Prepare for a holy war (Joel 3:9-3:10)

“Proclaim this

Among the nations!

Prepare war!

Stir up the warriors!                                       

Let all the soldiers

Draw near!

Let them come up!

Beat your plowshares

Into swords!

Beat your pruning hooks

Into spears!

Let the weakling say.

‘I am a warrior.’”

Yahweh, via Joel, proclaimed that there would be a holy war between the various nations and Israel. They should prepare for war with their warriors, so that the soldiers should get ready. They should turn their plows into swords and their pruning hooks into spears. Even the weak ones should say that they were warriors.

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The Israelites will use Gog’s weapons for their fires (Ezek 39:9-39:10)

“‘Then those who live

In the towns

Of Israel

Will go out.

They will make fires

Of the weapons.

They will burn them,

Shields

Bucklers,

Bows

Arrows,

Hand pikes,

Spears.

They will make fires

Of them

For seven years.

They will not need

To take wood

Out of the field

Or cut down

Any tree

In the forests.

They will make

Their fires

Of the weapons.

They will despoil

Those who despoiled them.

They will plunder

Those who plundered them.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that the Israelites in the various towns would gather all the weapons from the army of Gog. They would use weapons in place of wood to keep their fires going for 7 years. They were going to burn all the equipment that they found, whether it was shields, hand bucklers, bows, arrows, pikes, or spears. Thus, they would not have to go out and collect wood for their fires. They would not have to cut down trees in the forest for their house fires. This was a form or recycling by saving the trees, since they used war weapons as fuel for your home. They would get the spoils and plunder of those who had tried to do the same to them.

The weakened king of Babylon (Jer 50:41-50:43)

“Look!

A people

Is coming

From the north.

A mighty nation

With many kings

Is stirring

From the farthest parts

Of the earth.

They lay hold of bow.

They have spears.

They are cruel.

They have no mercy.

Their sound is

Like the roaring sea.

They ride on horses.

They are equipped

Like a warrior for battle,

Against you.

O daughter!

Babylon!

The king of Babylon

Heard news of them.

His hands fall helpless.

Anguish seized him.

He had pain

Like a woman in labor.’”

This section is almost word for word from chapter 6 of this work about the coming invasion of Israel. Yahweh here tells the Babylonians that an invasion is coming from the northern country, but it was actually the eastern Persians. This invader was a great nation coming from far away, but it actually was right next to them. They had bows and arrows along with spears. They were a cruel merciless well equipped group whose horses made the sounds of a roaring sea. When the king of the Babylonians heard the news of this invasion, he felt helpless and anguished. He had pains like a woman in labor. Yahweh called Babylon “daughter,” a name that he had called Israel earlier in this work.

Getting ready for a war battle (Jer 46:3-46:4)

“Prepare the buckler!

Prepare the shield!

Advance for battle!

Harness the horses!

Mount the steeds!

Take your stations!

Put on your helmets!

Polish your spears!

Put on your coats of mail!”

Jeremiah has a very vivid description of how these ancient warriors prepared to do battle. They had their small forearm buckler shields with their larger shield, as they advanced on foot to do battle. The cavalry horsemen had to harness their horses and then mount them. They all would take their appointed stations. They had their helmets and spears with their protective armor coats. They were now ready to do battle.

The invaders from the north (Jer 6:22-6:23)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘See!

A people is coming

From the north country.

A great nation is stirring

From the farthest parts of the earth.

They grasp the bow.

They grasp the javelin spear.

They are cruel.

They have no mercy.

Their sound is

Like the roaring sea.

They ride on horses.

They are equipped

Like a warrior for battle,

Against you,

O daughter Zion!’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, tells them of the invasion coming from the north country. This invader was a great nation coming from far away that had bows and arrows along with spears. They were a cruel merciless group that made the sounds of a roaring sea. These well equipped warriors would be riding on their horses in battle against Zion.

David and the lions (Ps 57:3-57:5)

“God will send forth his steadfast love!

God will send forth his faithfulness!

I lie down among lions.

They greedily devour human prey.

Their teeth are spears and arrows.

Their tongues are sharp swords.

Be exalted!

O God!

Above the heavens!

Let your glory

Be over all the earth!”

Sandwiched in between 2 praises of God is David with the lions. There was no specific mention of this in any of the stories of David. This might be a metaphor for his enemies and foes. David lies down among the lions that were looking for human prey. The lion’s teeth were like spears and arrows, while their tongue was like a sharp sword. David was sure the God would show him his steadfast love and faithfulness. In response, David was going to give glory to God all over the earth.

The peaceful ending (Ps 46:8-46:11)

“Come!

Behold the works of Yahweh!

See what desolations

He has brought on the earth!

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth.

He breaks the bow.

He shatters the spear.

He burns the shields with fire.

‘Be still!

Know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations!

I am exalted in the earth!’

Yahweh of hosts is with us.

The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Selah

The psalmist wants you to come and see the work of Yahweh. He has brought a peaceful desolation to earth. Wars have ceased. All the bows and spears have been broken. The shields have been burned. Everyone should know that Yahweh is truly God since he is exalted among the nations and on earth. Then this psalm ends with the refrain of Yahweh, the God of Jacob, as his refuge. Like in the preceding section, there is the Selah, the musical interlude pause.