Get out of town (Jer 51:45-51:46)

“Come out of here!

My people!

Each of you!

Save your lives

From the fierce anger

Of Yahweh!

Do not be fainthearted!

Do not be fearful

At the rumors

Heard in the land!

One year

One rumor comes!

The next year

Another rumor is

Of violence in the land!

There will be

Ruler against ruler.”

Yahweh warned them that they should get out of Babylon. They should save their lives from the fierce anger of Yahweh. However, they should not be fainthearted or fearful about the various rumors in the land. Each year there was a new rumor. There were always rumors of violence, as rulers fought against each other.

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The lament about the desolation (Jer 12:10-12:13)

“Many shepherds have destroyed

My vineyard.

They have trampled down my portion.

They have made my pleasant portion

A desolate wilderness.

They have made it a desolation.

Desolate!

It mourns to me.

The whole land is made desolate.

But no one lays it to heart.

Upon all the bare heights

In the desert,

Spoilers have come.

The sword of Yahweh devours

From one end of the land

To the other.

No one shall be safe.

They have sown wheat.

They have reaped thorns.

They have tired themselves out

But they profit nothing.

They shall be ashamed of their harvests

Because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.”

Jeremiah continues with Yahweh’s lament about the desolation of his land. The shepherd leaders destroyed his vineyards. They have trampled his land from one end to the other end until it is a desolate wilderness, but no one seems to care. The spoilers have come from all over to devour the land. No one was safe from Yahweh’s sword. After they had sown wheat, they only harvested thorns. They worked hard, but without any gain. They were going to be ashamed of their harvests, because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.

The desolate land of Jeremiah’s vision (Jer 4:23-4:26)

“I looked on the earth.

O!

It was waste and void.

I looked to the heavens.

They had no light.

I looked on the mountains.

O!

They were quaking.

All the hills moved to and fro.

I looked!

O!

There was no one at all.

All the birds of the air had fled.

I looked!

O!

The fruitful land was a desert.

All its cities were laid in ruins.

Before Yahweh!

Before his fierce anger!”

This lamenting vision or view of Jeremiah points out a ruined land that was wasted and empty. He looked to the heavens and there was no light. He saw that the mountains and hills were shaking back and forth. There was no one on earth. Even the birds were fleeing. The beautiful fruitful land was now a desert with the cities in ruin. All this happened because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.

The destruction from the north (Jer 4:6-4:8)

“I am bringing evil

From the north.

I am bringing great destruction.

A lion has gone up from its thicket.

A destroyer of nations has set out.

He has gone forth from his place

To make your land a waste.

Your cities will be in ruins

Without inhabitants.

Because of this

Put on sackcloth!

Lament!

Wail!’

The fierce anger of Yahweh

Has not turned away from us.”

Now Jeremiah says that Yahweh was going to bring this evil and great destruction from the north, without indicating whether it was the Assyrians or the Babylonians. However, this lion and destroyer of nations has set out from his den in order to create a wasteland. He would reduce their cities to ruins by decimating its inhabitants. They were to put on sackcloth, wail, and lament because the fierce anger of Yahweh was against them. They are in the line of fire of this destroyer.

Queen Esther encounters the king (Greek text only)

“The king was seated on his royal throne. He was clothed in the full array of his majesty. He was all covered with gold and precious stones. He was most terrifying. Lifting his face, flushed with splendor, he looked at her in fierce anger. The queen faltered. She turned pale and faint. She collapsed on the head of the maid who went in front of her. Then God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness. In alarm he sprang from his throne. He took her in his arms until she came to herself. He comforted her with soothing words. He said to her.

‘What is it, Esther?

I am your husband.

Take courage!

You shall not die.

Our law applies only to our subjects.

Come near.’”

This Greek text shows the king seated on his royal throne with all his majesty and splendor, covered with gold and precious stones. He had a fierce terrifying look on his face. Queen Esther faltered, turned pale, and fainted. She fell on the maid in front of her. With that, God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness. He took her in his arms and told to take courage. She was not going to die since the law about interrupting the king unannounced applied only to the subjects of the king and not to her as his wife.