The final return (Zeph 3:20-3:20)

“‘At that time,

I will bring you home.

At the time,

When I gather you,

I will make you

Renowned.

I will make you

Praised

Among all the people

Of the earth,

When I restore

Your fortunes

Before your eyes.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Zephaniah, uttered his final oracle.  He was going to bring them back home at that time.  He was going to gather them from everywhere.  Thus, they would be renowned and praised among all the people on earth.  They would have their fortunes restored right before their own eyes.  Yahweh has spoken.  Good times were coming.

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The holy city is in disgrace (Dan 9:15-9:16)

“Now!

O Lord!

Our God!

You brought

Your people

Out of the land

Of Egypt

With a mighty hand.

You have made

Your name

Renowned

Even to this day.

We have sinned.

We have done wickedly.

O Lord!

In view of your righteous acts,

Let your anger,

Let your wrath,

We pray,

Turn away

From your city Jerusalem,

Your holy mountain.

Because of our sins,

Because of the iniquities

Of our ancestors,

Jerusalem

With your people

Have become a disgrace

Among all our neighbors.”

Daniel continued with this prayer to God, reminding him how he had brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand. His name was renowned. However, they had sinned and done wicked things. Thus, God, the Lord, had a righteous anger and wrath. Daniel wanted God to turn away from the holy mountain, the city of Jerusalem, because it had become a disgrace to all its neighbors. Their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors have brought disgrace to Jerusalem and its people.

Yahweh destroys the harbor at Tyre (Isa 23:5-23:11)

“When the report comes to Egypt,

They will be in anguish

Over the report about Tyre.

Cross over to Tarshish!

Wail!

O inhabitants of the coast!

Is this your exultant city?

Its origin is from days of old.

Its feet carried her to settle far away.

Who has planned this against Tyre?

They were the bestower of crowns.

Their merchants were princes.

Their traders were the honored of the earth.

Yahweh of hosts has planned it.

He wanted to defile

The pride of all glory.

He wanted to shame

All the honored of the earth.

Cross over to your own land!

O ships of Tarshish!

This is a harbor no more!

He has stretched out his hand

Over the sea.

He has shaken the kingdoms.

Yahweh has given command

Concerning Canaan

To destroy its fortresses.”

Isaiah then proclaims the effects of the destruction of the ports at Sidon and Tyre. Their commercial trading partners, especially Egypt, were upset. So too were the people of Tarshish, the precious metal producing people, and all the shipping ports along the Mediterranean coast line. Tyre was a great ancient city with many merchant princes who had bestowed crowns on others. Their important people were renowned and honored everywhere. Who planned this destruction? Why it was Yahweh of hosts who wanted to bring down these proud inhabitants of this seaport. He has stretched out his angry hand over the sea. He has shaken these kingdoms. He has given his command to the Canaanites to destroy the various fortresses. The harbor is no more so that there is no sense in coming here.

A poem about Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 3:3-3:9)

“He extended the glory of his people.

He put on his breastplate like a giant.

He tied on his armor of war.

He waged battles.

He protected the camp by his sword.

He was like a lion in his deeds.

He was like a lion’s cub roaring for prey.

He searched out

He pursued those who broke the law.

He burned those who troubled his people.

Lawbreakers shrank back for fear of him.

All the evildoers were confounded.

Deliverance prospered by his hand.

He embittered many kings.

He made Jacob glad by his deeds.

His memory is blessed forever.

He went through the cities of Judah.

He destroyed the ungodly out of the land.

Thus he turned away wrath from Israel.

He was renowned to the ends of the earth.

He gathered in those who were perishing.”

Somehow this poem about Judas Maccabeus is here at the beginning of his adventures, and not at the end. He was the commander of the army of revolutionaries in Judea. He was like a giant of his time. Like a giant, he wore the armor and breastplate of a fighter waging wars. He was like lion or lion’s cub as he went after his prey. He searched out those who broke the Mosaic Law. He made many people fear him, but he made the memory of Jacob proud. He destroyed the ungodly of the land so that the wrath of God was turned away from Israel. He became renowned to the ends of the earth.