Silence before Yahweh (Zech 2:13-2:13)

“Be silent!

All people!

Before Yahweh!

He has roused himself

From his holy dwelling.”

When Yahweh was in his holy place, everyone had to be silent before the presence of Yahweh.  He was aroused in his holy dwelling place, both in heaven and on earth in his Temple.

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The Day of Yahweh is coming (Zeph 1:7-1:7)

“Be silent!

Before Yahweh God!

The day of Yahweh

Is at hand.

Yahweh has prepared

A sacrifice.

He has consecrated

His guests.”

Zephaniah asked the people to be silent before Yahweh, their God, because the day of Yahweh was nearly there.  Yahweh would prepare a sacrificial slaughter of these sinners.  However, he would consecrate his invited guests on the day of Yahweh.

The fifth curse against the Chaldean idols (Hab 2:18-2:20)

“What use is an idol?

Once its maker

Has shaped it,

It is a cast image,

A teacher of lies.

Its maker trusts

In his own creation,

Even though the product

Is only an idol

That cannot speak.

Woe to you!

You say to the wood.

‘Wake up!’

You say to silent stone.

‘Rouse yourself!’

Can it teach?

See!

It is gold plated.

It is silver plated.

There is no breath

In it at all.

But Yahweh is

In his holy temple.

Let all the earth

Keep silence

Before him.”

This final and fifth curse of Habakkuk was against the Chaldean idols, a favorite theme of the prophets.  What good were these idols?  They were handmade human creations, full of lies.  They could not speak.  How foolish they were, when they asked wood and stone to wake up and rouse themselves.  These idols cannot teach anything, since they are gold and silver plated, without any breath in them.  Contrast that with Yahweh in his holy temple, where all the earth keeps silent before him.

Prayer to Yahweh (Hab 1:12-1:13)

“Are you not from of old?

O Yahweh!

My God!

My Holy One!

You shall not die!

O Yahweh!

You have marked them

For judgment.

You!

O Rock!

Have you established them

For punishment?

Your eyes are too pure

To behold evil!

You cannot look

On wrongdoing!

Why do you look

On the treacherous ones?

Why are you silent

When the wicked swallow

Those more righteous

Than they?”

Habakkuk has a prayer to Yahweh that seems to question some of his behavior.  Yahweh, the holy one, his God, who would not die, has marked all these violent men for judgment.  Yahweh, his rock, has set them up for punishment.  Yahweh’s eyes were too pure to see evil, so that he could not look at any wrongdoing.  Then Habakkuk wanted to know why Yahweh was so silent about these treacherous ones, when these wicked ones seem to be swallowing up the righteous ones?  Habakkuk wanted Yahweh to act against these wicked people now, not tolerate them for a later punishment.

The end is near (Am 8:2-8:3)

“Yahweh said.

‘Amos!

What do you see?’

I said.

‘A basket of summer fruit.’

Then Yahweh said to me.

‘The end has come

Upon my people Israel.

I will never again

Pass by them.

The songs of the temple

Shall become wailings

In that day.’

Says Yahweh God.

‘The dead bodies

Shall be many.

They shall be cast out

In every place.

Be silent!’”

Yahweh asked Amos to tell him what he saw.  Amos responded that he saw a basket of summer fruit, not the first fruits.  Yahweh said that these late ripening fruits indicated that the end of the Israelite people was near.  Yahweh said that he was not going to pass by them again.  The songs in their temple would turn to mourning wailing.  Yahweh God added that there would be many dead bodies cast out all over the place.  However, they were to be silent.

Bad behavior (Am 5:10-5:13)

“They hate him

Who reproves

At the gate.

They abhor him

Who speaks the truth.

Therefore,

You trample

On the poor.

You take from them,

Levies of grain.

You have built houses

Of hewn stone.

But you shall not live

In them.

You have planted

Pleasant vineyards.

But you shall not drink

Their wine.

I know how many are

Your transgressions.

I know how great are

Your sins.

You afflict the righteous.

You take a bribe.

You turn aside

The needy

At the gate.

Therefore,

The prudent will keep silent

In such a time.

It is an evil time.”

Next, Amos listed all the bad behavior that the northern Israelites were involved with. They did not like any reprimanding at the city judgment gate. They did not like anyone who told the truth. They trampled the poor people, as they took away their grain. They had built beautiful stone houses, but they were not going to live in them. They had planted wonderful vineyards, but they would not drink the wine from them. Amos and Yahweh knew all about their various transgressions and how great their sins were. They took bribes, mistreated the righteous, and turned away the needy at the gate. The prudent people kept silent during this evil time.

The future sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:25-24:27)

“You!

Son of man!

On the day

When I take

From them

Their stronghold,

Their joy,

Their glory,

The delight of their eyes,

Their heart’s affection,

Someone will come

To you.

I will take their sons.

I will take their daughters.

On that day,

One who has escaped

Will come

To you

To report

To you

The news.

On that day,

Your mouth

Shall be opened

To the one

Who has escaped.

You shall speak.

You will no longer

Be silent.

So you shall be a sign

To them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. On a future day, Yahweh was going to bring down Jerusalem. The Israelites would lose their stronghold, their joy, their glory, the delight of their eyes, and their heart’s affection. They would also lose their sons and daughters. Someone, who had escaped from Jerusalem, would come to Ezekiel on that day with the report of the news about the fall of Jerusalem. On that day, Ezekiel would open his mouth to speak. He would not be silent anymore. Thus the actions of Ezekiel would a sign, so that everyone would know that Yahweh was in charge.