Terms of peace (Lk 14:32-14:32)

“If he cannot,

Then,

While the other king

Is still far away,

He would send

A delegation,

Asking for

Peace terms.”

 

εἰ δὲ μήγε, ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his unique story about the king planning a war.  Jesus said that if this king realized that he could not defeat the other king (εἰ δὲ μήγε), then, while this other king was still far away (ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος), he would send a delegation (πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας), asking for peace terms (ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην).  Make peace instead of war, if you are outmanned and have no realistic hope of success.  Would you rather fight or make peace?

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Does anything compare to Jerusalem (Lam 2:13-2:13)

Mem

“What can I say

To you?

To what shall

I compare you?

O daughter Jerusalem!

To what can I liken you?

How may I comfort you?

O virgin daughter Zion!

Vast as the sea

Is your ruin.

Who can heal you?”

Now the author laments about how to compare what has happened in Jerusalem. Is there anything comparable? How can he comfort Zion? This virgin daughter Zion is beyond healing. Her ruin is as vast as the sea. This author of the Lamentations really sounds like a distraught elderly widow who has lost her husband. Perhaps there is an element of exaggeration, as if no other city had ever suffered defeat or ruin. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The yoke of sin (Lam 1:14-1:14)

Nun

“My transgressions

Were bound

Into a yoke.

By his hand

They were

Fastened together.

They were

A weight

On my neck.

They were

Sapping

My strength.

Yahweh handed me over

To those whom

I cannot withstand.”

Once again, Jerusalem spoke in the first person in this personal lament. Jerusalem claimed that her own transgressions were like a yoke around her neck. Yahweh had fashioned this yoke by his hand. He then put this weight on Jerusalem so that her strength was sapped. Finally, Jerusalem was handed over to people that it could not defeat, the Babylonians. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Nun. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The punishment for Bel (Jer 51:44-51:44)

“I will punish Bel

In Babylon.

I will make him

Disgorge

What he has swallowed.

The nations shall no longer

Stream to him.

The wall of Babylon

Has fallen.”

Yahweh says that he was going to punish Bel, the god of Mesopotamia. Thus with the defeat of Babylon, the god Bel was also defeated. The punishment was that Bel had to throw up what he had eaten. All those nations where Bel was their god would no longer stream to his temple, because Babylon had fallen.

The defeat of Babylon (Jer 51:3-51:4)

“Let not the archer

Bend his bow!

Let him not array himself

In his coat of mail!

Do not spare

Her young men!

Utterly destroy

Her entire army!

They shall fall down slain

In the land

Of the Chaldeans,

Wounded

In her streets.”

In this battle with Babylon, the Babylonian archers with their bows and arrows would be useless. Those who put on armored coats of mail would also find little protection. The invaders were to utterly destroy the young men and the army of the Babylonians. They were to defeat the Chaldeans in their own streets, even letting the wounded ones lay there.

The arrogant Babylonians (Jer 50:30-50:32)

“‘Therefore,

Her young men

Shall fall

In her squares.

All her soldiers

Shall be destroyed

On that day.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I am against you!

O arrogant one!’

Says Yahweh!

God of hosts!

‘Your day has come!

It is the time

When I will punish you.

The arrogant one

Shall stumble.

The arrogant one

Shall fall.

There will be no one

To raise him up.

I will kindle a fire

In his cities.

It will devour

Everything around him.’”

Yahweh proclaims that the arrogant Babylonians would suffer defeat, so that their young men would die in their town squares. Their soldiers would be wiped out. Yahweh with all his hosts and armies would be against Babylon. Their time for their punishment was coming. These arrogant Babylonians would stumble and fall, but no one would help them up. Yahweh was going to set them on fire in their cities. Everything would be devoured around them. Bad times were coming to these proud Babylonians.

Against Kedar (Jer 49:28-49:29)

“Concerning Kedar

With the kingdoms of Hazor

That King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Defeated.

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Rise up!

Advance against Kedar!

Destroy the people of the east!

Take their tents!

Take their flocks!

Take their curtains!

Take all their goods!

Carry off their camels

For yourselves!

A cry shall go up.

‘Terror is all around!’”

Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, the step brother of Isaac. However, this biblical term was applied to a group of nomadic tribes in the northwest Arabian desert, east of the Jordan River and Ammon, in what is today Saudi Arabia. They were considered to be the people of the east, the Arabs. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was going to defeat them. He was going to take their possessions since they had no buildings to burn. They were going to lose their tents, flocks, curtains, and most importantly their camels. They would cry out that terror was all around them. They had no fortresses to defend themselves. Both Kedar and Hazor were not restored, but left as wastelands.