The false circumcision (Jer 9:25-9:26)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are surely coming

When I will attend to

All those who are circumcised

Only in the foreskin.

This includes

Egypt,

Judah,

Edom,

The Ammonites,

Moab,

As well as all those with shaven temples

Who live in the desert.

All these nations are uncircumcised.

All the house of Israel

Is uncircumcised in heart.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, criticizes those who are uncircumcised in their hearts. He seems to indicate that that Egyptians, the Edomites, the Moabites are also circumcised, as it must have been a common custom. He also indicates that Judah is also circumcised along with the Arabs in the desert with their shaven temples. However, the harshest treatment is for the house of Israel that is uncircumcised in the heart.

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Honor Yahweh (Isa 43:20-43:21)

“The wild animals will honor me.

The jackals will honor me.

The ostriches will honor me.

I give water in the wilderness.

I give rivers in the desert

To give drink

To my chosen people.

They are the people

Whom I formed for myself

That they might declare my praise.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh continue in the first person singular, saying that the wild animals will honor him. However, he only lists the jackals and the ostriches. Yahweh has provided water in the wilderness by providing rivers in the desert. Thus his specially chosen people could also give praise, just like the wild animals have. The wild animals seemed to appreciate the water more than Yahweh’s chosen people. Apparently on the return from Babylon, they passed through a desert wilderness in Syria some place.

Historical punishments for sin (Sir 16:6-16:14)

“In an assembly of sinners,

A fire is kindled.

In a disobedient nation,

Wrath blazes up.

The Lord did not forgive

The ancient giants

Who revolted in their might.

He did not spare the neighbors of Lot,

Whom he loathed

On account of their arrogance.

He showed no pity

On the doomed nation,

On those disposed because of their sins.

He showed no pity

On the six hundred thousand foot soldiers,

Who assembled in their stubbornness.

Even if there were only one stiff-necked person,

It would be a wonder

If he remained unpunished.

Mercy is with the Lord.

Wrath is with the Lord.

He is mighty to forgive,

But he also pours out wrath.

As great as his mercy,

So also is his chastisement.

He judges a person

According to his or her deeds.

The sinner will not escape with plunder.

The patience of the godly

Will not be frustrated.

He makes room for every act of mercy.

Everyone receives in accordance

With his or her deeds.”

Sirach mentions the people and the groups from the Torah that were punished for their sins. A destroying fire will rage where sinners or disobedient nations are gathered. The Lord did not forgive the ancient giant Nephilim people in Genesis, chapter 6, before the flood. The Lord did not forgive the evil arrogant Sodomite neighbors of Lot in Genesis, chapter 19. He did not have pity on the disposed Canaanites in Joshua. The 600,000 Israelites in the desert revolted against Moses in Numbers, chapter 16. Not one person gets away with being a stiff-necked proud person. They will not go unpunished. The Lord has both mercy and anger. He judges according to the deeds of the people. No sinner will escape. The patience of the godly will run thin. While there is room for mercy, everyone will receive punishment based on their deeds.