“By their wickedness,
They make the king glad.
They make the officials glad
By their treachery.
They are all adulterers.
They are like a heated oven,
Whose baker does not need
To stir the fire,
From the kneading
Of the dough
Until it is leavened.”
There was a conspiracy of silence. The wicked actions of many made the king happy. The officials gladly accepted treacherous talk. They were all adulterers. There was a time between the kneading or the forming of the dough until the fermentation or leavening of the bread, when the oven was at its hottest point. Thus, the baker would not have to stir the fire, because it was so hot. So too, their wicked ways made them hot.
A king will reign in righteousness.
Princes will rule with justice.
Each will be
Like a hiding place from the wind,
Like a covert from the tempest,
Like streams of water
In a dry place,
Like the shade of a great rock
In a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who have sight
Will not be closed.
The ears of those who have hearing
The minds of the rash
Will have good judgment.
The tongues of the stammerers
Will speak readily.
They will speak distinctly.”
Isaiah maintains that there will be new age when justice will prevail. The righteous kings and the good princes will rule with justice. Thus they will be helpful to others because they will be like a hiding place from the wind, like a covering in a storm, like streams of water in a dry place, and like shade in a hot weary land. The seeing will see and the hearing will hear. Minds will make good judgments. People who stammer will speak readily and distinctly. This would be some kind of utopian time when justice and fairness for all existed in an enlightened society.
“The pride of the higher realms
Is the clear vault of the sky.
As glorious to behold
As the sight of the heavens.
When it appears,
Proclaims as it rises.
What a marvelous instrument!
It is the work of the Most High.
It parches the land.
Who can withstand its burning heat?
A man tending a furnace
Works in burning heat.
But the sun scorches the mountains
Three times as hot.
It breathes out fiery vapors.
Its bright rays
Blind the eyes.
Great is the Lord
Who made it!
At his orders
It hurries on its course.”
Sirach points out the beauty and utility of the sun in the sky. The rising sun proclaims what a marvelous instrument it is of the Most High God. We have all seen the beauty of the rising morning sun as it proclaims the glory of God. At noon, the sun parches the land, scorching the mountains with its burning heat. Sirach says that the sun is 3 times as hot as a blast furnace. That may be true for somewhere along the line as sun rays head to earth, but here on earth, it is not quite as hot as a burning fire. However, it is true that its bright rays can blind you if you look right into the sun. Certainly the Lord, who made the sun, is to be glorified, as we see the sun move around the earth until sunset. Oh, oh, it is the earth moving around the sun, and not the other way around. However, it still is a lovely poetic thought of sunrise and sunset.
Consider the wondrous works of God!
Do you know how God lays his command upon them?
He causes the lightning of his cloud to shine.
Do you know the balancing of the clouds?
His wondrous works is perfect in knowledge.
Your garments are hot
When the earth is still
Because of the south wind,
Spread out the skies?
Can you make it as hard as a molten mirror?
Teach us what we shall say to him!
We cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
Shall it be told him that I want to speak?
Did anyone ever wish to be swallowed up?”
Elihu turned to Job. He asked him how he compared to the great works of God. God puts the light in the clouds to produce lightning. God balances the clouds so that there is a heat differential. Your garments get cold and hot depending on the winds. We are in the dark and cannot speak in the face of God. Otherwise we would be swallowed up.
“Those who withhold kindness from a friend
Reject the fear of the Almighty Shaddai.
My companions are as treacherous as a flood.
My companions are like streams of water that pass away.
They are like dark spots on ice.
They are like murky spots on melting snow.
In time of heat they disappear.
When it is hot,
They vanish from their place.
The caravans turn aside from their course.
They go up into the waste.
The caravans of Tema look.
The travelers of Sheba hope.
They are disappointed
Because they were confident.
They come there
But they are confused.”
Job then turned on his 3 companions. He said that they were not so friendly. However, they did come to spend some time with him. He, however, called them treacherous. He compared them to a flood of water, an uncontrolled stream of water. He also compared them to a flash flood. In other words, they were like quick and destructive flows of water. He also compared them to dark ice and murky snow in that when it got hot, they would disappear. Then he compared them to caravans from Tema, an Arab tribe descendent from Ishmael, and Sheba that got lost in the desert. Both these caravans in ancient times were very confident but in the end they were confused. Job was comparing his 3 friends to these lost confusing caravans. They were not helping him with their torrent of confusing words.