Mount Seir will be ruined (Ezek 35:3-35:4)

“Say to it!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am against you!

Mount Seir!

I will stretch out

My hand

Against you.

I will make you

a desolation.

I will make you

A waste.

I will lay

Your towns

In ruins.

You shall become

A desolation.

You shall know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to be against Mount Seir, that is Edom. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against Mount Seir. He was going to make it a desolation and a waste, leaving its towns in ruins. Finally, they too would know that Yahweh was God.

The end of Tyre (Ezek 26:19-26:21)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will make you

A city laid waste,

Like the cities

That are not inhabited.

I will bring up

The deep over you.

I will bring up

The great waters

To cover you.

Then I will thrust you

Down with those

Who descend

Into the pit,

To the people

Of long ago.

I will make you

Live in the world below,

Among primeval ruins,

With those who go down

To the pit.

You will not be inhabited.

You will not have a place

In the land

Of the living.

I will bring you

To a dreadful end.

You shall be no more.

Though sought for,

You will never be found again.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God was going to put an end to Tyre. It would be laid waste, like an uninhabited city. Yahweh was going to cover it over with great waters from the deep sea. He was going to send Tyre and its inhabitants into the pit with the people who had lived a long time ago. They would live in this underworld pit among the ruins. They would no longer have a place in the land of the living, but rather enter the land of the dead. Yahweh was going to bring them to a dreadful end. They would be no more. People would look for them, but they would never be found again.

The destruction from the north (Jer 4:6-4:8)

“I am bringing evil

From the north.

I am bringing great destruction.

A lion has gone up from its thicket.

A destroyer of nations has set out.

He has gone forth from his place

To make your land a waste.

Your cities will be in ruins

Without inhabitants.

Because of this

Put on sackcloth!

Lament!

Wail!’

The fierce anger of Yahweh

Has not turned away from us.”

Now Jeremiah says that Yahweh was going to bring this evil and great destruction from the north, without indicating whether it was the Assyrians or the Babylonians. However, this lion and destroyer of nations has set out from his den in order to create a wasteland. He would reduce their cities to ruins by decimating its inhabitants. They were to put on sackcloth, wail, and lament because the fierce anger of Yahweh was against them. They are in the line of fire of this destroyer.

Israel the slave (Jer 2:14-2:16)

“Is Israel a slave?

Is he a home born servant?

Why then has he become plunder?

The lions have roared against him.

They have roared loudly.

They have made his land a waste.

His cities are in ruins.

They are without inhabitants.

Moreover,

The men of Memphis

Have broken the crown of your head.

The men of Tahpanhes

Have broken the crown of your head.”

Jeremiah points out, via the oracle of Yahweh, that the Israelites have become slaves or house servants to Egypt and Assyria. The lions roar loudly against them. People plunder them as the land has been laid waste. The cities are in ruins without anybody living in them. Moreover the Egyptian cities of Memphis, the capital, and Tahpanhes, the border town, have broken the Israelite crowns.

Prayer to end the desolation (Isa 64:10-64:12)

“Your holy cities

Have become a wilderness.

Zion has become a wilderness.

Jerusalem has become desolation.

Our holy beautiful house,

Where our ancestors praised you,

Has been burned by fire.

All our pleasant places

Have become ruins.

After all this,

Will you restrain yourself?

O Yahweh!

Will you keep silent?

Will you punish us so severely?”

This prophet wanted an end to the desolation in Jerusalem. The holy city had become a wilderness. Zion or Jerusalem was desolate. The beautiful house that his ancestors had worshipped in had been burned by fire, so that it lay in ruins with many other pleasant places. He wanted Yahweh to act and not be silent. Why had he punished them so severely?

 

The deserted land (Isa 17:9-17:9)

“On that day,

Their strong cities will be

Like the deserted places of the Hivites,

Like the deserted places of the Amorites.

They deserted them

Because of the children of Israel.

Now there will be desolation.”

On this day of destruction, the strong cities of the north would be deserted like the former places of the Hivites and the Amorites. The Hivites were one of the northern tribes that lived in Canaan, supposedly the Semitic descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. The Amorites were southern Canaanites, before Judah took over. However, the Amorites were more spread out into Mesopotamia and into Syria. Within the biblical literature Amorites and Canaanites are sometimes interchangeable. Anyway, after the takeover of Canaan at the time of Joshua, their cities were deserted because the children of Israel left them in ruins. The same thing was now going to happen to the northern Israelites.

The destruction of Damascus (Isa 17:1-17:3)

“‘See!

Damascus will cease to be a city.

It will become a heap of ruins.

Her towns will be deserted forever.

They will be places for flocks.

These animals will lie down.

No one will make them afraid.

The fortress will disappear

From Ephraim.

The kingdom will disappear

From Damascus.

The remnant of Syria

Will be

Like the glory

Of the children of Israel.’

Thus says Yahweh of hosts.”

This is another oracle of Yahweh, via Isaiah. Damascus will cease to be a city, plain and simple, as it will become a heap of ruins deserted forever. This did not happen. Damascus would become a place for grazing animals to lay down where no one would bother them. Then we have an implied reprimand for the northern Israelites, as Yahweh says that Ephraim, with the capital city of Samaria, would lose its fortress. The northern Israelites were aligned with Syria or Aram against Judah. The Aramean kingdom would disappear from Damascus, which did happen. The remnant of Syria would give glory to the children of Israel. Thus we have this divine diatribe against Damascus in Syria.