Turn to God (Lk 1:16-1:16)

“John would turn

Many of the people

Of Israel

To the Lord,

Their God.”

 

καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ἐπιστρέψει ἐπὶ Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν αὐτῶν·

 

This angel, as presented by Luke, said that John would have a profound influence on the Israelites.  He would turn many of sons of Israel (καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ἐπιστρέψει) to the Lord, their God (ἐπὶ Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν αὐτῶν).  This foreshadowed the call of John for repentance to the Israelites.

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The prophecy of Jeremiah (Mt 27:9-27:10)

“Then was fulfilled

What had been spoken

Through the prophet Jeremiah.

‘They took

The thirty pieces of silver,

The price of the one

On whom

A price had been set,

On whom

Some of the people of Israel

Had set a price.

They gave it

For the potter’s field,

As the Lord

Commanded me.”

 

τότε ἐπληρώθη τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἱερεμίου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος Καὶ ἔλαβον τὰ τριάκοντα ἀργύρια, τὴν τιμὴν τοῦ τετιμημένου ὃν ἐτιμήσαντο ἀπὸ υἱῶν Ἰσραήλ

καὶ ἔδωκαν αὐτὰ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν τοῦ κεραμέως, καθὰ συνέταξέν μοι Κύριος.

 

This is unique to Matthew, who said that this happened to fulfill (τότε ἐπληρώθη) what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah (τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἱερεμίου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  Unfortunately, this is from the prophet Zechariah, chapter 11:12-13, not Jeremiah.  He had said that they took 30 pieces of silver (Καὶ ἔλαβον τὰ τριάκοντα ἀργύρια).  This was the specific set price (τὴν τιμὴν τοῦ τετιμημένου) that the people or sons of Israel had established (ὃν ἐτιμήσαντο ἀπὸ υἱῶν Ἰσραήλ).  They gave it for a potter’s field (καὶ ἔδωκαν αὐτὰ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν τοῦ κεραμέως) because the Lord had commanded it (καθὰ συνέταξέν μοι Κύριος).  In the original text from Zechariah, he was told to throw 30 shekels of silver into the Temple treasury.  Like all good prophets, Zechariah did what Yahweh asked him to do.  He threw the 30 silver shekels into the treasury in the house of Yahweh.  There was no mention of a potter’s field.  That might be allusion to Jeremiah who visited a potter’s house in chapter 18:1-6.  However, here that second verse is an addition by Matthew, not in the original Old Testament verse of Zechariah.

The sacrifices at Bethel (Am 4:4-4:5)

“‘Come to Bethel!

Transgress!

Go to Gilgal!

Multiply transgressions!

Bring your sacrifices

Every morning!

Bring your tithes

Every three days!

Bring a thank offering

Of leavened bread!

Proclaim freewill offerings!

Publish them!

You love to do this!

O people of Israel!’

Says Yahweh God.”

Amos has another oracle of Yahweh that was an ironic description of the sacrifices at Bethel and Gilgal. Yahweh wanted them to come to either Bethel or Gilgal, so that they could transgress the law of Yahweh many times. Ironically, he wanted them to bring the daily morning sacrifices and pay their tithes every 3 days. They were to bring thanksgiving offerings and proclaim freewill offerings. The people of Israel loved to do this.

The sorrow of the exile (Hos 9:1-9:3)

“Do not rejoice!

O Israel!

Do not exult

As other nations do!

You have played

The prostitute!

You departed from

Your God!

You have loved

A prostitute’s pay

On all the threshing floors.

Threshing floor

With wine vat

Shall not feed them.

The new wine

Shall fail them.

They shall not remain

In the land of Yahweh.

But Ephraim shall return

To Egypt.

They shall eat

Unclean food

In Assyria.”

Hosea told the people of Israel, perhaps at a harvest festival, that they would no longer rejoice and exalt like other countries. They had prostituted themselves. They had departed from their God. They had accepted the prostitute’s pay on the threshing floor. No longer would grain and wine feed them, as the new wine would fail. They were not going to remain in the land of Yahweh. They would be sent to Egypt and Assyria, where they would eat unclean food.

The false leaders of Israel (Hos 5:1-5:2)

“Hear this!

O priests!

Give heed!

O house of Israel!

Listen!

O house of the king!

The judgment

Pertains to you.

You have been a snare

at Mizpah.

You have spread

A net

Upon Tabor.

You have dug

A deep pit

In Shittim.

But I will punish

All of them.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, spoke to all the people of Israel. He told the priests to listen. He wanted the people of Israel and the royal household to listen also. This judgement pertained to all of them. They had been a snare at Mizpah, the Transjordan city, north of Jerusalem. They had also spread their net over Tabor, Mount Tabor, where there was an idol sanctuary also. They had dug a deep pit at Shittim, where there was religious intermarriage. Yahweh was going to punish them for these anti-Yahweh activities.

The indictment of Israel (Hos 4:1-4:1)

Hear the word of Yahweh!

O people of Israel!

Yahweh

Has an indictment

Against the inhabitants

Of the land.

There is no faithfulness.

There is no loyalty.

There is no knowledge

Of God

In the land.”

Hosea announced the word of Yahweh to the people of Israel. Yahweh was going to bring an indictment against all the people living in Israel. They were unfaithful and not loyal. They had no knowledge about God or their land. They were in big trouble.