Yahweh will dwell in their midst (Zech 2:10-2:12)

“‘Sing!

Rejoice!

O daughter Zion!

Look!

I come!

I will dwell

In your midst.’

Says Yahweh.

Many nations

Shall join themselves

To Yahweh

In that day.

‘They shall be my people.

I will dwell

In your midst.’

You shall know

That Yahweh of hosts

Has sent me to you.

Yahweh will inherit Judah

As his portion

In the holy land.

He will again choose

Jerusalem.”

Yahweh wanted daughter Zion to sing and rejoice.  He was going to come to dwell in their midst, among them.  Many nations or people from many different countries would join with Yahweh on that day.  Yahweh said that they would be his people.  He was going to live among them.  Yahweh would inherit Judah, since he had sent his prophet to his Holy Land.  This was the first use of this term that was later used in 2 Maccabees, chapter 1.  Yahweh had chosen Jerusalem again.

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Judah will last forever (Joel 3:20-3:21)

“But Judah shall be inhabited

Forever.

Jerusalem shall be inhabited

To all generations.

I will avenge

Their blood.

I will not clear the guilty.

Yahweh dwells in Zion.”

Yahweh, via Joel, proclaimed that Judah and Jerusalem would be inhabited forever, for generations to come. Yahweh was going to avenge the blood of those who had died, since he was not going to clear the guilty ones. Yahweh would dwell in Zion. Thus, ends the prophecy of Joel.

Amend your ways (Jer 7:5-7:7)

“If you truly amend your ways,

If you truly amend your doings,

If you truly execute justice,

One with another,

If you do not oppress the alien,

If you do not oppress the orphan,

If you do not oppress the widow,

If you do not shed innocent blood

In this place,

If you do not go after other gods

To your own hurt,

Then I will dwell

With you

In this place,

In the land that I gave of old

To your ancestors forever.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that he will dwell with them if they amend their ways. This was very conditional. It depended on them being just with one another. They were not to oppress the aliens, the orphans, and the widows. They were not to shed innocent blood. They were not to go after others gods. If they did all this, Yahweh would remain with them forever in this land that he gave to their ancestors.

The role of the Temple (Jer 7:3-7:4)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

Amend your ways!

Amend your doings!

Let me dwell with you

In this place.

Do not trust

In these deceptive words.

‘This is the temple of Yahweh!

The temple of Yahweh!

The temple of Yahweh.’”

The first part of this pericope sounds like the many other times that Yahweh had spoken to his people. He was the God of Israel with his hosts. The Temple visitors were to amend their ways and what they were doing. Yahweh wanted to dwell with them in his Temple. However, the second verse is a little strange. Yahweh told Jeremiah not to trust the deceptive words about the Temple of Yahweh. In fact, the statement is mentioned 3 times, “Temple of Yahweh”. Was this a reminder to enter the Temple 3 times a day? Was this against the false prophets who told them not to worry, since as long as they had the Temple everything would be fine? Is it a rebuke to those who just loved the majesty and beauty of the Temple? This triple cry about the Temple of Yahweh as deceptive words is not really clear.

Seek God (Wis 1:1-1:5)

“Love righteousness!

You rulers of the earth!

Think of the Lord in goodness!

Seek him with sincerity of heart!

Because he is found

By those who do not put him to the test.

He manifests himself

To those who do not distrust him.

Perverse thoughts separate people from God.

When his power is tested,

It exposes the foolish.

Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul.

Wisdom will not dwell in a body enslaved to sin.

A Holy Spirit will flee from deceit.

A disciplined spirit will flee from deceit.

The Spirit will leave foolish thoughts behind.

The Spirit will be ashamed

At the approach of unrighteousness.”

This book is set in poetic verses just like Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and The Song of Solomon. This author wants the rulers of the earth to seek God with a sincere heart. Only those who are not testing him will find him. God will manifest himself to those who do not distrust him. Perverse thoughts will separate them from God. If they test his power, he will expose their foolishness. Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul nor dwell in a body enslaved in sin. The Holy Spirit, who is disciplined, will flee from deceit. He will leave foolish thoughts behind because he is ashamed of the approach of the unrighteousness ones. Here we have a more developed theology of God. He is no longer Yahweh since this is a Greek Septuagint work. He is the Greek Lord (τοῦ Κυρίου). Wisdom (σοφία) is almost equivalent to God (Θεοῦ). Notice also the use of the Holy Spirit (ἅγιον γὰρ πνεῦμα), even if not too specific. The Spirit of God will not stay with the deceitful and unrighteous. The concept of soul (ψυχὴν) also fits in nicely. I will be using the Greek Septuagint to highlight certain words and concepts in this Greek work.

Fools (Prov 17:7-17:10)

“Fine speech is not becoming to a fool.

Still less is false speech becoming to a ruler.

A bribe is like a magic stone

In the eyes of those who gives it.

Wherever they turn,

They prosper.

Whoever forgives an affront

Fosters friendship.

But whoever dwells on disputes

Will alienate a friend.

A rebuke goes deeper into a discerning person

Than a hundred blows into a fool.”

Fools do not have fine speech. Rulers should not lie. A bribe is a like a magic stone for the one who gives bribes. Things seem to happen for them magically, as they prosper. If you forgive someone who has offended you, you are actually fostering friendship. However, if you dwell on disputes, you will alienate a friend. You can criticize a discerning person with some reward, but it would be foolish to try to change a fool with a 100 blows or lashes.

Yahweh protects David (Ps 23:5-23:6)

“You prepare a table before me

In the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil.

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy

Shall follow me

All the days of my life.

I shall dwell in the house of Yahweh

My whole life long.”

Yahweh prepared his food in the presence of his enemies. He had anointed David as king. His cup overflowed with goodness and mercy. All the days of his life were to be filled with goodness and mercy. In fact, David had some rough days. Nevertheless, all the days of his life he would dwell in the house of Yahweh, whether it is his palace or the developing Temple. This short psalm ends with David living his whole life long with Yahweh.