A fire would destroy Nineveh, while the sword would chase people away. The city would be decimated, as if a swarm of locusts had come through there. They would have to multiply themselves like grasshoppers or locusts, as their merchants had done in the past. These commercial envoys of Nineveh were as numerous as the stars. Just as the locust sheds its skin, so that it can fly away, the guards at Nineveh would be like grasshoppers, hip hopping away. Their scribes were like swarms of locusts sitting on a fence on a cold day. However, when the sun came up the next day, these scribes would fly off, where no one would know where they went. As this was going to happen to Nineveh, no one would know where in the world they went.
Ephraim was singled out, since it was where the capital of northern Israel was. Their glory would simply fly away like a bird. There would be no more births, pregnancies, or even conceptions in Ephraim. If they would bring up children, they would mourn for them, until no one was left. Yahweh was going to leave Ephraim. They would be cursed and on their own. Thus, this young palm tree in a lovely meadow would cease to grow. Ephraim would lead out its children for slaughter. What should you give the people of Ephraim? Yahweh, in very descriptive language, was going to give them miscarrying wombs and dry breasts. No more children for Ephraim.
Most of our days are spent under the wrath of God. However, our days come to an end like a sigh, a mere breath. The normal life was considered 70 years old, but if you were strong, 80 years might be possible. Even during these 70-80 years your life was nothing but toil and trouble. They pass away quickly as we soon fly away.
David was in anguish. He feared death. Fear and trembling came over him as horror overwhelmed him. This concept of fear and trembling became a major concept and the name of a writing of the 19th century theologian or philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. David finally said that he wished that he was a dove that could fly away. He wanted to rest somewhere far away where no one knew him. He would love to live in the wilderness. This idea of flight from a problem is still common today. We like to get away from our problems. This section ended with the musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.