The days of punishment have come (Hos 9:7-9:7)

“The days of punishment

Have come.

The days of recompense

Have come.

Israel cries.

‘The prophet is a fool!

The man of the spirit is mad!’

Because of your great iniquity,

Your hostility is great.”

Hosea declared that the day of punishment and compensation has come to Israel. Meanwhile, the Israelites cried out that the prophets were fools. They said that the spiritual men were mad. All of this great iniquity happened, because their hostility was so great.

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King Nebuchadnezzar will get the spoils of Egypt (Ezek 29:19-29:20)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will give the land

Of Egypt

To King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon.

He shall carry off

Its wealth.

He shall despoil it.

He shall plunder it.

It shall be

The wages

For his army.

I have given him

The land

Of Egypt

As his payment

For which he labored.

Because they worked

For me.’

Says Yahweh God.”

In a perverse sort of way, Yahweh was going to give King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon the land of Egypt as a compensation for not getting much from the capture of Tyre. Thus, the king of Babylon would get the wealth of Egypt. He was going to wreck and plunder Egypt to get the wages for his army. Egypt was the payment to the king of Babylon for doing the work of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

The lament of Jeremiah (Jer 18:19-18:20)

“Give heed to me!

Yahweh!

Listen to what my adversaries say!

Is evil a recompense for good?

Yet they have dug a pit for my life.

Remember how I stood before you

To speak good for them.

I asked you

To turn away your wrath

From them.”

Jeremiah starts out asking Yahweh, God, to hear him. He also wanted him to hear what his enemies had said. Why was evil given as a compensation for good things? They have dug a pit for his life, so that he might be killed. Jeremiah wanted Yahweh to remember how he had stood before Yahweh and spoke good things about them. He had wanted Yahweh to turn his wrath away from them. Now these same people were trying to kill him.

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.

Stay away from the adulterous women (Prov 6:24-6:35)

“Preserve yourself from the wife of another!

Preserve yourself from the smooth tongue of the adulteress!

Do not desire her beauty in your heart!

Do not let her capture you with her eyelashes!

A prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread.

But the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.

Can fire be carried in one’s bosom

Without burning one’s clothes?

Can one walk upon hot coals

Without scorching one’s feet?

So is he who sleeps

With his neighbor’s wife.

No one who touches her will go unpunished.

Thieves who steal

Only to satisfy their appetite,

When they are hungry,

Are not despised.

Yet if they are caught,

They will pay sevenfold.

They will forfeit all the goods of their house.

But he who commits adultery has no sense.

He destroys himself.

He will get wounds and dishonor.

His disgrace will not be wiped away.

Jealousy arouses a husband’s fury.

He shows no restraint when he takes revenge.

He will accept no compensation.

He refuses a bribe

No matter how great.”

This is a very long presentation on the evils of adultery. In fact, it almost seems to condone prostitution and thievery as lesser evils than adultery. Very clearly, you should stay away from the wife of another person. Watch out for her smooth tongue and eyelashes. I did not know that eyelashes were signs of beauty 2,500 years ago. The prostitute’s fee was just that of a loaf of bread. They were a lot cheaper back then. However, being involved with another man’s wife can ruin your entire life. If you play with fire, you will get burned. If you walk on hot coals, you will burn your feet. If you sleep with your neighbor’s wife, it will not go unpunished. If you stole something because you were hungry, you would have to pay for it 7 times over from the goods of your house. However, you would continue to live. However, with adultery you destroy yourself. You will be wounded, dishonored, and disgraced in a way that it will not go away. In fact, the jealous husband will not be restrained when attacking you. No compensation or bribe will make him forget. You put your life on the line. So be careful with your neighbor’s wife.