The wicked deeds of Ephraim and Samaria (Hos 7:1-7:2)

“When I would heal Israel,

The corruption of Ephraim

Is revealed.

The wicked deeds

Of Samaria

Is revealed.

They deal falsely.

The thief breaks in.

The bandits raid without.

But they do not consider

That I remember

All their wickedness.

Now their deeds

Surround them.

They are before my face.”

Even after Israel would be healed, the corruption of Ephraim and the wickedness of Samaria would be revealed. Samaria had been the capital of the northern Israelite kingdom across the border from Ephraim in the Manasseh tribal territory. They dealt with each other falsely. The thieves would break into houses. The robbers would raid those who were passing by. They did not think that Yahweh would remember all their wicked deeds. Now their bad deeds surrounded them. Yahweh always remembered.

The end of the false prophetesses (Ezek 13:22-13:23)

“Because you have disheartened

The righteous falsely,

Although I have not

Disheartened them.

You have encouraged

The wicked

Not to turn from

Their wicked ways.

You have encouraged

The wicked

Not to save their lives.

Therefore you shall no longer

See false visions.

You shall no longer

Practice divination.

I will save my people

From your hand.

Then you will know

That I am Yahweh.”

Ezekiel concludes this little section on the false prophetesses with Yahweh condemning them. Strangely enough, it is not a death sentence. He merely chastised them for disheartening the righteous ones falsely. These prophetesses had not encouraged the wicked to turn away from their wicked ways. They made no attempt to save the lives of the wicked ones. Their punishment was rather simple. They would no longer have any visions or be allowed to practice divination. By the way, who would stop them? Yahweh would save his people from them. Once again, they would know that he was Yahweh, the God of Israel.

Looking for the just man (Jer 5:1-5:2)

“Run to and fro!

Go through

The streets of Jerusalem!

Look around!

Take note!

Search its squares!

See!

Can you find one person

Who acts justly?

Can you find one person

Who seeks the truth?

Thus I may then pardon Jerusalem.

Although they say,

‘As Yahweh lives!’

Yet they swear falsely.”

Yahweh tells Jeremiah to run around the streets of Jerusalem to find a just man. He was to take notes and search the various squares. He was looking for one just man, which is similar to the search of Abraham in Genesis, chapter 18. Here Yahweh says that he will pardon Jerusalem, if they could find merely one just person who was seeking the truth. Most of them, however, were swearing to God falsely.

The redeeming savior (Isa 63:8-63:10)

“Yahweh said.

‘Surely they are my people.

Children will not deal falsely.’

He became their Savior

In all their distress.

It was no messenger.

It was no angel.

But it was his presence that saved them.

In his love,

In his pity,

He redeemed them.

He lifted them up.

He carried them

All the days of old.

But they rebelled.

They grieved his Holy Spirit.

Therefore he became their enemy.

He himself fought against them.”

Yahweh responded that surely his people and children would not respond falsely. He was their savior in times of distress. He did not merely send a messenger or an angel. It was his very presence that saved them. He showed them love and pity as he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them away as in the good old days. However, they rebelled against him as they saddened the Holy Spirit. They became his enemy so that Yahweh had to fight against them.

Elihu continues to speaks for God (Job 36:1-36:4)

“Elihu continued, and said.

‘Bear with me a little!

I will show you.

I have yet something to say on God’s behalf.

I will bring my knowledge from far away.

I ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

Truly my words are not false.

One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.’”

Elihu has no qualms about himself. He becomes both like a prophet speaking for God and a wise man with perfect wisdom. He kept asking Job to let him explain himself. He was not speaking falsely since he was speaking for God with perfect knowledge. Elihu now sounds like the self-righteous person that he was condemning Job for being.

Job calls out his friends for lying (Job 21:27-21:34)

“O, I know your thoughts.

I know your schemes to wrong me.

For you say.

‘Where is the house of the prince?

Where is the tent in which the wicked live?’

Have you not asked those who travel the roads?

Do you not accept their testimony?

The wicked are spared in the day of calamity.

The wicked are rescued in the day of wrath.

Who declares their way to their face?

Who repays them for what they have done?

When are they carried to the grave?

A watch is kept over their tomb.

The clods of the valley are sweet to them.

Everyone will follow after.

Those who went before are innumerable.

How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?

There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

Job continued to respond to his detractors. In the end he called them liars. They were trying to wrong him. Where was the house of the wicked? Where were their tents? Ask anyone you meet on the roads. The wicked will be rescued and spared from disaster on the day of wrath. Who got in their face? Who repaid them for what they did? The wicked dead ones have a grave, a tomb, and someone to watch over them. There were many examples of this. He did not want them to try to comfort him with empty sayings. They were answering falsely.

Job attacks his friends (Job 13:1-13:12)

“Look!

M eye has seen all this.

My ear has heard and understood it.

What you know,

I also know.

I am not inferior to you.

But I would speak to the Almighty Shaddai.

I desire to argue my case with God.

As for you,

You whitewash with lies.

All of you are worthless physicians.

If you would only keep silent,

That would be your wisdom!

Hear now my reasoning!

Listen to the pleadings of my lips!

Will you speak falsely for God?

Will you speak deceitfully for him?

Will you show partiality toward him?

Will you plead the case for God?

Will it be well with you when he searches you out?

Can you deceive God?

As one person deceives another?

God will surely rebuke you,

If in secret you show partiality.

Will not his majesty terrify you?

Will the dread of him fall upon you?

Your maxims are proverbs of ashes.

Your defenses are defenses of clay.”

Once again, Job made a strong defense of himself. He had eyes and ears. He was not inferior to his friends as they had made him out to be. He wanted to argue his case before the almighty Shaddai, but all he had were his friends. He turned on them saying that they were liars and worthless physicians. They would have shown their wisdom by keeping silent. He wanted them to listen to him. Why did they speak falsely and deceitfully for God? Did they think that they could deceive God like any other person? Are they not afraid of this majesty? Their thoughts are like proverbs of ashes and clay. Job had finally turned on them in earnest.