Oracle about the fire against the south (Ezek 20:45-20:48)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward the south!

Preach

Against the south!

Prophesy

Against the forest land

In the Negeb!

Say to the forest

Of the Negeb!

Hear the word of Yahweh!

Thus says Yahweh God!

I will kindle

A fire in you.

It shall devour

Every green tree

In you.

It shall devour

Every dry tree.

The blazing flame

Shall not be quenched.

All faces,

From south to north,

Shall be scorched by it.

All flesh

Shall see

That I,

Yahweh,

Have kindled it.

It shall not be quenched.’”

As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to set his face to the south. He was to preach and prophesy against the south, the forest land in the Negeb, the dry like wilderness south of Judah, perhaps the kingdom of Edom. He was to tell them to listen to the word of Yahweh. Yahweh was going to kindle a fire that would devour every green tree and every dry tree. This blazing flame would not be quenched. Everyone’s face would be scorched by it. Everyone would know that Yahweh set this unquenchable fire. This section is the first part of the next chapter in the Jerusalem Bible.

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The engraved worship sins of Judah (Jer 17:1-17:3)

“The sin of Judah

Is written

With a pen of iron.

With a diamond point,

It is engraved

On the tablet

Of their hearts.

It is engraved

On the horns

Of their altars.

Their children remember

Their altars.

They remember

Their sacred poles,

Beside every green tree,

On the high hills,

On the mountains

In the open country.”

Yahweh told Jeremiah that the sins of Judah were written all over the place.   An iron pen stylus with a diamond point made this indelible mark. Where would you find the sins of Judah? They were engraved in their hearts, but also on the altar corners or horns where sins were written. What was the main sin? Their children were going to altars and sacred totem poles by almost every green tree on the high hills, on the mountains, and in the open country. Everyone could openly see what they were doing.