Speak the truth (Zech 8:16-8:17)

“‘These are the things

That you shall do.

Speak the truth

To one another!

Render at your gates

Judgments that are true!

Make for peace!

Do not devise evil

In your hearts

Against one another!

Love no false oath!

All these are things

That I hate.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh laid out what they should do.  They were to speak the truth to one another.  When they rendered judgments at the gates, they were to be true decisions.  They were to make peace, and not discord.  They were not to devise evil in their hearts against each other.  They should not deliver any false oaths.  These were all the things that Yahweh hated, since truth was paramount.

The evil scheme of Gog (Ezek 38:10-38:10)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘On that day,

Thoughts will come

Into your mind.

You will devise

An evil scheme.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, told Gog that on that day a thought would come to him. He would devise an evil scheme. Whether Gog knew that Yahweh was influencing him of not is certainly not clear.

Invitation to repent (Sir 17:25-17:32)

“Turn back to the Lord!

Forsake your sins!

Pray in his presence!

Lessen your offenses!

Return to the Most High!

Turn away from iniquity!

He will lead you out of darkness

To the light.

Hate intensely

What he abhors!

Who will sing praises

To the Most High

In Hades?

In place of the living,

Who gives thanks?

From the dead,

As from one who does not exist,

Thanksgiving has ceased.

Those who are alive and well

Sing the Lord’s praises.

How great is

The mercy of the Lord!

His forgiveness is

For those who return to him!

Not everything is within human capability.

Since human beings are not immortal.

What is brighter than the sun?

Yet it can be eclipsed.

Flesh and blood devise evil.

He marshals the host of the height of heaven.

But all human beings are dust.

All human beings are ashes.”

Much like the later John the Baptist, Sirach here is calling for all to repent. Turn to the Lord! Give up sinning! Pray to the Lord! Turn to the Most High! Turn away from iniquity! No one can sing the praises of the Lord from Hades, the home of the dead. Only the living can give thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. The Lord is merciful. He will forgive those who return to him. Humans have limited capacities, since they are not immortal. Even the bright sun gets eclipsed. Flesh and blood humans devise evil because they are mere dust and ashes. However, the Lord has his hosts in the high heavens.

Discipline your child (Prov 19:18-19:22)

“Discipline your child while there is hope.

Do not set your heart on their destruction.

A violent tempered person will pay the penalty.

If you effect a rescue

You will only have to do it again.

Listen to advice!

Accept instruction!

Thus you may gain wisdom for the future.

The human mind may devise many plans.

But it is the purpose of Yahweh that will be established.

What is desired in a man is loyalty.

It is better to be a poor

Than a liar.”

You can discipline your child as long as there is hope. However, you should not try to destroy your children. A violent person will pay the penalty. If you try to help a violent person, you may have to do it again. You should listen to advice and instruction so that you will have future wisdom. The human mind can devise many plans, but Yahweh is the one who finally decides things. Loyalty is a desirable feature. It is better to be poor than lie.

A good person (Prov 12:2-12:3)

“The good person obtains favor from Yahweh.

But those who devise evil,

Yahweh condemns.

No one finds security by wickedness.

But the root of the righteous

Will never be moved.”

Good people find favor with Yahweh. On the other hand, Yahweh condemns those who devise evil ways. You cannot find security in wickedness. The root of the good or righteous person cannot be moved. They are as steady as a rock. The root is what keeps trees and humans straight.

The defeat of the Yahweh’s enemies (Ps 21:8-21:12)

“Your hand will find out all your enemies.

Your right hand will find out those who hate you.

You will make them like a fiery furnace

When you appear.

Yahweh will swallow them up in his wrath.

Fire will consume them.

You will destroy their offspring from the earth.

You will destroy their children from among humankind.

If they plan evil against you,

If they devise mischief,

They will not succeed.

You will put them to flight.

You will aim at their faces,

With your bows.”

Yahweh will find his enemies and those who hate him. He will then defeat them as a fiery furnace or swallow them up. Fire will consume them, even their offspring. Their children will be destroyed. Anyone who tried to plan or devise evil or mischief against Yahweh will not succeed. They will be put to flight as arrows will hit them in the face.