“Then Yahweh put out his hand.
He touched my mouth.
Yahweh said to me.
‘Now I have put my words
In your mouth.
Today I appoint you
Today I appoint you
You will pluck up.
You will pull down.
You will destroy.
You will overthrow.
You will build.
You will plant.’”
Yahweh then consecrated Jeremiah by putting out his hand and touching his mouth. He told Jeremiah that he was going to put his words into his mouth. Jeremiah would be over many nations and kingdoms. His task was to pluck up and pull down, destroy, and overthrow. Yet at the same time he was also going to build and plant. Jeremiah had a unique but difficult task as a prophet of God.
“Let this be recorded for a generation to come.
Thus a people yet unborn may praise Yahweh.
He looked down from his holy height.
Yahweh looked at the earth.
He heard the groans of the prisoners.
He set free those who were doomed to die.
Thus the name of Yahweh may be declared in Zion.
His praise may be declared in Jerusalem.
Peoples will gather together to worship Yahweh.
Kingdoms will worship Yahweh.”
This was to be recorded for posterity so that future generations would praise Yahweh. He looked down from heaven, his holy high place, on earth. He heard the groans of the prisoners and those doomed to die. He wanted the name of Yahweh declared on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. Various people and kingdoms will gather in the future to worship Yahweh.
Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations
That do not know you!
Pour out your anger on the kingdoms
That do not call on your name!
They have devoured Jacob.
They have laid waste his habitation.”
How long will Yahweh wait? Will he be angry forever? Will the wrath of his jealous anger burn like a fire? Rather, the psalmist wants Yahweh to pour out his anger on the nations and kingdoms that do not know him or do not call on his name. They are the ones who devoured Jacob or Israel as they laid waste to their living spaces.
“There is a river whose streams
Make glad the city of God.
This is the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city.
It shall not be moved.
God will help it
When the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar.
The kingdoms totter.
He utters his voice.
The earth melts.
Yahweh of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.”
The symbolic river around the holy city of Jerusalem called streams only leads to the enchantment of this city of God. Those who live there are holy because God is in the midst of them. The city will not be moved since God is with them from early morning on. Even when the nations are in an uproar, or kingdoms are falling, God’s voice would be there to melt the earth. This section ends with the refrain of Yahweh, the God of Jacob, as his refuge. Perhaps this should have been in the first section also, before the Selah, musical interlude pause, as it is here.
“King Antiochus was enraged when he heard this. He assembled all his friends, the commanders of his forces and those in authority. Mercenary forces also came to him from other kingdoms and from the islands of the seas. The number of his forces was one hundred thousand foot soldiers, twenty thousand cavalry, and thirty-two elephants accustomed to war. They came through Idumea. They encamped against Beth-zur. For many days they fought and built engines of war. However, the Jews sallied out and burned these with fire. They fought courageously.”
The 10 year old King Antiochus V was mad when he heard this. He called all his friends and the commanders of the army. Probably Lysias was in command of the army since he had fought and lost to Judas Maccabeus. They also had mercenary forces from other kingdoms and islands. The total force for King Antiochus V and Lysias was 100,000 foot soldiers, 20,000 horsemen, and 32 elephants. That is something new. They came from the south via Idumea. They camped at Beth-zur, 18 miles south of Jerusalem, where Judas had defeated Lysias 3 years earlier in 165 BCE in chapter 4 of this book. However, the Jews fought courageously here.