Get rid of idols (Zech 13:2-13:2)

“Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘On that day,

I will cut off

The names

Of the idols

From the land.

Thus,

They shall be remembered

No more.

Also,

I will remove

From the land

The prophets.

I will remove

From the land

The unclean spirit.’”

Yahweh spoke directly to Zechariah.  On that day to come, he was going to cut off the names of the various idols in the land.  Thus, no one would remember them anymore.  He also was going to remove the prophets and unclean spirits.  This will be the end of institutional prophets.

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The interpretation of this flying scroll (Zech 5:3-5:4)

“Then the angel said to me.

‘This is the curse

That goes out

Over the face

Of the whole land.

Everyone who steals

Shall be cut off

According to the writing

On one side.

Everyone who swears falsely

Shall be cut off

According to the writing

On the other side.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I have sent it out.

It shall enter

The house of the thief.

It shall enter

The house of anyone

Who swears falsely

By my name.

It shall abide

In that house.

It shall consume it,

Both timber

With stones.’”

The angel who had been talking to Zechariah interpreted this vision for him.  This flying scroll was a curse that went out over the face of the earth.  On one side of this scroll, it said that everyone who had stolen anything would be cut off, while the other side of the scroll said that anyone who swore falsely in Yahweh’s name would be cut off also.  Thus, this flying scroll would enter the houses of those robbers and perjurers, so that their houses would be destroyed, including all the timber and stones in them.

Against the strange false idol gods (Zeph 1:4-1:6)

“I will cut off

From this place

Every remnant of Baal.

I will cut off

The name

Of the idolatrous priests.

They bow down

On the roofs

To the host

Of the heavens.

They bow down.

They swear

To Yahweh,

But also swear

To Milcom.

They have turned back

From following Yahweh.

They do not seek Yahweh.

They do not inquire of him.”

In Jerusalem and Judah, Yahweh was going to cut off every last remains of the Canaanite god Baal, a very popular Semitic god, who was in charge of fertility and storms as the lord of all.  Thus, the use of the term lord might indicate Baal as well.  Apparently, there were some idolatrous priests in Judah or Jerusalem who worshiped Baal on the roofs of their houses.  On top of that, there was the cult or worship of Milcom or Moloch.  Generally, people would offer up their children as sacrifices to Milcom or Moloch.  Thus, some people were swearing by Yahweh, but also swearing by Milcom at the same time.  In other words, they were not true monotheists.  They had turned away from Yahweh.  They were no longer seeking Yahweh or inquiring about him.

The good news of peace (Nah 1:15-1:15)

To Judah

“Look

On the mountains!

The feet of one

Brings good tidings.

He proclaims peace!

Celebrate your festivals!

O Judah!

Fulfil your vows!

Never again,

Shall the wicked

Invade you!

They are utterly cut off.”

Nahum wanted Judah to look to the mountains, where there was someone bringing good news that there would be peace.  Now, they could celebrate their festivals and fulfill their vows at the Temple.  Never again, would anyone wicked invade them, because all their enemies were cut off.

The obliteration of the name of the king of Nineveh (Nah 1:14-1:14)

To the king of Nineveh

“Yahweh has commanded

Concerning you.

‘Your name shall not be

Perpetuated no longer.

From the house

Of your gods

I will cut off

The craved image

With the cast image.

I will make your grave.

You are worthless.’”

Nahum announced that Yahweh had commanded that the name of the king of Assyria, probably King Sennacherib of Assyria (705-681), would not be perpetuated any longer.  The various carved images and cast mold idols would be cut off from the house of their gods.  Yahweh was going to make a grave for the king and all his idols, because they were all worthless.

The terrible actions of Edom (Ob 1:10-1:11)

“The slaughter

With the violence

Done to your brother Jacob

Means that shame

Shall cover you!

You shall be cut off forever!

On the day

That you stood aside,

On the day

That strangers

Carried off his wealth,

On the day

That foreigners

Entered his gates,

On the day

That they cast lots

For Jerusalem,

You too were

Like one of them.”

For all the violence and slaughter that was done to Edom’s brother Jacob, shame would come upon the Edomites.  They would be cut off forever.  In other words, these Edomites were as guilty as the strangers who attacked Jerusalem.  On that day of attack on the holy city, when the foreigners and strangers entered the gates of Jerusalem and took their wealth, the Edomites were like the attackers who were casting lots for Jerusalem.  They were just like these invaders in their complicity.  They did nothing to help the people of Jerusalem and Judah.

Edom and the day of Yahweh (Ob 1:8-1:9)

“Says Yahweh.

‘On that day,

I will destroy

The wise ones

Out of Edom.

I will destroy

The understanding ones

out of Mount Esau.

Your warriors

Shall be shattered!

O Teman!

Thus,

Every man

From Mount Esau

Will be cut off.’”

Yahweh, via the prophet Obadiah, said that he was going to destroy the wise and understanding people in Edom, because Edom was well known for its wise men and their wisdom.  He was going to destroy the warriors from Mount Esau, the name of the twin brother of Jacob.  The northern area of Teman would be shattered, so that the people from Mount Esau would be cut off from the rest of Edom.