They refused to listen (Zech 7:11-7:12)

“But they refused

To listen.

They turned

A stubborn shoulder.

They stopped their ears,

In order not to hear.

They made their hearts adamant

In order not to hear the law,

In order not to hear the words

That Yahweh of hosts

Had sent

By his Spirit

Through the former prophets.”

Unfortunately, the Israelites failed to listen to Yahweh.  They turned a stubborn shoulder to him.  They stopped up their ears, so that they could not hear Yahweh.  They hardened their hearts, so that they were not able to hear the law of Yahweh or his words.  Yahweh of hosts had sent his Holy Spirit via the early prophets, but to no avail.  They never listened.

The curse on Jerusalem (Zeph 3:1-3:2)

“Woe to the soiled city!

Woe to the defiled city!

Woe to the rebellious city!

Woe to the oppressing city!

She has listened to no voice.

She has accepted no correction.

She has not trusted

In Yahweh.

She has not drawn near

To her God.”

Jerusalem, the city itself, was to be cursed because it was a soiled, defiled, rebellious, and oppressing city.  Jerusalem would not listen to any voice or accept any correction.  She had not trusted in Yahweh, nor drawn near to her God.  Jerusalem was in bad shape.

The example of the Rechabites (Jer 35:14-35:15)

“The command

Has been carried out

That Jonadab,

The son of Rechab,

Gave to his descendants,

To drink no wine.

They drink none

To this day.

They have obeyed

Their ancestor’s command.

I myself have spoken

To you persistently.

But you have not obeyed me.

I have sent to you

All my servants,

The prophets.

I am sending them persistently,

Saying.

‘Turn now every one of you

From your evil ways!

Amend your doings!

Do not go after other gods!

Do not serve them!

Then you shall live

In the land

That I gave to you,

That I gave to your ancestors.’

But you did not incline

Your ears.

You did not obey me.’”

Yahweh was upset that the Rechabites precisely followed the commands of their ancestor Jonadab up to the present day, as they refused to drink wine based on Jonadab’s command. However, the people of Judah and Jerusalem have not listened or obeyed Yahweh, even though he has continually told them to listen to his commands. They have not listened to his persistent servants, the prophets, who told them to change from their evil ways and amend their life style. They kept going to other gods to serve them. All they had to do to live in this land was to serve and obey Yahweh, something their ancestors knew about. However, they had not inclined their ears or obeyed Yahweh.

Jeremiah at the Temple court (Jer 19:14-19:15)

“Then Jeremiah came from Topheth,

Where Yahweh had sent him

To prophesy.

He stood

In the court of Yahweh’s house.

He said to all the people.

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

I am now bringing upon this city,

Upon all its towns,

All the disaster

That I have pronounced against it.

Because they have stiffened their necks.

They refuse to hear my words.’”

After Jeremiah came from Topheth, where Yahweh had sent him to prophesize, he stood in the court of the Temple. He told everyone that Yahweh, the God of Israel, was going to bring disaster to the city of Jerusalem and all its towns. Yahweh pronounced this disaster because they had stiffened their necks and refused to hear his words.

They will not listen (Jer 7:27-7:28)

“So you shall speak

All these words to them.

But they will not listen to you.

You shall call to them,

But they will not answer you.

You shall say to them.

‘This is the nation

That did not obey

The voice of Yahweh,

Their God.

They did not accept discipline.

Truth has perished.

Truth is cut off from their lips.”

Yahweh told Jeremiah what to say. However, he warned Jeremiah that the Israelites would not listen to him either. He would call to them but they would not respond to him. Yahweh told him to tell them that they were a nation that did not obey the voice of Yahweh, their God. They would not accept any kind of discipline because truth had perished and was no longer coming from their lips.

The teaching servant of Yahweh (Isa 50:4-50:5)

“Yahweh God has given me

The tongue of a teacher.

Thus I may know how

To sustain the weary

With a word.

Morning by morning,

He wakens me.

He wakens my ear to listen

As those who are taught.

Yahweh God has opened my ear.”

Now we are at the third chant of the servant of Yahweh in Second Isaiah. This servant has the tongue of a teacher, so that he was able to sustain the weary ones with his words. Every morning, Yahweh woke him up to listen and be taught, because Yahweh had opened his ears to hear and learn. Thus he could then be a teaching servant of Yahweh.

Salvation is in Israel (Isa 46:12-46:13)

“Listen to me!

You stubborn of heart!

You who are far from deliverance!

I bring near my deliverance.

It is not far off.

My salvation will not tarry.

I will put salvation in Zion

For Israel,

My glory.”

Second Isaiah continues with the theme of listening to Yahweh. These stubborn hearted people were far from deliverance. However, Yahweh was going to bring his deliverance soon, since it was not far away. He was going to put salvation in Zion and glorify Israel. Salvation was at hand.