Prayer to Yahweh (Hab 3:2-3:2)

“O Yahweh!

I have heard

Of your renown!

O Yahweh!

I stand in awe

At your work!

In your own time,

Revive it!

In your own time,

Make it known!

In wrath,

May you remember mercy.”

This hymn or prayer is clearly addressed to Yahweh.  Habakkuk had heard of the great renown of Yahweh.  He was standing in awe of Yahweh and the works of his hand.  Yahweh would set his own time when he would revive his work.  He would make it know when he wanted to.  Habakkuk wanted Yahweh to remember his mercy whenever he was angry.

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Return to Yahweh (Hos 6:1-6:3)

“Come!

Let us return to Yahweh!

He has torn us.

He will heal us.

He has struck us down.

He will bind us up.

After two days,

He will revive us.

On the third day,

He will raise us up,

That we may live

Before him.

Let us know!

Let us press on

To know Yahweh!

His appearing is

As sure

As the dawn.

He will come to us

Like the showers,

Like the spring rains

That water the earth.”

Hosea asked his listeners to return to Yahweh. Although, Yahweh had torn them down, now he would heal them. He had struck them down. Now he would bind them up. After 2 days, he would revive them. On the 3rd day, he would raise them up, a theme of the early Christian writers. Thus, they might live in the sight of Yahweh. They would want to know Yahweh, since his appearance was as sure as the daily dawn of the sun. He would come to them, like a soft shower or spring rain that waters the earth and makes it grow. So, the same thing would happen to these Israelites.

The weeping Jerusalem (Lam 1:16-1:16)

Ayin

“I weep

For these things.

My eyes

Flow with tears.

A comforter is

Far from me.

There is no one

To revive

My courage.

My children are

Desolate.

The enemy has

Prevailed.”

Once again, we have Jerusalem speaking in the first person singular, weeping and crying with eyes filled with tears. There is no one to comfort or revive her courage. They all seem so far away. Her children are desolate because the enemy has won. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Ayin. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The lack of food (Lam 1:11-1:11)

Kaph

“All her people groan.

They search for bread.

They trade

Their treasures

For food

To revive

Their strength.

‘Look!

Yahweh!

See!

How worthless

I have become!’”

Once again, we have the shift from a third person description about Jerusalem to a first person singular Jerusalem itself praying directly to Yahweh, the God of Israel. All the people were groaning due to the lack of bread or nourishment. They were trading their treasures for food, which makes sense. They wanted to revive their strength. This verse ends with the first person singular plea to Yahweh. Jerusalem laments how worthless she has become. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

Poem of consolation (Isa 57:14-57:15)

“It shall be said.

‘Build up!

Build up!

Prepare the way!

Remove every obstruction

From my people’s way.’

Thus says the high lofty One

Who inhabits eternity,

Whose name is Holy.

‘I dwell in the high holy place.

I also dwell with those

Who are contrite,

Who are humble in spirit,

In order to revive

The spirit of the humble,

In order to revive

The heart of the contrite.’”

Third Isaiah says that they should build up the way for God’s people. They were to prepare this way by removing all obstructions. Then the one holy eternal one said that he dwelt in his high holy place. However, he also dwelt with the contrite and the humble of spirit. He wanted to revive the spirit of the humble and the heart of the contrite.

Yahweh and the just law (Ps 19:7-19:10)

“The law of Yahweh is perfect.

It revives the soul.

The decrees of Yahweh are sure.

They make wise the simple.

The precepts of Yahweh are right.

They rejoice the heart.

The commandment of Yahweh is clear.

It enlightens the eyes.

The fear of Yahweh is pure.

It endures forever.

The ordinances of Yahweh are true.

They are righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold.

They are even much finer than gold.

They are sweeter also than honey.

They are sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb.”

In order to counteract the preceding almost pagan eulogy to the sun, the Mosaic law of Yahweh gets special mention. It is the law of Yahweh, the decrees of Yahweh, the precepts of Yahweh, the commandments of Yahweh, the ordinances of Yahweh. There can be no mistake. This is the law of Yahweh that begins with the fear of Yahweh. They revive the soul. They make the simple wise. They rejoice the heart. They enlighten the eyes. They set righteous and endure forever. They are finer than gold and sweeter than honey. Clearly the law of Yahweh is central, not the sun.

Man is not a tree (Job 14:7-14:12)

“There is hope for a tree.

If it is cut down,

That it will sprout again.

Its shoots will not cease.

Its root grow old in the earth.

Its stump dies in the ground.

Yet at the scent of water it will bud.

It will put forth branches like a young plant.

But mortal men die.

They are laid low.

Humans expire.

Where are they?

As waters fail from a lake,

As a river wastes away and dries up,

Thus mortal men lie down.

They do not rise again.

Until the heavens are no more,

They will not awake.

They will not be roused out of their sleep.”

Job compared man to a tree. However, the tree was better off than the mortal humans. The tree could sprout again if it was cut down. Water could revive an old dead root or stump. Mortal men, on the other hand, were dead, plain and simple. They were more like water. Once they were gone, they were no more. Job did not understand osmosis and condensation. Job was against the resurrection. Once dead, you were dead not to rise again until the heavens were no more. Here we see the end times of all, not a personal individual resurrection. Mortal men could not be roused from their sleep.