The burning garden of Eden (Joel 2:3-2:3)

“Fire devours

In front of them.

Behind them,

A flame burns.

Before them,

The land is

Like the garden of Eden.

But after them,

It is

Like a desolate wilderness.

Nothing escapes them.”

This fire or swarming grasshoppers was coming to devour everything. It was all around them. In front of them, it looked like the Garden of Eden, but after the locusts had hit them, it was like a desolate wilderness. Nothing escaped these swarming locusts.

The lament about the desolation (Jer 12:10-12:13)

“Many shepherds have destroyed

My vineyard.

They have trampled down my portion.

They have made my pleasant portion

A desolate wilderness.

They have made it a desolation.

Desolate!

It mourns to me.

The whole land is made desolate.

But no one lays it to heart.

Upon all the bare heights

In the desert,

Spoilers have come.

The sword of Yahweh devours

From one end of the land

To the other.

No one shall be safe.

They have sown wheat.

They have reaped thorns.

They have tired themselves out

But they profit nothing.

They shall be ashamed of their harvests

Because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.”

Jeremiah continues with Yahweh’s lament about the desolation of his land. The shepherd leaders destroyed his vineyards. They have trampled his land from one end to the other end until it is a desolate wilderness, but no one seems to care. The spoilers have come from all over to devour the land. No one was safe from Yahweh’s sword. After they had sown wheat, they only harvested thorns. They worked hard, but without any gain. They were going to be ashamed of their harvests, because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.