The punishment of Edom (Ezek 25:13-25:14)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will stretch out

My hand

Against Edom.

I will cut off from it

Humans,

As well as animals.

I will make it desolate.

From Teman

Even to Dedan,

They shall fall

By the sword.

I will lay my vengeance

Upon Edom

By the hand

Of my people

Israel.

They shall act

In Edom

According to my anger.

They shall act

According to my wrath.

They shall know

My vengeance.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Unlike Moab and Ammon, Yahweh was going to destroy Edom with the Israelites, and not with the people from the East. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against Edom, so that it would be cut off from all humans and animals. He was going to make it a desolate place from Teman to Dedan. Teman was perhaps a tribal group in northern Edom, since Teman was the name of the grandson of Esau. Dedan was a tribe involved in commerce in the south of Edom. They would all fall by the sword or they would end up in captivity. However, this vengeance was to come at the hands of Yahweh’s people, Israel. They would carry out the anger and wrath of Yahweh. Thus the Edomites would know the vengeance of Yahweh God.

The questions for Edom (Jer 49:7-49:9)

“Concerning Edom!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

‘Is there no longer wisdom

In Teman?

Has counsel perished

From the prudent?

Has their wisdom vanished?

Flee!

Turn back!

Get down low!

O inhabitants of Dedan!

I will bring

The calamity of Esau

Upon him,

Like the time

When I punished him.

If grape-gatherers

Came to you,

Would they not

Leave gleanings?

If thieves came

By night,

Would they not pillage

Only what they wanted?”

Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah. Its biblical origin was the place where Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, went to live in Genesis, chapter 36. Yahweh has a series of questions for Edom. What happened to their wisdom, especially at Teman, perhaps a tribal group in Edom, since Teman was the name of the grandson of Esau. One of Job’s friends Eliphaz was a Temanite. Obadiah, an almost unknown minor prophet, seemed to take some of this diatribe against Edom into most of his work. Something has happened to the counsel and prudence of Edom. Has all their wisdom vanished? Dedan was a tribe involved in commerce. Both grape gatherers and thieves would leave something behind. They would not take everything. Thus the grape pickers would leave some grapes for the later gleaners to come along and get some of these overlooked grapes. The same is true about nightly thieves who would only take what they needed.

Drying up of the Nile River (Isa 19:5-19:10)

“The waters of the Nile

Will be dried up.

The river

Will be parched.

It will be dry.

Its canals will become foul.

The branches of Egypt’s Nile

Will diminish.

They will dry up.

Reeds will rot away.

Rushes will rot away.

There will be bare places

By the Nile,

On the brink of the Nile.

All that is sown

By the Nile

Will dry up.

It will be driven away.

It will be no more.

The fishermen will mourn.

All who cast hooks

In the Nile

Will lament.

Those who spread nets

On the water

Will languish.

The workers in flax

Will be in despair.

The carders,

Those at the loom,

Will grow pale.

The weavers

Will be dismayed.

All who work for wages

Will be grieved.”

Next this oracle takes on a river, the Nile River. The waters will dry up with dire consequences to follow. The Nile River canals and branches will be foul smelling like dry wells. All the reeds, rushes, and plants along the river will dry up and rot away also. The fishermen will have a problem, since their hooks and nets will not catch anything. The flax and cotton looms will be useless. The weavers will be distraught. In fact, anyone who works for any kind of wages will be upset since the Nile River was so important for all kinds of commerce in Egypt.

Things not to ashamed of (Sir 42:1-42:8)

“You should not be ashamed of the following things.

Do not sin to save face!

Do not be ashamed of the law of the Most High!

Do not be ashamed of his covenant!

Do not be ashamed of rendering judgment to acquit the ungodly!

Do not be ashamed of keeping accounts with a partner!

Do not be ashamed of keeping accounts with traveling companions!

Do not be ashamed of dividing the inheritance of friends!

Do not be ashamed of accuracy with scales!

Do not be ashamed of accuracy with weights!

Do not be ashamed of acquiring much!

Do not be ashamed of acquiring little!

Do not be ashamed of profit from dealing with merchants!

Do not be ashamed of frequent disciplining of children!

Do not be ashamed of drawing blood

From the back of a wicked servant!

Where there is an untrustworthy wife,

A seal is a good thing.

Where there are many hands,

Lock things up!

When you make a deposit,

Be sure it is counted!

Be sure it is weighed!

When you give put it all in a written record!

When you receive put it all in a written record!

Do not be ashamed to instruct the stupid!

Do not be ashamed to instruct the foolish!

Do not be ashamed to instruct the aged

Who are guilty of sexual immorality!

Then you will show your sound training.

You will be approved by all.”

Here Sirach points out the things that you should not be ashamed to do. However, in this listing, he shows his prejudice against strangers, slaves, women, and children. He has kind but cautious words for commerce and profit. You should not sin to save face. Obviously, you should not be ashamed of the law of the Most High God and his covenant. You should render judgment against the ungodly. You can keep accounts with your partners and traveling companions. You can divide the inheritance of your friends. You should not be ashamed of your balanced scales or making money with merchants. You should not be afraid to discipline your children, your wicked slaves, and your untrustworthy wife. Be careful when many people are around. When you make a deposit, make sure that everything is counted and weighed. Keep a written record of your dealings. Do not be ashamed to correct the stupid, foolish, or the immoral old guys. Thus you will show your good training. You will get approval from everyone.