Yahweh gives up (Jer 12:7-12:9)

“I have forsaken my house.

I have abandoned my heritage.

I have given the beloved of my heart

Into the hands of her enemies.

My heritage has become to me

Like a lion in the forest.

She has lifted up her voice

Against me.

Therefore I hate her.

Is the hyena greedy

For my heritage?

Are the birds of prey

All around her?

Go!

Assemble all the wild animals!

Bring them to devour her!”

Yahweh has given up on his house and abandoned his heritage. He has handed over his most beloved people into the hands of their enemies. His heritage had become like a lion in the forest that had lifted up its voice against him. Now Yahweh hates her. The greedy hyena is waiting for Yahweh’s heritage. The birds of prey are all around her. Yahweh wanted all the wild animals to gather and devour his people. This is an allusion to the neighboring countries and of course the Babylonians, who will come and devour Judah. It seems like Yahweh has given up on his people.

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The hypocrite (Sir 27:22-27:24)

“Whoever winks his eye

Plots mischief.

Those how know him

Will keep their distance.

In your presence,

His mouth is all sweetness.

He admires your words.

But later

He will twist his speech.

With your own words,

He will trip you up.

I have hated many things.

But I have hated him

Above all.

Even the Lord hates him.”

Sirach warns us about hypocrites. You can tell a hypocrite because he is always winking his eye, as he is plotting some mischief. Once you know who they are, keep your distance. When they are with you, they have pleasant sweet words for you. They admire your speech. However, they will later twist your words and trip you up. Sirach hates many things, but he really hates these hypocrites even more than the ungodly. He then tries to speak for God, saying that even the Lord hates hyprocrites.

The Lord does make sinners (Sir 15:11-15:13)

“Do not say.

‘It was the Lord’s doing

That I fell away.’

He does not do

What he hates.

Do not say.

‘It was he who led me astray.’

He has no need of the sinful people.

The Lord hates all abominations.

Such things are not loved

By those who fear him.”

Sirach reminds us that God does make us sin. We should not say that it was the Lord’s fault that made us fall away. The Lord does not do what he hates. We should not say that it was the Lord who led us astray. The Lord does not need sinners. In fact, he hates all these abominations of sinfulness. Those who fear the Lord would not say such things, because they do not like sin and sinners.

Truth (Prov 12:17-12:22)

“Whoever speaks the truth

Gives honest evidence.

But a false witness

Speaks deceitfully.

Rash words are like sword thrusts.

But the tongue of the wise

Brings healing.

Truthful lips endure forever.

But a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil.

But those who counsel peace have joy.

No harm happens to the righteous.

But the wicked are filled with trouble.

Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh.

But those who act faithfully are his delight.”

Truth is important. Telling the truth is giving honest evidence. The false witness was full of deceitful speech. Their rash words were like sword swipes. The tongue of the wise truthful one brings healing and endures forever. The lying tongue only lasts a moment. The deceitful people plan their evil deeds. If you counsel peace, you will bring joy. The righteous are not harmed, but the wicked are full of trouble. Yahweh hates lying lips, but loves faithful true lips.

A description of wisdom (Prov 8:12-8:21)

“I

Wisdom,

I live with prudence.

I attain knowledge.

I attain discretion.

The fear of Yahweh is hatred of evil.

I hate pride.

I hate arrogance.

I hate the way of evil.

I hate perverted speech.         

I have good advice.

I have sound wisdom.

I have insight.

I have strength.

Kings reign by me.

Rulers decree what is just.

Rulers rule by me.

Nobles govern by me.

All who govern rightly rule by me.

I love those who love me.

Those who seek me diligently

Find me.

Riches and honor are with me.

Enduring wealth is with me.

Prosperity is with me.

My fruit is better than gold,

Even fine gold.

My yield is better than choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness.

I walk along the paths of justice,

I endow with wealth those who love me.

I fill their treasuries.”

In an interesting use of a literary form, female wisdom describes herself in the first person singular, “I.” She is prudent, knowledgeable, and discreet. As God fearing, she hates evil, pride, arrogance, and perverted speech. On the other hand, she has good advice, sound wisdom, insight, and strength. All the kings, rulers, and nobles govern rightly because of her. She loves those who love her and seek her out diligently. When you have lady wisdom, then you have riches, honor, wealth, and prosperity. The fruit of wisdom is better than fine gold and silver. She walks in the way of righteousness along the paths of justice. Those who love her will be filled with wealth and treasures.

Seven ugly vices (Prov 6:16-6:19)

“Yahweh hates six things.

But seven are an abomination to him.

They are haughty eyes.

They include a lying tongue.

They are hands that shed innocent blood.

They include a heart that devises wicked plans.

They are feet that hurry to run to evil.

They include a lying witness who testifies falsely.

They include anyone who sows discord in a family.”

This is a numerical listing of vices like the medieval 7 deadly sins. Although Yahweh hates 6 things, 7 are an abomination to him. Among these 7 mentioned, lying is mentioned twice. The first is haughty eyes. The second is the lying tongue. Thus eyes and mouths can create evil vices. Then there are hands that shed innocent blood and feet that run to evil. Thus hands and feet can do evil. Then there is the heart that devises wicked plans. There is then a second mention of lying, by being a false witness, which is somehow different than just a lying tongue. Finally, there is the 7th vice of sowing discord in a family.

No evil (Ps 101:3-101:4)

“I hate the work of those who fall away.

It shall not cleave to me.

Perverseness of heart shall be far from me.

I will know nothing of evil.”

David seems to say that he hates the work of evildoers. They will not hang on to him. Any kind of perverseness of heart shall be far from him. He did not want to know any kind of evil.