“‘Long ago you broke your yoke.
You burst your bonds.
‘I will not serve.’
On every high hill,
Under every green tree,
You played the whore.
Yet I planted you
As a choice vine.
You were from the purest stock.
How then did you turn degenerate?
How did you become a wild vine?
Though you wash yourself with lye,
Even if you use much soap,
The stain of your guilt is still before me.’
Says Yahweh God.”
Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh about the unfaithfulness of Israel. It is just not recently. Long ago, they threw off the yoke of Yahweh and burst out of their bonds, since they said that they would not serve. They ran to every high mountain and under the green oak trees to worship false gods. They lay there sprawling and playing the whore or prostitute. Yahweh had planted them as a vineyard from the purest stock. However, they had become degenerate and a wild vine. No amount of lye or soap could cleanse them from this stain of guilt. What was he to do with these unfaithful Israelites?
“Now they mock me in song.
I am a byword to them.
They abhor me.
They keep aloof from me.
They do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
God has loosed my bowstring.
God has humbled me.
They now have cast off restraint in my presence.
On my right hand
The rabble rises up.
They send me sprawling.
They build roadblocks from ruin.
They break up my path.
They promote my calamity.
No one restrains them.
As through a wide breach they come.
Amid the crash they roll on.
Terrors are turned upon me.
My honor is pursued as by the wind.
My prosperity has passed away like a cloud.”
Once again, in colorful language, Job complains about the rabble around him. He did not like what they were doing to him. They were mocking him with various songs and stories. They did not like him. They spit in his direction when he came near to them. They really had no restraints in his presence since God had abandoned him. This rabble of outcasts sent him sprawling to the ground. They blocked his path. They were bullies to him since no one stopped them in their conduct. They already were the outcasts of society. They came at him just like through a hole in the wall. They just rolled over him. All of Job’s honor and prosperity was gone like a wind or cloud. Here today, but gone tomorrow.