Jonah’s proclamation (Jon 3:4-3:4)

“Jonah began

To go into the city,

Going a day’s walk.

He cried out.

‘Forty days more,

Then Nineveh

Shall be overthrown!’”

The text does not say how long it took Jonah to get there, but he was certainly in the city.  He walked one day into the center of the city and began to cry out that Nineveh would be overthrown in 40 days.  Forty days was a common biblical number, since Noah’s trip during the flood was 40 days, while the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert.

The sign from Yahweh about the Egyptian Pharaoh (Jer 44:29-44:30)

“Says Yahweh.

‘This shall be the sign

To you,

That I am going

To punish you

In this place.

Thus you may know

That my words

Against you

Will surely be carried out.’

Thus says Yahweh.

‘I am going to give

Pharaoh Hophra,

The king of Egypt,

Into the hand of his enemies,

Those who seek his life.

Just as I gave

King Zedekiah

Of Judah

Into the hand

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

His enemy,

Who sought his life.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, said that he was going to give these Judeans in Egypt a sign that he was going to punish them in Egypt. The sign that he gave them was the fact that Pharaoh Hophra, the king of Egypt, would be overthrown by his enemies. Pharaoh Hophra was also known as King Apries (589-570 BCE), who would have been the ruler during this Judean refugee migration to Egypt. He was favorable to the Judeans, since he had tried unsuccessfully to protect Jerusalem from King Nebuchadnezzar during the siege of that city. He was killed in 570 by the new Pharaoh Amasis, who ruled from 570-526 BCE. Yahweh had done the same to King Zedekiah of Judah. Thus Yahweh wanted to show them that he had control over all kings.

The rebuilding of Jerusalem (Jer 31:38-31:40)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are coming,

When the city

Shall be rebuilt

For Yahweh,

From the tower

Of Hananel

To the Corner Gate.

The measuring line

Shall go out farther,

Straight to the hill Gareb.

It shall then turn

To Goah.

The whole valley

Of the dead bodies

With the ashes,

As well as all the fields

As far as the Wadi Kidron,

To the corner

Of the Horse Gate

Toward the east,

Shall be sacred to Yahweh.

It shall never again

Be uprooted,

Be overthrown.”

Yahweh simply says that the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt at some future time. It will be rebuilt from the northeastern Tower of Hananel to the northwestern side at the Corner Gate.   The southeast will be Gareb hill with Goah on the southwest. Both these places are only mentioned here and may have been where the lepers lived outside the walls of Jerusalem. The southeast corner would be the Horse Gate. Jerusalem will extend out to the valley of the unclean dead in Hinnom and eastward to the Wadi Kidron. Never again will it be uprooted or overthrown, that is until the Romans in 70 CE.

The false prophets and priests (Jer 8:10-8:12)

“Therefore I will give their wives to others.

I will give their fields to conquerors.

Because from the least to the greatest,

Everyone is greedy for unjust gain.

From prophet to priest,

Everyone deals falsely.

They have treated

The wound of my people carelessly.

Saying.

‘Peace!

Peace!’

When there is no peace.

They acted shamefully.

They committed an abomination.

Yet they were not at all ashamed.

They did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall

Among those who fall.

At the time that I punish them,

They shall be overthrown.’

Says Yahweh.”

This is a copy word for word of the same thing that was found in chapter 6. Yahweh was going to give away their wives and their fields, since he is not happy about the false priests and prophets. This goes for the least of the people to the most important ones in Jerusalem. All of them were greedy for monetary gain. They were all careless with his people. They pretended that there was peace when there was no peace there. They acted shamefully, but they were not ashamed since they didn’t even know how to blush. These priests and prophets would fall with all the others, as they will be overthrown at the time of punishment.

There is no peace (Jer 6:12-6:15)

“‘From the least to the greatest of them,

Everyone is greedy for unjust gain.

From prophet to priest,

Everyone deals falsely.

They have treated

The wound of my people carelessly.

Saying.

‘Peace!

Peace!’

When there is no peace.

They acted shamefully.

They committed abominations.

Yet they were not at all ashamed.

They did not know how to blush.

Therefore they shall fall

Among those who fall.

At the time that I punish them,

They shall be overthrown.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, is not happy about the false priests and prophets. This goes for the least of the people to the most important ones in Jerusalem. All of them were greedy for monetary gain. They were all careless with his people. They pretended that there was peace when there was no peace there. They acted shamefully, but they were not ashamed, since they didn’t even know how to blush. These priests and prophets would fall with all the others, as they will be overthrown at the time of punishment.

The profit motive (Sir 27:1-27:3)

“Many have committed sin

For a trifle gain.

Whoever seeks to get rich

Will avert their eyes.

As a stake is driven firmly

Into a fissure between stones,

So sin is wedged

In between

Selling and buying.

If a person is not steadfast

In the fear of the Lord,

His house

Will be quickly overthrown.”

Sirach reminds us that many sins have been committed over the attempt to make a small profit. Those who seek to get rich turn their eyes away from morality. Just as a stake is usually placed between 2 stones, so too you will find some sin between the buying and selling of a product. If you are not steadfast in your fear of the Lord, your house will be quickly overthrown. Sirach was no friend of capitalism.

The evil enemies (Prov 24:15-24:20)

“Do not lie in wait,

Like an outlaw,

Against the home of the righteous.

Do no violence to the place

Where the righteous live!

Although the righteous fall seven times,

They will rise again.

But the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

Do not rejoice when your enemies fall!

Do not let your heart be glad when they stumble!

Yahweh will see it.

He will be displeased.

He will turn away his anger from them.

Do not fret because of evildoers!

Do not envy the wicked!

The evil have no future.

The lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

Do not attack the righteous like an outlaw. Do not wait for them or do any violence to them where they live. The righteous will fall 7 times, but they will still get up. However, the wicked are easily overthrown by calamity. Do not rejoice when your enemies fall. Don’t be happy when they stumble. Yahweh sees all this. He will be displeased. He will probably turn his anger away from them. Don’t worry about evildoers or envy the wicked ones. Just remember that they have no future. Their lamp will go out never to burn again.