The king of Babylon will attack Egypt (Ezek 30:10-30:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will put an end

To the hordes

Of Egypt,

By the hand

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon.

He,

With his people

With him,

The most terrible

Of the nations,

Shall be brought in

To destroy the land.

They shall draw

Their swords

Against Egypt.

They shall fill

The land with the slain.

I will dry up

the channels

Of the Nile.

I will sell

The land into the hand

Of evildoers.

I will bring desolation

Upon the land

With everything in it,

By the hand

Of foreigners.’

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to put an end to Egypt, through the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the most terrible of all the nations. This king was coming to destroy the land with drawn swords against the Egyptians so that he would fill the land with dead bodies. Yahweh was going to dry up the river channels of the Nile also. Then Yahweh was somehow going to sell the land to some evildoers, whoever they were. Yahweh, with the hand of foreigners, was going to bring desolation to the land of Egypt with everything in it. Yahweh had clearly spoken.

Comparisons to other evil people (Jer 23:13-23:14)

“In the prophets of Samaria,

I saw a disgusting thing.

They prophesied by Baal.

They led my people Israel astray.

But in the prophets of Jerusalem,

I have seen a more shocking thing.

They commit adultery.

They walk in lies.

They strengthen

The hands of evildoers.

Thus no one turns from wickedness.

All of them have become

Like Sodom to me.

Its inhabitants are

Like Gomorrah.”

Yahweh makes a comparison between the evil prophets of Jerusalem with the false prophets of Samaria as well as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is no doubt that the false prophets of Samaria worshipped and prophesized by Baal. Thus they led the Israelites astray by these disgusting practices. However, the prophets of Jerusalem have done a more shocking thing. They committed adultery and walked in lies. Thus they strengthened the hands of the evil doers. Thus, no one turned away from wickedness. They became like the famous sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, in Genesis, chapter 19.

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.

Evil doers (Prov 21:5-21:8)

“The plans of the diligent

Lead surely to abundance.

But everyone who is hasty

Comes only to want.

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue

Is a fleeting vapor

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue

Is a snare for death.

The violence of the wicked

Will sweep them away.

They refuse to do what is just.

The way of the guilty is crooked.

But the conduct of the pure is right.”

Diligent plans will lead to abundance, but hasty plans will only come up wanting. If you get money by a lying tongue it will be like a fleeting breath that leads to a death trap. The very violence of the wicked will sweep them away, since they refuse to do what is just. The guilty go on a crooked path, but the pure conduct their way correctly.

Yahweh is trustworthy (Ps 115:9-115:11)

“O Israel!

Trust in Yahweh!

He is their help.

He is their shield.

O house of Aaron!

Trust in Yahweh!

He is their help

He is their shield.

You who fear Yahweh!

Trust in Yahweh!

He is their help.

He is their shield.”

This choral hymn asks Israel to trust Yahweh. It also asks the house of Aaron, which are the priests, to trust Yahweh. They always seem to be separate in some sense from the rest of the Israelites. In the end they ask all who fear Yahweh to trust him. He was going to help them. He was going to be their shield against evil doers. Thus this two line refrain is repeated 3 times.

The evil doers are like a pack of dogs (Ps 22:16-22:18)

“Dogs are round about me.

A company of evildoers encircle me.

My hands and feet have shriveled.

I can count all my bones.

They stare and gloat over me.

They divide my clothes among themselves.

For my clothing they cast lots.”

The evil doers are like a pack of dogs looking for prey. The condition of David or the psalmist has deteriorated. His hands and feet have shriveled up. He is so thin that he can count all the bones in his body because they are showing. People were staring and gloating over him. They already were dividing up his clothes with lots as he came close to death. Once again, it is clear why the evangelist used this psalm to talk about the dying Jesus on the cross.

Elihu turns on the three wise men (Job 34:1-34:9)

“Then Elihu continued and said.

‘Hear my words!

You wise men!

Give ear to me!

You who know!

The ear tests words,

As the palate tastes food.

Let us choose what is right.

Let us determine among ourselves what is good.

Job has said.

‘I am innocent.

God has taken away my justification.

In spite of being right,

I am counted a liar.

My wound is incurable.

I am without transgression.’

Who is there like Job?

Who drinks up scoffing like water?

Who goes in company with evildoers?

Who walks with the wicked?

He has said.

‘It profits one nothing to take delight in God.’”

Elihu turned to the 3 friends of Job, the 3 wise comforters. Elihu wanted them to listen to what he had to say. Listening was a skill like tasting food. You had to acquire the skill of listening. He had asked what is right and good, a great philosophical question. Job claimed that he was innocent. God had taken away his rightful justification. Others have called him a liar, which is an incurable wound. He claimed that he had not done anything wrong. He has absorbed the mocking of others like he was drinking water. Who is in the company of the wicked and the evil doers? Job had said that there is no advantage in delighting in God. Somehow Elihu believes that he will settle this issue.