Disaster for their ancestors (Zech 8:14-8:14)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Just as I purposed

To bring disaster upon you,

When your ancestors

Provoked me to wrath,

I did not relent.’”

Yahweh wanted to send disaster upon the present-day inhabitants of Jerusalem, because their ancestors had provoked him to anger.  Then he did not stop, because of their evil deeds.

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The personal plot against Jeremiah (Jer 11:18-11:19)

“Yahweh made it known to me.

I knew it.

Then you showed me

Their evil deeds.

But I was

Like a gentle lamb

Led to the slaughter.

I did not know

It was against me.

They devised schemes.

Saying.

‘Let us destroy the tree

With its fruit!

Let us cut him off

From the land of the living!

Thus his name will no longer

Be remembered!’”

Jeremiah recounts how Yahweh let him know about the plot to end his life. Jeremiah knew about their evil deeds, but he was like a gentle lamb led to slaughter. He did not realize that they were plotting a scheme against him. These evil doers wanted to destroy this tree with its fruit, Jeremiah. They wanted to cut him off from the land of the living, kill him. Thus his name would not be remembered anymore.

The contamination of the hypocrites (Isa 59:5-59:8)

“The hypocrites hatch adders’ eggs.

They weave spider webs.

Whoever eats their eggs dies.

The crushed egg hatches out a viper.

Their webs cannot serve as clothing.

They cannot cover themselves

With what they make.

Their works are works of iniquity.

The deeds of violence

Are in their hands.

Their feet run to evil.

They rush to shed innocent blood.

Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity.

Desolation is in their highways.

Destruction is in their highways.

They do not know the way of peace.

There is no justice in their paths.

They have made their roads crooked.

No one who walks in them

Knows peace.”

Third Isaiah talks about the contamination among hypocrites in the Israelite community. Using the metaphor of eggs, they hatch adder eggs and have useless spider webs that can make no clothing. Some of these eggs produce vipers when broken. All their works are violent and full of iniquity. They run to evil, so that they can have innocent blood on their hands. They are always thinking about evil deeds and iniquity. Their roads are full of desolation and destruction, since they know nothing about peace and justice. They walk on crooked paths where no one else walks.

The wicked (Eccl 8:10-8:14)

“Then I saw the wicked buried.

They used to go in to the holy place.

They used to go out of the holy place.

They were praised in the city

Where they had done such things.

This also is vanity.

Because sentence against an evil deed

Is not executed speedily.

The human heart is fully set to do evil.

Though sinners do evil a hundred times,

They still prolong their lives.

Yet I know

That it will be well with those who fear God,

Because they stand in fear before him.

But it will not be well with the wicked.

Neither will they prolong their days like a shadow,

Because they do not stand in fear before God.

There is a vanity which takes place on earth.

There are righteous people

Who are treated according to the conduct of the wicked.

There are wicked men

Who are treated according to the conduct of the righteous.

I said that this also is vanity.”

The wicked people die. However, they too went in and out of the holy place, the Temple. Everyone praised them for this, but it still was useless, vanity. The problem is that the sentence against an evil person is not carried out quickly. Humans see this, so that they continue to do evil deeds a hundred times more. This is the problem of the criminal justice system that takes too long to punish people. Thus the wicked continue to live a long life. However, Qoheleth knows that those who fear God will be okay. Those who do not fear God will only have a shadowy life, not the full life of those who fear God. However, there are vain or useless things here on earth. Sometimes the righteous are treated as if they are wicked. Vice versa, some wicked are treated as if they were righteous. This whole life is vanity or futile.

Truth (Prov 12:17-12:22)

“Whoever speaks the truth

Gives honest evidence.

But a false witness

Speaks deceitfully.

Rash words are like sword thrusts.

But the tongue of the wise

Brings healing.

Truthful lips endure forever.

But a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil.

But those who counsel peace have joy.

No harm happens to the righteous.

But the wicked are filled with trouble.

Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh.

But those who act faithfully are his delight.”

Truth is important. Telling the truth is giving honest evidence. The false witness was full of deceitful speech. Their rash words were like sword swipes. The tongue of the wise truthful one brings healing and endures forever. The lying tongue only lasts a moment. The deceitful people plan their evil deeds. If you counsel peace, you will bring joy. The righteous are not harmed, but the wicked are full of trouble. Yahweh hates lying lips, but loves faithful true lips.

The works of the wicked (Ps 94:4-94:7)

“They pour out their arrogant words.

All the evildoers boast.                                              

They crush your people!

Yahweh!

They afflict your heritage.

They kill the widow.

They kill the stranger.

They murder the orphan.

They say.

‘Yahweh does not see.

The God of Jacob does not perceive.’”

Now the psalmist gives a description of what the wicked do. They pour out their arrogant words. They boast about their evil deeds. They crush the people of Yahweh’s heritage. They kill the widow, the stranger, and the orphans. Basically, they kill the weak people in society. They say that Yahweh does not see them. They proclaim that the God of Jacob does not perceive what is going on.

Praise God in Zion (Ps 65:1-65:4)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David, a song

“Praise is due to you!

O God in Zion!

To you

Shall vows be performed!

O you who answer prayers!

To you

All flesh shall come!

When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,

You forgive our transgressions!

Happy are those

Whom you choose!

Happy are those

Whom you bring near!

Happy are those

Who live in your courts!

We shall be satisfied

With the goodness of your house,

Your holy temple!”

Psalm 65 is a choral psalm of David that is a song of thanksgiving and praise for the abundant harvest. This psalm refers to the holy Temple at Zion, but that was not completed until after the death of King David. Praise and vows should be given to the God at Zion because he answers prayers. All people should come when evil deeds overwhelm them. God will forgive sins. Even happier are those who are chosen to live in the courts of the Temple, which would be the Levites. They will be satisfied with the goodness of the Holy Temple, the house of God.