The appearance of Yahweh (Mic 1:2-1:4)

“Hear!

You people!

All of you!

Listen!

O earth!

All that is in it!

Let Yahweh God

Be a witness

Against you!

Yahweh comes

From his holy temple!

Behold!

Yahweh is coming

Out of his place!

He will come down!

He will tread

Upon the high places

Of the earth.

Then the mountains

Will melt under him.

The valleys

Will burst open

Like wax near the fire,

Like waters poured down

A steep place.”

This text is a very colorful opening to the Book of Micah.  Yahweh would make a grand appearance.  As usual for prophets, Micah asked the people to listen.  However, the earth itself was also asked to listen to the prophet Micah.  Yahweh was going to be a witness against the people and the land itself.  Yahweh was going to come out of his holy Temple.  He was going to come down to the high places on earth.  The mountains would melt under him, while the valleys would open up wider.  Then in very descriptive terms, the presence of Yahweh would be like wax near a fire or water pouring down a steep incline.  The powerful heavenly Yahweh was about to make an appearance on earth.

Advertisements

The melting in the furnace of Jerusalem (Ezek 22:19-22:22)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Because you have all become

Worthless dross,

I will gather you

Into the midst of Jerusalem.

As one gathers

Silver,

Bronze,

Iron,

Lead,

Tin,

Into a smelter furnace,

To blow the fire

Upon them,

In order

To melt them.

So I will gather you

In my anger,

In my wrath.

I will put you in

The furnace of Jerusalem.

I will melt you.

I will gather you

I will blow upon you

With the fire

Of my wrath.

You shall be melted

Within it.

As silver is melted

In a smelter furnace,

So you shall be melted

In it.

You shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Have poured out

My wrath

Upon you.’”

Yahweh said that they all had become worthless dross in Jerusalem. Just like one gathers silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin to put into a smelter furnace, so too the anger and wrath of Yahweh would gather them together. He would put them into Jerusalem to melt them with the fire of his wrath. He was going to blow fire on them, just like fire on metals in a smelter furnace. Thus they would know that Yahweh had poured out his fiery wrath upon them.

The glittering sword (Ezek 21:15-21:17)

“‘Therefore hearts melt!

Many stumble!

At all their gates,

I have set the point

Of the sword.

Ah!

It is made

For flashing.

It is polished

For slaughter.

Attack to the right!

Engage to the left!

Attack wherever

Your edge is directed!

I too will strike

Hand to hand.

I will satisfy

My fury.’

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, concluded this little hymn to the sword. Hearts would melt. Many would stumble. Everywhere there would be the flashing of swords. Especially at the gates, there would be polished silver swords that led to slaughter and death, all around, to the right and the left, front and back. Swords would be pointed in all directions. Yahweh would also strike where he pleased in order to satisfy his anger.

Moaning (Ezek 21:6-21:7)

“Moan therefore!

Son of man!

Moan!

With a breaking heart!

Moan

With a bitter grief

Before their eyes!

When they say to you,

‘Why do you moan?’

You shall say.

‘Because of the news

That has come.

Every heart

Will melt.

All hands

Will be feeble.

Every spirit

Will faint.

All knees

Will turn to water.

See!

It comes!

It will be fulfilled,’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel that he should moan or sigh with a broken heart and bitter grief before the other people. When they would then ask him why he was moaning, he should tell about the news that he had received. If they had heard the same news, they too would be moaning and sighing. Every heart would melt. All their hands would be feeble. Every spirit would be faint. Everyone’s knees would turn to water. Yahweh clearly said that this was going to happen.

Oracle about Egypt (Isa 19:1-19:4)

“An oracle concerning Egypt.

See!

Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud.

He comes to Egypt.

The idols of Egypt

Will tremble at his presence.

The heart of the Egyptians

Will melt within them.

‘I will stir up

Egyptians against Egyptians.

They will fight

One against the other,

Neighbor against neighbor,

City against city,

Kingdom against kingdom.

The spirit of the Egyptians,

Within them,

Will be emptied out.

I will confound their plans.

They will consult

The idols,

The spirits of the dead,

The ghosts,

The mediums,

The wizards,

And the familiar spirits.

I will destroy the Egyptians

Into the hand of a hard master.

A fierce king will rule over them.’

So says the Sovereign,

Yahweh of hosts.”

Isaiah presents an oracle of Yahweh about Egypt. He said that Yahweh was riding high on a cloud as he came to Egypt as the false idols of Egypt trembled. The hearts of the Egyptians began to melt. Then Yahweh said that he was going to stir up fighting among the Egyptians themselves against each other, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. They would all lose their spirit. They would be confused. Then they would consult their idols, their dead spirits, their ghosts, their mediums, their wizards, and all kinds of their strange spirits. Yahweh said that he was going to destroy the Egyptians as he was going to hand them over to a fierce king. Clearly Yahweh has spoken.

Warning for the Philistines (Isa 14:28-14:31)

“In the year that King Ahaz died

This oracle came.

‘Do not rejoice!

All you Philistines!

The rod that struck you is broken.

From the snake’s root

Will come forth an adder.

Its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.

The firstborn of the poor will graze.

The needy will lie down in safety.

But I will make your root

Die of famine.

Your remnant,

I will kill.

Wail!

O gate!

Cry!

O city!

Melt in fear!

O Philistia!

All of you!

Smoke comes out of the north.

There is no straggler in his ranks.’”

Next Isaiah turned to the coastal Philistines. This oracle has a specific time frame, the year that King Ahaz died, which would have been about 716 BCE. The Philistines had been a common enemy of the Israelites, especially during the time of King Saul and King David in 1 Samuel and I Chronicles. The Philistine southwestern coastal 5 cities had been captured by the Assyrians. Thus with the destruction of Assyria, they should be free. However, another foe from the north would come to attack them. Yahweh reminded them that a small adder snake can come from the fallen snake like a fiery flying serpent. Although it will seem okay because there will be food to eat and the needy will be safe, Yahweh was going to send them a famine to kill those left over. The Philistines would cry and wail. They would melt with fear because a great army from the north was coming. The Philistines actually seemed to disappear after the Assyrian takeover.

The day of destruction is near (Isa 13:6-13:8)

“Wail!

The day of Yahweh is near!

It will come

Like destruction

From the Almighty Shaddai!

Therefore all hands

Will be feeble.

Every human heart

Will melt.

They will be dismayed.

Pangs will seize them.

Agony will seize them.

They will be in anguish

Like a woman in labor.

They will look aghast

At one another.

Their faces will be aflame.”

It is hard to tell from the text itself if this is a reference to the destruction of Babylon or some general end of the world destruction. The context, however, leans towards the fall of Babylon. This destructive day of Yahweh, the Lord, is near since there is a mention of God as the almighty Shaddai. Everyone’s hands will be weak as their hearts will melt. They will be dismayed with pangs and agony. They will be in anguish like a woman in labor at childbirth. They will get no comfort from each other as they will have fiery faces. This does not sound good.