The destruction of the lions’ den of Assyria (Nah 2:11-2:13)

“What became

Of the lions’ den?

What became

Of the cave

Of the young lions?

There the lion goes.

There his cubs were,

With none to disturb them.

The lion has torn enough

For his whelps.

He strangled prey

For his lionesses.

He has filled his caves

With prey.

He has filled his dens

With torn flesh.

‘See!

I am against you!’

Says Yahweh of hosts!

‘I will burn

Your chariots

In smoke.

The sword shall devour

Your young lions.

I will cut off

Your prey

From the earth.

The voice

Of your messengers

Shall be heard no more.’”

Assyria was considered a lion or a destroyer.  Nahum wanted to know what had happened to this proud lion’s den or his cave.  There his young cubs would be undisturbed.  He had gathered enough prey for these lionesses, as well as their cubs.  This lion of Assyria had filled his caves and dens with torn flesh.  All this would be gone.  Yahweh has issued an oracle against Assyria.  Yahweh would burn their chariots as they would go up in smoke.  Their young lions would die by the sword.  They would lose all their prey.  The voice of their messengers would not be heard anymore.  The end of Nineveh and Assyria was near.

Punishment for forgetting Yahweh (Hos 13:6-13:8)

“When I fed them,

They were satisfied.

They were satisfied,

So that

Their heart was proud.

Therefore,

They forgot me.

So,

I will become

Like a lion to them.

Like a leopard,

I will lurk

Beside the way.

I will fall upon them

Like a bear

Robbed of her cubs.

I will tear open

The covering

Of their heart.

I will devour them

Like a lion.

Just like a wild animal

Would mangle them.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, warned the Israelites that he had fed them. Once they were satisfied with food, they had become proud. They forgot all about Yahweh. Thus, he was going to become like a lion or leopard lurking along their paths. He would attack them, like a bear who had been robbed of cubs. He was going to tear open the covering around their hearts. He would devour them like a wild animal would mangle its prey. They had better watch out.

No refuge for the shepherds (Jer 25:34-25:38)

“Wail!

You shepherds!

Cry out!

Roll in ashes!

You lords of the flock!

The days of your slaughter

Have come.

The days of your dispersions

Have come.

You shall fall

Like a choice vessel.

Flight shall fail the shepherds.

There shall be no escape

For the lords of the flock.

Hark!

The cry of the shepherds!

The wail of the lords of the flock!

Yahweh is despoiling their pasture.

The peaceful folds are devastated.

Because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.

Like a lion,

He has left his covert.

Their land has become a waste

Because of the cruel sword,

Because of his fierce anger.”

Yahweh continues his diatribe against the rulers in Judah. These leaders or shepherds should cry out and roll in ashes. The days of slaughter have come when they will be dispersed. They are going to fall like a chosen vessel. The shepherds will not be able to flee. The lords of the flock will not escape. Both the shepherds and the lords of the flock will cry out because Yahweh is going to ruin their pasture. These peaceful flocks and folds will be devastated. Yahweh was angry like a lion that has left its covert of little cubs. The land will become a wasteland because of the anger and the sword of Yahweh.

The aftershock of the attack on Moab (Isa 15:7-15:9)

“Therefore the abundance

They have gained,

What they have laid up,

They carry away

Over the Brook of the Willows.

A cry has gone

Around the land of Moab.

The wailing reaches to Eglaim,

The wailing reaches to Beer-elim.

The waters of Dibon

Are full of blood.

Yet I will bring upon Dibon

Even more.

There will be a lion

For those of Moab

Who escape,

For the remnant of the land.”

The Moab people took whatever they had saved up and carried it over the Brook of Willows. However, there is no indication of where this was Brook was, since Isaiah was the only biblical source to use this phrase. I am also not able to say where Eglaim and Beer-elim are, since Isaiah is also the only one who ever used the names of these 2 towns. It is clear, however, that the capital city of Dibon was full of blood. However, Isaiah warns that there will be more. A lion would go after those remaining in Moab.

Justice (Sir 27:8-27:10)

“If you pursue justice,

You will attain it.

Wear it

Like a glorious robe.

Birds roost

With their own kind.

Thus honestly comes home

To those who practice it.

A lion lies in wait

For prey.

So does sin come

For the workers of iniquity.”

Sirach says that if you pursue justice, you will attain it. He makes it sound easy. If you have justice, you should wear it like a glorious robe. Just as birds of a kind flock together, so too honestly comes home to those who practice it. On the other hand, the workers of iniquity sin just like a lion lies in wait for its prey. Good begets good and sin begets sin.

The lazy man (Prov 26:13-26:16)

“The lazy person says.

‘There is a lion in the road!

There is a lion in the streets!’

As a door turns on its hinges,

So does a lazy person in bed.

The lazy person buries a hand in the dish.

He is too tired to bring it back to the mouth.

The lazy person is wiser in self-esteem

Than seven who can answer discreetly.”

In this short section about the lazy people, there is almost a direct repeat of what appeared in chapters 19 and 22 about the lazy man with the lion in the street and the lazy man with his hand in the dish. Both are striking examples of laziness. Afraid to go outside because of some supposed lion and being too tired to put his hand to his mouth to feed himself. This lazy person is only able to turn like hinge on a door, as he turns in his bed. Finally the lazy person is full of self esteem because he thinks that he is better than 7 other discreet people.