The unbelieving rich (Zeph 1:12-1:13)

“At that time,

I will search Jerusalem

With lamps.

I will punish

The people

Who rest complacently

On their dregs.

I will punish

Those who say

In their hearts,

‘Yahweh will not do good.

Nor will he do harm.’

Their wealth

Shall be plundered.

Their houses laid waste.

Though they build houses,

They shall not inhabit them.

Though they plant vineyards,

They shall not drink wine

From them.”

On the day of Yahweh, Yahweh was going to search through Jerusalem with lamps.  He would punish the complacent people, those who had drunk too much of the dregs of their wine casks.  Yahweh was going to punish those who said that they didn’t care about Yahweh, because he had no effect on their lives, either for good or bad.  Yahweh was going to take the wealth of these rich people by plundering their belongings and destroying their homes.  If they were planning to build a house, they would never live in it.  If they were planting vineyards, they would never enjoy the wine from those vines.  Wealth would not save them from the Day of Yahweh.

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The salvation of Yahweh (Hab 3:12-3:13)

“In fury,

You trod the earth.

In anger,

You trampled nations.

You came forth

To save your people.

You came forth

To save your anointed.

You crushed

The head

Of the wicked house.

You laid it bare

From its foundation

To its roof.”

Selah

Yahweh in his fury and anger would trample the various countries on earth.  Yahweh was going to come forward to save his people and their anointed one, the king.  He was going to crush the head of the wicked house, destroying it completely from its foundations to its roof.  Yahweh would save his people and their king by destroying their enemies.  Once again, we have a meditative pause in this canticle with a Selah.

Jonah wants to die (Jon 4:3-4:3)

“Therefore now,

O Yahweh!

Please take my life

From me!

It is better for me

To die

Than to live!”

Jonah was a little down on himself.  He knew that he had originally refused this mission.  Then he had done it, only to find out that Yahweh had changed his mind about destroying Nineveh.  Now he just wanted to die, since he had no desire to live.  This is a strong suicidal plea.

The little horn (Dan 7:8-7:8)

“I was considering

The horns.

Then another horn

Appeared.

A little one

Came up

Among them.

To make room for it,

Three of the earlier horns

 

 

A little one

Came up

Were plucked up

By the roots.

There were eyes

Like human eyes.

There was a mouth

Speaking arrogantly.”

While Daniel was looking at these strange horns, a little horn appeared to take the place of 3 other horns, plucking them up by their roots. This little horn had human like eyes and an arrogant mouth. This appears to be a reference to King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-163 BCE), an arrogant Greek king who got his throne by destroying 3 other kings. 1 Maccabees, chapter 1, goes into great detail about this king.

The reaction of Yahweh to the rebellious children (Ezek 20:21-20:24)

“Then I thought

I would pour out

My wrath upon them.

I would spend

My anger

Against them

In the wilderness.

But I withheld

My hand.

I acted for the sake

Of my name.

Thus it should not be

Profaned

In the sight

Of the nations,

In whose sight

I had brought them out.

Moreover,

I swore to them

In the wilderness

That I would scatter them

Among the nations.

I would disperse them

Through the countries.

Because they had not

Executed

My ordinances.

They had rejected

My statutes.

They had profaned

My Sabbath.

Their eyes

Were set

On their ancestor’s idols.”

Yahweh’s reaction was pretty much the same as in the former rebellions. Yahweh immediately thought about destroying them in his anger. However, as earlier, he changed his mind for the sake of his name that he did not want profaned in the sight of all the other countries that had seen him bring them out of Egypt. Thus he swore to them in the wilderness that he would scatter them among the nations, instead of refusing to take them out of Egypt or refusing to take them to the Promise Land. This was a prediction of the exile that was due to their failure to keep his statutes, ordinances, and the Sabbath. They also still yearned for their ancestor’s idols.

The bad shepherds (Jer 23:1-23:2)

“‘Woe to the shepherds

Who destroy

The sheep of my pasture!

Woe to the shepherds

Who scatter

The sheep of my pasture!’

Says Yahweh.

Therefore thus says Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

Concerning the shepherds

Who shepherd my people.

‘It is you

Who have scattered my flock.

You have driven them away.

You have not attended to them.

So I will attend to you

For your evil doings.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, condemns the bad shepherds or the bad leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. Yahweh blames them for destroying and scattering the sheep of his pasture, his people, the Israelites. There is no question in the mind of Yahweh that that it was these leaders who scattered and drove away his flock. They had not attended to them. Instead, they went on their evil ways. Now Yahweh will attend to their evil actions. This oracle of Yahweh is clearly pointing the blame on the leaders.

No more pity for Jerusalem (Jer 15:6-15:9)

“Says Yahweh.

‘You have rejected me!

You are going backward.

I have stretched out my hand

Against you.

I destroyed you.

I am weary of relenting.

I have winnowed them

With a winnowing fork

In the gates of the land.

I have bereaved them.

I have destroyed my people.

They did not turn from their ways.

I have made their widows

More numerous than the sand of the seas.

I have brought

Against the mothers of young men

A destroyer at noonday.

I have made anguish fall on her suddenly.

I have made terror fall on her suddenly.

She who bore seven has languished.

She has swooned away.

Her sun went down

While it was yet day.

She has been shamed.

She has been disgraced.

The rest of them

I will give to the sword

Before their enemies.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that they have rejected and turned against him. Thus Yahweh stretched out his hand and destroyed them. He was tired of forgiving them. He tried to winnow them out to find the good ones. He made them sad by destroying them. They would not turn away from their evil ways. Thus they may have more widows than all the sand in the seas. That is quite a big hyperbolic number. The destroyer came at noon against young mothers. Even strong women who had 7 children were fainting. The sun was setting before the day was done since they were ashamed and disgraced. Anyone left over would suffer the hardship of the deadly sword.