The siege of Nineveh (Nah 3:12-3:14)

“You also will be drunken.

You will go into hiding.

You will seek

A refuge

From the enemy.

All your fortresses are

Like fig trees

With first-ripe figs.

If shaken,

They fall

Into the mouth

Of the eater.

Look at your troops!

They are women

In your midst.

The gates

Of your land

Are wide open

To your foes.

Fire has devoured

The bars of your gates.

Draw water

For the siege!

Strengthen your forts!

Trample the clay!

Tread the mortar!

Take hold

Of the brick mold!”

So too, the people of Nineveh would be drunk and go into hiding, as they would seek to get away from their enemies.  All their strong fortresses would be like ripe fig trees.  If they would be touched or shaken, these strongholds would fall like ripe fruit right into the mouths of their enemies.  Women had become their troops.  The gates of the city were wide open to their enemies because fire had consumed the bars on their gates.  They had to get water during the siege.  They would have to strengthen their fortresses with clay, mortar, and bricks.

The testimony of the elders (Dan 13:36-13:41)

“The elders said.

‘While we were walking

In the garden alone,

This woman came in

With two maids.

She shut

The garden doors.

She dismissed

The maids.

Then a young man,

Who was hiding there,

Came to her.

He lay with her.

We were in a corner

Of the garden.

When we saw

This wickedness,

We ran to them.

Although we saw them

Embracing,

We could not hold the man.

He was stronger than we.

He opened the doors.

He got away.

We did,

However,

Seize this woman.

We asked her

Who the young man was.

But she would not tell us.

These things we testify.’”

The two old judges testified about their story. They were simply walking in the garden together alone. Then, this young woman with two maids came into the garden. Next, she locked the garden doors and sent the two maids away. Suddenly, a young man who had been hiding in the garden appeared. The two of them, Susanna and this young man, got together and had sex with each other. The two old judges were in a corner of the garden. They then ran over to them as they were still embracing. However, they were not strong enough to hold the young man. Instead, they were able to grab the woman, Susanna. They asked her who the young man was, but she would not tell them. Thus, the two judges finished their testimony.

Declaration of Isaiah to his disciples (Isa 8:16-8:20)

“Bind up the testimony!

Seal the teaching

Among my disciples!

I will wait for Yahweh,

Who is hiding his face

From the house of Jacob.

I will hope in him.

See!

I am a sign.

The children

Whom Yahweh has given me

Are portents in Israel

From Yahweh of hosts.

He dwells on Mount Zion.

Now if people say to you.

‘Consult the wizard ghosts!

Consult with the familiar spirits

Who chirp and mutter!’

Should not a people consult their gods?

Should they not consult the dead

On behalf of the living

For teaching,

For instruction?

Surely those who speak like this

Will have no dawn.”

Isaiah wanted his disciples to have and keep his testimony. He wanted his teachings to be put aside and bound up his works. This is probably why we have so many oracles of Isaiah. He was waiting on Yahweh, the Lord, who was hiding his face from the house of Jacob. However, Isaiah had hope because he and his children were signs or omens of good things to come. He knew that Yahweh lived on Mount Zion. He then warned his disciples not to be fooled when people told them to consult with various idol gods, ghosts, mediums, wizards, or spirits to find out what to do. Why would you want to consult with the dead to find out instructions on how to live? As he points out, people like this probably will not see the dawn, since they are destined for death.

The sinfulness at Jerusalem (Isa 3:9-3:11)

“The look on their faces

Bears witnesses against them.

They proclaim their sin

Like Sodom.

They do not hide it.

Woe to them!

They have brought evil

Upon themselves.

Tell the innocent

How fortunate they are.

They shall eat

The fruit of their labors.

Woe to the guilty!

How unfortunate they are.

What their hands have done

Shall be done to them.”

Now Isaiah makes a reference to Jerusalem as being a sinning town like Sodom, the famous sinning place in Genesis, chapters 18-19, which seems to be ingrained in Israelite life. They were bluntly proclaiming their sinfulness, not hiding it, since the look on their faces gave them away. They will experience woe because they have brought this evil upon themselves. On the other hand, the innocent are fortunate because they will enjoy the results of their labors. The guilty are unfortunate because what they did with their hands will be done to them. Clearly, there was a sense of retributive justice.

Yahweh’s final judgment against idolatry (Isa 2:18-2:22)

“The idols shall utterly pass away.

Enter the caves of the rocks!

Enter the holes of the ground!

Flee from the terror of Yahweh!

Flee from the glory of his majesty!

He rises to terrify the earth.

On that day,

People will throw away

Their idols of silver

To the moles.

They will throw away

Their idols of gold

To the bats.

These were the idols

Made for themselves

To worship.

Enter the caves of the rocks!

Enter the holes of the ground!

Flee from the terror of Yahweh!

Flee from the glory of his majesty!

He rises to terrify the earth.

Turn away from mortals!

They only have breath

In their nostrils.

Of what account are they?”

Isaiah points out that the idols would without doubt pass away. Then he repeats what he said earlier about hiding behind rocks and in the ground. In fact, this same refrain is repeated 2 verses later. People will be throwing away their silver and gold idols that they themselves had made to the moles and the bats.  As they hide in the caves and underground, Yahweh will come to terrify the earth and proclaim his glory. People will run away from mortals, since they only have breath in their noses. They will be useless in this day of the Lord.

The selfish misers (Prov 28:21-28:28)

“To show partiality is not good.

Yet for a piece of bread

A person may do wrong.

A miser is in a hurry to get rich.

He does not know that loss is sure to come.

Whoever rebukes a person,

Will afterward find more favor

Than one who flatters with the tongue.

Anyone who robs his father or his mother

While saying,

‘That is no crime,’

Is partner to a thug.

The greedy person stirs up strife.

But whoever trusts in Yahweh

Will be enriched.

Those who trust in their own wits are fools.

But those who walk in wisdom

Come through safely.

Whoever gives to the poor

Will lack nothing.

But one who turns a blind eye

Will get many a curse.

When the wicked prevail,

People go into hiding.

But when the wicked perish,

The righteous increase.”

You should not show partiality in judging others. Sometimes people will do wrong things just for a piece of bread. The misers will hurry to gain wealth but they will lose it in the end. It is better to rebuke people than to flatter them. Anyone who robs his mother or father, and then says that it is not a crime, is already the companion of a common thief. The greedy misers are always stirring up strife and trouble. If you trust in your own wits, you are a fool. Those who walk in wisdom come out safe. If you give to the poor, you will not lack anything. However, if you turn a blind eye to the poor, you will be cursed. Then this section ends with a repeat of what was said earlier in this chapter about when the wicked prevail, then people go into hiding. When the wicked perish, then the righteous increase.

The righteous (Prov 28:11-28:13)

“The rich are wise in self-esteem.

But an intelligent poor person

Sees through the pose.

When the righteous triumph,

There is great glory.

But when the wicked prevail,

People go into hiding.

No one who conceals his transgressions

Will prosper.

Whoever confesses them,

Whoever forsakes them,

Will obtain mercy.”

The rich people pretend to be wise in their own eyes with great self-esteem. However, the smart poor people can see through this. Whenever the righteous triumph, there is great glory. On the other hand, when the wicked prevail, everyone goes into hiding. You will not prosper if you hide your transgressions. However, if you confess your transgressions and give them up, you will obtain mercy.