The siege of Nineveh (Nah 3:12-3:14)

“You also will be drunken.

You will go into hiding.

You will seek

A refuge

From the enemy.

All your fortresses are

Like fig trees

With first-ripe figs.

If shaken,

They fall

Into the mouth

Of the eater.

Look at your troops!

They are women

In your midst.

The gates

Of your land

Are wide open

To your foes.

Fire has devoured

The bars of your gates.

Draw water

For the siege!

Strengthen your forts!

Trample the clay!

Tread the mortar!

Take hold

Of the brick mold!”

So too, the people of Nineveh would be drunk and go into hiding, as they would seek to get away from their enemies.  All their strong fortresses would be like ripe fig trees.  If they would be touched or shaken, these strongholds would fall like ripe fruit right into the mouths of their enemies.  Women had become their troops.  The gates of the city were wide open to their enemies because fire had consumed the bars on their gates.  They had to get water during the siege.  They would have to strengthen their fortresses with clay, mortar, and bricks.

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Against Judah (Nah 1:9-1:10)

To Judah

“Why do you plot

Against Yahweh?

He will make a full end.

No adversary

Will rise up twice.

Like thorns,

They are entangled.

Like drunkards,

They are drunk.

They are consumed,

Like dry stubble.”

Next there were a series of prophecies addressed to different countries.  The first was addressed to Judah.  Nahum wanted to know why they were plotting against Yahweh, because Yahweh would always win out in the end.  No adversary or enemy of Yahweh would be able to rise up twice.  They would be like entangled thorns or drunken drunkards.  They would be wiped out or consumed like dry stubble.

The last of the ten kingdoms (Dan 7:24-7:26)

“As for the ten horns,

Out of this kingdom,

Ten kings shall arise.

Another shall arise after them.

This one shall

Be different

From the former ones.

He shall put down

Three kings.

He shall speak words

Against the Most High.

He shall wear out

The holy ones

Of the Most High.

He shall attempt

To change

The sacred seasons.

He shall attempt

To change the law.

They shall be given

Into his power

For a time,

Two times,

Half a time.

Then the court shall sit

In judgment.

His dominion shall be

Taken away,

To be consumed,

To be totally destroyed

To the end.”

Next, he explained that the 10 horns on the beast were the 10 Greek kings that succeeded Alexander the Great in his kingdom. However, there was a vehemence against the little horn king that overthrew the 3 kings. This was, of course, a reference to the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163 BCE), who was different from the other Greek rulers. He spoke openly against the Most High God. He wore out God’s holy ones. He attempted to change the holy seasons and do away with the religious festivals. He also tried to change the Jewish law. He had power for a little while, before the final kingdom would come. Then his dominion would be taken away. He would be consumed and destroyed. 1 Maccabees, chapter 1, went into great detail about this king.

The boiling rusted pot (Ezek 24:9-24:11)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Woe to the bloody city!

I will even make

The pile great!

Heap up the logs!

Kindle the fire!

Boil the meat well!

Mix in the spices!

Let the bones

Be burned!

Stand it empty

Upon the coals!

Thus it may become hot.

Its copper will glow.

Its filth

Will melt in it.

Its rust

Will be consumed.’”

Once again Yahweh, via Ezekiel, pronounced a curse against the bloody city of Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to pile up logs and kindle a fire. He wanted to boil the meat with lots of spices. He wanted this meal so well cooked that even the bones would be burned. He wanted this pot to stand empty on the hot coals until its copper glowed. He had hoped that the filth would melt out of this pot. That way, all the rust would be consumed and gone, since this burning pot was Jerusalem.

The wrath of Yahweh (Ezek 22:31-22:31)

“‘Therefore

I have poured out

My indignation

Upon them.

I have consumed them

With the fire

Of my wrath.

I have returned

Their conduct

Upon their heads.’

Says Yahweh God.”

The result was that Yahweh, their God, poured out his wrath and indignation on their heads.  He consumed them with a fire from his anger.  There was no appeasing Yahweh.

The transplanted vine (Ezek 19:12-19:14)

“But the vine

Was plucked up

In fury.

It was cast down

To the ground.

The east wind

Dried it up.

Its fruit

Was stripped off.

Its strong stem

Was withered.

The fire

Consumed it.

Now it was transplanted

Into the wilderness,

Into a dry,

Thirsty land.

The fire has gone out

From its stem.

It has consumed

Its branches.

It has consumed

Its fruit.

Thus there remains

In it

No strong stem.

There is no scepter

For ruling.

This is a lamentation.

It is used

As a lamentation.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel continued this allegory. The good mother vine was plucked up in anger. It was cast down to the ground. The east wind dried it up. Its fruit was stripped off. The strong stem was withered. Fire consumed it. Then they transplanted it into the wilderness, the desert, a dry thirsty land. A fire consumed its stem, branches, and fruit. There no longer was a strong stem for a ruling scepter. This is a reference that Judah no longer had a ruler. Thus this was a useful lamentation.

The useless false wooden gods (Bar 6:70-6:73)

“Like a scarecrow

In a cucumber bed,

That guards nothing,

So are their gods of wood,

Overlaid with gold

Or silver.

In the same way,

Their gods of wood,

Overlaid with gold

Or silver,

Are

Like a thorn bush

In a garden,

On which every bird perches.

They are

Like a corpse

Thrown out in the darkness.

From the purple

Or the linen

That rot upon them,

You will know

That they are not gods.

They will finally

Be consumed themselves.

They will be a reproach

In the land.

Better,

Therefore

Is someone upright.

Such a person

Will be far above reproach.”

This letter of Jeremiah found as the last chapter in this book of Baruch ends with a comparison of these false wooden gods covered with gold and silver. The author compared them to a scarecrow in a cucumber bed that guarded nothing. They were compared to a thorn bush in a garden where birds sat on it. They were compared to a dead corpse in the dark. All of these useless items were like these useless idol gods. Even with purple or linen on them, they would still rot. They would be finally consumed and become a reproach to all. It was much better to be an upright person beyond reproach than any of these gods. So ends the letter of Jeremiah in the Book of Baruch.