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.

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The people are powerless (Isa 41:5-41:7)

“The coastlands have seen this.

They are afraid.

The ends of the earth tremble.

They have drawn near.

They come.

Each one helps the other.

They say to one another.

‘Take courage!’

The artisan encourages the goldsmith.

The one who evens the surface

With the hammer

Encourages the one

Who strikes the anvil.

He says of the soldering.

‘It is good.’

They fasten it with nails

So that it cannot be moved.”

The people on the Mediterranean coastline are afraid since all over the earth the land is trembling. They are getting together to help each other. They try to encourage each other, especially in their occupations. The artisan and the goldsmith get together. Those who work with metals try to work together with those who use hammers and anvils. Those that solder and nail work together also. They want to make sure that things stay the same.

Against human pride (Isa 2:12-2:17)

“Yahweh of hosts has a day.

He is against all that is proud.

He is against all this is lofty.

He is against all that is lifted up.

He is against all that is high.

He is against all the cedars of Lebanon.

He is against all that is lofty.

He is against all that is lifted up.

He is against all the oaks of Bashan.

He is against all the high mountains.

He is against all the lofty hills.

He is against every high tower.

He is against every fortified wall.

He is against all the ships of Tarshish.

He is against all the beautiful crafts.

The haughtiness of people

Shall be humbled.

The pride of everyone

Shall be brought low.

Yahweh alone

Will be exalted

On that day.”

Once again, there will come a day when Yahweh, the Lord, alone will be exalted as in the preceding section. Here Isaiah points out that Yahweh is against the prideful people. In fact, he turns out to be against practically anything that is tall, lofty, or lifted up. He is against the tall cedars of northern Lebanon and the tall oaks of eastern Bashan. Of course, Yahweh was against all the tall places, like high mountains, lofty hills, high towers, and fortified walls. He also was against the ships of Tarshish, the fleet that brought gold and metals to the coastal cities. Yahweh was also against beautiful craft work and haughty people. Everyone would be brought low when Yahweh alone would be exalted on that day to come.