Sentimental Bible interpretations

When you ask young people what they know about the Bible, they might be able to sing the little Bible song, “How do you know that Jesus loves you?  I know that Jesus loves me, because the Bible tells me so.”  Most of us have this sentimental approach to the Bible as a book with a lot of nice stories about Adam and Eve, Moses, and Jesus, but very little else.

Yahweh will dwell in their midst (Zech 2:10-2:12)

“‘Sing!

Rejoice!

O daughter Zion!

Look!

I come!

I will dwell

In your midst.’

Says Yahweh.

Many nations

Shall join themselves

To Yahweh

In that day.

‘They shall be my people.

I will dwell

In your midst.’

You shall know

That Yahweh of hosts

Has sent me to you.

Yahweh will inherit Judah

As his portion

In the holy land.

He will again choose

Jerusalem.”

Yahweh wanted daughter Zion to sing and rejoice.  He was going to come to dwell in their midst, among them.  Many nations or people from many different countries would join with Yahweh on that day.  Yahweh said that they would be his people.  He was going to live among them.  Yahweh would inherit Judah, since he had sent his prophet to his Holy Land.  This was the first use of this term that was later used in 2 Maccabees, chapter 1.  Yahweh had chosen Jerusalem again.

The prayer of Habakkuk (Hab 3:1-3:1)

“A prayer

Of Habakkuk,

The prophet,

According to Shigionoth.”

This last chapter is clearly a prayer or hymn of Habakkuk the prophet.  Like the psalms attributed to David, it may not have been written by him, but inspired by Habakkuk.  They were to sing this using the melody of Shigionoth or a lamentation.  Thus, this hymn or prayer may have been used in their worship services.

Yahweh’s response (Mic 2:3-2:4)

“Therefore thus,

Says Yahweh.

‘Now!

I am devising

Against this family

An evil,

From which you cannot

Remove your necks.

You shall not walk haughtily!

It will be an evil time!

On that day,

They shall take up

A taunt song

Against you.

They will wail

With bitter lamentation.

They will say.

‘We are utterly ruined.

Yahweh alters

The inheritance

Of my people.

He removes it from me!

Among our captors,

He divides our fields.’”

Yahweh responded that he was devising some evil against these wicked people.  They would wear a yoke on their necks, so that they could not walk around in a haughty manner.  There would be an evil time for them on Yahweh’s appointed day.  People would sing a taunting song against them as they would be wailing in a lamentation.  They would admit that they would be ruined, because Yahweh had altered their inheritance.  He had sent them off as captives, so that their fields would be divided up among other people.  Yahweh’s response to these evil doers was an exile captivity with the loss of their land.

Blessed is God in heaven (Dan 3:32-3:34)

“Blessed are you!

You look

Into the depths

From your throne

On the cherubim!

You are to be praised!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

On the throne

Of your kingdom.

You are to be extolled!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

In the firmament

Of heaven!

You are to be sung to!

You are to be glorified forever.”

Next, the 3 young men bless God in heaven, who looks down on them from his throne on the cherubim in heaven. God is to be praised and exalted forever, because he sees his kingdom from the firmament of heaven. Thus, everyone should sing to him and glorify him forever.

The laughing stock (Lam 3:13-3:15)

He

“Yahweh shot

Into my vitals

The arrows

Of his quiver.

I have become

The laughingstock

Of all my people.

I have become

The object

Of their taunt-songs

All day long.

He has filled me

With bitterness.

He has filled me

With wormwood.”

This suffering servant complains that Yahweh has shot an arrow into his vital organs. He has become the laughing stock of his people, as they sing taunting songs to and about him all day long. He has been filled with bitterness and forced to eat the bitter wormwood plant. This is a real unhappy dude. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter He in this acrostic poem.

Hymn to Yahweh (Jer 20:12-20:13)

“O Yahweh of hosts!

You test the righteous!

You see the heart!

You see the mind!

Let me see your retribution

Upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you!

Sing to Yahweh!

Praise Yahweh!

He has delivered

The lives of the needy

From the hands of evildoers.”

Jeremiah praises Yahweh. He knows that God tests the righteous ones because he sees their hearts and minds. Jeremiah wanted retribution to come upon those who had opposed him. However, he has committed his cause to Yahweh. They were to sing and praise Yahweh, because he has delivered the lives of the needy from the evildoers.