The selling of the sheep (Zech 11:4-11:5)

“Thus said Yahweh my God.

‘Be a shepherd

For the flock doomed to slaughter!

Those who buy them,

Kill them.

They go unpunished.’

Those who sell them say.

‘Blessed be Yahweh!

I have become rich!’

Their own shepherds

Have no pity on them.’”

Yahweh, via Zechariah, seems to say that this flock of sheep was doomed to slaughter.  The people who bought the sheep, killed them, but they would go unpunished.  Meanwhile, the sellers of the sheep were praising Yahweh, because they had become rich.  The original shepherds had no pity on the sheep.  Sheep by their very nature would be killed for eating, but not before their wool was sheared.  This may be an allusion to the Ptolemaic rule (305-275 BCE) with their Israelite appointees.

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Yahweh would destroy Babylon (Jer 51:52-51:53)

“Says Yahweh.

‘Therefore,

The time is surely coming.

When I will punish

Her idols.

The wounded shall groan

Through all her land.

Though Babylon should

Mount up to heaven,

Destroyers would come

Upon her,

From me.

Though she should fortify

her strong heights,

Destroyers would come

Upon her,

From me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was going to destroy Babylon and her idols. The time was coming when Yahweh would destroy all their idols throughout the country. The wounded ones would groan. Even if Babylon would mount prayers to heaven, her destroyers would come upon her from Yahweh. Even if she would fortify herself with strong high walls, these destroyers from Yahweh would descend upon her. Babylon and her idols were doomed. Yahweh was sending his destroyers.

The lost peace (Jer 8:14-8:15)

“Why do we sit still?

Gather together!

Let us go into the fortified cities!

We will perish there!

Yahweh our God

Has doomed us to perish.

He has given us poisoned water to drink.

Because we have sinned against Yahweh.

We look for peace.

But we find no good.

We look for a time of healing,

But there is terror instead.”

Here Jeremiah presents the views of the people of Judah. They were sitting together, before they went to their fortified cities. There they expected to perish because Yahweh had doomed them to die. He gave them poisoned water to drink, which was the wrath of God. They finally admitted that they had sinned against Yahweh. They wanted peace, but there was none. They looked for healing, but there was only terror instead.

You deserve what you get (Jer 4:17-4:18)

“Yahweh says.

‘You have rebelled

Against me.

Your ways,

Your doings

Have brought this

Upon you.

This is your doom.

It is bitter.

It has reached

Your very heart.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that they had rebelled against him. Their ways and actions brought this destruction upon themselves. They were doomed because this bitterness had reached their hearts.

The end of Babylon (Isa 47:14-47:15)

“See!

They are like stubble.

The fire consumes them.

They cannot deliver themselves

From the power of the flame.

This is no coal for warming oneself!

This is no fire to sit before!

Such to you are

Those with whom you have labored.

You have trafficked with them

From your youth.

They all wander about

In their own paths.

There is no one to save you.”

Babylon will become like stubble that a fire consumes. They cannot save themselves from the powerful flames that are not like a warming fire or a fire to sit around and talk. They have worked with these people from their youth. They wander all around. No one is there to save them. Babylon is doomed.

Yahweh against all nations (Isa 34:1-34:4)

“Draw near!

O nations!

Hear!

O people!

Give heed!

Let the earth hear

With all that fills it!

Let the world hear

With all that comes from it!

Yahweh is enraged

Against all the nations.

He is furious

Against all their hoards.

He has doomed them.

He has given them over for slaughter.

Their slain shall be cast out.

The stench of their corpses shall rise.

The mountains shall flow with their blood.

All the host of heaven shall rot away.

The skies shall roll up like a scroll.

All their host shall wither

Like a leaf withering on a vine,

Like fruit withering on a fig tree.”

Once again Isaiah has this important call to listen. This time it is not merely to the people of Israel who should listen, but this is a more universal call to all the nations, all the people, the whole world, and the earth itself. Yahweh is mad at the whole world, everybody, all the countries. He has destined and doomed them for slaughter. There will be so many killed that the stench of their dead bodies will rise up, while the mountains will flow with blood. This is quite a gruesome scene. On top of that, all the hosts of heaven or the false gods will dry up and wither away like a leaf on a vine or a fruit on a tree.

Future praise for Yahweh (Ps 102:18-102:22)

“Let this be recorded for a generation to come.

Thus a people yet unborn may praise Yahweh.

He looked down from his holy height.

From heaven,

Yahweh looked at the earth.

He heard the groans of the prisoners.

He set free those who were doomed to die.

Thus the name of Yahweh may be declared in Zion.

His praise may be declared in Jerusalem.

Peoples will gather together to worship Yahweh.

Kingdoms will worship Yahweh.”

This was to be recorded for posterity so that future generations would praise Yahweh. He looked down from heaven, his holy high place, on earth. He heard the groans of the prisoners and those doomed to die. He wanted the name of Yahweh declared on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. Various people and kingdoms will gather in the future to worship Yahweh.