Chant of thanksgiving (Zeph 3:14-3:15)

“Sing aloud!

O daughter of Zion!

Shout!

O Israel!

Rejoice!

Exult

With all your heart!

O daughter of Jerusalem!

Yahweh

Has taken away

The judgments

Against you.

He has turned away

Your enemies.

The king of Israel,

Yahweh,

Is in your midst.

You shall fear disaster

No more.”

Zephaniah has this chant of thanksgiving.  The daughters of Zion were to sing out loud.  The daughters of Jerusalem were to rejoice and exult with their whole hearts.  Yahweh had taken away his judgments against them, since he had forgiven them.  On top of that, Yahweh had turned away all their enemies.  Yahweh was now the new king of Israel in their midst.  Thus, they had no reason to fear any disasters anymore.

The punishment of Moab (Ezek 25:9-25:11)

“Therefore,

I will lay open

The flank of Moab.

I will lay it open

From the towns

On its frontier,

The glory of the country,

Beth-jeshimoth,

Baal-meon,

Kiriathaim.

I will give it,

Along with the Ammonites,

To the people of the East

As a possession.

Thus Ammon

Shall be remembered

No more

Among the nations.

I will execute

Judgments

Upon Moab.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that the future of Moab was closely tied to Ammon. They would both suffer the same result, being captured by the people from the East. The flanks or boundaries of Moab would be laid open. Their border towns, their glorious cities would be captured, especially Beth-jeshimoth on the north, Baal-meon on the east, and Kiriathaim on the south. The western border was the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. No one would remember them, just like the Ammonites would not be remembered either. They would be wiped out, since Yahweh was going to execute his judgments on Moab. Thus, they too would finally realize that Yahweh was God.

The anger and fury of Yahweh on Jerusalem (Ezek 5:13-5:15)

“My anger shall

Spend itself.

I will vent my fury

On them.

I will satisfy myself.

They shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken

In my jealousy,

When I spend my fury

On them.

Moreover

I will make you

A desolation.

I will make you

An object of mocking

Among the nations

Around you,

In the sight

Of all that pass by.

You shall be a mockery.

You shall be a taunt.

You shall be a warning.

You shall be a horror,

To the nations around you.

I will execute judgments

On you

In anger,

In fury,

With furious punishments.

I!

Yahweh!

Have spoken!”

Yahweh said that he was going to spend his anger on the people of Jerusalem. He was going to vent his fury on them. He was going to satisfy himself. They would know that he was Yahweh. He was going to speak out of jealousy against them. This is a very strong statement about the anger of God against the people of Jerusalem, because he was a jealous God. Jerusalem would become a desolation, an object of mocking, a taunt, a warning, and a horror among all the nations around her. Angry Yahweh was going to execute his judgments on them with his furious punishments. Yahweh has clearly spoken.

Cannibalism (Ezek 5:10-5:10)

“Surely,

Parents shall eat

Their children

In your midst.

The children shall eat

Their parents.

I will execute judgments

On you.

Any of you

Who survive,

I will scatter

To every wind.”

This ideal of cannibalism in Jerusalem was attested by Jeremiah, chapter 19, and Lamentations, chapters 2 and 4, and now here in Ezekiel. Parents would eat their children, while children would eat their parents in this situation of starvation in Jerusalem. Yahweh was going to execute his judgments on those who survived. These survivors would be scattered to the four winds in every direction.

You cannot hide from the Lord (Sir 16:17-16:23)

“Do not say.

‘I am hidden from the Lord.

Who from on high

Has me in mind?

Among so many people,

I am unknown.

What am I

In a boundless creation?

Look!

At his visitation,

Heaven trembles,

The highest heaven trembles.

The abyss trembles.

The earth trembles.

The very mountains quiver.

The foundations of the earth shake,

When he looks upon them.

No human mind can grasp this.

Who can comprehend his ways?

Like a tempest

That no one can see,

So most of his works are concealed.

Who will announce

His acts of justice?

Who will await them?

His decree is far off.’

Such are the thoughts

Of one devoid of understanding.

A senseless person

Thinks foolishly.

A misguided person

Thinks foolishly.”

Sirach warns those who say that God is too busy to worry about them. They think that that they can hide from the Lord because there are so many people in this great boundless created world. After all the heavens, the seas, and the earth tremble and quake when the Lord comes. The mountains and the foundations of the earth shake when he sees them. No human mind can comprehend the ways of the Lord because most of his works are concealed to us. The Lord is like a storm that we never see coming. Who is going to announce his judgments because his decrees seem so far away? These are the thoughts of the foolish misguided people who think that God does not care about them.

Introductory hymn to Yahweh (Ps 105:1-105:5)

“O give thanks to Yahweh!

Call on his name!

Make known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him!

Sing praises to him!

Tell of all his wonderful works!

Glory in his holy name!

Let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice!

Seek Yahweh!

Seek his strength!

Seek his presence continually!

Remember the wonderful works he has done!

Remember his miracles!

Remember the judgments he has uttered!”

Psalm 105 is usually combined with Psalm 106 to be recited at some major feast, since it recalls all the great events in the life of the Israelites. However this long psalm has no introductory title. The first section is a hymn to Yahweh. Some of the texts have an Alleluia to start this hymn. We give thanks to Yahweh. We call on his name. We tell everybody about him. We sing praises to him. We glory in his holy name. Those who seek Yahweh can rejoice. We seek his strength and his presence continually. We remember his wonderful works, his miracles, and his judgments.