Serving strangers in a foreign land (Jer 5:18-5:19)

“But even in those days

Says Yahweh.

‘I will not make a full end of you.

When your people say,

‘Why has Yahweh our God

Done all these things to us?’

You shall say to them.

‘As you have forsaken me,

As you served foreign gods

In your land,

So you shall serve strangers

In a land that is not yours.’”

Yahweh explained to Jeremiah what he was to say to those people who complained about the actions of Yahweh. First, Yahweh was not going to completely eliminate them. However, they were being punished for serving gods in the land that their God, Yahweh, gave them. They had turned away from Yahweh. Thus they now would have to serve strangers in a land that is not their own.

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The mountain festival (Isa 25:6-25:8)

“On this mountain,

Yahweh of hosts

Will make for all people

A feast of rich food.

There will be

A feast of well-aged wines,

There will be

A feast of rich food

Filled with marrow,

There will be

A feast of well aged wines

Strained clear.

He will destroy

On this mountain

The covering

That is cast over all people,

The sheet

That is spread over all nations.

He will swallow up death forever.

Then Yahweh God

Will wipe away tears

From all faces.

The disgrace of his people,

He will take away from all the earth.

Yahweh has spoken.”                                                                                  

Yahweh, via Isaiah, seems to indicate that there will be a great mountain festival for everybody. There will be a feast of rich marrow filled food and well-aged strained wines. At this mountain festival, Yahweh will destroy the shroud or sheet that was cast over all the nations and people, like some kind of veil. This passage seems to indicate that Yahweh was going to eliminate death once and for all as he would swallow it up, much like a Canaanite phraseology. He will then wipe away the tears and the disgrace of his people. Clearly Yahweh has spoken.

The prayer of Mordecai to God to save Israel (Greek text only)

“Now, O Lord God and King,

God of Abraham,

Spare your people!

The eyes of our foes are upon us

To annihilate us.

They desire to destroy the inheritance

That has been yours from the beginning.

Do not neglect your portion.

You redeemed us for yourself

Out of the land of Egypt.

Hear my prayer!

Have mercy upon your inheritance!

Turn our mourning into feasting,

That we may live and sing praise to your name,

O Lord.

Do not destroy the lips of those who praise you.

All Israel cried out mightily!

Their death was before their eyes.”

Once again the Greek text prayer of Mordecai asked for God’s intervention to save Israel. Here he called God lord and king, the God of Abraham. He pleaded for God to save his people. He used some of the arguments of Moses in Exodus that their foes were trying to eliminate his people. Mordecai said that God had saved them from Egypt. He wanted God to hear his prayer so as to have mercy on his own inheritance. He wanted to turn mourning into feasting so that all Israel could live and sing his praises. He did not want God to destroy the very lips that praised him. All of Israel was crying because death was before their eyes.

The prayer of Mordecai on why he did not bow to Haman (Greek text only)

“You know all things.

You know, O Lord,

That it was not in insolence

Or pride or for any love of glory

That I did this.

I refused to bow down to this proud Haman.

I would have been willing to kiss the soles of his feet,

To save Israel!

But I did this,

That I might not set human glory

Above the glory of God.

I will not bow down to anyone but you.

You are my Lord.

I will not do these things in pride.”

The Greek text prayer of Mordecai continued. The Lord knows all things. He knew that Mordecai did not act out of pride or glory. Mordecai refused to bow to the proud Haman. However, he said that he was willing to kiss the soles of his feet to save Israel. It must be remembered that this whole affair is an off shoot of Mordecai making Haman angry by not offering obeisance. He was not seeking human glory. Mordecai remained adamant that he would not bow down to anyone but the Lord.   Yet without that incident, would Haman have tried to eliminate all the Jews? We will never know.