The nets of the enemy (Hab 1:14-1:17)

“You have made people

Like the fish of the sea,

Like crawling things

That have no ruler.

The enemy brings

All of them up

With a hook.

He drags them out,

With his net.

He gathers them

In his seine.

Thus,

He rejoices.

He exults.

Therefore,

He sacrifices

To his net.

He makes sacrifices

To his seine.

His portion is lavish

By them.

His food is rich.

Is he then to keep on

Emptying his net?

Will he keep destroying nations

Without mercy?”

This enemy would keep devouring the people.  Yahweh has made people like fish in the sea, since they have no ruler, much like crawling things.  Thus, this enemy has a hook with a net.  He has dragged the people out of the sea, as if they were fish in a net.  He has gathered them in his seine, which is a great big net.  Thus, this enemy is happy and exulted about his big catch of humans, much like a proud fisherman.  Then, this enemy would sacrifice offerings to his big nets, because they have contributed to his lavish life style with rich food.  He has become wealthy by catching all these humans in his big fish nets.  Thus, he kept emptying his nets and catching more humans in them.  He continued to destroy nations and countries without any mercy for anyone.  His evil ways just went on and on.

Against Moab (Am 2:1-2:3)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘For three transgressions

Of Moab,

And for four,

I will not revoke

The punishment.

Because he burned to lime

The bones

Of the king of Edom.

So,

I will send a fire

On Moab.

It shall devour

The strongholds

Of Kerioth.

Moab shall die

Amid uproar,

Amid shouting,

Amid the sound

Of the trumpet.

I will cut off

The ruler

From its midst.

I will kill

All its officials with him.’

Says Yahweh.”

Moab was the ancient enemy of Israel on the southeast side of the Jordan River. According to Genesis, chapter 19, the Moabites were the descendants of Lot through the incest he had with his daughter. Yahweh, via Amos, invoked the same language as he had used against Damascus, the Philistines, Tyre, Edom, and Ammon. He also used the same non-forgiving numeric formula of 3 and 4, as in Proverbs, chapter 30. The Moabites apparently burned the bones of the king of Edom in lime. Edom was their southern neighbors, so that this was a terrible insulting crime. Thus, Yahweh was going to punish the people of Moab by devouring their fortresses at Kerioth. Moab was going to die in a great tumult, with uproars, shouts, and trumpets. Yahweh would kill their ruler and all their officials. This clearly was an oracle of Yahweh, via Amos.

The locusts are like war horses (Joel 2:4-2:5)

“They have the appearance

Of horses.

They are

Like war horses.

They charge.

As with the rumbling

Of chariots,

They leap

On the tops

Of the mountains,

Like the crackling

Of a flame of fire,

Devouring the stubble.

They are

Like a powerful army

Drawn up for battle.”

This swarm of locusts had the appearance of charging war horses. They were like rumbling chariots leaping to the tops of the mountains. They were like a crackling flame in a fire devouring the grass stubble in front of it. They were like a powerful army ready for battle. These were the dangerous grasshoppers.

The healing reversal (Jer 30:16-30:17)

“Therefore all who devour you

Shall be devoured.

All your foes,

Every one of them,

Shall go into captivity.

Those who plundered you

Shall be plundered.

All who preyed on you,

I will make a prey.

I will restore health to you.

I will heal your wounds.

Says Yahweh!

Because they have called you

An outcast.

‘It is Zion.

No one cares for her!’”

Yahweh seems to reverse himself, saying that he will heal and cure the incurable wounds that Israel had. Instead, those who were devouring Israel will be devoured. All of their enemies will go into captivity. Those who plundered them will be plundered themselves. Yahweh was going to prey on anyone who preyed on them. He was going to heal all the wounds that Israel had. He was upset that others had called them, Zion, an outcast that no one cared about.