“You journeyed to Molech
You multiplied your perfumes.
You sent your envoys far away.
You sent them down even to Sheol.
You grew weary
From your many wanderings.
But you did not say.
‘It is useless.’
You found your desire rekindled.
Thus you did not weaken.”
Third Isaiah was also against Molech, a local Canaanite god that must have had a lot of Israelite worshippers. Apparently, many worshippers of Molech brought oils and perfumes to offer to Molech, who was sometimes associated with the Baal temples and altars. They sent messengers that were willing to go to Sheol, the afterlife underworld. However, they grew weary from their many trips. However, they were not able to say that it was useless. In fact, they rekindled their desire for Molech, instead of weakening it.
“The spirit of the people was rekindled when they heard these words. They answered in a loud voice.
‘You are our leader
In place of Judas
And Jonathan your brother.
Fight our battles.
All that you say to us we will do.’
So he assembled all the warriors. He hurried to complete the walls of Jerusalem. He fortified it on every side. He sent Jonathan son of Absalom to Joppa. He had a considerable army. He drove out its occupants and remained there.”
The people were excited to hear the voice of Simon. Their spirits were rekindled. They proclaimed that Simon was their leader in the place of his brother Judas and Jonathan. He was going to fight their battles. They were willing to do whatever he asked them to do. Simon sent Jonathan, who may have been his uncle, to take over the seacoast town of Joppa, which he did.