Against Edom (Mal 1:3-1:5)

“‘But I have hated Esau.

I have made

His hill country

A desolation.

I have made

His heritage

A desert for jackals.’

If Edom says.

‘We are shattered,

But we will rebuild the ruins.’

Yahweh of hosts says.

‘They may build,

But I will tear down,

Until they are called

The wicked country.

Yahweh is angry forever

With those people.’

Your own eyes shall see this.

You shall say.

‘Great is Yahweh,

Beyond the border of Israel!’”

Edom was considered the land where Esau had settled.  Thus, Yahweh hated Edom.  He had made their hill country a desolation.  Their heritage was like a desert of wild jackals.  Even if they wanted to rebuild their ruins, Yahweh would tear it down, because they were a wicked country.  Yahweh was angry with them forever.  Their own eyes had seen that Yahweh was great, even beyond the borders of Israel.

Blessing for Egypt and Assyria (Isa 19:24-19:25)

“On that day,

Israel will be the third

With Egypt and Assyria.

Israel will be

A blessing

In the midst of the earth

That Yahweh of hosts has blessed,

Saying.

‘Blessed be Egypt

My people.

Blessed be Assyria

The work of my hands.

Blessed be Israel

My heritage.’”

This oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah, is one of the few examples of ecumenical universalism. On that special day to come, Israel with be 3rd behind Egypt and Assyria, as a blessing or mediator for the whole earth. Yahweh would bless all three, not just Israel. He wanted Egypt, his own people, and Assyria, with the work of his hands, also blessed. However, Israel was blessed as his heritage. Thus we have a blessing for everybody, not just the Israelites.

Yahweh and the Promised Land (Ps 136:16-135:22)

“Yahweh led his people through the wilderness.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He struck down great kings.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed famous kings.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed Sihon,

King of the Amorites.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He killed Og,

King of Bashan.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He gave their land as a heritage.

His steadfast love endures forever.

He gave it as a heritage to Israel his servant,

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Once again, the congregational refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse. This is once again a repetition of the previous psalm, Psalm 135, about the trip to the Promised Land. In order to take the Promised Land, they had to defeat a number of nations and countries. Yahweh helped them to strike down these fellow humans because his steadfast love endures forever. They and Yahweh killed many kings. The two most prominent as found in Numbers, chapter 21, was King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan, on the borders of Canaan. They also killed the kings and people in Canaan as found in Joshua, chapters 5-12. Thus Yahweh gave Israel the land of Canaan as a heritage because of his enduring steadfast love.

Yahweh killed many kings (Ps 135:10-135:12)

“Yahweh struck down many nations.

He killed mighty kings.

He killed Sihon,

King of the Amorites.

He killed Og,

King of Bashan.

He killed all in the kingdoms of Canaan.

He gave their land as a heritage.

This was a heritage to his people Israel.”

Yahweh was their protector as they entered the Promised Land. In order to take the Promised Land, they had to defeat a number of nations and countries. Yahweh helped them to kill their fellow humans. They and Yahweh killed many kings. The two most prominent as found in Numbers, chapter 21, was King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan, on the borders of Canaan. They also killed the kings and people in Canaan as found in Joshua, chapters 5-12. Thus Yahweh gave Israel the land of Canaan as a heritage.

I do not forget the law (Ps 119:105-119:112)

Nun

“Your word is a lamp to my feet.

Your word is a light to my path.

I have sworn an oath.

I have confirmed it.

I will observe your righteous ordinances.

I am severely afflicted.

Give me life!

Yahweh!

According to your word!

Accept my offerings of praise!

Yahweh!

Teach me your ordinances!

I hold my life in my hand continually.

But I do not forget your law.

The wicked have laid a snare for me.

But I do not stray from your precepts.

Your decrees are my heritage forever.

They are the joy of my heart.

I incline my heart to perform your statutes,

Forever,

To the end.”

The word of Yahweh is a lamp and a light so that the psalmist might walk in the right path. He had sworn an oath to observe the righteous ordinances. Despite his sufferings, he would continue to offer praise. He wanted to be taught about the ordinances since he never forgot the law. Even when the wicked set a snare for him, he never forgot the law. He never strayed from the precepts of Yahweh. They were his heritage forever, the joy of his heart. He would follow the statutes of Yahweh forever, even to the bitter end. Thus this section on the fourteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Nun, came to an end.

Yahweh favors the chosen ones (Ps 106:4-106:5)

“Yahweh!

Remember me

When you show favor to your people!

Help me

When you deliver them!

Thus I may see the prosperity

Of your chosen ones.

Thus I may rejoice in the gladness

Of your nation.

Thus I may glory in your heritage.”

The psalmist wants to share in the glory of the chosen ones. He asks Yahweh to remember him personally when he thinks of his chosen people. When they are helped, he wants to see prosperity also. He wanted to rejoice in the gladness of Yahweh’s nations. He wanted to glory in the heritage of the chosen ones.

The works of the wicked (Ps 94:4-94:7)

“They pour out their arrogant words.

All the evildoers boast.                                              

They crush your people!

Yahweh!

They afflict your heritage.

They kill the widow.

They kill the stranger.

They murder the orphan.

They say.

‘Yahweh does not see.

The God of Jacob does not perceive.’”

Now the psalmist gives a description of what the wicked do. They pour out their arrogant words. They boast about their evil deeds. They crush the people of Yahweh’s heritage. They kill the widow, the stranger, and the orphans. Basically, they kill the weak people in society. They say that Yahweh does not see them. They proclaim that the God of Jacob does not perceive what is going on.