The captivity of the Ammonites (Ezek 25:3-25:4)

“Say to the Ammonites!

Hear

The word of Yahweh God!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You said.

‘Aha!’

Over my sanctuary

When it was profaned.

You said.

‘Aha!’

Over the land of Israel

When it was made desolate.

You said.

‘Aha!’

Over the house of Judah

When it went into exile.

Therefore

I am handing you over

To the people of the East

For a possession.

They shall set

Their encampments

Among you.

They shall pitch

Their tents

In your midst.

They shall eat

Your fruit.

They shall drink

Your milk.’”

Yahweh wanted Ezekiel to tell the Ammonites to listen to the word of Yahweh, their God. However, they had their own gods. Apparently the Ammonites had profaned the sanctuary in Jerusalem. They had laughed when the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed. They had even laughed at the exile of the people from Judah. Their punishment would be that they would be handed over to the people of the East, who would set up encampments and tents in their territory. These invaders would even eat their fruit and drink their milk. This probably was an allusion to the Assyrians, whom the Ammonites were dependent upon.

The assembly stoning and death (Ezek 23:46-23:49)

“Thus says Yahweh God.

‘Bring up an assembly

Against them!

Make them

An object of terror!

Make them

An object of plunder!

The assembly

Shall stone them!

They shall cut them down

With their swords!

They shall kill their sons!

They shall kill their daughters!

They shall burn up

Their houses!

Thus will I put an end

To lewdness

In the land!

Thus all women

May take warning!

Do not commit lewdness

As you have done!

They shall repay you

For your lewdness.

You shall bear

The penalty

For your sinful idolatry!

You shall know

That I am Yahweh God!’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was clear that the punishment for this lewd behavior was death. They were to gather an assembly against these wanton women, who were an object of terror and plunder. The assembly was to stone them and cut them down with swords. They were to kill their sons and daughters, as well as burn up their houses. Yahweh was going to put an end to all this lewdness in the land of Israel. This was a very severe punishment. All the women were put on warning. In other words, there was a jump from the bad behavior of the feminine cities of Samaria and Jerusalem to all the Israelite women. They were not to commit lewd acts. If they did, they would be repaid for their bad behavior. They would bear the penalty for their sinful idolatry. Everyone should know that Yahweh was God.

The power of Yahweh (Lam 3:37-3:39)

Mem

“Who can command

To have it done,

If Yahweh

Has not ordained it?

Is it not

From the mouth

Of the Most High

That good

As well as evil comes?

Why should anyone,

Who draws breath,

Complain

About the punishment

Of their sins?”

This author indicates that nothing can get done without the consent of Yahweh. From the mouth of the Most High God comes both good and evil. Once again, there is the question of God and evil. No one should complain about the punishment for their sins from this almighty God. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Mem in this acrostic poem.

The future fall of Babylon (Jer 51:47-51:49)

“‘Assuredly

The days are coming

When I will punish

The images of Babylon.

Her whole land

Shall be put to shame.

All her slain

Shall fall in her midst.

Then the heavens,

With the earth,

As well as all that is in them,

Shall shout for joy

Over Babylon.

The destroyers

Shall come against them

Out of the north.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Babylon must fall

For the slain of Israel.

The slain of all the earth

Have fallen

Because of Babylon.’”

Babylon would fall. Yahweh was going to put the Babylonians with their images to shame. Many of them would die. Thus there would be shouts of joy from heaven and earth. These new destroyers, like the ones of old, would come out of the north. Babylon was going to fall because Babylon had killed many of the Israelites. This punishment was definitely coming to Babylon.

The battles in southern and eastern Babylon (Jer 50:21-50:22)

“‘Go to the land

Of Merathaim!

Go up against her!

Attack the inhabitants

Of Pekod!

Utterly destroy

The last of them!’

Says Yahweh.

‘Do all

That I have commanded you!

The noise of battle

Is in the land

With great destruction!’”

They were to go to the southern Babylonian town of Merathaim, meaning “double rebellion.” They were to attack the people at Pekod, an eastern Babylonian tribe that means “punishment.” They were to utterly destroy all these people down to the very last of them. Yahweh was commanding this so that they should battle until there was great destruction in the land. It is not clear how the Judeans and Israelites got weapons since they were in captivity. However, this may be a description of the Persian invasion of Babylon.

The curse of Yahweh (Jer 17:5-17:6)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Cursed are those

Who trust in mere mortals!

Cursed are those

Who make mere flesh

Their strength!

Cursed are those

Whose hearts turn away

From Yahweh!

They are

Like a shrub in the desert.

They shall not see

When relief comes.

They shall live

In the parched places

Of the wilderness.

They shall live

In an uninhabited salt land.’”

Jeremiah had Yahweh issue a curse, not a blessing. If they trusted in mere mortals, if they made their own flesh their strength, and if their hearts turned away from Yahweh, they would be cursed. They are like shrubs in a desert that do not know when help is coming to them. They will live in a wild parched land. They will live in uninhabitable salt lands. Their punishment would be a hard life with bad soil.

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.