The necessities of life (Hos 2:8-2:9)

“She did not know

That it was I

Who gave her

The grain,

The wine,

The oil.

I lavished upon her

Silver,

With gold,

That they used for Baal.

Therefore,

I will take back

My grain,

In its time.

I will take back

My wine,

In its season.

I will take away

My wool,

With my flax,

That were to cover

Her nakedness.

The prophet Hosea, like Yahweh, had given Gomer, like Israel, grain, wine, and oil. Silver and gold also came from him. Then they, the Israelites, like Gomer, used these precious metals on Baal. Therefore, he was going to take back his grain and wine at the right time in the season. He also was going to take back his wool and flax that she had used as clothing to cover her naked body. It was a sign of reproach to have a naked body.

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The ships of Tarshish (Ezek 27:25-27:25)

“The ships of Tarshish

Traveled for you

In your trade.

So you were filled.

You were heavily laden

In the heart

Of the seas.”

There is the problem of trying to situate Tarshish, which is often mentioned in the biblical literature. It could be Carthage in North Africa, Tarsus in Turkey, or Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean Sea. This town had a lot of precious metals and important ships, as well as ship building. Thus the trade merchandise of Tyre was on these ships of Tarshish. They were filled with lots of items, as they moved on the high seas.

Yahweh’s rejection (Jer 6:27-6:30)

“I have made you a tester.

You are a refiner among my people.

Thus you may know their ways.

You may test their ways.

They are all stubbornly rebellious.

They go about with slanders.

They are bronze.

They are iron.

All of them act corruptly.

The bellows blow fiercely.

The lead is consumed by the fire.

In vain,

The refining goes on.

The wicked are not removed.

They are called

‘Rejected silver.’

Yahweh has rejected them.”

Jeremiah was to be the tester for Yahweh. He was going to test the faithfulness of the people. Thus there is a comparison with testing metals. Jeremiah found that they were all rebellious corrupt slanderous people. He was going to test them as if they were iron or bronze. The lead was consumed in the fire but no precious metals were to be found. The wicked were not removed, so that they came up as rejected silver. Thus Yahweh has rejected these wicked people.

The adventurers cannot find wisdom (Job 28:9-28:11)

“They put their hand to the flinty rock.

They overturn mountains by the roots.

They cut out channels in the rocks.

Their eyes see every precious thing.

They probe the sources of the rivers.

Hidden things they bring to light.”

Even the great adventurers and the various inventions of those days do not find wisdom. The invention of fire with flint was a big deal. Overturning mountains was a massive task. Cutting channels in rocks was not easy. They used their eyesight to find precious metals. They even tried to figure out the sources of the rivers. They were looking for hidden items by bringing light to them. These were the adventurers and discoverers of 2,500 years ago. They wanted to know about things and how they worked. Yet they never found wisdom.

The contributions for the sanctuary (Ex 25:1-25:9)

“Yahweh said to Moses: ‘Tell the Israelites to take for me an offering.  From all whose hearts prompt them to give you shall receive the offering for me.  This is the offering that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine linens, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, fine leather, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and for the breastplate. Have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them. In accordance with all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.’”

Yahweh told Moses to make him a sanctuary, so that he could dwell among them. This sanctuary, apparently, is some sort of tabernacle, some sort of container, where Yahweh would be present, much like the later medieval Christian tabernacles.  How are they going to build this sanctuary?  The people will make an offering.  What is going to be given and how is it to be used?   Now the list is long with all kinds of precious metals, garments, and spices.   This is a lot of stuff and some of the Israelites must have had these things to give.  Apparently, they had the typical valuable metals like gold, silver, and bronze. Blue, purple and crimson yarn was in favor, as well as the skins of goats, rams, and cows that would make good offerings. There also was wood, spices, and jewelry as offerings.