The lost crop (Hos 8:7-8:7)

“They sow the wind.

But they shall reap

The whirlwind.

The standing grain

Has no heads.

It shall yield

No meal.

If it were to yield

Anything,

Foreigners

Would devour it.”

The northern Israelites were in a unique position. They would sow with the wind, but it suddenly would become a whirlwind. The planted grain would never mature in the field, since there would be no heads of grain. Therefore, there would be no harvesting of the grain for meals. Even if it yielded any grain, foreigners, and not them, would devour it, because of the invasion of the Assyrians.

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Harvesting (Isa 28:7-28:29)

“Dill herbs are not threshed

With a threshing sledge.

Nor is a cart wheel rolled over carrot seeds.

But the dill herbs are beaten out with a stick.

The carrot seeds are beaten with a rod.

Grain is crushed for bread.

But one does not thresh it forever.

One drives the cart wheel with horses over it.

But he does not pulverize it.

This also comes from Yahweh of hosts.

He is wonderful in counsel.

He is excellent in wisdom.”

Each crop has a different form of harvesting. The dill herbs and carrot seeds are too fragile to be smashed with a threshing sledge hammer. You do not roll the cart wheels over the herbs and seeds like you do to the wheat and the barley. You beat the herbs and seeds with a stick or a rod that is gentler than the wheel cart. However, the threshing of the wheat and barley requires a heavy horse drawn cart wheel in order to provide grain for bread. However, you do not want to pulverize these grains into nothing. How do these farmers know how to do this? Why, the Lord of hosts, Yahweh has told them how to do it. Yahweh is wonderful in his counsel and excellent in his wisdom, as in the later wisdom tradition.

The right time (Eccl 3:1-3:8)

“For everything there is a season.

There is a time

For every matter under heaven.

A time to be born.

A time to die.

A time to plant.

A time to pluck up what is planted.

A time to kill.

A time to heal.

A time to break down.

A time to build up.

A time to weep.

A time to laugh.

A time to mourn.

A time to dance.

A time to throw away stones.

A time to gather stones together.

A time to embrace.

A time to refrain from embracing.

A time to seek.

A time to lose.

A time to keep.

A time to throw away.

A time to tear.

A time to sew.

A time to keep silence.

A time to speak.

A time to love.

A time to hate.

A time for war.

A time for peace.”

This is the famous poem about a correct time for everything. Sometimes it is read at funerals. There also was the 1950s and 1960s Pete Seeger popular song Turn, Turn, Turn that took its lyrics from this poem. God decides the time. We do not. There is a time and place for all the dichotomies of life, birth and death, planting and harvesting, killing and healing, breaking down and building up, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing, throwing away and gathering stones, embracing and not embracing, seeking and losing, keeping and throwing away, tearing and sowing, keeping silent and speaking, loving and hating, making war and making peace. Everything under heaven has its place and season.

Oxen (Prov 14:4-14:4)

“Where there are no oxen,

There is no grain.

Abundant crops come

By the strength of the ox.”

In a clear farming allusion, if you have no oxen, you will have a hard time planting and harvesting grain. The stronger your ox, the more abundant your grain will be. In today’s terms, without a strong tractor you will not have a good harvest.