Yahweh’s people (Zech 9:16-9:17)

“On that day,

Yahweh their God

Will save them.

They are the flock

Of his people.

Like the jewels

Of a crown,

They shall shine

On his land.

What great goodness is his!

What great beauty is his!

Grain shall make

The young men flourish.

New wine shall make

The maidens flourish.”

There was no doubt that Yahweh, their God, would save the Israelites.  They were his flock.  They would shine like jewels on a crown in his land.  There was no limit to the goodness and beauty of God.  Grain and new wine would help the young men and the young maidens to flourish.

Using Yahweh’s gifts to worship other gods (Ezek 16:17-16:19)

“‘You also took

Your beautiful jewels

Of my gold,

Of my silver,

That I had given you.

You made for yourself

Male images.

You played

The whore

With them.

You took

Your embroidered garments

To cover them.

You set my oil

Before them.

You set my incense

Before them.

You set my bread

That I gave you,

That I had fed you

With choice flour,

With oil,

With honey,

Before them

As a pleasing odor.

So it was.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh said that this young girl Jerusalem took the beautiful silver and gold jewels that he had given her and then made male images, so that she could play the whore with them. She covered them with her embroidered garments. She set Yahweh’s oil and incense before them. She took the bread, the choice flour, the oil, and the honey that Yahweh had given her to put as a pleasing odor before her new gods. Yahweh had spoken clearly.

The new beautiful Jerusalem (Isa 54:11-54:12)

“O afflicted one!

O Storm-tossed!

O Not comforted!

I am about to set your stones

In antimony.

I will lay your foundations

With sapphires.

I will make your pinnacles

Of rubies.

I will make your gates

Of jewels.

I will make your entire wall

Of precious stones.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh say that he is making a new Jerusalem with many precious jewels. Jerusalem was the afflicted, storm-tossed, and not comforted city. Now however, the new Jerusalem will have foundations of sapphires. The stones of the city will be set in antimony, a precious metal. The pinnacles will have rubies. The gates themselves will have jewels. The entire wall around Jerusalem will not have just stones, but precious stones. Jerusalem will be truly a jeweled city.

The jeweled bride (Isa 49:17-49:18)

“Your builders outstrip your destroyers.

Those who laid you waste,

Go away from you.

Lift up your eyes all around you!

See!

They all gather,

They come to you.

Says Yahweh.

‘As I live,

You shall put all of them on

Like an ornament.

You shall bind them on

Like a bride.’”

Second Isaiah has the many builders outnumbering the few disappearing destroyers in the New Jerusalem. He wanted them to look all around. They would all come together. This New Jerusalem would be like a bride with many ornaments and jewels all over it.

Another description of the female lover (Song 7:1-7:5)

Male lover

“How graceful are your feet in sandals.

O queenly maiden!

Your rounded thighs are like jewels.

They are the work of a master hand.

Your navel is a rounded bowl

That never lacks mixed wine.

Your belly is a heap of wheat,

Encircled with lilies.

Your two breasts are like two fawns,

Twins of a gazelle.

Your neck is like an ivory tower.

Your eyes are pools in Heshbon,

By the gate of Bath-rabbim.

Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon,

Overlooking Damascus.

Your head crowns you like Carmel.

Your flowing locks are like purple.

A king is held captive in the tresses.”

This description of the female lover is not exactly the same as in chapters 4 and 6. Here she has graceful feet in her sandals with rounded thighs like jewels. Her navel was like a round bowl with mixed wines. Her belly was like a heap of wheat with lilies. Her two breasts were like fawns or gazelles. He seemed to know a lot about her body. Her neck was like an ivory tower. Her eyes were like the pools in Heshbon that was on the east side of the Jordan River. Heshbon had been the chief city of King Sidon of the Amorites as found in Numbers, chapter 21. These pools must have been famous as it became Israelite territory. This town also became known as Bath-rabbim. Her nose was like a high tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus. I am not sure how this is a compliment. Her head was like Mount Carmel. Her locks were purple here and not like a flock of goats as earlier described. Nevertheless, the king was held captive by them anyway.

Description of the male lover (Song 5:10-5:16)

Female lover

“My beloved is all radiant.

He is ruddy.

He is distinguished among ten thousand.

His head is the finest gold.

His locks are wavy.

His locks are black as a raven.

His eyes are like doves,

Beside springs of water,

Bathed in milk,

Fitly set.

His cheeks are like beds of spices,

Yielding fragrance.

His lips are lilies,

Distilling liquid myrrh.

His arms are rounded gold,

Set with jewels.

His body is an ivory work,

Encrusted with sapphires.

His legs are alabaster columns,

Set upon bases of gold.

His appearance is like Lebanon,

Choice as the cedars.

His speech is most sweet.

He is altogether desirable.

This is my beloved.

This is my friend.

O daughters of Jerusalem!”

This female lover responded to the daughters of Jerusalem. She explains why her male lover is so special with a long description of him. First of all, he is radiant and ruddy. What does that mean? He is a glowing happy guy with a healthy reddish complexion. He is one in 10,000. He has a golden head with black wavy hair. His eyes are like clean white doves perfectly set in his head. His cheeks are like fragrant spices. His lips are like lilies spreading liquid myrrh. His arms are like rounded gold with jewels set in them. His body is like ivory with sapphires. His legs are like alabaster columns with golden bases as feet. He appears to be like a Lebanon cedar tree. His speech is sweet. He is quite a guy, altogether desirable. He is her beloved and her friend. That is some great description of the perfect man.

Jewelry (Song 1:9-1:11)

Male lover

“My love!

I compare you

To a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.

Your cheeks are comely

With ornaments.

Your neck is comely

With strings of jewels.

We will make you ornaments of gold,

Studded with silver.”

The male lover responded as if he were a rich man. He compared his female lover to a horse among the Egyptian Pharaoh’s chariot horses. I am not sure how well she took this comparison. Her cheeks and neck were good looking. She had some kind of ornaments on her cheeks with jewels around her neck. Maybe she had some sort of tattoo on her cheeks. However, this male lover was going to bring ornaments of gold studded with silver. Nothing was too good for her.