Yahweh is with you (Zeph 3:16-3:17)

“On that day,

It shall be said

To Jerusalem.

‘Do not fear!

O Zion!

Do not let your hands

Grow weak!

Yahweh!

Your God!

Is in your midst!

He is a warrior

Who gives victory.

He will rejoice

Over you

With gladness.

He will renew you

In his love.

He will exult

Over you

With loud singing

As on a day of festival.”

Zephaniah emphasized that on that great day, Jerusalem would have Yahweh in their midst.  They were not to fear or let their hands grow weak.  Yahweh, their God, would be a warrior for them.  Yahweh was going to rejoice and be glad about them.  He would renew them with his love.  He would exult over them with loud singing, as on the various festival days.

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Yahweh responds to Jonah (Jon 4:9-4:11)

“But God

Said to Jonah.

‘Is it right

For you

To be angry

About the bush?’

Jonah said.

‘Yes,

Angry enough to die.’

Yahweh said.

‘You are concerned

About the bush

For which you did not labor.

You did not grow it.

It came into being

In a night.

It perished

In a night.

Should I not be concerned

About Nineveh,

That great city,

In which there are more

Than a hundred

And twenty thousand persons,

Who do not know

Their right hand

From their left hand.

There are also many animals.”

Thus, the story of Jonah ends with a reprimand for Jonah.  Jonah continued to argue that he had the right to be mad.  At times, he sounded like Job and his complaints.  God, not Yahweh, asked him if he had a right to be angry.  Jonah insisted that he was so angry that he was willing to die.  Then Yahweh asked him about the bush.  It appeared one day and was gone the next day.  Jonah did nothing to make it grow, so why was he so angry about the dead bush.  On the other hand, Yahweh was concerned about the great city of Nineveh with 120,000 people and lots of animals.  Yet, there was a parting shot at the people of Nineveh.  Apparently, they were so dumb that they could not tell their right hand from their left hand.

The destruction of Samaria (Hos 10:7-10:8)

“Samaria’s king

Shall perish,

Like a twig

On the face

Of the waters.

The high places of Aven,

The sin of Israel,

Shall be destroyed.

Thorn

With thistle

Shall grow up

On their altars.

They shall say

To the mountains.

‘Cover us!’

They shall say

To the hills.

‘Fall upon us!’”

The king of Samaria, the northern king of Israel, would perish like a twig floating on water. The idol high places at Beth-aven, near Bethel, would be destroyed. These idol worship places were the real sin of Israel. Thorns and thistles would grow on these false idol altars. The people and these altars would cry to have the mountains and the hills fall on them and cover them up. There would be great destruction in northern Israel, especially around the various idol worship altars and shrines.

Return to Yahweh (Hos 6:1-6:3)

“Come!

Let us return to Yahweh!

He has torn us.

He will heal us.

He has struck us down.

He will bind us up.

After two days,

He will revive us.

On the third day,

He will raise us up,

That we may live

Before him.

Let us know!

Let us press on

To know Yahweh!

His appearing is

As sure

As the dawn.

He will come to us

Like the showers,

Like the spring rains

That water the earth.”

Hosea asked his listeners to return to Yahweh. Although, Yahweh had torn them down, now he would heal them. He had struck them down. Now he would bind them up. After 2 days, he would revive them. On the 3rd day, he would raise them up, a theme of the early Christian writers. Thus, they might live in the sight of Yahweh. They would want to know Yahweh, since his appearance was as sure as the daily dawn of the sun. He would come to them, like a soft shower or spring rain that waters the earth and makes it grow. So, the same thing would happen to these Israelites.

Let the earth bless God (Dan 3:52-3:54)

“Let the earth

Bless the Lord!

Let it sing praise

To him!

Let it highly exalt him forever!      

Bless the Lord!

Mountains!

Hills!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

All things that grow

On the earth!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!”

Now this hymn turns to the earthly situation. The earth, the mountains, the hills, and all things that grow on earth should bless the Lord. They should sing praises and exalt him, because they are under his control.

 

The good river (Ezek 47:10-47:12)

“People will stand fishing

Beside the sea,

From En-gedi

To En-eglaim.

It will be a place

For the spreading

Of nets.

Its fish will be

Of a great many kinds,

Like the fish

Of the Great Sea.

But its swamps,

With its marshes,

Will not become fresh.

They are to be left

For salt.

On the banks,

On both sides

Of the river,

There will grow

All kinds of trees

For food.

Their leaves

Will not wither.

Their fruit

Will not fail.

But they will bear

Fresh fruit

Every month,

Because the water

For them

Flows from the sanctuary.

Their fruit will be

For food.

Their leaves will be

For healing.”

This mysterious water from the Temple would mean that people could fish out on the northwestern side of the Dead Sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim. All one had to do was spread fishing nets, then all kinds of wonderful fish would be caught, just like in the great Mediterranean Sea. However, the swamps and marshes would not become fresh, but they would remain salty. On both sides of this river, all kinds of trees would grow with monthly fresh fruit and perennial leaves for healing. This river coming from the sanctuary of the Temple had all these wonderful powers because of the power of Yahweh, much like other Canaanite and Mesopotamian mythical rivers.

 

Abundance with no more famines (Ezek 36:29-36:30)

“I will save you

From all

Your unclean situations.

I will summon

The grain.

I will make it

Abundant.

I will lay

No famine

Upon you.

I will make

The fruit

Of the tree

Abundant.

I will make

The produce

Of the field

Abundant.

Thus,

You may never again

Suffer the disgrace

Of famine

Among the nations.”

To make life easier in the new old land, Yahweh, via Ezekiel said that he would save the Israelites from any unclean situations. He would make the grain grow abundantly, so that there would be no more famines. He was also going to make the fruits of the tree and produce of the field more abundant. Thus, they would never again suffer the disgrace of famine like other nations and countries.