The Israelites will use Gog’s weapons for their fires (Ezek 39:9-39:10)

“‘Then those who live

In the towns

Of Israel

Will go out.

They will make fires

Of the weapons.

They will burn them,

Shields

Bucklers,

Bows

Arrows,

Hand pikes,

Spears.

They will make fires

Of them

For seven years.

They will not need

To take wood

Out of the field

Or cut down

Any tree

In the forests.

They will make

Their fires

Of the weapons.

They will despoil

Those who despoiled them.

They will plunder

Those who plundered them.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that the Israelites in the various towns would gather all the weapons from the army of Gog. They would use weapons in place of wood to keep their fires going for 7 years. They were going to burn all the equipment that they found, whether it was shields, hand bucklers, bows, arrows, pikes, or spears. Thus, they would not have to go out and collect wood for their fires. They would not have to cut down trees in the forest for their house fires. This was a form or recycling by saving the trees, since they used war weapons as fuel for your home. They would get the spoils and plunder of those who had tried to do the same to them.

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The punishment of the Philistines (Ezek 25:16-25:17)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will stretch out

My hand

Against the Philistines.

I will cut off

The Cherethites.

I will destroy

The rest of the seacoast.

I will execute

Great vengeance

Upon them

With wrathful punishments.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh,

When I lay

My vengeance

Upon them.’”

There will be no intermediary to punish the Philistines. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against the Philistines. He was going to cut down these Cherethites, another name for the Philistines. The use of this term has led to the supposition that the Philistines may have been from Crete. Yahweh was going to destroy the whole seacoast, since that is where the Philistines lived. Yahweh, himself, was going to bring these vengeful punishments without any outside help. Once again, the hope was that these Philistines would recognize that Yahweh was God.

The great fire (Lam 2:3-2:3)

Gimel

“He has cut down,

In fierce anger,

All the might

Of Israel.

He has withdrawn

His right hand

From them

In the face

Of the enemy.

He has burned

Like a flaming fire

In Jacob,

Consuming all around.”

Yahweh was so angry that he cut down the might of Israel. He withdrew his supporting hand so that the enemy was able to succeed. He destroyed everything that belonged to Jacob by burning it up. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Gimel. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

 

The fierce successful attack on Babylon (Jer 50:14-50:16)

“Take up your positions

Around Babylon!

All you that bend the bow!

Shoot at her!

Spare no arrows!

She has sinned

Against Yahweh.

Raise a shout

Against her

From all sides!

She has surrendered!

Her bulwarks have fallen!

Her walls are thrown down!

This is the vengeance

Of Yahweh.

Take vengeance on her!

Do to her

As she has done!

Cut off from Babylon

The sower with

The wielder of the sickle

In the time of harvest.

Because of the destroying sword,

All of them shall return

To their own people.

All of them shall flee

To their own land.”

The attack on Babylon would be successful. The archers with their great arrows would take their positions and shoot at the Babylonians. They would raise great shouts of joy from all sides. Babylon had sinned against Yahweh. Finally, Babylon would surrender. The fortresses and the walls would come tumbling down, because this was the vengeance of Yahweh at work. Babylon was done. There would be nobody to plant. No one would be there to cut down the harvest, since there would be no harvest. Everyone would return and flee to their own lands. Thus the destruction of Babylon in 539 BCE was described here some 60 years previous to the event. Is that an indication of a later composition?

The destruction of the royal palace (Jer 22:6-22:7)

“Thus says Yahweh

Concerning

The house

Of the king of Judah.

‘You are

Like Gilead to me.

You are

Like the summit of Lebanon.

But I swear

That I will make you a desert,

An uninhabited city.

I will prepare destroyers

Against you.

All will have weapons.

They shall cut down

Your choicest cedars.

They will cast them

Into the fire.”

Just like in the preceding chapter, Yahweh promises to burn down the royal palace. The royal palace had become like Gilead to Yahweh, a pleasant mountainous area was on the eastern side of the Jordan River that originally belonged to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, present day Jordan. The summits of Lebanon refer to the high mountains with their wonderful trees in present day Lebanon. However, Yahweh was going to make the beautiful royal palace become a desert or an uninhabited city. The destroyers or invaders were going to come and cut down their choicest wood cedar building. They would all be set on fire as this beauty would be destroyed.

False wooden idols (Jer 10:3-10:5)

“The customs of the people

Are false.

A tree from the forest

Is cut down.

It is worked with an ax

By the hands of an artisan.

People deck it with silver.

They deck it with gold.

They fasten it with a hammer.

They fasten it with nails.

Thus it cannot move.

Their idols are

Like scarecrows in a cucumber field.

They cannot speak.

They have to be carried.

They cannot walk.

Do not be afraid of them!

They cannot do evil.

It is not in them to do good.”

This section is a lot like that of Second Isaiah, especially chapters 40-44, against false human made idol gods. Thus this probably also comes from the later exilic times. Many people have this false custom of idol worship. He reminded them that these wooden idols come from a tree. Someone cut down the tree in the forest. Then an artisan or wood carver axed or created an image with a hammer and nails. Then they put silver and gold on it. Thus these false wooden idols cannot move. They are more like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch. They cannot talk or walk, since they have to be carried around. No one should be afraid of these scarecrow idols, since they cannot do any evil to you. However, they also cannot do any good for you either. Once again, this is an argument against the false wooden idol gods and their human makers.

Warning against Jerusalem (Jer 6:6-6:8)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Cut down her trees!

Cast up a siege ramp

Against Jerusalem!

This is the city

That must be punished!

There is nothing but oppression

Within her!

As a well keeps its water fresh,

So she keeps fresh her wickedness.

Violence is heard within her.

Destruction is heard within her.

Sickness is ever before me.

Wounds are ever before me.

Take warning!

O Jerusalem!

Otherwise I shall turn from you

In disgust.

I will make you a desolation.

I will make you an uninhabited land.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, warned Jerusalem. They were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem because this city needed to be punished. There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her. Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around. Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning.