, but a blameless wife is better than either of them. She is like wisdom. Finally, wine and music gladden the heart, but the love of wisdom is a better heart warmer than either wine or music.