“If you say in your heart,
‘Why have these things
Come upon me?’
It is for the greatness
Of your iniquity.
Thus your skirts are lifted up.
You are violated.
Can Ethiopians change their skin?
Can leopards change their spots?
Can you do good
Since you are so accustomed to do evil?
I will scatter you
Like chaff driven by the wind
From the desert.’”
Yahweh was concerned that they did not realize what was going to happen to them. Was it their iniquity that led them to this point? Yes, they would be ashamed, because their skirts would be lifted up, as they will be sexually violated. The problem is that they cannot change their ways. Just like the Ethiopians with their dark skin cannot change their skin color, so neither can a leopard change its spots. They had become so accustomed to evil that they could not do any good things anymore. Thus Yahweh will scatter them like useless chaff with a strong desert wind.
“At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah. He said to him. ‘Because you relied on the king of Aram and did not rely on Yahweh your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped you. Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with exceedingly many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on Yahweh, he gave them into your hand. The eyes of Yahweh range throughout the entire earth, to strengthen those whose heart is blameless to him. You have done foolishly in this. From now on you will have wars.’ Then King Asa was angry with the seer. He put him in the stocks, in prison. He was in a rage with him because of this. King Asa inflicted cruelties on some of the people at the same time.”
There is a whole change of tone here. The prophet or seer Hanani came to King Asa that he should not have made an alliance with the King of Aram against his fellow Israelites. He should have consulted with Yahweh, like he did when he prayed for help against the Ethiopians. King Asa did not take this rebuke kindly. He put the prophet in jail. Then he angrily inflicted cruelties on others. There were other people with the name of Hanani, but this prophet only appears here. King Asa should have consulted with Yahweh, not made foreign alliances with the King of Aram. Suddenly the good King Asa takes a bitter turn as this may explain why he was struck ill in the next section.