The arrogance of Moab (Isa 16:6-16:7)

“We have heard

Of the pride of Moab.

How proud he is!

We have heard

Of his arrogance.

We have heard

Of his pride.

We have heard

Of his insolence.

His boasts are false.

Therefore let Moab wail!

Let everyone wail for Moab!

Mourn!

It is utterly stricken.

They cry for

The raisin-cakes of Kir-hareseth.”

Isaiah here assumes the first person plural “we,” instead of the first person singular, “I.” Now the tone is not as forgiving. They have heard of the pride, the arrogance, and insolence of Moab. Those Moabites make false boasts. Therefore, let them cry. Let everyone wail away, because they have been decimated. They cry out for their raisin cakes from Kir-hareseth. The raisin cakes were made from the grapes that dried up. These must have been some good bakery cakes from the town of Kir or Kerak in Moab, the probable names for Kir-hareseth.

The dead tyrant (Isa 14:4-14:8)

“How the oppressor has ceased!

How the insolence has ceased!

Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked.

He has broken the scepter of rulers

That had struck down the peoples in wrath.

With unceasing blows,

This staff ruled the nations in anger.

It had ruled with unrelenting persecution.

The whole earth is at rest.

The whole earth is quiet.

They break forth into singing.

The cypresses exult over you.

The cedars of Lebanon say.

‘Since you were laid low,

No one comes to cut us down.’”

Yahweh has brought about the death of the tyrant who oppressed people with insolence. The staff of this wicked ruler has been broken. While he was in power, this wicked king had struck down people with many blows. He had ruled in anger and persecuted people. Now the whole world is at rest and quiet. They will break into singing. The cypress and cedar trees are happy also, since there will be no cutting wood for more building of huge palaces.

Sins of pride (Sir 21:4-21:7)

“Panic

Will waste away riches.

Insolence

Will also waste away riches.

Thus the house of the proud

Will be laid waste,

Will be uprooted.

The prayer of the poor

Goes from their lips

To God’s ears.

His judgment comes speedily.

Whoever hates reproof

Walks in the steps of sinners.

Whoever fears the Lord

Will repent in their heart.

The mighty in speech

Are widely known.

When they slip,

The sensible person knows it.”

Terror, violence, panic, and insolence waste riches. Thus the house of the proud will be destroyed. On the other hand, the prayers of the poor go directly from their lips to God’s ears. God’s judgment will come quickly. If you hate criticism, you are walking in the steps of sinners. If you fear the Lord, you will repent in your heart. The great speakers are known far and wide, but when they slip up, the sensible people know it right away.

Pride (Sir 10:6-10:13)

“Do not get angry

With your neighbor

For every injury!

Do not resort to acts of insolence!

Arrogance is hateful to the Lord.

Arrogance is hateful to mortals.

Injustice is outrageous to both also.

Sovereignty passes

From nation to nation.

This happens

On account of injustice,

On account of insolence,

On account of wealth.

How can dust be proud?

How can ashes be proud?

Even in life,

The human body decays.

A long illness baffles the physician.

The king of today

Will die tomorrow.

When one is dead,

He inherits

Maggots,

Vermin,

And worms.

The beginning of human pride

Is to forsake the Lord.

The heart has withdrawn

From its Maker.

The beginning of pride

Is sin.

The one who clings to it

Pours out abominations.”

You should not get mad with your neighbor over any perceived injuries. Do not become insolent! Arrogance is hateful to God and humans. Injustice is outrageous to the Lord and your neighbor. Sovereignty passes from one country to another because of injustice, insolence, and wealth. This is not a pretty picture. How can humans made of dust and ashes be proud? Their body will decay no matter what. Sometimes it is a baffling long illness that even physicians do not know how to cure. Even the king of today will be dead and gone tomorrow. When you die, the maggots, the vermin, and the worms will take over your body. Pride starts when you give up on the Lord and Creator. Sin is the beginning of pride. If you cling to it, there will be abominations all over the place.

Rich and poor (Prov 13:7-13:11)

“Some pretend to be rich.

Yet they have nothing.

Others pretend to be poor,

Yet they have great wealth.

Wealth is a ransom for a person’s life.

But the poor get no threats.

The light of the righteous rejoices.

But the lamp of the wicked goes out.

By insolence

The heedless make strife.

But wisdom is

With those who take advice.

Wealth hastily gotten

Will dwindle.

But those who gather little by little

Will increase it.”

Once again there is a comparison between the rich and the poor. The rich are the righteous, while the poor are the foolish. Some people pretend to be rich when they do not have anything. Others pretend to be poor when they are rich. Those who lead a good life will get riches, while the poor will not get anything. The light of the righteous or a good life will bring them happiness. The wicked will see their light go out because of their insolence and heedless strife or arguing. The wise ones take advice. If you get wealthy too quickly your wealth will dwindle. However, if you gain wealth slowly, a little at a time, your wealth will increase.

The wicked boastful ones (Ps 75:4-75:5)

“I say to the boastful.

‘Do not boast.’

I say to the wicked.

‘Do not lift up your horn!

Do not lift up your horn on high!

Do not speak with an insolent neck.’”

This oracle continued by reminding the boastful that they should not be boastful. He reminded the wicked that they should not lift their horn on high. The horn was the symbol of strength or power. Of course, they should not speak with insolence.

The cruel painful illness of King Antiochus IV (2 Macc 9:5-9:10)

“But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him an incurable and unseen blow. As soon as he stopped speaking he was seized with a pain in his bowels with sharp internal tortures, for which there was no relief. That was very just, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many and strange inflictions. Yet he did not in any way stop his insolence. He was even more filled with arrogance, breathing fire in his rage against the Jews. He gave orders to drive even faster. So it came about that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along. The fall was so hard as to torture every limb of his body. Thus only a little while before, he had thought in his super human arrogance that he could command the waves of the sea. He imagined that he could weigh the high mountains in a balance. Finally, he was brought down to earth. He was carried in a litter, making the power of God manifest to all. Worms swarmed all over the ungodly man’s body. While he was still living in anguish and pain, his flesh rotted away. Because of the stench, the whole army felt revulsion at his decay. Because of his intolerable stench, no one was able to carry the man who a little while before had thought that he could touch the stars of heaven.”

Here the cause of the illness of King Antiochus IV was not depression but the God of Israel who struck him down. Notice that it is the God of Israel not the almighty Shaddai God who struck him down. This biblical author went into great detail about his illness. The king had a bowel problem because he had tortured others with infliction of various stomach disorders. He still wanted to get to Jerusalem so he asked his chariot to go faster. However, then he fell out of the chariot causing him even more pain. King Antiochus IV had been arrogant so that he thought that he could command the sea waves, measure the height of mountains, and touch the stars. However, his body swarmed with worms as it rotted away. There was a terrible smell about him that kept people away from him. The great king was reduced to a smelly sick pain filled old man.