The wild animals compared to the heavenly bodies (Bar 6:68-6:69)

“The wild animals

Are better

Than the idols are.

They can flee

To shelter.

They can help themselves.

So we have no evidence

Whatever

That they are gods.

Therefore do not fear them!”

Once again, there is a comparison of the living wild animals with the dead wooden idols. Obviously, the living animals are better than these false idols because they can flee to shelter and help themselves. Thus, there is no evidence whatsoever that these idols are gods. Therefore we should not be afraid of them.

The foolish idol makers (Jer 51:17-51:19)

“Everyone is stupid.

Everyone is

Without knowledge.

Goldsmiths

Are put to shame

By their idols.

Their images

Are false.

There is no breath

In them.

They are worthless,

A work of delusion.

At the time

Of their punishment,

They shall perish.

Not like these,

Is Yahweh,

The portion of Jacob.

He is the one

Who formed all things.

Israel is

The tribe

Of his inheritance.

Yahweh of hosts

Is his name.”

Once again, Yahweh, via Jeremiah, chides the foolish idol makers. These image makers are stupid without any knowledge. These goldsmiths are put to shame because their images are false, a worthless work of delusion without any breathe. They will all perish on the day of punishment. Yahweh, on the other hand, is not like these idols or idol makers. He is the portion of Jacob with his tribe of Israel as his inheritance. Yahweh of hosts is the name of the one who has formed all things.

Drought and wild animals in Babylon (Jer 50:38-50:40)

“‘A drought

Against her waters!

Thus they may be dried up!

It is a land of images.

They go mad

Over idols.

Therefore,

Wild animals

Shall live

With hyenas

In Babylon.

Ostriches

Shall inhabit her.

She shall never again

Be inhabited

For all generations.

As when God overthrew

Sodom and

Gomorrah,

With their neighbors,

So no one

Shall live there.

No one

Shall settle there.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh was clear. He was going to make Babylon an abandoned desert. The waters of the land would dry up and leave a drought. It is hard to believe that he meant the Tigris River and the Euphrates River. He wanted their images and idols destroyed.   Thus wild animals, hyenas, and ostriches would live in Babylon. No humans would live or settle in Babylon. It would become like the ancient destroyed cites of Sodom and Gomorrah as in Genesis, chapter 19, a desolation.

Opposition to worship cults (Isa 66:3-66:4)

“Whoever slaughters an ox is

Like one who kills a human being.

Whoever sacrifices a lamb is

Like one who breaks a dog’s neck.

Whoever presents a cereal offering is

Like one who offers swine’s blood.

Whoever makes a memorial offering

Of frankincense is

Like one who blesses an idol.

These have chosen their own ways.

They take delight in their abominations.

I also will choose to mock them.

I will bring upon them

What they fear.

Because,

When I called,

No one answered.

When I spoke

They did not listen.

But they did

What was evil in my sight.

They chose

What did not please me.”

Yahweh seems to rebuke those who sacrifice animals, saying that killing oxen is like killing humans. If they sacrificed lambs, they are sacrificing dogs. A grain offering was compared to unclean pig’s blood. The use of the frankincense was compared to worshiping idols. They have chosen their own ways that are an abomination to Yahweh. He would continue to mock and punish them because no one answered when he called. No one listened when he spoke. They continued to do evil and not please God.

Yahweh is in charge (Isa 42:6-42:9)

“‘I am Yahweh!

I have called you in righteousness!

I have taken you by the hand!

I have kept you!

I have designed you

As a covenant to the people.

I have designed you

As a light to the nations.

You are to open the eyes

That are blind.

You are to bring out the prisoners

From the dungeons.

You are to bring out from the prisons

Those who sit in darkness.

I am Yahweh!

That is my name!

My glory!

I give to no other!

I do not give my praise to idols!

See!

The former things have come to pass.

I now declare the new things.

Before they spring forth

I will tell you of them.’”

In this section of Second Isaiah, Yahweh apparently speaks directly to the people of Israel, rather than to an individual person. He is Yahweh. He has called his people in righteousness. He took them into his hand. He kept them with a covenant. They were to be the light to the nations in order to give sight to the blind as well as bring out prisoners from dungeons and dark prisons. He is Yahweh. That is his name and his glory. He has no other names, nor does he praise any other idols. He has told you about the past, but he will tell you about things to come before they happen.

The punishment for the unrighteous (Wis 14:30-14:31)

“But just penalties

Will overtake them on two counts.

They thought wrongly

About God,

In devoting themselves to idols.

In deceit,

They swore unrighteously

Through contempt for holiness.

It is not the power of the things

By which people swear,

But the just penalty

For those who sin,

That always pursues the transgression

Of the unrighteous.”

These idol worshipers will be penalized for doing two evil things. First, they thought wrongly about God (περὶ Θεοῦ) in devoting themselves to idols (προσχόντες εἰδώλοις). Second, they swore unrighteously (ἀδίκως ὤμοσαν ἐν δόλῳ) in contempt of holy things. They will receive a just penalty for their sins, as these are the transgressions of the unrighteous (ἀδίκων).

Origin of the worship of idols (Wis 14:12-14:14)

“The idea of making idols

Was the beginning of fornication.

The invention of them

Was the corruption of life.

They did not exist from the beginning.

Nor will they last forever.

Through human vanity

They entered the world.

Therefore their speedy end

Has been planned.”

According to this author, fornication or prostitution (πορνείας) began when they started making idols (εἰδώλων). Their invention led to the corruption of life (ζωῆς) since they did not exist at the beginning (ἀρχῆς) of time. However, they will not last forever. They entered the world (εἰς κόσμον) through human vanity so that they will have a speedy end. Clearly sexual activity was tied to these idols, but they had an uncertain future.