The chosen ones (Am 3:1-3:2)

“Hear this word

That Yahweh has spoken

Against you!

O people of Israel!

He has spoken

Against the whole family

That I brought up

Out of the land

Of Egypt!

You only

Have I known

Of all the families

Of the earth.

Therefore,

I will punish you

For all your iniquities.”

Yahweh, via Amos, wanted the people of Israel to listen to his word. This diatribe was against the whole family of Israel. Yahweh had chosen them as the special ones from all the families on earth, when he took them out of Egypt. They were special. Nevertheless, he was still going to punish them for their iniquities.

The righteous turn away (Ezek 18:26-18:26)

“When the righteous

Turn away

From their righteousness,

They commit iniquity.

They shall die.

For the iniquity

That they have committed

They shall die.”

Yahweh was upset that the righteous turned away from their righteousness. They committed iniquities so that they would die. In case there was any doubt, Yahweh, via Ezekiel, repeated this death threat twice.

The end for buyers and sellers (Ezek 7:12-7:13)

“The time has come!

The day draws near!

Let not the buyer rejoice!

Let not the seller mourn!

The wrath is upon

All their multitude.

The seller

Shall not return

To what has been sold,

As long as they remain alive.

The vision concerns

All their multitude.

It shall not be revoked.

Because of their iniquity,

They cannot maintain

Their lives.”

As in Jeremiah, chapter 32, buying and selling land and other things assumed a stable society. The time was coming as the day drew near when buyers and sellers would not rejoice or mourn because of the chaotic conditions. The wrath of God was to be upon both of them. The seller could not return his goods as long as he was alive. Everybody was going to suffer the consequences of those who had committed iniquities. No one would be able to maintain their lives.

The sinful prophets and priests (Lam 4:13-4:13)

Mem

“It was for the sins

Of her prophets

With the iniquities

Of her priests.

They shed

The blood

Of the righteous

In the midst of her.”

Yahweh was angry because the prophets had sinned and the priests had committed iniquities. They had shed the blood of the righteous in the middle of Jerusalem. Everyone was at fault, especially the leaders of the city who should have known better. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem in this acrostic poem.

The hunters and fishermen (Jer 16:16-16:18)

“Says Yahweh.

‘I am now sending

For many fishermen.

They shall catch them.

Afterward I will send

For many hunters.

They shall hunt them

From every mountain.

They shall hunt them

From every hill.

They shall hunt them

Out of the clefts of the rocks.

My eyes are upon all their ways.

They are not hidden from my presence.

Their iniquity is not concealed

From my sight.

I will doubly repay their iniquity.

I will doubly repay their sin.

Because they have polluted my land

With the carcasses of their detestable idols.

They have filled my inheritance

With their abominations.”

Yahweh was going to send fishermen and hunters to gather up the Israelites. This is a reference to the Egyptians, probably the fishermen, and the Babylonians, the hunters. These hunters would hunt all over the place, from the mountains, hills, and rocks. No one could hide from them. Yahweh saw all of them. He was going to repay them in double for their sins and iniquities. They had polluted his land with their detestable idols. These abominations and false worship gods had ruined his inheritance.

The sinful confession of the people (Jer 14:7-14:9)

“Although our iniquities testify

Against us,

Act!

Yahweh!

For your name’s sake!

Our apostasies are many.

We have sinned against you.

O hope of Israel!

Its savior in time of trouble!

Why should you be

Like a stranger in the land?

Why should you be

Like a traveler turning aside for the night?

Why should you be

Like someone confused?

Why should you be

Like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?

Yet you!

O Yahweh!

Are in the midst of us!

We are called by your name.

Do not forsake us!”

Here Jeremiah has the people of Judah confessing their sins to Yahweh. They were asking for help in no uncertain terms. Their iniquities and back sliding apostasies were many. They knew that they did not have clean hands. They admitted that they had sinned against Yahweh. However, they were placing their hope in Yahweh during this time of trouble. They wanted to know why God was like a stranger in this own land. Why was he like a traveler who was just looking for a night’s sleep? Why was he, a mighty warrior, not able to help out? Yahweh was there with them, since they are called by his name. They did not want Yahweh to give up on them.

God knows about their unfaithfulness (Isa 65:6-65:7)

“See!

It is written before me!

‘I will not keep silent.

But I will repay.

I will indeed repay into their laps

For their iniquities

With their ancestor’s iniquities together.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Because they offered incense

On the mountains,

They reviled me on the hills.

I will measure into their laps

Full payment for their actions.’”

Their actions have not gone unnoticed. Yahweh saw what was happening since it was written before him. He was not going to be silent. He wanted them to pay back for what they did. They would not only have to pay for their own sins and iniquities, but also repay for the sins of their ancestors. They have offered incense on the mountains and reviled Yahweh in the hills. He was going to measure out for them the full payment for their actions.