Yahweh is with you (Zeph 3:16-3:17)

“On that day,

It shall be said

To Jerusalem.

‘Do not fear!

O Zion!

Do not let your hands

Grow weak!

Yahweh!

Your God!

Is in your midst!

He is a warrior

Who gives victory.

He will rejoice

Over you

With gladness.

He will renew you

In his love.

He will exult

Over you

With loud singing

As on a day of festival.”

Zephaniah emphasized that on that great day, Jerusalem would have Yahweh in their midst.  They were not to fear or let their hands grow weak.  Yahweh, their God, would be a warrior for them.  Yahweh was going to rejoice and be glad about them.  He would renew them with his love.  He would exult over them with loud singing, as on the various festival days.

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Chant of thanksgiving (Zeph 3:14-3:15)

“Sing aloud!

O daughter of Zion!

Shout!

O Israel!

Rejoice!

Exult

With all your heart!

O daughter of Jerusalem!

Yahweh

Has taken away

The judgments

Against you.

He has turned away

Your enemies.

The king of Israel,

Yahweh,

Is in your midst.

You shall fear disaster

No more.”

Zephaniah has this chant of thanksgiving.  The daughters of Zion were to sing out loud.  The daughters of Jerusalem were to rejoice and exult with their whole hearts.  Yahweh had taken away his judgments against them, since he had forgiven them.  On top of that, Yahweh had turned away all their enemies.  Yahweh was now the new king of Israel in their midst.  Thus, they had no reason to fear any disasters anymore.

The heavenly song of joy (Isa 49:13-49:13)

“Sing for joy!

O heavens!

Exult!

O earth!

Break forth into singing!

O mountains!

Yahweh has comforted his people.

He will have compassion

On his suffering ones.”

Second Isaiah has a call for the heavens to sing for joy. The earth should exult. The mountains should also break into singing. Yahweh has comforted his people. He has had compassion on those who were suffering.

Treat the meek correctly (Isa 29:19-29:21)

“The meek shall obtain fresh joy

In Yahweh.

The neediest people shall exult

In the Holy One of Israel.

The tyrant shall be no more.

The scoffer will cease to be.

All those alert to do evil

Shall be cut off.

All those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit

Shall be cut off.

All those who set a trap for the arbiter at the gate

Shall be cut off.

All those who without grounds

Deny justice to the one in the right

Shall be cut off.”

The meek and the needy will be rewarded. They will find joy in the Lord and exult in the Holy One of Israel, God. The tyrants and the scoffers will cease to exist.   Those doing evil will be cut off. If you cause a person to lose a lawsuit or set a trap for the judge at the gate, you will be cut off. If you deny justice to a person who was right, you will be cut off. This warning is strong. Do not take advantage of meek and needy people.

Love prologue (Song 1:2-1:4)

Female lover

“Let him kiss me

With the kisses of his mouth!

Your love is better than wine.

Your anointing oils are fragrant.

Your name is perfume poured out.

Therefore the maidens love you.

Draw me after you.

Let us make haste.

The king has brought me

Into his chambers.

We will exult in you.

We will rejoice in you.

We will extol your love

More than wine.

Rightly do they love you.”

The opening prologue to this poetic love song is uttered by the female lover. These few verses are assigned to a female writer. This woman longs for her male lover. She wants him to kiss her on the mouth. His love is greater than wine. His oils are fragrant, sweet smelling. His name is like a poured out perfume. Obviously then, many maidens love him. However, she wants him to hurry up and bring her to his royal chambers because he seems to be the king or at least a prince. Together they would exult and rejoice in him. Once again, his love was greater than wine. It was obvious why the young girls loved him. This romantic love tale has been interpreted as an allegorical love between Yahweh and Israel, or later by the Christians as Christ and his church. However, the basic story is what it is.

Yahweh should destroy the wicked (Ps 94:1-94:3)

“Yahweh!

You God of vengeance!

You God of vengeance!

Shine forth!

Rise up!

O judge of the earth!

Give to the proud what they deserve!

Yahweh!

How long shall the wicked survive?

How long shall the wicked exult?”

Psalm 94 has no title so that it seems like a call to have Yahweh take vengeance on the wicked ones. Yahweh is a God of vengeance. The psalmist wanted God to shine forth and rise up. He wanted Yahweh to judge the earth. He wanted the proud to get what they deserve. He wanted to know how long would the wicked survive and exult themselves.