“You also played
With the Egyptians,
Your lustful neighbors.
To provoke me
Yahweh said that Jerusalem played the whore with her lustful neighbors, the Egyptians. He felt that she multiplied her prostitute ways in order to provoke Yahweh to anger. This was an indication about the intention of the king of Judah to form a foreign alliance with Egypt against the Babylonians.
“The word of Yahweh
Came to Jeremiah.
I am Yahweh!
The God of all flesh!
Is anything too hard for me?’
Thus says Yahweh.
‘I am going to give this city
Into the hands of the Chaldeans.
I am going to give this city
Into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar
He shall take it.
Who are fighting against this city,
They will set this city on fire.
They will burn it.
They will burn the houses
On whose roofs
Offerings were made
Have been poured out
To other gods.
They did these sacrifices
To provoke me to anger.’”
Yahweh once again has an oracle for Jeremiah. Yahweh was the God of all flesh. There was nothing too hard for him. He was going to give Jerusalem over to the Chaldeans who were fighting there. He was going to hand the city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The Babylonians and the Chaldeans were going to set the city on fire and burn it down. Thus the houses with the roof tops that had made offerings to Baal or libations to the other gods would be destroyed. These Israelites had offered these sacrifices to provoke Yahweh to anger. They had succeeded.
“Do not kindle the coals of sinners!
You may be burned in their flaming fire.
Do not let the insolent bring you to your feet!
They may lie in ambush against your words.
Do not lend
To one who is stronger than you!
If you do lend anything,
Count it as a loss.
Do not give surety
Beyond your means!
If you give surety,
Be prepared to pay.”
Do not provoke sinners or you may be burned by their flames. Do not get involved with the insolent or they might ambush you. Do not lend money to someone stronger than you. If you do, write it off as a loss. Do not offer surety or guarantees for others. If you do, do not offer more than you can pay. You should be prepared to pay whatever you guarantee.
“Wine is a mocker.
Strong drink is a brawler.
Whoever is led astray by wine
Is not wise.
The dread wrath of a king is
Like the growling of a lion.
Anyone who provokes the king to anger
Forfeits his life.”
Wine makes people mock each other. Strong alcoholic drink will lead to brawling and fighting. Whoever is led astray by wine is not wise. Once again we have the comparison of the anger of a king to that of a growling lion as in the preceding parable. If you provoke the king to anger, then you forfeit your life.
“Then Job answered.
‘No doubt you are the voice of the people.
Wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you.
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughingstock to my friends.
I, who called upon God,
God answered me.
A just and blameless man,
I am a laughingstock.
In the thought of one who is at ease,
There is contempt for misfortune.
They are ready for those whose feet slip.
The tents of robbers are at peace.
Those who provoke God are secure.
They bring their god in their hand.’”
Job responded that they have wisdom, but he too had understanding. He was not inferior to them even though right now he was a laughing stock to his friends. Job had called God. God had answered him because he was a just and blameless man. Now while he was a laughingstock, those with an easy life do not care about his misfortune. However, the tents of robbers are at peace. The people who provoke God are secure. They think that they control God with their own idol gods in their hands. Job hits back at them since they have a false security.