The judgments of the Holy One of Israel (Isa 30:12-30:14)

“Therefore thus says

The Holy One of Israel.

‘Because you reject this word,

You put your trust in oppression.

You put your trust in deceit.

You rely on oppression.

You rely on perverseness.

Therefore this iniquity

Shall become for you

Like a break in a high wall.

It will bulge out,

About to collapse.

The crash comes suddenly,

In an instant.

Its breaking is

Like that of a potter’s vessel.

It is smashed so ruthlessly

That among its fragments

Not a shred is found

For taking fire from the hearth,

Or dipping water out of the cistern.’”

The Holy One of Israel, not Yahweh, delivers this oracle, via Isaiah, in the second person plural. The Israelites have rejected the word of God. Instead they have relied on deceit, oppression, and perversion to get things done. Thus they will be punished. They are like a high wall with bulges in it about to collapse. Suddenly, in an instant, the whole wall will come crashing down like a potter’s vessel. This wall will be smashed so badly, that not a shred will be found. They will be like a broken vase that will not be able to be brought back to the fire to be reformed. This broken container will not be able to hold any water at all from the cistern well.

Pride in the name of Yahweh (Ps 20:6-20:8)

“Now I know

That Yahweh will help his anointed one.

He will answer him

From his holy heaven.

He will provide mighty victories by his right hand.

Some take pride in chariots.

Some take pride in horses.

Our pride is in the name of Yahweh

Our God.

They will collapse and fall.

However we shall rise.

We shall stand upright.”

They had complete confidence in Yahweh that he would help his anointed one the king. Yahweh would answer him from heaven. He would provide victories with his right hand. While others take pride in their chariots and horses, they took pride in the name of Yahweh, their God. The others would collapse and fall, but they would rise and stand upright. Victory was theirs if Yahweh would be with them.

The vision of Eliphaz (Job 4:12-4:21)

“Now a word came stealing to me.

My ear received the whisper of it.

Amid thoughts from visions of the night,

When deep sleep falls on mortals,

Dread came upon me.

Trembling made all my bones shake.

A spirit glided past my face.

The hair of my flesh bristled.

It stood still.

But I could not discern its appearance.

A form was before my eyes.

There was silence.

Then I heard a voice.

‘Can mortals be righteous before God?

Can human beings be pure before their Maker?

Even in his servants he puts no trust.

His angels he charges with error.

How much more those who live in houses of clay,

Whose foundation is in the dust,

Who are crushed like a moth.

Between morning and evening,

They are destroyed.

They perish forever without any regarding it.

If their tent-cord is plucked up within them,

They die devoid of wisdom.’”

Eliphaz had some kind of vision or heavenly revelation. It is not clear when this took place. Somehow this non-Israelite had a divine intervention in his life like a whisper at night in his ear while he was asleep. Dread came upon him as a spirit glided past his face and the hair on his body bristled or stood up. He could not see what this was, but he could hear a voice asking how can mortal human beings be righteous, upright, and innocent? If the angels or God’s servants make errors and are not trustworthy, how much more humans made of clay and dust. Man as clay and dust is reminiscent of Genesis, chapter 2. Between morning and evening, humans could be crushed like moths, completely destroyed. Humans can die without wisdom or a pre-mature death, if their tent-cord is plucked.   This is the only biblical usage of a tent-cord. It must have been the thing that held the tent up so that if it was missing, the tent collapsed. So too with humans, death came when something essential was missing.