How should they be punished? (Jer 9:7-9:9)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I will now refine them.

I will test them.

What else can I do

With my sinful people?

Their tongue is a deadly arrow.

It speaks deceit

Through the mouth.

They all speak friendly words

To their neighbors.

But inwardly

They are planning

To lay an ambush.

Shall I not punish them

For these things?

Shall I not bring retribution

On a nation such as this?’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh wants to test or refine this sinful people. Their tongues are like deadly arrows because of their deceit. They speak friendly words to their neighbors, but they are planning an ambush for them. How are they to be punished? How much retribution should be handed out to such a people and a country?

King Antiochus attacks Jerusalem (1 Macc 1:29-1:35)

“Two years later, the king sent to the cities of Judah a chief collector of tribute. He came to Jerusalem with a large force. Deceitfully, he spoke peaceable words to them so that they believed him. However, he suddenly fell upon the city as he dealt it a severe blow. He destroyed many people of Israel. He plundered the city as he burned it with fire. He tore down its houses and its surrounding walls. They took captive the women and children. They seized the cattle. Then they fortified the city of David with a great strong wall and strong towers as it became their citadel. They stationed there a sinful people, men who were renegades. These strengthened their position. They stored up arms and food. They collected the spoils of Jerusalem and stored them there. They became a great menace.”

Around 167 BCE, King Antiochus IV again attacked Jerusalem. This time he sent mercenaries with a leader who was to collect tribute for the king. Instead of just collecting the tribute, he and his men attacked the city of Jerusalem. They killed people and plundered the city. They destroyed the houses and walls. They took the women, children, and cattle. Somehow, then they rebuilt the wall around the city of David and made it a citadel or fortress.   Here they put those renegades, those terrible Jews who sided with Syria. They collected the spoils of Jerusalem and stored them there. This citadel will become the home of the army garrison for controlling Judea.