The captured people of Israel and Judah (Jer 50:33-50:33)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘The people of Israel

Are oppressed.

So too are

The people of Judah.

All their captors

Have held them fast.

They refuse

To let them go.’”

Yahweh explains that both the people of Israel and Judah have been oppressed by their captors, who have held them firmly in their grasp. These captors have refused to let the Israelites and Judeans go free.

Firmness (Sir 22:16-22:18)

“A wooden beam

Firmly bonded into a building

Is not loosened by an earthquake.

Thus the mind firmly resolved

After due reflection

Will not be afraid in a crisis.

A mind settled

On an intelligent thought is

Like the stucco decoration

That makes a wall smooth.

Fences set on high places

Will not stand firm

Against the wind.

Thus a timid mind,

With a fool’s resolve,

Will not stand firm

Against any fear.”

If you put a wooden beam firmly into a building, it will withstand an earthquake. So too, a firmly resolved reflective mind will not be afraid in a crisis. A strong intelligent mind is like a stucco decoration on a smooth wall. On the other hand, high fences will not stand against a strong wind. So too, the fool’s timid mind will not stand firm against fear. Thus once again, we have a comparison between the strong mind of the wise and the timid mind of the foolish.