Your sister’s cup (Ezek 23:31-23:34)

“‘You have gone

The way

Of your sister.

Therefore,

I will give her cup

Into your hand.’

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You shall drink

Your sister’s cup!

It is deep!

It is wide!

You shall be scorned!

You shall be derided!

It holds so much!

You will be filled

With drunkenness!

You will be filled

With sorrow!

It is a cup of horror!

It is a cup of desolation!

It is the cup

Of your sister

Samaria!

You shall drink it!

You shall drain it out!

You shall gnaw its sherds!

You shall

Tear out your breasts!

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God.”

This seems to be a poem or oracle about a cup of wrath. Jerusalem has gone the way of her sister Samaria. Thus she will be given her sister’s cup, the Samarian cup. Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that Jerusalem would drink her sister’s deep and wide cup. Thus she was going to be scorned and derided. Jerusalem would drink from this large cup. She would be filled with drunkenness and sorrow because this was a cup of horror and desolation. Jerusalem was to drain this big cup by drinking from it. She would then gnaw and eat the glass pottery sherd pieces of this cup. Finally, she would tear out her breasts. This is what Yahweh, God, had spoken. This did not sound like a good experience.

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They live in shame (Ps 44:13-44:16)

“You have made us the taunt of our neighbors.

You have made us the derision and scorn of those about us.

You have made us a byword among the nations.

You have made us a laughing stock among the peoples.

All day long my disgrace is before me.

Shame has covered my face,

At the words of the taunters

At the words of the revilers,

At the sight of the enemy,

At the sight of the avenger.”

Their neighbors were taunting them. Obviously this psalm was written after the captivity, not at the time of David. They were scorned as they became a byword among the various nations. They were a laughing stock among the various peoples. They were ashamed at the words of the taunters and revilers. They were shamed in the sight of their enemies and avengers.

David’s enemies were out to get him (Ps 31:11-31:13)

“I am the scorn of all my adversaries.

I am a horror to my neighbors.

I am an object of dread to my acquaintances.

Those who see me in the street flee from me.

I have passed out of mind.

I am like one who is dead.

I have become like a broken vessel.

I hear the whispering of many.

There is terror all around.

They scheme together against me.

They plot to take my life.”

David was scorned by all his enemies. He was a horror to his neighbors. He was an object of dread to his acquaintances. Anyone who saw him in the street fled from hid. He was a like a dead man walking. He was like a broken vessel. They whispered all around him. There was terror in the air. They schemed and plotted to take his life. He was in bad shape.

The plight of the weak man (Ps 22:6-22:8)

“But I am a worm.

I am not human.

I am scorned by others.

I am despised by the people.

All who see me mock me.

They make mouths at me.

They shake their heads.

‘Commit your cause to Yahweh!

Let him deliver!

Let him rescue

The one in whom he delights!’”

David or the psalmist compares himself to a weak person like a worm, not even human. He was scorned and despised by others. He was mocked. People would shake their heads and mouth things at him. They wanted him to commit his case to Yahweh. Let Yahweh deliver and rescue the weak ones. No one was going to help him.

Job cries out to earth (Job 16:18-16:22)

“O earth!

Do not cover my blood!

Let my outcry find no resting place.

Even now,

In fact,

My witness is in heaven.

He that vouches for me is on high.

My friends scorn me.

My eye pours out tears to God.

That he would maintain the right of a mortal with God,

As one does for a neighbor.

When a few years have come,

I shall go the way

From which I shall not return.”

Job wanted the earth not to cover his blood. He wanted the cry of his innocent blood to reach heaven. He wanted his outcries not to be buried and lost. He still believed that he had a witness in heaven that would vouch for him. His friends still scorned him as he cried with tears to God. He still wanted to be treated like a mortal in the sight of God, the way that mortals treat their neighbors. Within a few years, he would have his final exit. He seems to be pleading with God to still listen to him despite his condition.