Your sister’s cup (Ezek 23:31-23:34)

“‘You have gone

The way

Of your sister.

Therefore,

I will give her cup

Into your hand.’

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You shall drink

Your sister’s cup!

It is deep!

It is wide!

You shall be scorned!

You shall be derided!

It holds so much!

You will be filled

With drunkenness!

You will be filled

With sorrow!

It is a cup of horror!

It is a cup of desolation!

It is the cup

Of your sister

Samaria!

You shall drink it!

You shall drain it out!

You shall gnaw its sherds!

You shall

Tear out your breasts!

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God.”

This seems to be a poem or oracle about a cup of wrath. Jerusalem has gone the way of her sister Samaria. Thus she will be given her sister’s cup, the Samarian cup. Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that Jerusalem would drink her sister’s deep and wide cup. Thus she was going to be scorned and derided. Jerusalem would drink from this large cup. She would be filled with drunkenness and sorrow because this was a cup of horror and desolation. Jerusalem was to drain this big cup by drinking from it. She would then gnaw and eat the glass pottery sherd pieces of this cup. Finally, she would tear out her breasts. This is what Yahweh, God, had spoken. This did not sound like a good experience.

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The present distress of Job (Job 30:1-30:8)

“But now they make sport of me.

Those who are younger than I,

Whose fathers I would have disdained

To have them set with the dogs of my flock.

What could I gain from the strength of their hands?

All their vigor is gone.

Through want and hard hunger

They gnaw the dry and desolate ground.

They pick mallow and the leaves of bushes,

They pick the roots of the broom to warm themselves.

They are driven out from society.

People shout after them as after a thief.

They must live in the gullies of the Wadi torrents.

They must live in the holes of the earth.

They must live in the holds of the rocks.

Among the bushes they bray.

Under the nettles they huddle together.

A senseless, a disreputable brood,

They have been whipped out of the land.”

The difference between then and now is evident. Job instead of being a distinguished member of the community he was now derided. Now even the outcasts of society ridiculed him. Young people, whose fathers Job would have had them sit with his dogs watching his flock, are now making fun of him. Job was no longer strong. He then colorfully described the indigent homeless society of people who were making fun of him. These were the people who gnaw at the dry ground and eat in the salt marshes near the Dead Sea. They warm themselves with the roots of brooms, a shrub that grows in regions of that area. People shout after them as if they were thieves. They live along the river banks, the holes in the ground and in the caves. They huddle together like a senseless disreputable brood of people that have been sent away from the land.