The famine in Jerusalem (Ezek 5:16-5:17)

“I will let loose

Against you

My deadly arrows

Of famine.

These are the arrows

For destruction.

I will let them loose

To destroy you.

I will bring more and more

Famine upon you.

I will break your staff

Of bread.

I will send famine.

I will send wild animals

Against you.

They will rob you

Of your children.

Pestilence

With bloodshed

Shall pass

Through you.

I will bring the sword

Upon you.

I!

Yahweh!

Have spoken!”

Yahweh said that he was going to let loose his deadly arrows against Jerusalem. He was going to hit them with the arrows of famine. This would destroy them. He was going to bring more and more famine to them. He was going to break their staff of bread, their basic staple food. He was going to send wild animals against them and their children. Pestilence and bloodshed would pass through them like a sword. There was no question, Yahweh had spoken.

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How should they be punished? (Jer 9:7-9:9)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I will now refine them.

I will test them.

What else can I do

With my sinful people?

Their tongue is a deadly arrow.

It speaks deceit

Through the mouth.

They all speak friendly words

To their neighbors.

But inwardly

They are planning

To lay an ambush.

Shall I not punish them

For these things?

Shall I not bring retribution

On a nation such as this?’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh wants to test or refine this sinful people. Their tongues are like deadly arrows because of their deceit. They speak friendly words to their neighbors, but they are planning an ambush for them. How are they to be punished? How much retribution should be handed out to such a people and a country?