The weakness of his enemies (Nah 1:8-1:8)

Kaph

“Yahweh will make a full end

Of his adversaries.

He will pursue

His enemies

Into darkness.”

According to the last of these Hebrew letters, Kaph, Yahweh would not be kind to his enemies.  He would put an end to them and pursue them until they lived in darkness, presumably death.

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Sound the alarm trumpet (Hos 8:1-8:3)

“Set the trumpet

To your lips!

A vulture is over

The house of Yahweh.

They have broken

My covenant.

They have transgressed

My law.

Israel cries to me!

‘My God!

We!

Israel!

Know you!’

Israel has spurned

The good.

The enemy

Shall pursue him.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, told the Israelites to sound the alarm with a trumpet. The vulture or the Assyrian army was coming to the house of Yahweh. These Israelites had broken his covenant. They had transgressed his law. Yet they came crying to him, since they knew Yahweh. However, it was too late. They knew that they had turned away from the good Yahweh. Now their enemy, the Assyrians, would pursue them.

Gomer will be lost (Hos 2:6-2:7)

“Therefore,

I will hedge up

Her way

With thorns.

I will build a wall

Against her,

So that she cannot find

Her paths.

She shall pursue

Her lovers,

But not overtake them.

She shall seek them,

But shall not find them.

Then she shall say.

‘I will go.

I will return

To my first husband.

It was better

With me then

Than now.’”

The prophet Hosea was going to make it difficult for Gomer. He was going to build a wall of hedges around her. Then, she would not be able to follow her paths. She might want to pursue her lovers, but she would not be able to reach them. She would go looking for them, but not find them. Finally, she would say, maybe I should return to my first husband. I was better off then with him. Once again, Gomer was a symbol of the lost Israel, seeking the Baal gods, but finally deciding to come home to Yahweh, their first husband.

Bloodshed will come to Mount Seir (Ezek 35:5-35:6)

“‘You cherished

An ancient enmity.

You gave over

The people of Israel

To the power

Of the sword,

At the time

Of their calamity,

At the time

Of their final punishment.’

Says Yahweh God!

‘Therefore,

As I live,

I will prepare you

For blood.

Blood shall

Pursue you.

You did not hate

Bloodshed.

Therefore,

Bloodshed

Shall pursue you.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, noted that Edom or Mount Seir had been an ancient enemy with enmity towards Israel. Thus, they took advantage of the people of Israel at the time of their calamity, at their final punishment, by using the sword against them, helping the Babylonians. The response of Yahweh God was that he was going to prepare these Edomites for further bloodshed. As they did not hate bloodshed, it would pursue them further.

Justice (Sir 27:8-27:10)

“If you pursue justice,

You will attain it.

Wear it

Like a glorious robe.

Birds roost

With their own kind.

Thus honestly comes home

To those who practice it.

A lion lies in wait

For prey.

So does sin come

For the workers of iniquity.”

Sirach says that if you pursue justice, you will attain it. He makes it sound easy. If you have justice, you should wear it like a glorious robe. Just as birds of a kind flock together, so too honestly comes home to those who practice it. On the other hand, the workers of iniquity sin just like a lion lies in wait for its prey. Good begets good and sin begets sin.

The happy wise person (Sir 14:20-14:27)

“Happy is the person

Who meditates on wisdom,

Who reasons intelligently,

Who reflects in his heart on her ways,

Who ponders her secrets,

Who pursues wisdom like a hunter,

Who lies in wait on her paths,

Who peers through her windows,

Who listens at her doors,

Who encamps near her house,

Who fastens his tent peg to her walls,

Who pitches his tent near her,

Who so occupies an excellent lodging place,

Who places his children under her shelter,

Who lodges under her boughs,

Who is sheltered by her from the heat,

Who dwells in the midst of her glory.”

Sirach describes the happy person who has a relationship to wisdom. These happy people will meditate on wisdom. They will reason intelligently. They will reflect on wisdom. They will ponder the secrets of wisdom. They will pursue wisdom like a hunter who lies in wait for wisdom. They will look through the windows and listen at the doors of wisdom. They will camp near the house of wisdom. They will have tent pegs on the walls of the house of wisdom. They will have pitched a tent next to the house of wisdom, which is an excellent lodging place. They will place their children under the shelter of wisdom. They will live under the branches of wisdom, so that they will be sheltered by wisdom from the midday sun. They will live in the glory of wisdom. These happy people will really like wisdom.

The escape from Egypt (Wis 19:1-19:5)

“The ungodly were assailed to the end

By pitiless anger.

God knew in advance

Even their future actions.

Even though they themselves had permitted

Your people to depart,

As they hastily sent them forth.

They would change their minds.

They would pursue them.

While they were still busy in mourning,

As they were lamenting

At the graves of their dead,

They reached another foolish decision.

They pursued as fugitives

Those whom they had begged to depart.

They had compelled them to depart.

The fate that they deserved

Drew them on to this end.

Fate made them forget

What had happened.

Thus they might fill up the punishment

That their torments still lacked.

Thus your people might experience an incredible journey.

However they themselves might meet a strange death.”

Once again, without any specific mention of the Red Sea incident in Exodus, chapter 13, there is an explanation of that event that is unmistakable. These ungodly (ἀσεβέσι) Egyptians had let God’s chosen ones go. However, they changed their minds. They were still in mourning, lamenting at the graves of their dead (νεκρῶν) children. Then they made another foolish decision, even thought God knew in advance that they would. Although they had begged and compelled the Israelites to leave, they now decided to pursue them as fugitives. For this, they deserved the fate that awaited them. While the people of God (λαός σου) experienced an incredible journey, these ungodly people met a strange death (θάνατον) at the Red Sea.