The defeat of the enemies of Zion (Mic 4:11-4:13)

“Now many nations

Are assembled against you.

Saying.

‘Let her be profaned!

Let our eyes gaze upon Zion!’

But they do not know

The thoughts of Yahweh.

They do not understand

His plan.

He has gathered them

As sheaves

To the threshing floor.

Arise!

Thresh!

O daughter Zion!

I will make your horn iron.

I will make your hoofs bronze.

You shall beat in pieces

Many people.

You shall devote their gain

To Yahweh.

You shall devote their wealth

To Yahweh,

The lord of the whole earth.”

Yahweh, via Micah, warned that many nations and people would attack Jerusalem, Mount Zion.  Perhaps this is allusion to the Assyrians around 700 BCE.  However, as they came to gaze at Jerusalem, Yahweh had other plans.  He was going to treat these enemies of Israel as if they were wheat to be grinded down on the threshing floor.  Yahweh wanted the people of Zion to wake up and get ready.  They were to get the threshing machines ready.  The horses would have bronze hoofs and strong iron to do this grinding.  They were to beat these enemies into pieces.  Then they were to take their wealth to devote and donate it to Yahweh, the lord of the whole world.

The returning Israelites (Ezek 39:26-39:27)

“They shall forget

Their shame.

They shall forget

All the treachery

That they have practiced

Against me.

They shall live securely

In their land

With no one

To make them afraid.

I have brought

Them back

From the various people.

I have gathered them

From their enemies’ lands.

I have vindicated

My holiness

Through them

In the sight

Of many nations.”

The Israelites were to forget their shame when they returned to Israel. They would forget their former treachery against Yahweh. They would live securely in their land, since there was no one to make them afraid. Yahweh would have brought them back from the various countries that they were in. He was going to gather them from the lands of their enemies. Yahweh would vindicate his holiness through them in the sight of many nations.

The destruction of Tyre (Ezek 26:3-26:5)

“Therefore

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘See!

I am against you!

O Tyre!

I will hurl

Many nations

Against you,

Just as the sea

Hurls it waves.

They shall destroy

The walls

Of Tyre.

They shall break down

Its towers.

I will scrape

Its soil from it.

I will make it

A bare rock.

It shall become,

In the midst

Of the sea,

A place

For spreading nets.

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was against Tyre. He wanted to send many nations against this city. He wanted this town destroyed, just like roaring seas hurling waves against their walls. He wanted their walls and towers destroyed. Thus, he could scrape this city from its soil, making it a bare rock. Instead of a city, it would become a place in the middle of the sea where people would spread fishing nets. Yahweh God had clearly spoken.

The Moses speech (Bar 2:29-2:31)

“‘If you will not obey

My voice,

This very great multitude

Will surely turn

Into a small number

Among the nations,

Where I will scatter them.

I know that they will not

Obey me.

They are a stiff-necked people.

But in the land of their exile

They will come to themselves.

They will know

That I am

The Lord their God.

I will give them

A heart

That obeys.

I will give them

Ears that hear.’”

This is reminiscent of the end of chapter 28 in Deuteronomy. There was no explicit mention of an exile in that chapter. However in chapter 30, there was a call to return from the scattered countries. The Israelites were to obey the voice of Yahweh. Otherwise this great multitude would become a small number of people among many nations, since they were going to be scattered. Moses and Yahweh knew that the Israelites would not obey the Mosaic Law because they were a stiff-necked people. However, they would discover themselves in the land of their exile. This happens a lot. When separated from their basic culture, people tend to re-discover all the great things of their original culture that they had overlooked. The Israelites would come to realize that Yahweh was their true God. Thus Yahweh would give them an obeying heart and hearing ears so that they would be more attentive to him.

The return from the Exile (Jer 3:15-3:18)

“‘I will give you shepherds

After my own heart.

They will feed you

With knowledge.

They will feed you

With understanding.

When you have multiplied,

You will have increased in the land.’

Says Yahweh.

‘In those days,

They shall no more say.

‘The ark of the covenant of Yahweh.’

It shall not come to mind.

It will not be remembered.

It will not be missed.

There will not be another one made.

At that time

Jerusalem shall be called

The throne of Yahweh.

All nations shall gather to it.

In the presence of Yahweh,

In Jerusalem,

They shall no more stubbornly follow

Their own evil will.

In those days

The house of Judah shall

Join the house of Israel.

Together they shall come

From the land of the north

To the land that I gave your ancestors

For a heritage.’”

Yahweh speaks via Jeremiah about what was going to happen in the future after they returned from the Exile. They would have good shepherd rulers with knowledge and understanding leading them. They would increase and multiply in the promised land of their ancestors.   In a strange sort of comment, the Ark of the Covenant would be replaced by the city of Jerusalem as the throne of Yahweh. Somehow they were going to forget and not miss the Ark of the Covenant. Many nations would come to Jerusalem. This sounds like it was written at the time of the Exile about a future hope for Jerusalem. The returned Israelites would no longer follow their own evil ways, as the house of Judah would come together with the northern tribes of Israel. They would enjoy the land that was given to them as the heritage of their ancestors.

Yahweh consecrates Jeremiah (Jer 1:9-1:10)

“Then Yahweh put out his hand.

He touched my mouth.

Yahweh said to me.

‘Now I have put my words

In your mouth.

See!

Today I appoint you

Over nations.

Today I appoint you

Over kingdoms.

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.

The alliance (Isa 55:3-55:5)

“Incline your ear!

Come to me!

Hear!

Thus you may live!

I will make with you

An everlasting covenant.

Because of my steadfast one!

My sure love for David!

See!

I made him a witness to the people.

I made him a leader.

I made him commander for the people.

See!

You shall call nations

That you do not know.

Nations that you do not know

Shall run to you.

Because of Yahweh

Your God,

The Holy One of Israel,

Has glorified you.”

Second Isaiah notes that Yahweh has made an alliance with Israel. Once again, there is the command or call for people to listen or see, as if they are not. Yahweh was going to make an everlasting covenant because of his love for King David, so that they might live. He had made David a witness, a leader, and a commander for his people. Now many nations that they do not know, or nations that do not know them, will come to them because of Yahweh. Their God, the Holy One of Israel, will glorify the name of Israel.